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Thread: An interesting experiment in public photography

  1. #1
    The Blue Boy's Avatar
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    An interesting experiment in public photography

    The video speaks for itself really, but I'll just add my usual mantra of staying calm and being polite works. Watch and see.


  2. #2
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: An interesting experiment in public photography

    I wonder if the same amount of interest would have been generated if the videographer had not been there.

  3. #3
    The Blue Boy's Avatar
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    Re: An interesting experiment in public photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    I wonder if the same amount of interest would have been generated if the videographer had not been there.
    What do you mean by that?

    I take it you're not interested in this issue.

  4. #4
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    Re: An interesting experiment in public photography

    Quote Originally Posted by The Blue Boy View Post
    What do you mean by that?

    I take it you're not interested in this issue.
    On the contrary, in one of my posts I mentioned a similar situation that happened to me. What I am saying about this particular video is that perhaps the video camera raised more suspicion than if only the lone photographer were innocently snapping photographs. Perhaps the videographer should have positioned themselves farther away and used audio only. If you look at the video again check out the security personnel's interest in the videographer more than the photographer.

  5. #5
    jjbacoomba's Avatar
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    Re: An interesting experiment in public photography

    Security people just doin there jobs. Times sure have changed. I was taking photos at a local shopping center here. The website lists it as tourist attraction as it did have some historical value attached to it. Yet I was asked to stop taking photos. He said it was for security reasons. Yet there were people(touristy looking, LOL) taking pictures of the same subjects I was shooting. Maybe if I wasnt using a tripod and a zoom lens. I am including one of the shots I took. This used to be an old cement Quarry.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6
    Sam Smith's Avatar
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    Re: An interesting experiment in public photography

    What is the worst part of all of this is the world has come to this. People were at one time very excited that some one thought enough of the building to take a picture of it.

  7. #7
    Seriche's Avatar
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    Re: An interesting experiment in public photography

    Mark,

    Thanks for posting that. I’m only just starting to learn about the law regarding photography in public places, and it was very enlightening.

    What seems strange to me is that a terrorist could presumably stand over the road and just watch, or maybe even sketch the building, or people coming in and out, for a short while without any problems from security.

    On 18/3/11 an emergency measure came into play.The remedial order replaces Sections 44 to 47 of the Terrorism Act 2000 and with Section 47A:

    “From today Section 47A will give a “senior police officer” the power to make an authorisation in “relation to a specified area or place” if the officer“reasonably suspects that an act of terrorism will take place” and “considers that the authorisation is necessary to prevent such an act.””

    http://photographernotaterrorist.org/

    It appears that the old section 44 was always controversial, but section 43 also caused problems for photographers in public places.

    A lot of it seems to come down to individual senior police officers having ‘reasonable suspicion’ and in that video, senior or not, they seemed to be very fair.

    Seri

  8. #8
    arith's Avatar
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    Re: An interesting experiment in public photography

    They got loads of hassle in public places until the cops turned up. In the distant past most shopping areas were public. It is the rise of private security firms that seems to be the problem and the photographers were very polite, but it is impossible for me to be polite to somebody I think gets his kicks from kicking people and whose greatest achievement is learning to fart in tune to the national anthem.

    It would be too hard for me: I just cannot do it. The question about filming the building, crikey I would say no I'm photographing the reflection of the one across the road, and my hair would stand on end if anybody said 'that is a nice camera'.

    Uncomfortable viewing but good ending.

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    Re: An interesting experiment in public photography

    Quote Originally Posted by arith View Post
    I think gets his kicks from kicking people and whose greatest achievement is learning to fart in tune to the national anthem.
    I like that. I need a laugh at the moment and that has cheered me up no end. The pommie humour is still alive and kicking.

    Delboy

  10. #10
    CBImages's Avatar
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    Re: An interesting experiment in public photography

    Sadly we seem to now live in a world riddled with suspicion and a lot of people attribute 'wrong' motives to people doing things they don't understand.
    We all recognise, in the wake of 7/7 & 11/7 the need for anti terrorist legislation and for the authorities to use that legislation to try and keep us safe from further attacks, yet 'how' that legislation is implemented often give cause for concern. As with most legislation, it doesn't actually deter the criminal element and in my experience a lot of people today view laws as 'guides' to be broken as and when they see fit or manipulated to suit themselves. Would the fact that it is illegal to take photographs of military installations, stop terrorists from photographing them to help them plan an attack - I doubt it very much. What it does do is makes it very difficult for innocent photographers from photographing any subject close to such sites. The same applies to children, who of us isn't wary of even getting our camera out in areas where there are young children, let alone take a photograph for fear of being accused of being a pedophile. It is a sad, sad, sad world we live in.

    I can actually see the arguments for and against the legislation and implementation of it having worked in law enforcement and being a photographer. On the one hand the media tries to increase sales figures or viewers by whipping up a frenzy about certain 'issues', creates fear in the minds of the public who in turn demand stronger legislation. The government create more stringent laws to appease the public, the police are dammed if they use the powers by the innocent who are inconvienienced and dammed by everyone if they don't use the powers and something happens.

    I think the 'paparazzi' are to blame for most of our problems with their intrusion into peoples private lives.
    Is it photographic journalism or disrespectful intrusion?

    I haven't even touched on laws relating to personal privacy or those archaic laws implemented by organisations like the National Trust which prevent a photographer taking a photograph on National Trust land and the selling it. Legislation that was originally brought forth to prevent beggars from pestering the gentry back in the 19th century but the National Trust are now trying to apply it to photographers. Its only purpose is to prevent photographs of National Trust properties being sold anywhere other than via the National Trust themselves and hence any profits go directly to them.

    Oh dear - see what a can of worms we have opened, its time I climbed off my soap box.
    Suffice to say - we all want to be safe and not all members of our society can be trusted to act appropriately so legislation is required and yes it infringes on our ability to pursue our hobby or career with the freedom we would like but we need to get used to it because it isn't going to go away.

    Chris

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    Seriche's Avatar
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    Re: An interesting experiment in public photography

    It must be difficult for photographers to know what to do in any particular situation, but is it possible to find out how many are successfully prosecuted using those laws?

    Seri

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    Re: An interesting experiment in public photography

    Hi Seri

    What to do?
    My advice would be to always be polite and respectful when dealing with the authorities/police.
    Have a copy of this with you to show them http://www.sirimo.co.uk/wp-content/u...srights-v2.pdf
    (Someone posted this link on the forum recently)

    If photographing people or private property, always ask permission first and offer to send a copy of the image to the people - its amazing how many benefits this produces and other opportunities for photographs. I have been given tea, cake, bacon butties, fresh coffee shown other interesting locations, offered commissions etc. In my experience most people respond to well to openness and honesty rather than us just insisting on our rights. Give people the opportunity to 'take control' of the situation by making a decision, that way they feel less intimidated.

    Chris

  13. #13
    Seriche's Avatar
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    Re: An interesting experiment in public photography

    Quote Originally Posted by CBImages View Post
    Hi Seri

    What to do?
    My advice would be to always be polite and respectful when dealing with the authorities/police.
    Have a copy of this with you to show them http://www.sirimo.co.uk/wp-content/u...srights-v2.pdf
    (Someone posted this link on the forum recently)

    If photographing people or private property, always ask permission first and offer to send a copy of the image to the people - its amazing how many benefits this produces and other opportunities for photographs. I have been given tea, cake, bacon butties, fresh coffee shown other interesting locations, offered commissions etc. In my experience most people respond to well to openness and honesty rather than us just insisting on our rights. Give people the opportunity to 'take control' of the situation by making a decision, that way they feel less intimidated.

    Chris
    Chris,

    I've started taking night photos of all kinds of things, including properties, but as this happens from around 3 - 5 am, I think I'm going to miss out on all the tasty perks

    I might try popping round and asking permission of householders during the day, just to put their minds at rest in case they're sleepless and see me lurking out there in the lanes one night. It's so quiet and rural round here that I'm thinking of ringing the police just to tell them what I'm up to in case they get any calls

    Thanks for the sensible advice

    Seri

  14. #14
    rob marshall

    Re: An interesting experiment in public photography

    PMSL!!!

    But not quite as much as this one... a security guard in Middlesborough, UK. Is this what you mean, Chris, by being 'polite and respectful'?


  15. #15
    rob marshall

    Re: An interesting experiment in public photography

    I have my own tale to tell here. Two years ago I had a very unpleasant situation with two security guards in a public place. I was entirely within my rights, and by pursuing the matter afterwards, I wasted an incredible amount of time, and worked myself up into a needless frenzy of anger. Total waste of time.

    A couple of months ago a similar situation started when I was shooting some buildings from a public place (the pavement). A security guard came out and said "You can't take pictures 'ere mate!". I stone-walled him, said absolutely nothing. I just ignored him, and carried on shooting. If he stood in front of me I moved out of his way, but I refused to speak to him, or even acknowledge him. Eventually, he said "I'm going to call the police" I just ignored him. he went back to his office and called the police, who arrived a few minutes later.

    I spoke to the police officer, and explained what I was doing, and he agreed that I had a right to take shots there. He asked why I had not spoken to the guard, and I just said I didn't want to antagonise the situation. He took the guard to one side. I don't know what he said, but the guard returned to the building. The policeman, once he was happy that all was quiet got back in his car and drove off. I continued taking shots, then left of my own accord.

    It's alll very well saying be reasonable and polite and show respect. But you can only do that with other people who are reasonable, polite, and show respect. Some security guards have a problem, and the best thing to do is to completely ignore them.

    On a wider issue. There are many occasions in all our lives when someone tries to stop you doing something. They may be in the right, or it may be you that's in the right. Sometimes, the person trying to stop you is just 'trying it on'.

  16. #16
    CBImages's Avatar
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    Re: An interesting experiment in public photography

    Hi Rob

    Obviously we don't know what led up to the 2 chaps being spoken to by the security guard and he did seem pretty respectful to me under difficult circumstances. How would you have dealt with that situation if you had been in his position?
    If the photographer had done nothing wrong what is the problem with complying with the guards request so that the matter can be sorted out. He did antagonise the situation by taking photographs of the guard when he knew that was at the root of the problem and the guard clearly didn't give his permission.

    Chris

  17. #17
    rob marshall

    Re: An interesting experiment in public photography

    Quote Originally Posted by CBImages View Post
    Hi Rob

    Obviously we don't know what led up to the 2 chaps being spoken to by the security guard and he did seem pretty respectful to me under difficult circumstances. How would you have dealt with that situation if you had been in his position?
    If the photographer had done nothing wrong what is the problem with complying with the guards request so that the matter can be sorted out. He did antagonise the situation by taking photographs of the guard when he knew that was at the root of the problem and the guard clearly didn't give his permission.

    Chris

    Do you mean the security guard?

    The guard assaulted the photographer. He pushed him in the chest, he kept touching him.

  18. #18
    CBImages's Avatar
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    Re: An interesting experiment in public photography

    Just caught your 2nd post.

    Yes I totally agree, quite often security guards are inadequately trained, their knowledge of the law is based on 'canteen culture' and they become 'power mad' once they don their uniform. The same is true with some police officers, usually the probationers - they also have the added pressure of trying to 'prove their worth' to their superiors by applying as many different police powers as they can during their 2 year probation.

    Yes you can only be reasonable with people who want to be reasonable in return but that works both ways - with the 'uniform' and the photographer. Usually the responsible photographer knows the law and his rights in rather more detail than the man in uniform so I try and view situations like that as a chance to educate the ignorant. As in your case it seems the guard was 'educated' by the police officer, sadly he wouldn't listen to you.
    As you say a lot of these 'uniforms' try to wield power beyond the scope of their role so its always nice when we can contribute towards reducing their ignorance!

    Chris

  19. #19
    arith's Avatar
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    Re: An interesting experiment in public photography

    the man in uniform so I try and view situations like that as a chance to educate the ignorant.


    That has got a different meaning round here.

    I used to know a club owner, rather big club. He wouldn't touch the local security because they paid ex cons back handers to sort out trouble.

    Nowadays, if they got a uniform, maybe they are not ex cons. It is a long time since I've been anywhere near this lot, I prefer to avoid them than have to explain I thought I was being robbed to the judge.

    It is hard to determine friend or foe, especially in the spate of eastern European muggings where somebody wacks you hard without warning and takes your stuff while your semi conscious. Uniforms even cop ones mean nothing, I've had a gang of people trying to bash down my front door shouting police, I phoned the cops and they said you have to let them in, and then they phoned back to say DON'T.

    They didn't get in, but it is ACTIONS that I go on, and if they are friendly then so am I.

  20. #20
    arith's Avatar
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    Re: An interesting experiment in public photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Seriche View Post
    Chris,

    I've started taking night photos of all kinds of things, including properties, but as this happens from around 3 - 5 am, I think I'm going to miss out on all the tasty perks

    I might try popping round and asking permission of householders during the day, just to put their minds at rest in case they're sleepless and see me lurking out there in the lanes one night. It's so quiet and rural round here that I'm thinking of ringing the police just to tell them what I'm up to in case they get any calls

    Thanks for the sensible advice

    Seri
    That is a good idea Seri; but you know I live in two disjoint worlds. The police are helpful only if you are perceived to have money.

    I'm was a member of a royal learned society and knew the very highest in society; who would expect and would get professional treatment from the police.

    My dad lived in a house in only what can be described as millionaires row, and once through his high powered binoculars he saw somebody walking a dog outside of his garden. It had a six foot wire fence with concrete posts and barbed at the top, but still he phoned the police who come immediately and then drive round to the chap to ask him to move on. even though he was on public land.

    I however live on a council estate, I'm not into looking middle class because I don't want to stand out. Once a drug dealer business man objected to me complaining about him picking up casual labour to be paid £2 per hour on building sites and he thought it would be a wheeze if he got some of his cronies to dress up as cops and try to get into my home, to teach me a lesson.

    The real cops did nothing.

    Then there was a riot outside of at least thirty people with burning barricades.

    The cops turned up after it was all over.

    My previous next door neighbour hacked my landline by splicing a wire into it and running it through his window.

    The cops told him not to be so naughty, and that is it.

    It goes on and on. If you look wealthy, or your perceived as middle class you will be treated professionally, otherwise they think you get what you deserve.

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