Friday 4 August 2006

The attack on photography

There's an increasing level of concern in the photographic community about harassment of photographers by "The Authorities". It's all in the name of "security" of course. It used to be possible to wander around the streets of any city in the West and photograph anything you damned well pleased. Not any more. Particularly in the English speaking countries, using a "professional" camera is liable to attract the attention of the police and all kinds of other security employees. Somehow, these goons think that there's something threatening about using an SLR with those big, "professional" lenses. Forget the fact that pocket-sized digitals often have more powerful built-in zooms than one is likely to find on an SLR; forget the fact that the ubiquitous mobile phone is increasingly equipped with an impressive camera; why not just have a go at those of us who like to photograph cities using good quality equipment. Let's face it: is a terrorist likely to take a photo of a target building while standing out in the open with a Nikon or Canon and a foot-long lens, or is he perhaps going to use something just a wee bit less obvious?

How interesting to note that we may end up having to go to Saudi Arabia to enjoy our hobby.

1 comment:

David Farrer said...

Comments made on previous template:

Neil Craig
If you photograph something in Greece they may lock you up for a few days & the tabloids will beat a path to your door.  
If you photograph something in Saudi you may end up locked away & tortured for running a drinks gang war & neither the media nor the FO will say a thing. 
Why the tabloids reported Greek silliness more than Saudi torture is something on which we can only speculate.

7 August 2006, 14:32:11 GMT+01:00
– Like – Reply

Bill (Scotland)
Particularly in the English speaking countries 
Photographing certain things in Greece, for example airports, has been a risky practice for years/decades, although some would doubt just how 'western' that country is, despite its reputation as the source of much western philosophy. I must say I never realised there was a ban on public photography in Saudi Arabia; I seem to recall having taken a fair number when I lived there in the 1970s; maybe I was just lucky.

4 August 2006, 14:08:16 GMT+01:00