Then come along to the Mass Photo Gathering in Trafalgar Square in defence of street photography
Over the last couple of years barely a day has passed without hearing about some unfortunate photographer who has been victimised by either the Police, PCSOs, security staff or council officials for committing the heinous crime of taking photographs in a public place. And for having the temerity to be using a ‘professional camera” – ie a DSLR to you and me.
It’s almost as though those in positions of authority have collectively decided that photography as a hobby is undesirable and should be stamped out, and as aggressively as possible. The most common justification for this hostility is anti-terrorism (though if you happen to be anywhere near a park or a beach you may also be accused of being a paedophile).
These jobsworths and little Hitlers seem totally ignorant of the fact that there is no law against taking photos in public places. Nor does it seem to occur to them that real terrorists, and those up to no good, are hardly likely to draw attention to themselves with big DSLRs, tripods and bags full of lenses. They’ll sneak around with a camera phone or, easier still, stay at home and log on to Google Street View.
There are literally hundreds of shocking examples of this harassment, many of which are reported in depth by our sister magazine Amateur Photographer, but it’s only recently that photographers have begun forming groups and campaigns to challenge this behaviour. One of the most prominent is a group called ‘I’m a Photographer, not a Terrorist,’ and they have organised a ‘mass gathering’ this Saturday in Trafalgar Square, London, from 12 till 1pm to protest.
As this is an issue I feel very strongly about I’ll be there on Saturday representing WDC, to show our support. If we don’t stand up and be counted then one day we’ll wake up and find that the hobby of photography has become virtually unsustainable.
If you’re in London this Saturday, and can spare an hour of your time why not pop along to Trafalgar Square? Bring your DSLR!
Full details of the Mass photo Gathering, along with los more info about this important issue, can be found at http://photographernotaterrorist.org/