My fellow Apuger's.
The purpose of the original post was not to figure out who was right or wrong, but whether or not photography is dead as we know it. I listed the scenario of what happened as a means of explaining the situation. Maybe I should have mentioned this originally.
At the end of the original post I posed two questions: "What options have we left as photographers to be photographers? Have we any at all"?
It seems to me that if not yet dead, photography is on life support and dying a slow death due to the many restrictions that we as photographers are now faced with. Have we any options left? Or is photography as we know, or have known it soon to be lost forever?
Standing on a federal freeway taking pictures is illegal. It is not like standing on road. If there was traffic I would be putting myself as well as others in danger. Because it was closed they let it go with a you can't be out here.
they have a job to do and they did it.
If someone calls the campus police, the campus police (as part of their job) need to respond to it. Thats commonplace.
I speak from experience, I have had this happen more times than I can count. I have NEVER had any issues or even heated discussions. If you take a calm and cordial tone with them, inquire about what issues there are, what laws are being broken, etc etc and do it in a polite and cordial manner you're likely to find the situation completely simple to deal with.
I say this in regards to being out in the open, but it has held true even when I've been trespassing, alot of times I'm on private property when I am shooting alot of the stuff I enjoy shooting. Even then, and even when firearms have been pulled on me, I've been able to quell the situation and politely either leave or more often than not, continue shooting after a good long discussion. In texas its damn near impossible to be standing anywhere that ISN'T on private property.
best advice, don't get heated at the rentacop/campus police because you are upset that a random woman called you in (thats what it sounds like from your initial post) or because they were doing their job, a$$holes are in every line of work and usually can be talk through things with.
in regards to photography being dead?... No.
As long as we all keep shooting, the photographic heart beat keeps chugging along.
Jamusu, also be sure to check out Kevin Bjorke's forum: http://www.photopermit.org/
tim, possibly health and safety regs. You know folks, very often, if you have doubts, it's better to find someone and just ask if it's OK to shoot a few pics.. Most times you'll get a positive response, 'cause the guy thinks he's really important, particularly if you take his photograph and his crew. (Meanwhile the baddies could be 'round the corner planting bombs!). Seriously though, in these times, does it really matter if we are questioned about our activities? I detest the term 'jobsworth'. These people are at least DOING the job for which they are being paid - probably not a lot.
I'm into painting with light - NOT painting by numbers!
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)
Point well taken, but I never once became overheated. They did. They were upset that I asked for their badge numbers. Once again, point well taken.
Also, is it too much to ask that we no longer use the term rentacop to describe the campus policemen. This term as been used a couple of times. There may be some among us who are security guards and I don't want any of them to be unintentionally offended by continuing to use it.
Is photography dead? I hope not because I only started my photographic journey exactly two years ago last month.
Last edited by jamusu; 02-04-2008 at 05:37 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Is photography dead? No. Has our ability to photograph become problematic? Yes. Have been out with Matt (scootermm) and we have been asked what we were doing (none law enforcement, though). Overall, most people will ask what is going on (hey those are some big, strange looking cameras) so it is normal for someone to ask.
Part of what we do, makes us more of a focus (no pun intended) for people to notice. If we were using a cell phone camera or some smaller camera we could take photographs much easier and no one would even notice. Climb under a darkcolth of a view camera or set up a tripod and see who comes out of the woodwork. These are paranoid times, and we should be aware that not everyone in the public has an open mind about such things. Imagine if you go to a playground to photograph kids doing what kids do...having fun. Now consider that there is a parent who for whatever reason suspects you have less than photographic/artistic thoughts...the police will be there in no time. Is that right, not in my mind, but I understand how the parents might feel (even though my kids are adults now). We should do what we can to ease the concerns of the public by informing them of what we are doing when ask, just as Jamusu did. The campus police did not get upset because he was photographing the construction, they became upset over the question about badge numbers (and I actually understand that - they don't want to here from someone about rights, harassment, etc.)
More times than not it is better to ask forgiveness than permission.
Nobody who's job is to protect a building or bridge or whatever, will say yes. They only know NO! That is what they are being paid to say. That is the safe answer, it will keep them employed.
Originally Posted by scootermm
Guess that big camera looks scary!!
As to the OP, not dead, but under attack it seems. If we keep our heads level, and stay polite, it should survive this ridiculous onslaught.
Most of the campus police I've come across are actually bona fide, accredited state police officers. I understand that responded to a report. I do not understand that they said taking photographs was illegal - it isn't. I do not understand their belligerence when asked to identify themselves. Their job is to enforce the law, which itself is established to protect individual rights. If they have a problem answering questions of rights and legalities - which they brought up - they're in the wrong line of work. I'm not surprised that they "retaliated" over the expired license, (of course there was no leg to stand on there!) when annoyed by the temerity of someone to question them but I'm afraid it's a terrible indictment of the mentality of these responding officers.
That being said, there is a huge move to prevent photography. NYC recently proposed banning of all photography in the city unless pre-approval from NYPD was obtained and the photographer had a $ 1 million liability coverage. This would have included tourists! I believe that it died a death because the tourist industry lobbied.
I understand the need for caution, but preventing the openly taking of photographs in the name of anti-terrorism has become a nonsense. "Casing the joint" is not done openly - and this growing terror over photographers is a sad change. Here locally, someone called the police on me for taking photos in a gravel pit! Three squad cars responded - to a gravel pit!!!
The world's gone mad - and we won't be allowed to document it!!!
"Why is there always a better way?"