The other day, I drove to a river near my house, this river and it's banks form part of a "green belt" that runs through my town. Parts of this green belt is also a public park. So I stopped in a spot where go photograph ALOT, climbed out of my vehicle, took my tripod and camera bag and walked down to a little bridge. I casually set up my camera, took some readings and then in the corner of my eye I saw four traffic police officers approaching. I thought to myself; well maybe they are just curious, no problem (they are traffic police after all). Just as I stated to focus on the bridge, the one said (by now they had walked right up to me): "I'm sorry but you can't take photos here"
I said: well this is a public park, I pay tax, I come here alot, so why not?
Another one said: No but you can't, no cameras!
Me: Why not give me a reason
they: The team is having a closed session practice
Now as some/all of you know, South Africa is hosting the Football World Cup, and my town is a host city to Spain, so "the team" was most likely them. Now the traffic police have been "misused" by FIFA as security gaurds (that's my tax money to protect the vanity of some soccer team) Now the thing is this bridge I wanted to photograph was nearby (but not in sight) of the sports field they were having their little game in, and the "security" had been told "NO CAMERAS"
As if I could give a rats ass about some soccer team, or even waste film (at R75/US$10 a roll of 120 hp5+, who would?) on these vain little chumps practicing. Really...
At least they (traffic cops) where not all butch/I AM THE LAW/bigotty/bribe me, like certain other cops. So I complied, for that they where greatful. But me taking photos of a bridge with a camera you looked in from the top (SQ-A, WLF)to one of them, a female officer, seemed odd, and she had to ask: What are you taking photos of a bridge for? To which I replied: To make nice big Black and white prints I make in a darkroom, then hang on a wall. You see this is a film camera, it takes film.
The one guy, then smiled and nodded (he must have worked in the traffic department's photo lab ((for speed cameras' film)) before they went digital.) He got it.
I packed up, but they told me that I could come back the following day as the "team" would not be practicing then.
I can't wait for FIFA to leave, so my country is my country again.
(to England and Brazil, sorry maybe next time, to the Netherlands "veels geluk")
Last edited by Ricus.stormfire; 07-03-2010 at 02:33 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: changed pricks to chumps, just be less offending to soccer players
I wonder what if...
What if all these cops that want to know what you are doing with a camera realize that some day a cop may be attacked by two thugs and they will be beating the life out of him. When other officers come to investigate, they will find a photograher holding a camera. When they ask him if he saw anything, he will say, yes, I saw the whole thing and was going to take pictures for evidence, but then I realized I didn't have permission from that cop to photograph him.
Did you return the favor and take a photo of them?
Originally Posted by rthomas
No, I only had the RB67 and I was intent on using my very last roll of Tri-X 320 on my project.
Originally Posted by dbonamo
“For me, the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity.”
― Henri Cartier-Bresson
I had a "What are you doing?" moment by a lovely older couple last week when out taking photos with my 4x5. Her initial response was "I hope you're not taking a photo of us!" in a very i-forgot-to-put-make-up-on way, but they both seemed very happy to see someone shooting something that bought back memories for them.
Upon asking them what they were doing, they were walking down to the bowling club for a meal and a couple of drinks. I really regret not taking a photo of them together.
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When someone asks me that usually I just smile and say "I'm a photography student and I'm learning." and leave it at that. If they hassle me, if I am on private property I leave, but I don't budge when it's public. Just because some event is going on and some team might be practicing is no reason to demand that someone not photograph in a public park. I'm not too sure that was even legal, cops or not.
That's what bugged me, if for instance I was within the grounds of the sport field (with is also lovely to go photograph) I would understand (that IS private property), but in the park?
Originally Posted by magkelly
Well I didn't want to argue, besides they are supposed to watching traffic, writing tickets for TRAFFIC offences, not hassle someone who ,in effect, pays their salary (tax). Oh well the bridge isn't going anywhere...
Baie Dankie :-)
Originally Posted by Ricus.stormfire
Last edited by Bateleur; 07-05-2010 at 06:23 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Many years ago as a young teenager, I wandered into a steam locomotive depot. Naively thinking I could wander about with my camera and photograph at will. Blissfully unaware I snapped away until a gruff voice demanded “What do you think you are doing?” and marched me to the shed foreman. I can’t remember my reaction but I would have stammered some lame excuse to his superior. Obviously he was unimpressed and phoned my parents. They chastised me of course, though were supportive especially when I was interviewed afterward by the security police, and subsequently too to determine the required protocol for future visits to locomotive depots!
Got arrested shooting some barrels.
Back in 1971, I was 18 and had gone back to Poland to see my family. I left when I was five and had not been back since leaving.
I was in Czestochowa and was walking around with my lovely Nikon FTN and 35 mm lens and stopped by to take a photo of a very aging, rusty gas station with these barrels out front. Took three or four shots when I had both arms grabbed from behind. When I got turned around I saw that there were three policemen there, two of whom were holding my arms.
They asked me what I was doing and I replied that I was just taking pictures. Why? I told them I like the textures of the rust and the shapes repeating.
They marched me off to the station and told me it is illegal to photograph gas (petrol) stations due to the fact that the then communist government has deemed them all as military installations.
I old them I was unaware of this since I was Canadian and had only been in the country for a week or so. The didn't believe me since my Polish was as good as theirs.
Luckily for me, my cousin was a policeman in the same station, and, just by fluke, he was going off-shift when they brought me in. He set things straight, but they did take the roll of film from me.