Thursday, April 17, 2008

Innocent Photographers. . . .

An interesting article from the BBC that says nothing that has been said before about the law and taking photographs in public spaces.  Since 9/11 we have read numerous stories and some of us have experienced the problem first hand.  In 2003 I had this idea of specializing as an oil industry photographer, taking shots of refineries, installations etc. for annual reports, board rooms, etc.  While living in Houston and with my oil industry experience this seemed to be a natural thing to do.

But it wasn't.  Heading out to Pasadena where all the oil installations are located along the Houston Ship Channel I began to think about the security aspect.  It can't possibly affect me, I thought!  Well, it did.  As soon as I started to frame the first shot of a petrochemical plant the security people were on to me.  Without a letter of permission there was no way this business opportunity was going to get off the ground.

Later I found myself in a children's play center in Warwickshire with my two grandchildren.  We were having a lot of fun and I had my camera with me.  Suddenly I realized that I could be challenged as a pedophile even though every shot I had taken was of my own kin.  I put the camera away.