photoshop creative
Aug
4

Has the world gone P.C mad?

Posted in:
General, by Mark White
August 4, 2008

I’ve just spent the weekend in London and had a great time taking photos of all the scenes and sights. Luckily I managed to photograph my way around the city without too much bother – something which cannot be said for an elderly woman in Southampton recently, who was brandished a possible paedophile for photographing an empty paddling pool.Recently, more and more stories are cropping like this in which photographers (both professional and amateurs) are being branded as a nuisance or in some cases even paedophiles simply for taking pictures …

I’ve just spent the weekend in London and had a great time taking photos of all the scenes and sights. Luckily I managed to photograph my way around the city without too much bother – something which cannot be said for an elderly woman in Southampton recently, who was brandished a possible paedophile for photographing an empty paddling pool.Recently, more and more stories are cropping like this in which photographers (both professional and amateurs) are being branded as a nuisance or in some cases even paedophiles simply for taking pictures in public areas. Is it just me or is it political correctness gone mad? I too have been at the receiving end of such treatment in my local train station, being asked by the guard not to take photos of the trains due to ‘security reasons’. How on earth a photo of a South West train is breaching security I shall never know!Obviously, as a photographer you have a responsibility to conduct yourself in an appropriate manner. When photographing people, ensure they are happy for you to do so and don’t break any trespassing laws etc etc. But when you are singled out for no reason other than the nervy, twitchy reactions of a society we live in today, who can help but feel frustrated and angry?Photography is something that should be an enjoyable hobby, not a risky escapade. Let’s hope the jittery kill-joys learn to distinguish the innocent photographers from anything more sinister, before outdoor photography is banned altogether.    

  • Kirk Nelson

    It’s really rediculous. Here in the States it’s almost easier to carry a firearm around than it is a tripod! I haven’t heard the paedophile charge before, but photographing public places always seems to arouse suspicion. sad really.

    I have learned that simple little touristy digi cameras are usually ignored. But pull out a DSLR with a nice lens, mount that on a tripod and rent-a-cops decend upon you like vultures to a fresh kill. Lesson learned: if you are planning a terroist attack, use a cell phone camera and nobody will bother you, they’re too busy harassing the photographers!

  • KrissLee

    No it isn’t just you, the world has indeed gone mad,

    the one thing to remember when confronted by the PC brigade having one of their hissy fits is to remind them that under english law there is no such as “Public Privacy”

    which means that even if someone is not aware of you taking their photo, as in a busy street shot, they cannot legally prevent you from doing so.

    one thing I have found useful is to be blatantly obvious, meaning that I make sure that close to me are aware of me taking pics, by standing right out in the open, messing with the camera setting, usually unnecessarily, LOL, and just being “Non Shifty” it usually works for me, I also carry a number of “Business Cards” whilst photography isn’t my real business, I do do the occasional shot for a friend, so I can claimn to be a photographer, Ha Ha.

    I have had to put the camera away on a couple of occasions, one being really annoying for me, my son’s football match, but as it was on a “non” public pitch I had no choice, one of those places where a league is run, and anyone is welcome, but the land itself is not a public place, even though it is open to the public, another was at a school match, and I can understand both of these, even though my human right to document my son’s life is being taken away from me, I know that some parents do worry that the pic of their child may end up in some dark corner of the net.

    On the other hand I recently attended a large international football tournament in which my son participated, and I was aware of the officials in large numbers, and yet not once during the five days did anyone question me taking pics of his team, or any other team for that matter, including girls teams, and ages ranging from 9 to 18 !