13 March 2010

No Photographs... or else!

My camera is always with me when I go out. It has its own special pocket in my handbag to facilitate a quick draw when something catches my eye. Today seemed a good time to get snapping since the markets were in town and I was all poised to capture a church steeple, for once clear of obstacles in the path of vision, when a voice said ‘I wouldn’t do that if I were you.’

I turned, thinking the remark was meant for someone else, but the small lady who said it was looking right at me. It seems that the authorities are stopping people from taking pictures with the threat of arrest. The little lady had been warned a few weeks back when she took a picture of a building of interesting architecture. It turned out to be a bank.

So what happens to all the happy snappers? Are they confined to finding their own subjects? Can they no longer aim and shoot our wonderful buildings to brag about to friends or even for educational purposes?

I came across several items on the internet about this subject and honestly didn’t realise it was such a big issue. I’m a Photographer Not A Terrorist is an appropriate heading for this link.

I should be interested to hear if anyone else has come across this new veto against amateur photographers.


  1. lol. if you need bail money let me know...i know this bank...

  2. There isn't anything for you and I to really worry about - in streets and outdoor markets. Anyone can take photos in a PUBLIC place.
    (I have been concerned about this and I have been reading up on it, but not for 'love nor money' can I find the link tonight.)
    You can be asked not to take photos in NON PUBLIC places like parks a shopping centres (private).
    And I believe there will be restrictions near military bases etc. They are also a bit touchy in London, but that is only to be expected. They CANNOT make you delete any photos you have taken.
    There is a write-up here if you are interested.

  3. The boss thinks its been a bit of a media story.

    We have not had a problem taking pics... yet ;-)


  4. Val, This happens all too frequently here. But I never thought it would
    happen across the pond where tourists
    ( and cameras ) are everywhere.
    I now ask before I shoot inside a
    building... but outside is never a
    problem....that is public domain.
    Anyhoo... another reason I am leaning more towards wildlife photography ... they can just fly away if they object to my camera.

  5. Valarie, this is the first I have heard of this and I really hope they don't stop people from taking photographs of interesting buildings.....I love viewing them on my friend's blog.......:-) Hugs

  6. Hi Valerie:)

    Greetings and good wishes on Sunday morning:)

    I have faced a similar situation in my town. I was taking a photo of an old guest house in which I stayed when I was a young man. In fact, I managed to take some photos of the trees and suddenly a person rushed from inside the building and warned me not to take photos inside the compound. When I asked him the reason, he said that this is a place where VIP's come and stay and therefor photography is prohibited for fear of terrorist attack.In fact, he told me to move away fast because there is a police man posted inside and if he had seen me taking photos, he would have siezed my camera and taken me in for questioning. I moved very fast from that place:)

    Yes, terrorists are becoming a nighmare and they are causing sleepless nights to law enforcement agencies and the government. As a result innocent people like us have to suffer. If we are not careful, we will get into serious trouble.

    In fact, yesterday the police have stepped up their vigil in all important places in Kochi, commandos are guarding vital installations and all parked cars are being checked because the authoriites have received information that a terrorist attact will take place in Kochi in the next few days. It is dangerous to carry a camera now in Kochi.

    When will terrorists understand that nothing can be achieved by killing innocent people?

    Have a nice day Valerie:)

  7. When my Brother went to Russia, he was given a long list of things he wasnt allowed to photograph. If I am out anywhere and want to take someones pic, I always ask, no one has ever refused. Snap away!

  8. Oh, Val...that is simply horrible!!!! Can they honestly DO that?? I'm incredulous!! How absurd! Hope they remove the moratorium soon!! I want to see the picture you would have taken...Love you, Janine XO

  9. How ridiculous! What about tourists - they need to take photos. Bah!


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