a while back i wrote a post called ‘the dying art’.
the topic discusses how photographers are being scrutinized by police and occasionally harassed. today i came across 2 more recent threads that have similar stories. one here in the good old USA and another in the UK.
i’m not one to belittle the job of the police. it is a difficult, stressful, and thankless job. i applaud those who take on the career. but there are the few occasions that i feel do step over boundaries.
as innocent as it sounds, the US thread – IMO – implied guilty until proven innocent. the photographer was questioned, and then his wife being questioned further. his word was not enough. it wasn’t until his wife backed up his story that he was ‘ok’ to go. what if he did not have his wife around? would his word still been enough?
i find it sad that we as photographers and as artists will continually be under the skeptical eye of the government. i know, different times now… post 9/11… war on terrorism… pedophilia…
i dont disagree with officers doing what they must to ensure safety for society, but as time goes on and paranoia grows – what other restrictions will be put in place? will imposing more rules on what we can and cannot photograph stop more terrorist attacks?
i’m trying to understand how taking photos would relate to the most recent story of attempted terrorism in central London where there was two car bombs loaded with fuel, gas canisters and nails. maybe taking a picture of where to drop the vehicles off? unlikely.
what about the flaming Jeep Cherokee that smashed into the airport Saturday? maybe taking a picture of an ideal location of where to ram it into the facility would be beneficial?
no, c’mon. these idiots can scope the place out on foot and see with their own eyes where to go. they don’t need photos.
regarding the angle of child molesters and exploitations – yes. i can understand that argument too. but this is something to be thought out.
most folks visualize candy offering, stalking child murderer at the playground. not anymore. the real fear people have is that a stranger/pedophile/molester/murderer will become obsessed with an image of their kid/kids found on the internet, I.D. them, locate them, stalk and kidnap them.
honestly i would imagine it would be quite difficult to locate a random child found on the internet. i think people fail to realize that its *typically* not strangers. it’s usually someone the child knows – family member or friend, teacher, church official… etc.
my observation still sticks with the idea that the person with the ‘big, black professional camera and lens’ will typically be stereotyped as a person with ill intent. meanwhile, the discreet pocket size, point and shoot with 20x’s zoom will never have to face the frequency of questioning or attention.
at first i sort of dismissed these as minor after reading these threads – but as i read on i found that my opinion swayed. are we blindly embracing rules and restrictions that will later hinder and destroy the very freedoms we try to protect?