Just something to share with you folks, had an unpleasant day today
I have heard many "you can't take photograph here" stories before but mainly from the US. Today something similar happened to me in Singapore.
Today as usual I was walking from Raffles Place to Clarke Quay to take the MRT home. And as usual along the way I would look for some interesting things to snap with my compact camera such as the river, boats, stray cats, etc.
As I entered the underground tunnel linking Riverwalk and Clarke Quay, I spotted this public singer playing guitar and singing in the middle of the tunnel. I have always wanted to have a shot like this, so I took out my compact film camera, squatted down (some good 10 meters away, at the far end of the tunnel) and started to compose. I was composing for the tunnel walkway with the singer silhouetted, that's right I was actually going to snap this person in the shadow.
As I was about to press the shuttle, the guy spotted me and immediately started to shout explosively, and pointing his finger at me.
Him: No no no no no photograph!!
Him: Where are you from? Where are you from huh?!
I was stunned, as I slowly and embarrassingly walkecd towards him, he continued.
Him: Where are you from?!
Me: Huh? I'm from here.. Singapore.
Him: You are from here and you don't know that you must ask for permission when taking someone's photo?
Me: Sorry.. I didn't know..
He continued to shout and scold. I didn't know what to say or do, I just gave an embarrassed smile and walked away. But as I walked he continued shouting, and talking about "you never even apologized" and "I'll call the police" and some ****. At this point, I was really angry, I turned back to him and said "I was gonna give you some coins, but I changed my mind". Then put on my headphones and walked away. Of course he kept on shouting, I could hear him even with my headphones on and when I was at the end of the tunnel.
Has anybody faced something like this before? Anybody knows the official Photographer's rights in Singapore? I did some searching and all I could find is this:
Now, as far as I'm concerned, I was at a public area (he certainly doesn't own that place), he was performing publicly, and I wasn't peeping, I was snapping publicly at a well known tourist area. And for god's sake, I was like 10 or 15 meters away from him!
I'm not angry because I was told not to take pictures, I understand that some people are not comfortable and I probably should asked for permission. I'm angry because the first thing that he did when he saw me was scream and scold. I feel that is really unattractive for him to do such a thing in front of tourists and passers-by.
I have learned my lesson, next time when faced with a similar situation I'll be sure to seek for permission first. But I swear, this dude will never get a cent out of me!