Here is a maddening, yet interesting encounter that i had last night.
I was shooting with my Nikon D90 at the S-league match between Sengkang Punggol and Gombak United at Hougang Stadium last night. I was just shooting at the Grandstand area and did not even go anywhere near the tracks, less the pitch.
At half time, i was asked by a security personnel and a lady (presumably from FAS since she was sitting at the organising table) to stop taking photos. They said that no photography is allowed unless i have the media pass.
I told them that i was not taking at the pitch area and that i was just taking at the Grandstands and the photos are for my own use. I said this because i know we need media pass to have access to take photos at the pitch area.
They insisted that I am not allowed to take photos without a media pass even at the Grand Stand area. I asked them how do i apply for a media pass and they said i have to be working for the media. The lady continued to say that my camera looks professional and can take good photos. At this point, i was feeling agitated and told them that I am not a professional and that taking photos is just a hobby.
They continue to insist me not to take any photos and ask me to keep my camera. I did not want to argue with them so i just kept my camera, shook my head with disgust and went back to where i was seated. After that, i took out my camera and started snapping again.
After the match, i checked the ticket stub and there was no mention of "No Photography". There was no "No Photography" sign at the entrance or anywhere in the stadium. I checked the S-league website and there are no rules regarding taking photos at matches. The only thing i found is related to those media's photographers where they are not allowed to take at the stands.
I was quite pissed with the organiser and the security personnel comments and reasons for disallowing photography. I am a fan of Sengkang Punggol FC and i actually support local football. Being a fan who loves to take photos, I want to take photos of the matches so that i can put them up at Facebook, blogs, etc. to encourage more people to support local football. FAS wants more people to attend the S-League matches and support local football, yet they are being so unprofessional in these areas (I feel that the lady's response that my Nikon D90 looks pro and can take good photos is damn unprofessional). All these just turn me off.
If they have such rule on "No photography" and had told me there and then, I would have obediently obey at that moment. But probably i will challenge the rule through other means. But i think they do not have such rules, and just want to use their authoritative power to stop me from taking photos.
The last thing that i am unhappy with is the fact that so many ignorant people think that having a dSLR makes one a professional and even "discriminate" towards them. Mine is one example. The lady's comment make it seems like "if i take photos with a normal PnS camera, it is ok because those cant take nice photos" and i bet i will not be running into trouble if i was just using a PnS camera. How ignorant. Nowadays, a dSLR might be even cheaper than a PnS camera and some people can take nicer photos with even a PnS camera. dSLR is getting so cheap nowadays and every Tom, Dick and Harry have the ability to own one but that doesnt make them a professional. This shows how ignorant and stereotype people can get.