[UK] I’m a Photographer, Not a Terrorist!


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xtemujin

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Apr 1, 2005
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#1
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Photography is under attack. Across the country it that seems anyone with a camera is being targeted as a potential terrorist, whether amateur or professional, whether landscape, architectural or street photographer.

Not only is it corrosive of press freedom but creation of the collective visual history of our country is extinguished by anti-terrorist legislation designed to protect the heritage it prevents us recording.

This campaign is for everyone who values visual imagery, not just photographers.
We must work together now to stop this before photography becomes a part of history rather than a way of recording it.

http://photographernotaterrorist.org/
 

limwhow

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Jun 9, 2009
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Life revolves arOnd East Coast
#2
Hello, xtemujin.
It is an eye-opening report that you have brought.
Do you think it is happening in South-East Asia, especially back home here in Singapore?
Or has it already happened to a certain degree?

I can't tell. Not being in the industry, I have never been harassed despite sometimes carrying lots of equipment.
 

#3
In Sg this rule appears to only apply to local or local-looking people. Foreigners, foreign-looking people, especially Caucasians rarely seem to be affected by this "law"... Anyway, no building owner or security guard can stop anyone from taking pics of anything not within their ownership (outside of their building plot). From what I know. Even if you shoot, they can tell you to stop but you don't have to. Unless it's a designated Protected Place / Area. No privacy laws in sg. Unless the photo you're taking puts the subject into situations which they consider defamatory, they can file a civil suit.
 

night86mare

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Aug 25, 2006
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#6
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Photography is under attack. Across the country it that seems anyone with a camera is being targeted as a potential terrorist, whether amateur or professional, whether landscape, architectural or street photographer.
just to be fair, in the two plus years i have been in london

i have gotten police questioning once near the o2 dome

the guy was polite, and he wasn't intimidating. in fact he was apologetic and he just took down my details, verified my name with photo-id, and that was that.

there have been some race-linked isolated cases, to do with the usual muslim fearing people.. but otherwise to be fair, the ones i see complaining aloud about this thing.. involve either (or both):

a) voluntary police officers which are not properly trained, obviously, there's loads of those around here.. they probably want to volunteer to pull some nice police authoritative power even though they do not have much under the law

b) spastic photographers who think that because the law says that the streets are free for theirs to claim that involves shouting at a misinformed police officer or security guard. or shoving that fact in their face when sometimes people are just trying to do their job.

i think we see b a lot in singapore. :bsmilie: you'll be surprised what a more pleasant reaction/manner can do when it comes to dealing with people.
 

Oct 26, 2006
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toa payoh
#7
if im a terrorist.. why the hell would i need a dslr :dunno:
i'll just use film :bsmilie:
 

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allenleonhart

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Sep 17, 2008
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#8
Hello, xtemujin.
It is an eye-opening report that you have brought.
Do you think it is happening in South-East Asia, especially back home here in Singapore?
Or has it already happened to a certain degree?

I can't tell. Not being in the industry, I have never been harassed despite sometimes carrying lots of equipment.
hey limwhow. i assure u. we are being targeted as terroists.

=.=

my junior was helping me bring my sch's ball head tripod. i think its a manfrotto. u know tripod bags for tripods of a big size tends to be big? that one somemore is those jungle green color canvas bag. my poor sec 1 junior help me carry from sch to my house
kenna stop by mrt ppl say suspect got bazooka need check ~~

and they realise is tripod lol

THIS HAPPENS IN SINGAPORE ALREADY
 

#9
the number of times that i've been stopped for security checks is too numerous to mention. Given the security climate these days it isn't any surprise. End of the day the people checking u are just doing their jobs in ensuring safety for all. At best they are professional in carrying out their job, at worst they are just mis-informed and overzealous. Me, i just choose to cooperate.
 

allenleonhart

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Sep 17, 2008
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#10
the number of times that i've been stopped for security checks is too numerous to mention. Given the security climate these days it isn't any surprise. End of the day the people checking u are just doing their jobs in ensuring safety for all. At best they are professional in carrying out their job, at worst they are just mis-informed and overzealous. Me, i just choose to cooperate.
yea wad. wad else can u do. dun give them meh o.o

later u see all the singapore swat team appear like ninja point their mp5s at ur head lol
 

Dec 16, 2005
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#11
Interesting topic.
Please allow me to share my experience in Singapore.
Sometime back, I decided to do a architecture shot of a building somewhere near the Singapore Expo. Parked my car along the road side, set up my tripod/camera and while taking the exposure with my light meter, I was questioned by a security guard from the building nearby as to what I'm doing. Explained to him that I'm just trying to take some photo of the building located 100 meters down the road. He demanded that I should stop shooting immediately or else he will call the police. Over what, I protested. I explained that it's not against the law to photograph a public building from the road side etc etc etc.
Alas, the explanation just fall onto deaf ears, not only that, he called his another 'officer' who upon arrival also try to stop me. Reason that I'm not photographing their building( I?M Building), and I'm standing on the public road.
Ignore them and continue to shoot, having done that I pack my camera into my car to move off. The two clowns tried to stop me from driving off saying that they have called the police and I CANNOT just drive off but have to wait for the police to arrive. "What authority do you have to stop me from leaving" I demanded. Gave them a short lesson on basic law and citizen rights. Told them to record my car number and my next location where that police can find me and drove off.
At the new location, ten minutes on, while I was shooting the Singapore EXPO MRT station, two police cars with siren on traveling at high speed came to a sudden stop in front of me. I was quickly surrounded by 5 police officers demanding to know what I'm doing and my purpose.
After they have recorded my personal detail and ask about the detail of the camera I was using(Sinar P2 4x5), they demanded that I've to stop photographing. Very gently, I gave them a short refresher course about the basic law on this subject.
Afterwhich I asked them to connect me to their OC in Bedok Police Station as I want to convey my displeased and protest over all these happening.
Told the OC to check my credentials and security clearance with CID and protested that all these actions are uncalled for, it's a waste of time and tax payer's money. Two police cars and 5 officers to check on a lone photographer!!!!!!:bigeyes:

Since they now have my contact number, I asked him to convey my displeased to the management of I?B building whose security officers caused all these and would expect to hear from them otherwise, I may bring the issue to the press. This lasted for 40 mins and by then the sky was too dark for me to continue shooting.
The next day at about 10.00am, a guy claim to be the head of security of I?M called to convey their regrets over last night and assured this will not happen again. I gave him my 2 cents worth of fury and long lecture on etc etc. Rubbed some salt to their wounds, told him that it's time for them to review their process of selecting, training and employing securities officers. :bigeyes:
I understand the need for authorities to stay alert since 911 and especially after the video tapping of buildings by the terrorists been exposed, but I would expect them to carry out their duty with more common sense and some wisdom in their judgement.
So far, it has only happened once and have continue photographing many tens of buildings without any issue.
The police was just doing their job, but in this case, their over reaction are caused by wrong information/description given by the under trained securities from the I?M building.
I've been photographing buildings in the Asia Pacific region for more than 20 years and have been questioned by many people concern, but with a good explanation and a big smile:), I've never been ask to stop shooting. Also, I always keep a set of photos of regional buildings I've shot and without fail, it's the best ice breaker.:bsmilie:

Thanks for reading.

Cheers
 

allenleonhart

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Sep 17, 2008
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#12
uh okkies. bro ur godly.

wad u mean by check ur security credentials with cid? didnt understand tat part.

u sound like ex officer to me. maybe we shld make a thread on how to deal with this kind of oversensitive guards. how to explain and stuff and sticky it.

:think:
 

Rashkae

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2005
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#13
Isn't this the 3rd or 4th time we're now re-hashing this exact same "rights of a photographer" discussion here?
 

zero o

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Aug 8, 2007
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#14
The fact of the matter is .. nobody can distinguish between a terrorist and a non terrorist. Therefore the adoption of worse case scenario practices, which includes stopping and questioning photographers is part and parcel of this vigilance. A few individuals may be wound up thinking that their "personal" freedom has been violated, but i accept this as a necessary evil for the greater good of the general public. I have been stopped in London and questioned by police albeit in a friendly manner when i was snapping away. (they saw me snapping their police car :bsmilie: ) They recorded down the "chat" in a form and i was given a copy (an interesting souvenir .....) Mind u, this was in 2008.

No biggie .. cooperate and be polite and you will be surprised how the politeness is reciprocated.


 

night86mare

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#15
The fact of the matter is .. nobody can distinguish between a terrorist and a non terrorist. Therefore the adoption of worse case scenario practices, which includes stopping and questioning photographers is part and parcel of this vigilance. A few individuals may be wound up thinking that their "personal" freedom has been violated, but i accept this as a necessary evil for the greater good of the general public. I have been stopped in London and questioned by police albeit in a friendly manner when i was snapping away. (they saw me snapping their police car :bsmilie: ) They recorded down the "chat" in a form and i was given a copy (an interesting souvenir .....) Mind u, this was in 2008.
yes, it doesn't have to be a war.

i am curious why all the people in uk are making it a war, US against THEM

we just want our pictures, they want to do their job.

there are always idiotic people, there will be idiotic PHOTOGRAPHERS, there will be idiocy in law enforcement officers. there is no need to repay idiocy with more idiocy, this will just lead to a great big idiotic world. which solves nothing, end up no one does their job properly, and no one gets photographs.
 

bengchiat

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Mar 14, 2008
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#16
The fact of the matter is .. nobody can distinguish between a terrorist and a non terrorist. Therefore the adoption of worse case scenario practices, which includes stopping and questioning photographers is part and parcel of this vigilance. A few individuals may be wound up thinking that their "personal" freedom has been violated, but i accept this as a necessary evil for the greater good of the general public.
if the terrorists r too stupid to even draw from memory,
i doubt we hv much to fear.

for u to give up 'some' personal freedom is considered necessary evil for the greater GOOD,
but remember, the road to evil is paved with goodness.

a nation that forgoes its freedom for security deserves neither.- benjamin franklin

hope the US of all nations remembers the wise saying of one of its founding father.
 

zero o

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Aug 8, 2007
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#17
yes, it doesn't have to be a war.

i am curious why all the people in uk are making it a war, US against THEM

we just want our pictures, they want to do their job.

In any society, there will always be that group of people that champion certain agenda - especially when it comes to personal freedom in Western societies.

An interesting question - if they introduce body scanners at league matches in the UK, which do you think will prevail - soccer or personal freedom :bsmilie:
 

night86mare

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#18
In any society, there will always be that group of people that champion certain agenda - especially when it comes to personal freedom in Western societies.
between you and me, i think the guys do it for the chance to get some. :bsmilie::bsmilie:

you know, impress that sweet young thing that you have a cause that you firmly believe in. that should do the trick of oozing manliness and alpha-maledom. :bsmilie:
 

Ian

Senior Member
Feb 20, 2002
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#19
One salient point no one's really covered so far is that no terrorist is going to use a DSLR, the modus operandi of most terrorists is to use a video camera, as it's more "touristy" and far less attention grabbing than using a DSLR, considerably easier to use when taking in entire locations and so on. I've been harrassed by the police here in Perth a couple of times but a gentle reminder of the law tends to have them scurrying away. One thing you guys need to be aware of is that in most countries taking photos of military bases or aircraft can lead to a spying charge. Always check the local laws before travelling is my best advice.
 

zero o

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#20
a nation that forgoes its freedom for security deserves neither.- benjamin franklin

Its a fine line ... a balance that needs to be found and exercised. Best is total freedom and maximum security co-existing, but as we all know, given the world today, this is impossible so its a balancing act all the time.
 

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