Innocent photographer or terrorist?

Just wondered about any experiences of this amongst our resident photographers???

You do have to be careful pointing anything that looks like professional equipment at anyone or anything (these days that’s any SLR).

Many events (free or paid for or just PR junkets) say you can bring a camera, but bring anything that looks professional and you’re out without previous permissions, yet many with high mega-pixel point-and-shoot camera’s are allowed. (I now carry a point-and-shoot to every location-based shoot).

Funniest one I’ve had is: I had to take a photograph of houses on the Kings Hill development in Kent for the local Council. I had 6 nice houses lined up in my view-finder when an irate woman appeared from the end house (that wasn’t in my shot) shouting at me that I couldn’t take a photograph of her house. Even after an explanation from me as regards the legitimacy of my presence and the fact that I wasn’t taking a photo of her house she still insisted standing in her front garden with her arms out-stretched as though she could block the entire photograph!

I did the decent thing and left, only to reappear 2 hours later and take my shot. :smiley:

Before I start this, It was totally my fault! but jease!!!

I’m a huge music fan and started out my photography carrea taking pictures for unsigned bands and music mags. Anyway long story short I hate the fact your not allowed to take a camera with a detachable lense to big gigs. (They basically feel that because of record companies owning the rights to all publicity material your not allowed).
Anyway I sneaked my Nikon into a gig at Manchester News arena to see Audioslave. After a few songs and staying very well back shooting with no flash just wide open lense at high iso’s. I started getting quite good shots. A few more songs and I started getting closer - Now just a few people from the front. Then some security guard leaps to the barrier Grabs me by my chain/collar around my neck and pulls me backwards as I’m turning to bolt into the crowd over the barrier and into a heap his side! Talk about over reaction. Anyway Like I said its my fault - I pushed my luck. Said security guard was a nob but his boss was sound! he kept my camera till the end of the gig and gave it back with a cheeky laugh and smile and said dont do it again. - I wont! :wink: honest! :smiley:
Good thing was I still had the first few songs on the memory card! Result :cool:

Well, I’ve been on the opposite end of the camera, as security/ protection for some of the stars etc… Usually it’s a case of protecting the privacy of the celeb, sometimes because they want it and sometimes due to contractual legalities.

The funniest job I did was John Terry’s wedding. It took place at Blenheim Palace, and was paid for by OK Magazine who had the exclusive rights to the pictures etc… So, my job was to drive a rangerover around the estate all day, being guided into areas by my friend on the roof of the palace, who had thermal imaging equipment. The look on some of the pap’s faces as they were dragged out of bushes and various other hiding places was hilarious! They were all gobsmacked at how quickly we had found them, and the whole thing really was run like a special forces operation :stuck_out_tongue: What a great day out! :smiley:

So, whilst the guerrilla who over-reacted in the gig was in the wrong, sometimes it’s because the person taking the photo’s is taking the p***… :slight_smile:

It’s also very frustrating for the security at these events when they have to keep reminding people not to take photo’s. I worked on X Factor last year as the team leader for the protection team looking after the judges. During the show there was a policy of no mobile phones or camera’s. The amount of times I had to remind people in the crowd was crazy, even after they had been told by the anouncer not to use them!

So, next time, think about the poor security guy who has had to tell people a dozen times or more that it’s a no no… :P:D


As part of a Uni project we had a video camera (not a little hand-held but a full-on TV filming type!) which we were using to make a short film… As part of the script we needed to film in a shopping centre (which we attempted without permission of course) and this lead to the inevitable attentions of the security who said that the shop owners would not be able to control the use of their image and we could’ve been making a film which was criticising one or more of the retailers, so we had to stop!
Fair enough, so I took the camera off my shoulder, made out I was switching it off and just held it by my side as we wandered through… actually ended up with far better footage - a lot more edgy and tense, which by chance made for a much better scene…

So thanks to Mr Security for helping out as artistic director!!!:cool:

Of course this was all well before the current situation and it probably would have lead to some police involvement nowadays…:w00t:

I’ve been nicked about 4 times for filming in bizarre places and had the anti-terror argument used on me… but then considering the hair levels, I can understand it. I’d stop me to be fair. :smiley:

How far is this sh*t gonna go!

what’s the problem?

they saw someone filming something that isn’t “a normal subject to be filmed” being filmed by someone who wasn’t in a suit holding a BBC microphone. Frankly I’m glad their suspicions were aroused and they checked. They said that under anti-terror laws they had a right to enquire as to what I was doing and who I was filming for, so I told them… they gave me a bit of paper to prove they’d asked for their files and a receipt for me in case I had any reasons for complaint or follow up. They then walked away and I continued filming and that was it. … END OF…

How can something as simple, polite, and sensible as that get ANYONE’s backs up?

I understand that but its the comments underneath the article that seem quite rediculous to me - 1 man was asked to stop taking pics of his son playing football etc :crazy:

That’s not anti-terror, that’s Daily Mail syndrome… man, camera, child… he must be a pervert.

I agree, its daft, but those are rare examples… how they used anti-terror laws in that situation though is beyond me too…

Because simply filming something isn’t in any way an act of terrorism or even coming close, it’s an example of neu labour paranoia. Terrorists aren’t going to stand around filming something, or if they do it’ll be from a van or under cover. Even if they did, what would make a plod realise they are a terrorist . . . muslim, clothes, accent, language . . . none of these things automatically mean a person is a terrorist. You could say intuition . . . how many people have met a genuine terrorist ? The lot who got on the train at Luton with rucksacks looked and sounded just like normal, regular people, didn’t have terrorist stamped on their forehead.

It’s an example of the little hitler laws that this government seem to enjoy enacting, rather than giving us greater freedom we get less . . . the more terrorist activity there is the tighter the laws get, this is wrong, it means the terrorists are winning without even needing to do anything.

I would object to be stopped but if you don’t mind then what else could they stop you for in the future . . . driving along a certain road, looking at the Houses of Parliment at night . . . if you’ve nothing to hide then you’ve nothing to be afraid of have you ? :wink:

Because that’s how it starts, a law that on the face of it sounds reasonable, nobody thinks too much about it but then you see how it’s being implemented . . . you’ll remember neu labour had one of their own party members thrown out of their conference for heckling . . . using the same anti-terror law. It was an old man in his 70’s I believe, he’d been in there for most of the conference but when he said something they didn’t like they invoked the anti-terror law to silence him.

It’s a nasty, sinister aspect to modern government which we need to be aware of and fight against it. It’s only purpose is to control and stiffle dissent, nothing to do with terrorism.

Sadly you are wrong. Terrorists do film stuff to aid their planning, and they are out there right now doing it. The scenario of using a video camera to film tourist attractions prior to an attack has already happened more than once. They do it openly for the very reasons you state, it’s very hard to spot a terrorist, and filming tourist attractions etc does not ordinarily attract any attention, they do not conform to any racial/religious stereotypes - that’s why the powers to stop and search in connection with Terrorism were brought in.

But the law will never stop them filming will it ? Whatever they look like they’ll never be carrying the bombs as they film . . . so the whole stop thing is futile, other than removing the freedom we once had. If they film undercover, at night or in the open we’re not going to know who they are because they look and act just like me and you.If you go onto Google Earth or even Google Maps you can see the complete plan of various tourist attractions, Heathrow Airport etc ideal for a terrorist, but they want to stop and search us who are filming our family on a day out ? Doesn’t it all strike you as being odd ? :slight_smile:

[quoteBut the law will never stop them filming will it ? Whatever they look like they’ll never be carrying the bombs as they film . . . so the whole stop thing is futile, other than removing the freedom we once had. If they film undercover, at night or in the open we’re not going to know who they are because they look and act just like me and you.If you go onto Google Earth or even Google Maps you can see the complete plan of various tourist attractions, Heathrow Airport etc ideal for a terrorist, but they want to stop and search us who are filming our family on a day out ? Doesn’t it all strike you as being odd ? :slight_smile:
No, it won’t stop them filming, but it disrupts them, provides evidence to support convictions for planning acts of terrorism and helps prevents attacks. I don’t think google earth/maps etc provides the detail they like. And mostly they don’t film undercover, they film openly.

How does it help prevent attacks ? If I put myself in their position I can’t imagine how the remote possibility of being stopped would prevent me carrying out an attack, or even disrupt me. I think it’s getting into the wishful thinking the Government likes to peddle, eventually we may as well all carry ID cards during the day, not be allowed out after dark and have to report our movements to the local police station if we plan leaving town :wink:

Does anyone on here have any real idea of what goes on during the monitoring of terrorists? No, thought not! So once again, the arguing is all hypothetic ‘the government is wrong and we should protect our freedoms at all cost vs I will allow what I think is reasonable if it stops maniacs’ posturing.

It’s not black and white… it’s shades of grey. There are terrorists out there and they do gather information. Likewise the security forces are there to protect us from potential threats. If they innocently stop one person, ask a few questions and then release/him her to carry on is that worse than letting one person pass by who later kills innocent bystanders?

It’s apparently quite difficult (although not impossible) to plan a terrorist attack from a prison cell in Belmarsh whilst on remand… :)I don’t think we are ever going to agree on this, as the small amount of personal knowledge I have on this subject is not suitable for being divulged to members of the public, but I am privleged to know that this particular piece of legislation works.And for the record I don’t agree with the proposed ID card law, as I don’t see that it well help in any meaningful way.

So should we stop any man walking around at night because he might be a rapist or hey, stop anybody in fact after the hours of dark becaus they might be a burgler or mugger . . . if you take it so far why not go all the way ? Why not have a curfew ?JA, I’m sure there are terrorists out there and I guess they are gathering information but they will gather that whatever we do, they have done and will continue to do so, but the original point of the post was to ask if it’s reasonable to be stopped and questioned whilst you’re out with your family . . . and the answer is no, it’s not.

With the greatest respect John, the “I can’t tell you” answer doesn’t wash, that’s been used by governments over the years, some far worse than ours and is currently being used again to try to lengthen the detention time for suspects . . . the government say they need longer, bend the arm of the police who have finally agreed (after stating it wasn’t required) that yes, it would be helpful, but we can’t tell you why, cant give an example and can’t even tell you what we will be doing during those addional days.