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Incandescent in Coventry

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hobbo
hobbo e2 Member 3736 forum postshobbo vcard England1 Constructive Critique Points
3 Sep 2013 - 8:45 AM

Hi, again Kev

I thank you for your response.......I take on board what you say.....but......consider this.......I belong( just) to a Pre-WWII generation who grew up watching our city being pulverized by hitler's nazis......before, during and for a very long time after those raids that killed far too many innocent civilians ....the thoroughfares overbuilt by this shopping centre were Free public rights of way for both pedestrians and vehicles.....freedom to transverse the city centre, free to go about without let or hindrance unless breaking the law......Freedoms that my parent's generation fought for, the very freedoms that you and everyone else enjoy to this day, but perhaps you are too young to realise this?

Can you, or they, tell me exactly what I was doing wrong, what threat was I a 75 year old grandfather, shopping ( as we do there every week ) with my wife....we have spent thousands of pounds within the shopping centre over the years......it just happens, that since retirement, I took up photography and through membership of this forum and others like it, I have become a fairly competent photographer in most genres, with a particular love of ....Street Photography.....a fully recognised and much appreciated branch of our hobby. I carry a camera openly everywhere, I never intrude on individuals or groups, I remain polite and positive, as advised by all enthusiasts of the genre.....it is the most exciting and challenging area of photography.

Perhaps you would rather me, potter about the garden snapping flowers?....or perhaps.....give up photography and my cameras, to sit in my armchair nodding my head? NO!

I can prove that I have been taking photographs all over Coventry City Centre for ten or more years without a hint of a problem......it was just last Saturday, when some one sat in a CCTV viewing box saw a totally innocent pensioner with a decent camera ( as every week) and decided that I was a potential threat to my fellow citizens.........To me made to look and feel a criminal or deviant in public was and is devastating.......if I wasn't strong the experience could have undermined my confidence in public or forced me to give up the wonderful hobby, that keeps my old brain ticking over.

Take a good browse through my portfolio on here then tell me if you see any offensive shot...........it might be a privately owned part of the city centre now, but it contains an old crossroads and public rights of way, thousands of people flock through each and every day.

Back to my point...Street photography is a recognised genre the results of which are and always will be a valuable resource to historians as a true record of life in general. Prove that I was causing harm or hindrance or was any kind of threat to those around me and I will shut up.........people are losing the ability to realise that we are constantly being observed, with the threat of losing many freedoms the previous generations fought so very hard for.
Unless I receive a satisfactory reply to the letter I have sent to the owners of the centre, we won't bother to return, if more people did this, then the shops and businesses within wouldn't be very happy.

Or should I just, put my check slippers on and sink into oblivion?

Hobbo

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3 Sep 2013 - 8:45 AM

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mikehit
mikehit e2 Member 45761 forum postsmikehit vcard United Kingdom9 Constructive Critique Points
3 Sep 2013 - 9:00 AM


Quote: To me made to look and feel a criminal or deviant in public was and is devastating

You are ascribing motives to them that made you feel like a criminal/deviant. They were enforcing a simple rule of no photography - they don't need any justification of criminality to do that nor do you have to be posing a threat. I totally agree with your basic feeling that you have been doing this for 10 years and don't understand why this rule is suddenly (?) being enforced but the fact is it does exist.
CCTV is a total red herring in this instance.

Evertonian
3 Sep 2013 - 9:42 AM


Quote: But if there are no signs about, how do you know whether or not you are obeying the rules???????

When somebody comes and asks you to stop.

So we have to believe every jobsworth who tells us to stop taking photographs?????

You must be joking, most of them have no knowledge of the 'Rights of Photographers' whatsoever.

Evertonian
3 Sep 2013 - 9:47 AM


Quote: If it's their gaff, they make the rules and visitors have one simple choice: to obey or leave the premises.

But if there are no signs about, how do you know whether or not you are obeying the rules???????

Its your responsibility to check your actions are legal in the environment, On private property you are a guest of the owners, like joining a website or buying online, .

Many people of our age don't have computers and therefore must rely on signage. It is clearly the fact that if you wish to ban photography on private property you must show signs to that effect. But that raises another question. Is a shopping centre frequented by the public private property?

If not then surely being public property (correct me if you are a legal eagle) photography by default is permitted in law.

Last Modified By Evertonian at 3 Sep 2013 - 9:47 AM
mikehit
mikehit e2 Member 45761 forum postsmikehit vcard United Kingdom9 Constructive Critique Points
3 Sep 2013 - 10:05 AM


Quote: It is clearly the fact that if you wish to ban photography on private property you must show signs to that effect.

That is not a 'fact' at all.
But I was mildly surprised to learn recently that sign itself has no real meaning - someone has to come and specifically ask you to stop taking photographs and until that point you have done nothing wrong.


Quote: Is a shopping centre frequented by the public private property?

It remains private property. Just like Chatsworth House and Buckingham Palace who also invite millions a year to enter.
In a similar vein you may recall the shopping centre a few years ago that barred kids wearing hoodies because of complaints from the public, and they were entitled to do so.


Quote: You must be joking, most of them have no knowledge of the 'Rights of Photographers' whatsoever.

In this case the 'rights of the photographer' are irrelevant because they are on private property.

Last Modified By mikehit at 3 Sep 2013 - 10:06 AM
hobbo
hobbo e2 Member 3736 forum postshobbo vcard England1 Constructive Critique Points
3 Sep 2013 - 10:08 AM


Quote: To me made to look and feel a criminal or deviant in public was and is devastating

You are ascribing motives to them that made you feel like a criminal/deviant. They were enforcing a simple rule of no photography - they don't need any justification of criminality to do that nor do you have to be posing a threat. I totally agree with your basic feeling that you have been doing this for 10 years and don't understand why this rule is suddenly (?) being enforced but the fact is it does exist.
CCTV is a total red herring in this instance.

Thanks Mike......with reference to ........They were enforcing a simple rule of no photography..........................No!.....look back through this thread and you will see a link to the Shopping Centre's Policy on photography...............it doesn't mind if you are taking photographs of your family enjoying the shopping experience there........ (HA!) ...but they resrve the right to prevent some kinds of photography..........Why is this do you think?

Because they realise and know that almost everyone, including children possess and use the camera and video modes on their mobiles as freely as they like.....each and everyone has the potential to put photographs on the Net or videos on to YouTube within seconds........in other words, they dare not upset...."the general public/shoppers who make huge profits for them"..............But, I can purchase an expensive camera and lens in a nearby City Centre shop but I am forbidden to use it nearby as soon as I walk outside....I repeat, I dont sneak around, or use my mobile phone (I could if I wanted to)..............I simply, have a camera with me to shoot, life and things as they happen as other Street Photographers have done before me......................or................do I Kow-Tow to jobsworths?

This is developing into a very interesting thread, as long as it doesn't get out of hand.......I really do appreciate any comment or view.......but you won't bend or break my stand for the freedom simply to take photographs....as long as they arent offensive and are taken within sensible, long established parametres within an area thronged by members of the public many of them openly taking photographs and videos on their mobiles and very often Compact Cameras.................it seems that a camera with a detachable lens is somehow different, as is the owner:

They had better watch out for the new zoom camera Galaxy 4 then: Tongue


I'll get back to me rockin' chair now:

Hobbo

Last Modified By hobbo at 3 Sep 2013 - 10:11 AM
GlennH
GlennH e2 Member 81822 forum postsGlennH vcard France1 Constructive Critique Points
3 Sep 2013 - 10:34 AM

Wherever you are with a camera you're likely to upset someone, especially if you look 'serious' and/or sheepish. Personally I wouldn't take photos in shopping centres because I can't be ar*ed to deal with the inevitable consequences, though I did get into a daft contest with a security guard recently at St Lazare train station in Paris (outside the station - despite him admitting that it was a public area).

People generally enter so little into the thoughts or mindset of anyone different to themselves that they can't comprehend the motive for taking photos of strangers, or anything else that's not obviously a picture. You may as well cartwheel through the shopping centre -- you couldn't appear any weirder in the eyes of the majority. That's just the way it is.

hobbo
hobbo e2 Member 3736 forum postshobbo vcard England1 Constructive Critique Points
3 Sep 2013 - 10:39 AM

Thanks.......Now, I'm having visions of me....Cartwheeling through shopping centres....I must boost me tablet dosage Wink

Hobbo

thewilliam
3 Sep 2013 - 11:32 AM

Some years back, I needed to photograph a local shopping centre for an estate agent who was letting an empty unit. I started by taking take an exterior shot from across the road before I'd signed in with security and was accosted by the inevitable thug in a uniform who was threatening from the outset.

I was able to show him the brief from the estate agent but he told me that I wouldn't be able to take any more pix, either external or internal because I hadn't sought permission. He told me in no uncertain terms that I wouldn't be allowed to set foot in the shopping centre and would have to move on. The only was to complete the assignment was to phone the centre manager and ask permission while the guard was standing over me. Thus authorized, I did inform the guard that he was acting illegally because his authority ended at the property boundary.

Normally, I try very hard never to upset security guards when I'm working. Along with receptionists, janitors and the now rare human company telephone operator, they have the power to make a photographer's life easy or difficult.

KevSB
KevSB  101387 forum posts United Kingdom5 Constructive Critique Points
3 Sep 2013 - 12:07 PM

There is only one simple issue here, photography is irrelevant in the discussion. If the premises are private or public owned. who owns it makes the rules. If you break their rules you can be treated as a trespasser and asked to leave.
Common sense and decision making parted ways many years ago. Harking back to how it was wont change that, the world Is changing as is photography.

JackAllTog
JackAllTog e2 Member 53469 forum postsJackAllTog vcard United Kingdom58 Constructive Critique Points
3 Sep 2013 - 1:19 PM

I wonder how attitudes will change between them and us when the almost unnoticeable "Google Glass" arrives on mass to users. All of us recording or shooting all the time.
At that point they would have to search every visitor on entry to enforce this recent and already outdated policy.

As i understand it the shopping centre experience rules are driven by the need to make us feel safe in shopping areas and protected from the less pleasant areas of society, but i distinctly object to putting dedicated photographer in this group in this way.
I very much liked the shopping centre discussion by Anna Minton as she discusses the effect on society.

For other attitudes around the public private space you might like to read this Why Does Street Photography Make Us Paranoid.

mikehit
mikehit e2 Member 45761 forum postsmikehit vcard United Kingdom9 Constructive Critique Points
3 Sep 2013 - 1:58 PM

The answer's simple - buy MFT instead of DSLR. You lose little on quality and people are less likely to object. Grin

redhed17
redhed17  8605 forum posts England
3 Sep 2013 - 2:42 PM


Quote: But if there are no signs about, how do you know whether or not you are obeying the rules???????

When somebody comes and asks you to stop.

So we have to believe every jobsworth who tells us to stop taking photographs?????

You must be joking, most of them have no knowledge of the 'Rights of Photographers' whatsoever.

If you are on private property, and said jobsworth works for the owners, he/she doesn't need to know the 'Rights of Photographers' because on their property you/we have no rights to photograph unless they allow it. And they can change their mind/rules at any time. Step off their property and their authority to have any power to stop you taking pictures stops.

With almost everyone having a camera in their pocket property owners seem to let a lot pass, but bring out a large camera, and/or take pictures of people you are not with, or parts of a building you may find interesting, and you will probably draw attention to yourself. It's a downside to using the larger cameras.

Same thing happens at football matches, try to take a pic with a DSLR, regardless of the lens size, and you will probably be stopped, pull out a compact with a 20+x zoom, and you would probably be left alone. Security Guards fear the large camera. Wink lol

But at that football match, like the shopping centre, they have the right to stop you taking pics with anything if they want to. The reality is that the number and relative size of phones and compact cameras make the small camera/camera phone ubiquitous, and so hard to police and to some degree become invisible to security.

You're relying on security to either enforce, or not, their rights, which is to stop you taking pics if that is their policy. Sometimes they will, sometimes they won't, but just because they didn't last time, doesn't mean the can't.

If you go onto private property with the idea that you can't take pics, you won't go far wrong. You can try your hand with that in mind, you may be stopped, you may not be. :-/ If you definitely want to take pics on private property, seek permission first. They may say no though, and you've now drawn a bit more attention to yourself. Wink lol

thewilliam
3 Sep 2013 - 3:21 PM

In the commercial world, we need to be careful about what constitutes "permission to photograph".

One colleague took some pictures inside a leisure centre after getting a "no problem, mate, just carry on" from a security guard. When the pictures were published in a magazine, the owners objected strongly and started legal action. It seemed that their idea of permission was written authority and that they decided that anything verbal from an employee carried no weight.

mikehit
mikehit e2 Member 45761 forum postsmikehit vcard United Kingdom9 Constructive Critique Points
3 Sep 2013 - 3:37 PM

My guess is you have two aspects there - permission to photograph and permission to publish. Anything verbal from an employee is permission from the company (if the security guard is employed by the leisure centre) and is the basis of much consumer law. It would be interesting to hear what their action was actually based on.

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