Paranoia and suspicion: photographers are not terrorists

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I’ve been wrestling with a bit of a contradiction lately. On one hand, the proliferation of mobile phone cameras and social media has meant that there is no end to the number of throwaway images being generated and instantly shared online; on the other, it seems to be harder and harder for somebody with ‘serious’ looking equipment to take an image of anything without arousing suspicion. Is it just me, or is the world’s paranoia entirely misplaced?

Everybody takes photographs with their mobile phones. It is common to the point that nobody pays you any attention; in many ways, if you’re at a famous place or eating and you’re not using your phone, you’re the one standing out. It doesn’t attract suspicion in the slightest. On the other hand, bring out a tripod and a medium format camera in the same place – say a mall, landmark, or city thoroughfare – and you run a very good chance of being pounced upon by security or police. It’s happened to me many times, with increasing frequency in recent years.

I think there are several things going on here. One is a reaction to the increased terrorist events of our modern age; anybody with a camera may be performing target surveillance. However, if you’re going to blow something up, I doubt you’re going to bother trying to make large prints of it with a tripod and many kilograms of equipment: a mobile phone is far easier, more flexible, and more useful. Besides, think of the cost of the gear: that could be spent on explosives, instead. The reaction we’re observing is a failure of common sense: you really want more people observing and photographing landmarks and events, because that means more indirect surveillance and more evidence later – if something goes wrong.

The second thing is places protecting their intellectual property. This again is a misplaced concern: if I was working in marketing or PR for one of these places, I’d want as many images as possible to circulate to enhance mind-share of my attraction; better still, I’d want as many good images as possible. I’d actively encourage serious photographers, because they’re far more likely to produce good images than casual snapshooters. And I wouldn’t worry about intellectual property of images, either: if there are a huge number of images out there, nobody is going to be able to make any money off them. It’s nothing more than the simple economics of supply and demand.

Hell, I’d be going as far as possible to good images to be made and circulated: free wifi, interesting lighting of adequate brightness. I would make it difficult for people to take and circulate a bad image that might land up portraying my attraction or business in an ugly or bad way by checking sight lines and testing things out myself with the worst camera I can find used as sloppily as possible. It’s free indirect marketing by word of mouth; the very best kind – the kind that can’t be bought. I certainly wouldn’t be instructing my security guards to harass photographers on public property, as one major Malaysian conglomerate has been doing. That’s another marketing and common sense failure.

The overarching problem is one of ignorance (or education): a large camera has no correlation with purpose, ability, or image quality. A skilled photographer can make a saleable image with a camera phone. A poor one will make a crappy one with the best possible equipment. Making a judgement about the purpose of the photographer and the photograph is just going to land up wasting resources and shooting yourself in the foot with poor public relations. The reality is that there’s almost no money to be made from images of things or places anyway, and people who shoot for a living probably aren’t going to be making photographs of your establishment because a) you’re not paying them to do it; b) it’s work, and c) those images are of no value to anybody else.

There’s one final issue: one of perception and privacy. Photographing strangers (and especially children) is perhaps one of the stickiest issues in modern photography, to the point that some countries such as Hungary have passed – and actually enforce – strict laws about requiring permission even in public places. We are fascinated in a quasi-voyeuristic way when looking at the lives of others, frozen for an instant; but most of us we never want to be the subject. For most of the world, public places remain public and free grounds for photographing so long as you don’t harass or threaten somebody – what you do in public is going to be observed by people around you anyway; if you don’t want something seen, then don’t do it (or do it in private). I would have thought that was common sense. But it is also the duty of the photographer to respect their subjects – something which if breached might make for interesting images (think Bruce Gilden) but some extremely irate people. Is an image worth the confrontation? I don’t think so, personally, but then again everybody has their own values.

I was told by several people in the last few months that the Google Glass has apparently caused something of a controversy in the social establishments (bars, clubs etc.) in the United States: apparently, people are disturbed by the fact that their actions might be recorded – and made publicly viewable. These are probably the same people who freely post for selfies and then spend the rest of their evening sharing them across a dozen social networks, whose activities are monitored by dozens of security cameras that record and archive everything, and probably land up in unflattering positions in the backgrounds of other drunk people’s selfies which are shared across even more social networks.

Do you see a bit of a problem here? At least if you’re wearing a cyborg thing on the side of your face or using an enormous camera, you’re not being shy or covert about your actions: people have fair warning. Again, I’m not advocating invasion of personal space, voyeurism or making your subjects uncomfortable. Besides, if you’re in a bar or club, I’d imagine you’re probably not there for photography anyway. I’m increasingly doing street photography with a tripod and medium format for this reason; I can’t possibly hide what I’m doing, and if you don’t want to be part of it, you can always walk away. If you don’t care, continue as normal. And for my part, I need the tripod to achieve the blurred people and ambiguity from longer shutter speeds I’m aiming for anyway.

I don’t really have solutions for any of these issues beyond the obvious: be transparent about what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and what the results will be. This has always worked for me so far; I’ve been able to pretty much shoot wherever I want (within legal limits, and sometimes granted permission beyond) – with the exception of some areas with non-PR-savvy management. It’s their loss, anyway. I do feel though that it’s every photographer’s responsibility to observe these unwritten rules – it only takes one overpublicised bad incident to ruin it for everybody else. Sometimes I can’t help but feel things are at the tipping point one way or the other: either complete freedom, or a complete lockdown. In the meantime, we can only do our part and hope that the proliferation of cameras and images helps more people to see the light…MT

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Comments

  1. KrisKeris says:

    I’m in the UK and I get ‘warned’ even when using my phone for snaps. I was recently cautioned by mall security for taking a shot of a hanging art installation. Their reasoning was that I could be a terrorist looking for structural weaknesses in the ceiling. I’ve also had the experience of being told off whilst taking a photo of fruit by supermarket security in Malaysia.

    • In the UK it’s paranoia. In Malaysia it’s CYA: they’re afraid they’re going to be punished later for doing something wrong. I highly doubt there’d be structural weakness or competitive advantage in fruit.

  2. Fmueller says:

    Someone with Google glass potentially recording every interaction with another human being. Not cool. In fact, it’s downright obnoxious.

    A while back I was at the departure gate for an airline flight (I’m an airline pilot) and I watched as a customer was having a discussion with a gate agent and the customer was wearing Google glass. After the customer left the agent just kinda said out loud, what was that he was wearing? I told her. And I told her about the capability of the glasses. She was not amused. Nobody likes having their every move recorded especially when they have no control,or access to the recording. Selective editing is something everyone understands. And they understand the potential for abuse. Politicians understand and are trained to understand about what it’s like to have words taken out of context and how to say something while saying nothing, not so for most people just trying to do their jobs.

    • Yes, but we should also be aware that people are going to be watching us anyway and behave accordingly. I’ve seen far too many people as both customers and service agents not at all acting civilized. I agree that the invasion of privacy is pretty serious, but then again, if you’re going to be concerned about your actions being recorded – then don’t do them!

    • Meanwhile security cameras record everything in so many places, and who knows how tight the privacy controls are on those videos later? Many airports might have good security regulation most of the time, but private businesses? It’s down to the owners and the security people who work for them, who may not be so professional as everyone might like.

  3. Photos close to home says:

    One Sunday afternoon I was taking photographs of a Louis Sullivan-designed bank building (he is a famous architect in the U.S.) when a young police officer driver the wrong way down a one-way street to stop me and ask what I was doing. He took my identification and made me wait while he checked me out. I now shoot only crappy landscapes.

    • What happened in the end? I’m assuming he let you go.

    • So you know, here in the U.S., the police have no right to ask you for identification unless the officer “can articulate a particularized, objective, and reasonable basis for believing that criminal activity may be afoot or that a given suspect may be armed and dangerous.” In other words, the fact they are “suspicious” is not a sufficient legal basis for requesting your I.D.; they must be able to specifically identify the crime they believe you have, are, or are about to commit, and if they cannot (or won’t) do so, then (in most jurisdictions) you’re under no legal obligation to answer their questions or provide them with your I.D. unless you’ve formally been detained. If you have any doubts about whether you’re free to leave, simply ask if you are free to leave; if they say you are, then you are under no obligation to cooperate with them, period. Research Terry v. Ohio for more info about what legal obligations you do and do not have whenever you are stopped on the street by the police, as the reality is quite different than what some police officers will lead you to believe.

      Obviously, everyone has to make their own decision about how far they wish to pursue their legal rights, but for me, things have reached the point I now refuse to cooperate with the police whenever I am stopped unless I am required by law to do so. No good has come out my efforts to cooperate with them in the past, so I now (politely) take the opposite tack and don’t cooperate with them at all beyond what the law requires of me. So far, so good, but the way things are going, I have no doubt about what the future holds for photographers and photography, and it doesn’t look promising…

  4. I photograph in urban areas a lot and mostly at night, which raises even more eyebrows. I used to have issues with security guards and often called the police myself so they could explain the law to them (as they wouldn’t accept hearing it from me), but lately, I’ve been having problems with the police as well. Now, it seems, I am confronted and questioned by the police three out of every four times I am out photographing and when I push back (because I have grown tired of being hassled and am doing nothing improper nor illegal), I have also been harassed and threatened with arrest. And this is happening in the U.S., where the laws that give me the right to photograph in public places are both longstanding and unambiguous!

    I definitely have sympathy for those who live in other countries, where their right to photograph is not as clear-cut as it is here in the U.S. (not that it seems to make any difference, mind you). and fear this is a trend that will continue to get worse — much, much worse — before it starts to get better.

    • That’s not good at all. For what it’s worth I’ve had fewer issues at night actually – probably because it’s just not as obvious as during the day…

      • Strangely, I’ve had essentially zero problems during the day, probably because it doesn’t seem as suspicious. Of course, I haven’t tried to photograph in these areas during the day for more than a year now, so perhaps that has changed as well?

  5. Hello Ming, congratulation on your Anniversary. Great site! Great topic. I view the future optimistically. We live in this age of free flow information, we as photographers… We as common sense individuals. The “authorities” are on the other hand very slow to catch up to the fact that they, in general are viewed as ineffectual, temporary decision makers. Their temporary nature allows us to learn, to educate ourselves. To exchange ideas on any topic without the constrains of months of deliberations. And we are Free to draw our own conclusions! They, these well outdated representatives of controlling institutions are on their way out. To me the irony of their demise is that within their own lawful system, their ill conceived decision can be rendered null and void by more insightful laws and regulations.
    At present, we have our knowledge, our network, and our responsibility to be prepared to deal with obstacles that we may encounter.
    So now, I will contradict myself by sharing a hot headed encounter with a couple of “mall cops”. It was after 9/11 in Calgary, that I was using my break while I was waiting for the press proofs to be readied for sign off, that I found myself on the fourth or fifth floor garden patio of an office building. This area was freely accessible from street level. Well, soon I found myself standing on the top of a picnic table, my camera  mounted on a tripod facing away from the building actual and photographing the abstracts of the downtown’s densely packed  high-rise tapestry. All the well documented exchanges followed after the two security personnel managed to huff and puff up to my level… What the hell was I doing on their property, what does it look like, can not take photographs, no sings! this is a private property, no signs, just walked up from street level, …you can not do this! how come? What are you looking at, come up and look through my viewfinder! We want your film! No! You can not ask me that just because you have all those things on your belt! … By that time they were ready to use violence!!! and I too got my senses back! 🙂 … They escorted me down to street level, where I crossed over to the opposite side of the street, setup my MF camera on a tripod and pretended to deliberately go through the motion of taking their photos as they literally were ready to explode. 
    It was a foolish tit for tat, and certainly not something I would do again. But, even then I felt that if the “authority” has no ability to respect the force that entrusted them with the responsibility, than they have no such authority! Just brutal force… Irony abounds in our photographic life… marketing and technology brought the execution of high quality images to near every household, yet to exercise the hobby or profession has never been more restricted! 
    I am also looking forward to the times when this imbalance rights itself again. 
    Have a great day!

  6. I have actually been chased down and made to delete an image of a building by its owner in Taiwan. I was collecting images of cement walls with algae patterns, and this particular one had a beautiful black wash of it on bare grey cement. But the homeowner was very irate about it. I don’t do anything with the images other than photoblogging, and as I tried to convince her, I find beauty in the images. I am not in the business of shaming people for having algae on their walls. She didn’t seem to think of it that way. “It’s our house, we know what it looks like.”

    Anyway, this is just to say, it’s not just people themselves that appear to require permission! It’s also things that people see as extensions of themselves. I don’t think she had any legal authority over me, but she was aggressive; and I backed off in part because I didn’t want her to feel like I was being predatory.

    I have a micro four-thirds camera, by the way. Not too huge, but it is evident when I am trying to secure a particular shot.

  7. just a side point to the general conversation: i actually do have conflicting feelings about photographing people without permission. i see dozens of great shots every day that i do not take because it feels like I’m taking advantage of somebody else for my art project. they are not getting paid and did not sign up to have their picture distributed, sold, etc. It IS legal (and who can forget the thousands of great street shots taken without permission) but i tend to sympathize more with individuals not wanting their picture taken than the larger corporate or public institutions that consider me a security threat.

    • I feel a similar way, and my solution was to make the individuals mostly unidentifiable.

      • i do this as well. however it can be challenging to explain a long exposure to a non photographer. people generally don’t understand that all the faces will be completely blurred out or completely invisible. don’t get me wrong…i’d love to have more faces in my images but the lack of permission and control is problematic (ethically and technically, respectively). the well known photogs who shoot people without permission generally have an ethically problematic stance on the issue when you get right down to it. Philip Lorca Dicorcia was one of the most famous cases of this. he was sued by a subject and won over this image: http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2006/03/19/arts/geft.184.2.650.jpg
        I’m a big fan of his work but some of it is ethically problematic imo (while still being legal)

        • Examples generally help, I find. But by that point it’s too late, the moment has gone, and you might as well move on. That particular image is all about the person though – you’d find it very difficult to argue that there was some documentary or contextual significance to it.

          • exactly! once you get to “explaining” the moment is over.
            on a technical level it’s also usual (during magic hour) that the ideal exposure time (at base iso, lens sweet spot, etc) for a still subject is not fast enough to freeze a moving subject (if that’s the goal). hence the use of rigged off camera flash by dicorcia et al.

            • Well, the flash does rather draw attention to yourself. But with modern cameras it’s probably not necessary; you can shoot at much higher ISOs now.

              • i think for that project only a flash would do, thereby highlighting/spotlighting the subject. High iso would have raised the exposure on the whole frame…different effect, much less dramatic.
                also i think he only shoots large format film so a d4s/1Dx would not be a factor.
                regardless it is an interesting contrast to these issues of permission in street shooting. To achieve the spooky effects of the “Heads” series he obviously used the “do not ask permission” principal and amplified it using a long lens and remote flash mounted covertly in a scaffolding on the street.
                from my recent experience in times square (where the project was shot) it would have been completely illegal if attempted today (at least i think so).

    • No, that’s a poor to average example with far too many ‘faces and bokeh’ with context obliterated.

      • true.. looking at his albums, he does photograph strangers a lot. i think HK is one of the best place for street photography after seeing videos of Digitalrev

        • Or he’s a minor celebrity so people let him get away with it like some of the Japanese street photographers. I’ve been confronted quite a lot in HK compared to other countries.

  8. NeutraL-GreY says:

    Interestingly shooting with a twin lens reflex camera invites interest and is generally welcome. When shooting with my GR people seem put off. I think people just don’t understand why I am using a device whose only purpose it to take pictures and assume I am up to something mischievous. Why Large film cameras are different, I have no idea.

    • I think the general perception in public is that film images cannot become digital images, which can then be distributed across the internet. Obviously this is a wrong idea, but I do hear that from many non-technical people. A few times with my large format camera out in public, I was asked whether film was still available for it. So I replied: no, I just carry this camera around to meet people. 😉

    • Probably because people assume terrorists aren’t going to use one, and instead they suggest the idea of one’s grandfather?

  9. stanis riccadonna zolczynski says:

    Talking about cell phones and the real cameras, all that boils down to easy pick from authorities side and of course stupid paranoia of common people ( without common sens of course ) funneled by misused human right advocates many of them eyeying easy way to intimidate others opr make an easy buck. I often experienced, being an avid biker, being stopped just becouse I was an easy target for 100HP motorbike cop thus hellping him to fill daily report (fine included). Chasing real bad guys is often to complicated and time consuming.A private guard or a cop can easily harass visible guy with his serious gear thus telling his superiours and the public that they are ” alert and active” but at the same time they are utterly helpless being surrounded by a crowd keeping their handies to the ear , pretending or not talkin and at the same time being able to press a picture taking button, and having aprpropriete app sending the picture to a site and second after, having it deleted from handies memory. Not talking about GoPro armed bikers wizzing around. That`s how stupid the whole situation has got. Bye-bye innocent street, hello-hello regulations creep.

  10. I started out quite recently and it’s one of the first issues I faced out in the field. Here in Uganda, East Africa, it’s the same attitude cropping up in the urban areas. In Kampala, the capital city, and in the suburbs around it, street photography anything but a phone can be viewed as highly suspicious activity. Yet, mobile phone pictures are paid little or no attention to like Ming Thein explained in the post.

  11. Megatron says:

    Your comments about Google Glass aren’t quite the whole picture. It’s not about hypocritical people being comfortable in selfies but uncomfortable being recorded by strangers. It’s about being recorded in bathrooms, exams or private situations where no cameras are allowed (sometimes no security cameras). RE camera differences: If I’m peeling an apple in public with a tiny swiss army knife, it’s not the same thing as peeling an apple with a chef’s knife. Even if I am a trained chef. You would get a very different reaction using a tiny pancake lens versus a 100-400 zoom in a public situation, especially if children are in view. I never ever take pictures near a park because I don’t want to look like a creep. Your comments about being a terrorist are a bit extreme. People are equally afraid of voyeurs, pedophiles and general criminals, who might be trying to survey or spy using better-than-average photographic equipment. I’d say, just carry some business cards on you, and nobody will give you trouble. This is how most photographers get by anyhow.

    • We get inadvertently recorded all the time anyway – security cameras, background of other people’s selfies etc. I agree on perception: it’s got nothing to do with actual intention and everything to do with perceived intention or expectation (and once again, we’re back to ignorance or lack of education).

  12. Interesting point of view, in more than one way.

    The building in the photo is an Edison power station that has remained in place as the old architecture around it has been torn down and the new buildings around it have been erected. I used to work directly across the street (in the building behind the bench and the camera’s viewpoint) and I’ve often wondered about 1) a good angle from which to shoot the station in the midst of its new surroundings; and 2) whether the fact that it was a power station would cause reactions to attempts to photograph it. Number one has been beautifully answered. Any problems on the second note?

    • I have no idea. I just pretended to be a tourist as usual…which I suppose is technically true; we are all passing through. The duration may change, but nothing is forever.

    • I work around the corner from this building in Chicago, and have photographed it a few times without incident. I did get hassled while taking pictures of the federal prison in the Loop from across the street and on the L platform (despite CTA policy which says it’s ok).

  13. Jorge Balarin says:

    The paranoia against cameras in enviroments that are full of smart phones is completely stupid. In Austria there are some nudists beachs where understandably to take photos is forbidden. However you can see plenty of people with smart phones and even tablets, and nobody tell them nothing.

    • Yes. It’s again down to a lack of education: somebody who knows what they’re doing can also make an interesting image with a pinhole. An idiot will still fail with the most expensive hardware. But stereotypes persist. It’s probably easier for us to play to them and work around it rather than contest.

  14. The problem stems from the fact that the powers in charge do not want people who are trying to produce professional type work
    and art and who think for themselves. They would rather see an heavily sedated population with their smartphone selfie devices walking around in a funk oblivious to their surroundings. Much easier to control that way. Making photographs with a nice
    camera almost makes one an outcast now.

    • Sad, but true. Actually, doing anything that implies one sort of independent thinking rather than following mass dictates already makes you an outcast.

  15. One may even join this group. https://www.flickr.com/groups/iamnotaterrorist/

  16. dmullis says:

    SO preaching to the choir here. I’ve been given the “you can’t photograph here” admonition everywhere from Mumbai (inside Victoria Station) to the exterior of so-called “private” mixed use shopping/residential in the U.S. It usually comes from some officious “security” and as you say had I been taking a selfie with my iPhone, they wouldn’t have said a word to me, but anything resembling a DSLR means I must be up to no good. I don’t want to get too far into the whole profiling thing, but let’s just say that I would not be mistaken for Taliban and leave it at that. Regarding the outdoor area, I think it is motivated as much from a desire by management to “control the images” as any serious concern about terrorism.

    • The control is understandable but usually misplaced: they’re probably more concerned about liability if something bad or accidental happens and they get caught in the act…

  17. The thing with glass is not so much that it can record people discreetly, it’s that it can’t do anything else and costs $1500, it became a status symbol for the slightly creepy segment of the tech elite. It’s like wearing a sign that says “I’m a rich nerd who doesn’t care about making you uncomfortable, I’m the reason your rent is so high and for some reason i won’t talk to you without the ability to record you”. Like you say, it’s easy to avoid having your picture taken with a big dslr on a tripod, and still relatively obvious if someone’s snapping with their phone; avoiding having your picture taken with glass means not interacting with the person wearing it in any way.

  18. I think you could safely blame conservative American politics as the catalyst for insisting on complete privacy, even when out in public, and folks like Lady Gaga insisting that she owns the copyright to every copy of her likeness, regardless of the media used. You end up with every person on the planet thinking their likeness has inherent value, and the rest seeking to mitigate liability should they be caught doing something as benign as loitering.

    Then you have sites on the net like seenatWalmart.com, the atrocities of which really do need to come to light (full frontal wedgie wearing pink sweats 3 sizes too small), and who knows… those folks might be offended that what they displayed in public is now, heaven forbid, made public?

    • Conservative politics? For the record the paranoia has reached record levels in the last 6 years and it’s been supported by a bipartisan group of politicians and a president that’s broken most of his ‘hope and change’ promises. The current administration has made things much worse.

      • I don’t think its worse in the USA, just not much better, if any. Most of the abuses are at the local level too, so it’s not completely fair to blame Obama’s administration for the behavior of local police and security guards. FBI and Homeland Security on the other hand…

    • Exactly: if you’re going to do something that’s going to be seen somewhere in public, chances are it’s already too late: with our society of constant observation, it’s probably already been recorded hundreds of times by security cameras etc…

  19. I take photos of people in public places without asking first constantly. Usually I don’t have problems… Taking photos of buildings owned by the State of Texas is prohibited by administrative rules. Street photography in the Medical Center (in Houston) is prohibited because it might violate patient privacy, never mind if the subject is a construction worker or a nurse. Until recently taking a photo of a cute girl in a skimpy outfit without her consent could result in a felony charge, but the law was declared unconstitutional and thrown out.

    • I don’t think the general public, on public streets and sidewalks, has any duty to protect patient privacy. I think patient privacy law only applies to doctors, nurses, hospital administrators and staff, though I could be wrong about that.

      • Perhaps this is obvious, but surely if you can see it with your eyes – then so can other people, and testimony of multitudes would be equivalent evidence of something happening as a photograph (perhaps more so, since photographs can be easily altered?)

        • Memory is alterable too, however. By accessing a memory, your brain does change it, as many recent psychological studies have shown. Details of an event may be conflated with other events or with things other people say to a witness, so eyewitness testimony is often inaccurate to some small or large degree.

          But the fallibility and subjectivity of memory has been less scientifically observed for some time, and is called the Rashomon effect after the movie Rashomon (羅生門, 1950, by Akira Kurosawa).

          At least a DNG file shows evidence of any alterations, so they are admissible in court as objective evidence. Which of course ignores a flaw in photography, that even an unaltered photo can still misrepresent an event, depending on its point of view, the time it was taken, what is left uncaptured outside the frame, and other factors.

          • Also true. And as the internet has proven time and again, there’s the tendency for something to be believed to be true if it’s repeated often and loudly enough…

  20. After 9/11 there was a lot of this from security guards and police in Boston, Ma, USA. I must have been stopped and questioned a dozen times when photographing around the city (buildings, bridges, ships in the harbor, a power plant, a Victorian era hospital administrative office building, etc.). Half of the people who questioned me wrongly told me it was illegal for me to photograph these subjects, even though I was on public property in nearly every case, so I was doing nothing wrong. My typical equipment was a Leica or a medium format film camera, handheld. Since about 2008, the incidents have not recurred, but my photography has changed, and I’m not photographing in the city so much, so perhaps I have just been lucky to avoid any continuing paranoia. The ACLU has also gotten involved, going so far as to sue the NYPD and Boston’s MBTA transit system to get them to ease up on interrogations of photographers. I think that worked better in Boston, where the MBTA settled in 2007 and changed their policy to allow noncommercial photography in the subways and other public parts of the system. I still read about photographers being harassed and even handcuffed all over the country from time to time over perfectly legal photography in public.

    • Good to hear it’s getting better in general, not good to hear that the whole mass hysteria and fear continues. I count myself lucky that I haven’t fared as badly as a lot of people I know or hear about…

  21. One area that I consider pretty much off-limits for photographing strangers is commercial space: cafes, restaurants, department stores, etc. Not so much due to the (potential) objection of the owner, but the assumption of privacy. The reason you have paid a premium for a seat and refreshments is probably to get a relaxing moment away from the crowd, and you don’t want someone to come pointing a camera at your face. On the street you’re “in the public” and always have a chance to walk away if you don’t like what others are doing nearby. Not so much if you’re stuck at a table with your expensive latte.

    • Oddly enough those people paying for privacy are sharing their location, food, selfies etc. on every social media outlet possible – at least in Asia…

      • Phone selfies in restaurants are ubiquitous in the US too. Some chains like Starbucks explicitly allow photography, but the policy isn’t well communicated to their employees, which is not ideal. Then there are other businesses like shopping malls that usually ban indoor photography.

        • Once again it makes no sense to ban it since your customers are really doing you the favour of free marketing…at least it seems most of the small businesses seem to understand that.

          • I’ve seen the theory advanced that the reason for this is to protect stores’ “trade dress,” the style of their window displays, and the prices of their sales, and other business information from competitors. But how many stores want their displays to be un-creatively matching their competitors’s shop windows? Aren’t they supposed to be branding themselves in a way that emphasizes their distinctiveness? And what’s to stop a competitor from making notes of prices using pencil and paper, or surreptitiously using a cell phone camera to note them? A business spy would not use any sort of noticeable camera now, just like a terrorist would not (though apparently no US terrorist incident is confirmed to have been preceded by photo surveillance). Even these reasons make little sense to me, especially now, even if they once seemed valid.

            I bet now mall administrators would mainly talk about privacy of their employees and customers, which might be important to some people and not important to others. Except that they probably have surveillance cameras of their own all over the malls and in the shops now, which makes a mockery of that reason.

            • Sadly, in the more uncreative parts of Asia – Malaysia, for instance – that sort of blatant copying is far more rife then you’d imagine. But we’re also nowhere near as militant compared to the west with the no-photography rules.

      • Peter Boender says:

        Hmmm, I think your comparison goes limp here Ming. I wouldn’t call it odd. A selfie is something the subject has control over: the subject puts it up on social media, or not. The subject has no control over a photo taken by an unknown photographer.

        • You are forgetting people in the background of such images, who probably never get asked if they want to be behind the selfie takers. What about their privacy. Nobody thinks about that, and it could cause a conflict or embarrassment to a secondary subject who’s doing something or is with someone they should not be with.

        • Sorry, let me rephrase: I find it odd that people complain about privacy then seem to act in a way that suggests the opposite.

      • Ok maybe I wouldn’t feel bad about photographing someone taking selfies, no matter what the venue 🙂 Though I probably wouldn’t want to.

  22. Ming, really good, thought provoking, views in this post. I’ll be sharing this as widely as I possibly can.

    At some point, common sense must prevail in this matter.

  23. Insightful take on an increasingly serious problem. I fear that the crack down on photographers will only worsen as governments make more laws cracking down on suspected terrorists. Each passing day makes me glad that I’m on the back nine of life.

    • It’s a strange paradox because surely the more images and photographers are out there, the more awareness in the general public…the easier it would be for people to spot something amiss?

      • Amateur photographers have helped to identify terrorist suspects with their images in several cases, including the Tsarnaev brothers who allegedly bombed the Boston Marathon in our fair city, who were caught on surveillance footage and amateurs’ photographs.

        Meanwhile the Hollywood cliché of terrorists using photography to plan their attacks seems to have not happened in many of the recent US cases of terrorism. Most terrorists probably use Google Earth and Google Street view now, if they even feel the need to do any such planning.

        So only innocent photographers get harassed. It’s so bloody stupid.

  24. Come to take photos in Slovenia/EU .. we do not know souch problems .. yet.
    🙂

    • In general with the exception of Hungary, I find Eastern Europe excellent in both photographic freedom and material…

      • SLOVENIA is NOT in Eastern EU. Did you accidentally replaced Slovenia with SLOVAKIA?

        I must tell you (& others) – if you come with tripod in the center of Ljubljana (capital of SLO or anywhere in SLO), everybody will take you very seriously as pro. People will be very respectful, they will not run in front of camera, they will not stay in composition if not invited .. but they are very curious, so you must expect that they will try to see over your shoulder what you want to get in coposition .. here & there you must expect also a well-intentioned advice which is mostly usless. Very, very important: if somebody offer assistance by carrying equipment be very polite and determined to say “NO!! THANK YOU very much!”

        :o)))

        • I meant the eastern part of Europe as opposed to the EU specifically…but regardless, I think we’d all much rather have the situation you describe than overzealous security!

          • Brazil is much like that too, and very relaxed. At the very worst, I get asked if I am a professional (sporting a Canon Rebel…. no laughing). I usually carry a bunch of cards, and if I detect uncertainty after being ‘caught’, I approach them (proactively) with a smile, tell them that if they drop me an email I will send them a full sized copy for free, no charge, and give them my card. Those words “Free” and “No charge” always stops them. When they accept the card, I repeat reassuringly: “I always keep my word. Drop me a note, and I will send it to you.” I do too, for the record.

  25. Oh yes, I know this situation all too well!

    Like you I can only find perfect relaxation when shooting nature and / or landscape images these days. Too much trouble with street and architecture work. Here in Germany we have it comparatively good with clear regulations on shooting architectural stuff, still that does not prevent you from being molested by security guards who are simply not informed enough. A DSLR is bad, but a DSLR on a tripod is asking for trouble except for the landmark buildings. I have had a lot of negative experiences, ranging from enraged stares, over to being yelled at from passing cars, a friend of mine was spit on from a cyclist who was in the frame, down to physical attacks. There have been very positive moments as well, but somehow the negative ones tend to stick more.
    Quite a few times I have been approached by passerbys when shooting architecture. They expressed concerns about being in the frame and looked totally bewildered when I told them I was shooting the building and not them. Some think that I drive to a certain location and set up all the gear to take photos of them carrying their bags home… This even happened to me with a trio of security guards when I took photos of the Olympic stadium from around 100m away. Three of them encircled me in a pincer maneuver and asked me what the hell I was thinking, they don’t want to appear in any kind of photo… yeah right, I can guess why.

    I’m only using my LX7 in public and have shifted to landscape for relaxation. Too much of a hassle otherwise. I wonder how folks like Bruce Gilden have not been been in serious trouble. I admire his guts, but despise his attitude and sense of “ehtics”.

    • That’s pretty bad. I have to say continual stories like this are one of the reasons keeping me from a. Workshop in Germany despite the enquiries…

  26. Carlos Esteban says:

    There are some points that occurs to me: movies, quotidian violence, kidnapping and so.

    “Movies” requires some explanation – there are policial/spy movies that a show pictures of someone distract that might be used to plan something odd (most of that pictures only show people in a quite unmeaning – at least, for me – situation but there are suggestions that is meaning to “the plan”) creating to the audience a paranoid sense of being photographed in a candid way – the less thought that occurs is there is only a aesthetic purpose. I’m afraid I’m not very clear here – english limitation sorry.

    I leave in Brazil not a particular violent place as a poor country (or a rich country filled of poor people) so using anything that appear expensive might be a problem. So if someone wants to do street photography here is better to be almost invisible – other point them the original posto but since there is a demand to be mimetic the photographer’s attitude become even more suspect to the subjects. In the other hand, the photographer may be looked as someone recording someone else richness

    Terrorism itself, to me, doesn’t cause that reaction but the sense of worldwide insurance most certainly does. The world is becoming more and more dangerous (Ukraine crises, ISIS, Boku Haram and so on) driven people to a less friendly feeling.

    And most people don’t like to be pictured by a unknown:

    ( After shooting I took the camera off my eye and stayed looking to the house in the far avoiding any confrontation).

  27. What irritates me about this issue is not the “no photos” rule, but the complete lack of logic in the application of it. For example, I was asked to move along when stopping to take a photo on a cellphone directly outside the presidential office building in Taipei, but I could cross the road and take as many photos as I like with whatever camera I wanted, I think I could even set up a tripod and a 600mm lens if I really wanted to, although I didn’t try that one. I could also stand there and look at the building too, so the rule wasn’t about not lingering at that spot.

    But in the west any laws related to “terrorism” are internally inconsistent (So I can’t take a corkscrew on a plane, or a pair of nail clippers, but I can buy any number of glass whiskey bottles that can be smashed to give much better weapons… and don’t get me started on when and where I have to take off my shoes or not.)

    I do have some sympathy for the underpaid security guards who have to enforce unclear rules. Basically their goal is to make sure everyone fits into a nice category – tourist, shopper, etc. If you have an old heavy film camera on a wooden tripod, you fit into the “eccentric but harmless” category. If you smile and use a compact, you fit into the “tourist” category. If you carry a DSLR and medium size lens, tough luck – they don’t know what to do. Oh, and if you have a beard, you’re really out of luck, at least in Europe and the USA, it seems. I’m actually happier if a place enforces a no-photography rule (for whatever reason it might be – e.g. temples in Japan, military bases, some museums, for example), because at least then it’s clear and I can decide in advance whether to go or not. When I can get away with taking photos if I use a pink camera on a selfie stick but not if I use a DSLR it’s actually more annoying than if they just banned cameras altogether.

    Unfortunately media and government exaggeration of the non-zero but realistically tiny threat caused by a) terrorists and b) paedophiles means that common sense is thrown out of the window for the next few decades, until the next big scare comes along, so everything is arbitrary and inconsistent. Until then I shall stay in China and other authoritarian dictatorships, where the rules might be draconian but they are at least logically consistent…..

  28. Great topic Ming!!
    I’ve lived in Central London for over 10 years and used to regularly carry around a rangefinder at first and then a “street” compact (Ricoh GR’s) with me on my way to work etc and used it mostly for street but also architecture etc. I’ve now stopped carrying it as its literally impossible pointing it in any direction without getting approached and interrogated. It’s a very sad state of affairs and although I do understand the root of the ignorance, and did for a time, try to impart my ‘wisdom’ upon my interrogators, it made no difference as I got approached oftentimes by the exact same security officers who had previously approached me…
    Unfortunately London has become far too cynical and deeply traumatised by terrorism and misinformation for one to casually undertake their hobby. Sadly the future is bleak for aspiring Vivian Meyers types and I can’t imagine how Mr Gilden gets away with his trade (even though I once replayed his own style right back at him in Holborn to his great surprise and he too reacted – a story for another time 🙂 !!
    My cameras now stay home, reserved for family, friends and holiday travels where the obvious tourist look actually helps in this regard (ironically and totally miss-guidingly). Luckily the iPhone camera continues to improve and as some might say, the best camera you have is the one that’s on you…

    • Is it that bad even with the GR? I went around with the 645Z last summer in the City didn’t have any issues. Maybe people just assumed I was a tourist…

      • Kristian Wannebo says:

        It might also be body language. The first two weeks I lived in Germany I was constantly addressed in English.
        When a German friend came back from a year i the USA I happened to meet him the first day. His whole body was on motion, but the next day there was no sign of that.

  29. Alex Carnes says:

    I’ve had this problem a lot. I was taking photos in an indoor market a few months ago, and got taken to task by the manager – apparently someone had reported me! She asked if I’d mind telling her what I was doing (I’d got a Ricoh GR in my hand, and a Sony A7R round my neck). Somehow, I managed to stop myself saying, “what does it look like?!” She sent me on my way, but said that one can’t be too careful in these days of international terrorism. Again, I managed to stop myself thrusting a camera into her hands and asking her to demonstrate how I might use it to obliterate a market stall!

  30. Building security asks me about photographing a building. So I tell them I wanted a better image than I saw on Google Street View. 😉

    Building security states I cannot take a photo while standing in front of their place. Okay, I’ll use a longer lens and go across the street. 😉

    I really like trains, and light rail systems, and I use those systems often. Quite often I photograph my various modes of transportation. I make it very obvious what I am doing. Several years ago I had way more confrontations because of it. Carrying a tripod would usually get the most scrutiny, or someone just being a dick standing in front of you. The really crazy times were when I had a large format camera out in an urban area, though because it’s wood it looks really old (oddly enough, one of my newer cameras).

    What I have found lately is that smaller cameras open up access much more readily than larger cameras. The Nikon Coolpix A doesn’t look serious enough to be threatening, I guess. I get an even better attitude from using film cameras in public, especially really old film cameras, with some people even wanting me to take a picture. Drag out a big Nikon and big lens, then the attitudes really change.

    The world has indeed gone crazy. Common sense is often absent. Knee jerk reactions are more common. I still try to smile at people, and that usually works. Sometimes I act like a tourist, though a nice tourist. 😉 Unfortunately there is an oversupply of stressed out and paranoid people now; maybe they watch too much television. 😉

    • Agreed on film and compacts. And most of the time, people do assume I’m a tourist – why not just play to their expectations and pass unmolested?

      • That really has become the best method, just act like a lost tourist. The only downside in southern California is that bums and homeless people will then flock to you to ask for money. Lose one sort of attention, and gain another.

        I still see that parks get people carrying DSLRs around, and it seems people expect photography to happen there. The historical context is what bothers me the most. We have some many wonderful images of the past, showing us what life was like decades ago, both good and bad. Now with so many not taking pictures, it seems that we all lose. Much of this time period may fade with history.

        Sometimes when I am approached, I tell the people I am making photos for my mom, so I can share what I see in my life with her. It’s amazing how the attitudes change when I say that to people.

        • There are a lot of pictures and no pictures the same time: we have a record of the minute like what every single person ate or what their cats looked like, but not what they do or the bigger picture. There are images but not images of note or record.

          Interesting apporoach…I’m going to have to try that sometime. And it’s also true since I know my mum sees the output a lot of the time on this site or directly anyway.

  31. When I was in KL a few years ago, I saw everyone hanging a DSLR from his neck and taking photos everywhere possible. It was very freeing to act the same and have my camera out on the streets freely. I wonder if things have changed during the past few years.

    Things are way different in a middle-eastern country like Egypt. Have a look for yourself on ehat I wrote a couple of months ago regarding the same issue:

    http://betterfamilyphotos.blogspot.com/2014/12/reflections-on-photography-mobile-phones.html

    • For the most part, no. But some places: establishments/ proprietors think they’re a law unto themselves and act accordingly. I suppose it’s because that’s sadly almost the case if enough money gets thrown around…

  32. Thanks for bringing this PITA up Ming, which just made me think if I should appreciate more to live where I live. People react to a huge cam and a tripod by being very polite and stepping back or just walk around you. Don’t want to disturb a serious man at work. Even some stops up and asks what is going on. That can lead to a long interesting conversation and even end up with coffee in a cafe. That’s great of course but forces me often to jump to tele lenses to get people in the frame.
    All that changes if I put up the gear in a smaller village. I would be kicked out of town by people who feels convinced I must be from the authorities or local news papers and surely collecting evidence somebody broke the regulations while burning off garden garbage and a penalty would follow.
    Here’s where image quality machines like mirrorless compacts comes conveniently at hand. Thinking of GR, DP Merrill’s and alike. Though all of them will require a tripod if we want to blur moving objects, the small size of the cameras will cause less attention.

    The whole issue with paranoia and surveillance seems though only to bother the photographer who shoot in denser populated environment. Landscape and studio photographers seems happily freed from all this headache.

  33. I guess the real difference between a mobile and a tripod/serious-looking camera is that the former can be passed off as being “plausibly incidental” whereas the latter is almost always “primarily photographic”. I suppose that’s part of the logic.

  34. Interesting post – I hadn’t encountered any problems in Malaysia up to now, except once in KL outside Pavilion.
    Paranoia and suspicion indeed! Whipped up IMO to an extent by the 4th Estate. I have largely given up on most serious photography in the UK as a result, reserving my photography for architecture (with minimal inclusion of people for scale purposes) or for when I am in Asia, where – so far – it seems more relaxed.
    The solution, if there is one, may perhaps be education – of security and most of all the public, and that means the press also. The law in the UK, as you no doubt know, allows photography of anything/anyone provided you are on “public land”, public highway for example. Our problem here is that a lot of what might be perceived as “public”, isn’t – it looks like it, but it’s private! e.g. all of Canary Wharf! They own it, so they set the “rules” which all too frequently include “No photography”. The one (slightly dim) light in all this is that the police mostly actually know the law, what a surprise. So if challenged by security, stand firm, you’ll suffer some wasted time, but that’s most likely all.

  35. Roshan Clicks says:

    On a serious note i have been branded as a terrorist once and was put inside lockup for around 6 hrs for clicking images. This made me feel so bad. I felt like giving up.

    I was shooting long exposure on Airport road with a overhead bridge. That’s when this incident happened. They said me to shoot images i need permission. I was surprised to hear that ‘coz i was just shooting light trails. They called my work, They called my embassy and friends and finally after 6 Hrs they let me go without any charges. I love long exposure photography but since then i have almost given up on it.

    In the name of security the gave me so much of hassle. And i made quite a news among my colleague at work and my friends and family. This incident was almost 1 years back.

  36. (Lives in Japan)
    (Smug)

    🙂

    OK, seriously though. First article of the “third year” and it’s thought-provoking as ever. Your points make absolute sense (which is why they’ll mainly fall on deaf ears outside of a community like this one). From what I gather, smartphones are now at the point where they are, given enough light, more than capable of taking a web-worthy picture. What else do you need if you’re going to be involved in clandestine activities? And what better method than “hidden in plain sight”?

    This even happens to the greats. One of my favourite photography-related videos is Scott Kelby walking around New York with Jay Maisel, and when Jay shoots the lobby of a particular building (from the outside, through the glass) the building manager comes out to ask what he’s doing. At least the exchange was civil. I’m no lawyer, so I wonder how shooting FROM a public place INTO a private one pans out. I would imagine there’s some ambiguity there.

    Concerning the ubiquity of photographic / video recording devices: it might have been on this site or elsewhere, but I remember seeing a conversation between William Eggleston and another famous shooter, bemoaning the fact that these days almost everything is recorded or photographed, which somewhat violates the very idea of good photography : knowing what is worth shooting and what isn’t. It’s spray and pray on a societal scale and it could even be this which flames the fans of the paranoia: everyone’s always recording everything, ergo someone’s always going to be doing something dodgy. I’m sure a sociologist or anthropologist armed with a camera would have a field day.

    I’m originally from the UK, and I would be incredibly wary of photographing children there. Heck, given the current state of the place, I’d be wary photographing ANYONE who I didn’t personally know. Last time I was in London, every shot I had with a human in it was candid. I didn’t even bother trying to get a “non-candid” shot. Here in Japan? Whole different story, as you are likely aware.

    I don’t see it going to the extremes you mention (total freedom / total repression), only because of the cyclic nature of things. I honestly do believe that at some point there will be a movement which will resurrect photography as a real art, although I wouldn’t dare to say when it will come around or what will be the catalyst…

    • There’s a big disconnect because as you say, everything is being recorded by ‘security cameras’ anyway – recon would be much easier done by tapping feeds than actually going in person. Asia and Japan in particular are very camera-friendly; in other parts of the world, I prefer to err on the side of caution rather than risk trying to argue my way out of a foreign jail.

      • I heard an interesting story along these lines: A couple of years ago, I was at a science fiction convention and attended a lecture by fantasy author Jim Butcher. He has a very well regarded urban fantasy series about a private detective who happens to be a wizard. One of his novels is set in Chicago and he has a very detailed scene where one of the characters is performing surveillance on a location in the city and planning a break-in. The detail in this scene was so convincing and accurate that he was contacted by the Chicago police demanding to know how he did it. It turns out that he has never been to Chicago in his life and he did the entire thing using Google street view. He was able to figure out sight lines, plan entry and exit routes, and everything else he needed, on-line from his office in his home.

        In most cases it’s probably not necessary any more to do outside surveillance of any place significant by actually going there.

    • I live and work in the UK. To me you have to challenge this meme that all photographers are criminals. The more people who turn around to morons (security personnel or not) and point out they are entitled to shoot in public places, the better.

      The last quasi confrontation I had, I explained politely to the chap in question I wouldn’t be taking his picture, but that I was perfectly entitled to do so. He explained to me (perfectly seriously) that my taking his picture was prohibited under human rights legislation. I responded that I was surprised by that as a qualified English solicitor and perhaps he could point me to the section in question. Needless to say he soon wandered off muttering to himself. I may not have won a convert there ;-), but at some point people just need basic awareness of what the law permits and where it permits it.

      Thankfully, these situations are rare, but I dislike the fact that you end up censoring yourself as a consequence.

  37. Use a 4×5 film camera. Trust me. No one will think you’re a terrorist.

  38. How many brain cells does it take for a security guy to realize that an actual terrorist doing surveillance will try to be sneaky? Think Google Glass, pen cameras, real spy gear…..

    • Too many, apparently. Most guards don’t give a damn about what they’re guarding – do you really think they’d lay down their lives if push came to shove? Me me me comes first (and they’re not paying me enough for that, either).

      • Security guards are mostly bored and have little to do really but like having power over others – so they like controlling people and throwing their weight around and making themselves feel important. For security guard, read insecurity guard in actual fact. On the other hand I’ve often been surprised when I’ve ask someone if they’d let me take their picture, that most people seem happy to oblige – I just smile and act normal and move on when I’ve taken it – without making it a big deal.

  39. The reason for the increased terrorist threat?
    The utter stupidity of the “security forces” who think an amateur photographer with a “dark” dslr or MF camera “must be a terrorist ready to strike”.
    While this sort of stupidity is in charge of security, there is no way terrorism cannot but increase unchecked…

    • I suspect that we need to convince the camera manufacturers to create cameras specifically for this type of use – bubblegum pink camera bodies with stickers of cute animated animals plastered all over them. I would just love to see some ill-informed, overly aggressive security guard try and convince somebody that the owner of this camera was a terrorist.

      –Ken

    • Well, the camera companies in their infinite wisdom have solved this issue by offering us cameras in white and red/pink variants. There’s also the primary-color Mr Roboto Pentaxes. Stick hello kitty on the front and there’s no way we can be a threat.

  40. all i can say is that this issue has plagued me from day one of shooting here in NYC.
    it really is a daily PITA with no end in sight.
    as you allude to the primary thing i run up against is the issue of camera phone v high res dslr often using a tripod.
    everyone and their mom is clicking away at everything with their phones 24/7…..but once that tripod leg hits the pavement look out because the swat team is about to pounce on you.
    as you also mention i have no answer to all this but it certainly has affected what and how i shoot more than any other single variable (lens, camera, etc).

    • It’s not just New York, but most major cities with the exception of Asia. That said, I encounter less resistance being obvious (tripod, etc) than working flexibly.

      • interesting to hear Ming. I have a question for you on this: what is China like in regards to tripod photography? have you or any of your contacts had recent experience in this area? Here in NYC you can imagine that 9/11 had the most direct impact re “security” and it lasts to this day but I’m doing a project in China over the summer and am already worried about this issue. The last thing I’d want to happen is to be arrested and/or lose a camera, etc due to shooting forbidden subject matter in the wrong way, etc. Sadly i seem to be drawn to shooting in ways that freak out security guards and I’ve had countless problems.
        The specific concern that seems to be in the rule book is that high res images of structures like bridges might help terrorists place bombs on and within structures. I’ve also asked guards many times why the tripod in particular is such a problem for them (I’ve rarely had serious problems shooting without it). The only thing they could come up with was that it could be used to mount a gun on.

        • I have no idea – never been to China. Hong Kong is quite liberal though. I’d like to see somebody mount a gun on one of those little lightweight collapsible things! 😛

          • hm. interesting re Hong Kong. that may be a good sign. If you happen to hear from any Chinese photogs or folks that travel to shoot there please ask em for me! I have some feelers out there now but have not gotten any entirely satisfying information.
            The ironic thing is that usually i am confronted by somebody who is literally “just doing their job”. they know I mean no harm but since everyone in NYC is being videotaped by those ubiquitous “dome cameras” 24/7 that includes THEM. If they are observed/recorded NOT telling me to stop shooting they will in turn be punished/fired.

            • It’s a ‘who watches the watchers’ problem…

              • Apparently, power-mad and/or ass-coveirning imbeciles…

              • true. as much as i have many frustrating run ins with security personnel (both public and private) i am well aware that these guys make basically minimum wage and are justifiably concerned about being fired for some “by the book” infraction (like letting me shoot long exposures with my tripod over the property line, etc). however i will say that i do not let it prevent me from shooting. i generally shoot when and wherever i can…and if i’m asked to stop i do. only rarely have i had to delete pics and have never been arrested, fined, or had gear confiscated.

Trackbacks

  1. […] I wouldn’t have said those images were at all weak. It’s also worth remembering that in today’s increasing age of paranoia where seemingly photographers are no better than terrorists, phones are amongst the few devices that can still fly under the […]

  2. […] me, or is the world’s paranoia entirely misplaced?…….”  Read the Article: Paranoia and suspicion: photographers are not terrorists […]

  3. […]  Paranoia and suspicion: photographers are not terrorists […]

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