Tuesday, 5 August 2008

How we laughed!

I grew up in 1970's England, and learned to take photographs with my low end Japanese SLR. Happy and fortunate to live in the 'free west', we had few worries or restrictions on where we could go and what we could photograph. How we used laugh at the more restrictive societies on the other side of the 'iron curtain' where you could be arrested for taking a photograph of the wrong building, bridge or industrial site... While we had the latest and best kit from Japan, photographers in the east had to save up for years for horrible out of date clunkers like Zenits and Zorkis. Things are different now.

Here we are in 2008 a poster issued by the Police warns the public to call the anti-terrorist hotline if they see a photographer who seems a bit odd. People in Britain are being stopped and questioned by Police for, guess what... taking photographs of buildings, bridges or industrial sites. As was pointed out in the Gurdian newspaper recently, the 9/11 terrorists, the London Transport bombers, the Madrid bombers, the attempted 'liquid bombers', the Oklahoma bomber, the Unabomba and Richard Reid the shoe bomber did not use photographs to plan their attacks. Nor did the IRA and nor do middle eastern suicide bombers. In short, terrorists aren't photographers.

Meanwhile, people are paying 3 times the price of my 'new' Nikon for Soviet era Lomos... Did we loose the plot somewhere??

1 comment:

toddono said...

Yes, yes and yes... we've lost our way. What's happened to our world? Where are our freedoms? Why have we, the citizens, allowed these people to treat us this way? What do we fear? Have we forgotten that the elected serve at our discretion?

It makes me sad.

A couple of links for you:

www.carlosmiller.com
http://nycphotorights.com

I'm sure there are more...