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| p.4 #10 · Anti-Terrorist Watch List ... |
I had a run in with some self important " Security Gaurds" last September whilst on a wedding shoot.
The B&G wanted some pics at this disused railway siding right beside a public road. It was not fenced off in any way. On the other side of the tracks there was a fence and an oil refinery.
We had been shooting about 20 Min when a car came along with a couple of guy who identified themselves as security officers. They said I could not be taking pictures there because it was private property. I pointed out it was in fact public property and there was no reason at all I couldn't take pics there.
Of course next came the old Security and terrorism chestnut. That is only one step down from getting my heckles up that the misused " Privacy" load of tripe.
I told the guy that there was nothing to stop me taking pics there and there was no secutiry or terrorism issue and did he really think it was logical that if I was taking pics for recon purposes I'd bring 15 People with me and hang around for half an hour or would anyone with enough brains to breathe on their own come alone, take the pics and be to hell out of there before anyone knew about it?
They waffled on with some other crap and finally siad if I didn't move on they were obliged to call the cops. I said that's fine, maybe they can straighten you out as you seem to have made your mind up already and went back to shooting.
A few minutes later one of the groomsmen came over and said the security guys had asked him to tell me that had informed the police we were there. I turned and waved to the guys and said No worries.
About 15 min later, a cop car comes along and keeps going without even slowing down. Cop barely looks at us as any more than anyone would at a bridal party standing on the side of the road. Car doesn't came back. I'm looking at the security guys in the car and shaking my head and laughing. To me those on a power trip, those who don't know their job and those that talk rubbish don't get any respect.
When we finished at that location, we drove round the corner to an old industrial site that had been cleared and was opposite the refinery. The security clowns followed and as I was getting out of my car they pulled up beside me and said I couldn't shoot there either. I asked them if they had nothing better to do than make fools of themselves and said that they had better either leave or call the cops to move me on but if the cops did show up and deemed I was in the right, I WOULD be pressing charges for harassment and coercion which if upheld, would mean the end of their security licenses.
They said I didn't know what I was talking about so I turned to the bridal party, most of whom I knew and said those of you who have a security license, can you hold them up for me please. 3 of the guys in the bridal party and one car driver whom I didn't know, pulled out their wallets to show them and one bridesmaid said she didn't have hers with her... understandably.
The guys drove off but parked down the road a bit watching us which I though was Pretty funny.
They must have got bored with that position because a bit later they parked inside the refinery fence right across from where we were.
When we were done, just to prove the point I took the B&G right over to the footpath on the refinery side of the fence and started shooting some pics with the refinery and the security guys in the pics. They moved away pretty quick.
I'm really fed up with either being looked at like a pervert or a terrorist because I have a camera. I will make an issue out of it anytime some one lays this on me because I consider it insulting and I am fed up with being a target for ignorant and generally moronic do gooders that think they have some special rights they are not in possession of.
The most basic logic goes against the actions people accuse you of.
Terrorists may be crazy but I would not take them to be so damn stupid that they would think that bringing a mob of people and special distinctive vehicles to a facility they wanted to photograph would be a good cover and help their activities go undetected.
Just as illogical is the fact they wouldn't just drive slowly by with a vid camera or shooting pics out the window or that they wouldn't use something like google earth that could show them a hell of a lot more than any street view could.
I really think the terrorists have won on this level. they have caused a paranoia and a change to the freedoms and way of life of those that they are at odds with.
I also think that the hysteria will probably provide great cover for them in what they want to do. While people are getting all uptight about people taking wedding pics, the real terrorists are probably doing what they want a lot more easily and laughing their butts off at how easily they are doing it while the enemy are so busy pointing the finger at themselves.
I reckon if I wanted to photograph something with ulterior motives, the last thing I'd be using would be a full size SLR with a big bit of glass hanging off the front. I'd be looking as amateur as possible with a a high res, pocket size P&S and certainly not bringing a crowd with me.
I'll bet whatever those with unsavory motives want to do, they can do it with no risk of detection at all and no one will ever see them.
Just as when people have made insinuations about me being a pervert when I'm standing amongst the parents of the very kids I'm photographing and being asked did I get a shot of their kid doing that?
A couple of weeks ago when photographing swim school at a pool, one idiot watched me talk to the instructor and her help me with the kids then went to the office asked for the pool manager and asked her if she knew there was a guy down there taking pics of the kids.
She then admitted she had been watching me shoot a couple of the classes and chatting to the instructors. The manager was not amused and asked if the person thought that if I was unknown to the staff they would be helping me photograph other peoples children in the middle of their lesson?
She also asked if she had not seen the notice in the newsletter there would be a photographer taking pics, Had signed a release on her childs enrollment form giving permission for them to be photographed, had not got the SMS reminder the day before, not seen the sandwich board sign when she walked in that had been there for 2 weeks and also not seen the many signs around the place. She admitted she had and the manager then asked her exactly what then was the reason of her concern?
The idiot fumbled for words and the manager told me she walked off and left the idiot standing there before she said something unprofessional about her thoughts on the persons intelligence.
Seriously, these people have the IQ of a teapot and/ or have nothing more to do with their lives than be busy bodies and make trouble for others.