Photowalk tomorrow – I’m excited . . . but should I be?

Yes the photowalk I’ve been planning is almost here and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to it; but after my own recent experience with urban outdoor photography and a spate of other posts along similar veins, I wonder if I ought to be.

Let me give you a taste for what people have been saying:

A few days ago, I fretted about the possibility that Boston might follow places like New York and Silver Spring, Maryland, and try to restrict what you can take pictures of in public places.

Turns out it’s already happening, even without any action by municipal officials.

Universal Hub – Restricting street photography in the Boston area

Welcome to Boston

Also known as NAZI FUCKING GERMANY! Or the SOVIET FUCKING UNION! I’ve written about the idiocy of our domestic reaction to terrorism once or twice, but it continues to piss me off. I was up at an unholy hour this morning to get someone to Boston’s South Station. It was a wicked nice, foggy morning, so afterward I thought it would be a good idea to wander around the waterfront and take some pictures. Silly me: PHOTOGRAPHY IS A TERRORIST ACTIVITY.

fornya.com – Welcome to Boston

So how will some number of camera-toting clowns snapping the city be seen by the powers that be? Will it be recognized as a legal and protected assembly of carefree clicksters? Or will we be viewed as a coven of creeps casing the city for strange and nefarious purposes. Being an over-the-toptimist, I always expect the best . . .

How about you? Have you felt the man bearing down on you for doing your thing with camera in hand?

If you want to come and join the fun, here are the details:

Thursday, July 12th
6:00PM
The Esplanade (at Gloucester St.)
Map

[tags]Boston, photography, trouble[/tags]

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3 thoughts on “Photowalk tomorrow – I’m excited . . . but should I be?

  1. As an advanced amateur and long-time photo blogger, I have had many encounters with the law in both the US and UK. My approach is always the same. If I’m asked to leave, I do, very politely. But I also make sure I am not breaking any rules – I’m on public property, etc. Unfortunately, lots of great subject matter is becoming problematic, like airports, power stations, rail and so forth. I shot background photos for a project in Logan a few years back and got kicked out. That was the only time I really got worried. Most of the time, I have a tripod with me, and the tripod and camera look pretty scary. I usually carry my gear in a revealing way as a result. There’s a big, black pistol grip on my tripod head, you know?

    I will say this, they are much more understanding and polite in the UK about this stuff. Of course, the police in London (where I was) are just much nicer in general. When I got kicked off the Queen’s Esplanade, or whatever it’s called, taking shots of Big Ben, the cop took the time to explain that commercial activities were restricted (my gear was clearly commercial) and pointed out where I could shoot when I asked politely.

    Try that in the US. But of course the other dynamic is that people are more aware of being photographed and more reluctant, IMO. I try to be careful about that. I usually don’t go for faces, I’m just going for a body for scale or feel or something.

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