A Travellerspoint blog

No Photos Please - We're British

Or "How not to get arrested for getting your camera out"

Once upon a time, we in the 'developed' world chuckled when told of the people of remote tribes who believed you were stealing their spirit if you took a photograph of them. We're not laughing now.
Paranoia about terrorists and paedophiles means the taking of photographs in public places is under serious threat. This is of huge importance to both photographers and travellers alike.

Remember the british 'plane spotters' who were held in a Greek prison for taking photos at a military airfield? While you could say it was obvious they weren't terrorists, you could equally say it was a bit silly photographing a military installation. But where do we draw the line?

Unfortunately it seems that line may soon be drawn outside your front door. Rumour has it that there is a growing number of tourist attractions that are banning photography. Yes, that's right, "tourist attractions" - the very existence of which is the whole reason that most people buy a camera, or certainly used to be in pre-digital days.

As the law stands in the UK, if you are stood in a public place you are theoretically allowed to take a photograph of anything you can see. In practice however, more and more people (including professional photographers) are finding themselves stopped by the police and questioned about their intentions.

What does this mean to the Traveller? Well, first and foremost it means you should be as aware of what you are doing when you take out your camera in the UK as you would anywhere else in the world that you might normally consider sensitive. Be aware that somebody may be offended - rightly or wrongly - about what you are doing, and be prepared to move on. Don't let the politics spoil your visit.

Posted by stevieh 06:34 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged photography

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Quite ironic, really, that it becomes more and more unacceptable for the tourist to take pictures, while at the same time more and more cameras are being put up by police and security to track our every move.

by GregW

Many thanks for your sound advice, Peter!

by Vic_IV

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