Be careful where you photograph

One of the stories that’s been in the headlines lately is the issue of where you can and cannot take photographs.

No, i’m not talking about private family photographs, but more, of public places, places visible to the public.

There’s no doubt about it in my mind that Melbourne is beautiful, and there’s so many places in Melbourne that you can take photos of.

It will make me think twice sometimes about taking pictures in certain areas, and be a bit more careful about it.

I think a lot of it to do with our current situation with the potential of “threats” to national security and all that. But perhaps there are ways to make everyone happy? Ask those in charge, and then show them the picture afterwards (since most of us use digicams these days, with the LCD preview screen) and ask for approval. If not, just be happy, and delete the image.

The event which triggered this was when one of the Geelong Camera Club members took a photo of gas storage cylinders at the Shell oil refinary. He was told that he was not to take photos of industrial installations.

This is an issue that doesn’t only affect us here in Australia, but worldwide too. There’s an article on this issue in USA Today.

2 Comments so far

  1. Edouard (unregistered) on January 18th, 2006 @ 2:40 pm

    I’ve been asked a few times to not take photos, especially in train stations, some people kindly ask and some rather sternly tell you.

    It’s the deal between requesting a photo not to be taken and completely banning photography that I think is the problem.


  2. Wilson (unregistered) on January 19th, 2006 @ 2:59 am

    Well, the City Loop train stations have fairly conspicuous signs prohibiting photographs (and I have pictures of them :-) I’m not sure how legal they are, though.

    In the US, legally, pretty much anything you can see you can photograph; but I don’t know whether Australian law (especially the new one) is more restrictive. From what the Police Minister is quoted as saying, it would seem like it is not (that is, you can photograph whatever you like). But the same issue arose some months ago, with people talking of prohibiting taking photographs in beaches, or anywhere where there were kids.

    It would be interesting to have a local version of that USA Today article, anyway.



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