Photographer Told To Move on....again

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by hoffy, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. hoffy

    hoffy Member

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    Just saw this posted elsewhere:

    http://www.thedaily.com.au/news/2009/feb/02/amateur-photographer-sparks-outrage/

    It appears that a photographer was told to vacate a public beach after been accused of taking pictures of children. The photographer even went as far as showing the police that he was not....obviously showing the pictures themselves is not enough proof.

    I have also heard that there will potentially be a peaceful protest held in Queensland. The details are a bit sketchy (I am no where near there), but I will update here if we have any Queensland members interested
     
  2. viridari

    viridari Member

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    Is taking photos of children in public a criminal offense in Australia?
     
  3. pauliej

    pauliej Member

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    Well, when the Man (or Woman) with the badge and the gun and the billy club tells you to vacate the premises, I'm a thinkin' that you vacate the premises. After that, you can check with city hall, etc and see what the REAL rules and regulations are. Every cop on the beat thinks they are the law until a judge that knows what's what knocks them down a peg or three. If you can get the district attorney, or local magistrate (or whatever is in your area) to agree that YOU are in the right, and put it in writing (of course), and get the local media to broadcast those rights, then everyone will be better off for it. Until then, you're on your own in dealing with the local constables, etc.

    Life sure is tough at times...

    paulie
     
  4. katphood

    katphood Member

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    Some people just want to be, or appear to be, the defender of the children. It helps with one's reputation among neighbors and friends, especially if you've screwed those relationships up somehow.

    I was once near a jogging trail trying to take photos of an egret, which was down in a flood control channel. My lens was pretty clearly pointing (A) down and (B) at least 90 degrees away from this guy's house, and (C) fixed to a tripod. He came out and talked to me "just to see what I was doing". The words exchanged were all polite, but the tone was somewhat less than polite. I felt like asking him just how stupid he was to think that I was trying to take photos of his house, when he could clearly see the direction of the lens, sitting there, on the tripod. But I suppose his actions proved to his wife or girlfriend that he was manly and willing to risk all defending hearth and home from an evildoer with a camera and a tripod.

    And here's the rub. There's a giant myth out there that it is strangers that molest children. The statistics say that overwhelmingly, it is someone well-known to the victim, often a family member, close relative, or neighbor. It's rarely some greasy looking dude in an old van, yet its those few that grab the headlines. Child porn isn't that much different. Those photos are taken by people who lure the kids into situations, not by some stranger, on a public beach for crying out loud, walking around in broad daylight with a camera.
     
  5. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I had a funny moment just this morning where I was attracting the attention of security guards for taking photos in B&H of all places! I'd just bought a focusing screen and sat down to install it and test it out in the lounge area near the exit, where there's a little space for customers to sit down and organize their things, and then I noticed two guards glancing at me and saying, "Did he just take a picture? Are people allowed to take pictures here?" I laughed and said I was just testing the focusing screen that I'd just bought in the store, and they were okay with that. B&H!
     
  6. wiltw

    wiltw Subscriber

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    The paranoid fools have migrated from the UK and gone to Australia, it appears!

    As for "Section 227A of the criminal code states it is an offence to observe or visually record another person without their consent in circumstances where a reasonable adult would expect to be afforded privacy", one expects 'privacy' in the bathroom or changing room, not out in the middle of the beach with all the other sunbathers. Are Aussie police as imbecilic as the ones in the UK, too?
     
  7. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    Yeah, you are so lucky not having any paranoid idiots in the USA - a country where photographing in a public place never elicits the attentions of the hard of thinking...

    <sigh>

    Idiots are EVERYWHERE - ones wearing uniforms are invariably the biggest.
     
  8. katphood

    katphood Member

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    Well, we're getting better since the election. Looooong way to go....
     
  9. OP
    OP
    hoffy

    hoffy Member

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    As far as I know, no.

    My Sister in law and her boy friend are both police officers (ones a constable, the other a senior sergent). At Christmas time, I asked the question about what would they do if they had a complaint of someone taking pictures of people in public. Their first response was "So, why, its not against the law", but they did add, that if there were children involved, they would at least check and potentially check the photogs name against the child sex offenders register.
     
  10. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    whether the photographer was in the wrong or not, the police were just doing their job.
    they answered "a call" and didn't arrest him but told him to move on.
    i have been told countless times " no cameras allowed here" ... "move on"
    while on assignment, or for myself. it doesn't matter if he was photographing people's kids
    (i sure wouldn't want someone i didn't know photographing my kids without my consent )

    when i read that he showed the police the images and it didn't matter
    it wouldn't matter much to me either ...
    whose to say he didn't show them other images ...
    it doesn't seem like something that is too far fetched.

    what was it that the police did wrong?
     
  11. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Subscriber

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    Ask Bill Henson!
    ...He apparently thought not.
     
  12. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Subscriber

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    I am rather troubled by this subject. I am also very troubled by the Bill Henson saga. For overseas viewers, Henson is an Australian photographer with an interest in (ahem) naked children. His exhibition was interrupted when police seized most of his images (later returned). Henson went so far as to walk into St Kilda East Primary School and activey 'talent scout' for models. Late last year the Principal of the school was cleared of any wrongdoing though I believe guidelines would be drawn up to avoid situations like this happening so parents could have a say. Oddly, not all parents were opposed to Henson's active scouting for models, but then again, many more were opposed. The police were never involved. The crux of the subject was whether photographing children, much less naked children, is ethically or morally right. Is it acceptable in an artistic sense? If so, in what 'artistic' pretext beside the beauty of naked youth?
     
  13. David Brown

    David Brown Member

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    No one's ever lifted a camera to their eye at B&H? :rolleyes:
     
  14. Simplicius

    Simplicius Member

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    I just want to spread a little joy with my tale of the Chinese New Year, 25/01/2009.

    I was out at the festival in centre of Dublin loads of kids everywhere, great subjects, no-one said a word. Until two police officers called me over!!

    The Female police officer promptly asked to look at my camera, I passed it over and she was soon exclaiming with glee "its a TLR, WOW, I've always wanted one of those, I did a darkroom course 2 months ago, I love film".

    I got out of their alive, 15 questions later all about cameras and developing, with my film intact.