This is not going to win any prizes as one of the finest photos I’ve ever taken. It’s not even the best photo I took yesterday. But there’s a point to be made here.
This is a photo of The Shell Centre on London’s South Bank. I took a few snaps on a whim as I was wandering past heading for more interesting subjects. At which point, a security guard came out, and told me I couldn’t do that – apparently taking photos of the Shell Centre is frowned on by the management, and they like to tell people that can’t do that.
He seemed slightly taken aback when I said that I was fully aware of my rights, and absent a police officer telling me otherwise, when I am standing in a public place, I an fully entitled to take a photo of anything I can see, so long as it’s for non-commercial purposes (my rights are actually bit more extensive than that, but it’s the broadest catch all definition I know). He got slightly aggressive about this, but I am a six foot skinhead in a biker jacket, and I find that the speaking in a calm but extremely certain tone of voice generally works wonders. After a few more attempts to tell me I couldn’t do what I was doing, he said he was going to get his supervisor. I said that was fine, took a few more photos, and was on my way.
Honestly, had it not been for this little prick, I would not have put this photo or any of the other ones I took of the Shell Centre on-line. As it is, they’re all there, released under the widest Creative Commons license I can, just in case anyone would like to use them. It’s not likely, but I really don’t like being told I can’t take photos but jumped up arseholes with a false sense of authority, so if anyone’s got a use for these pics, please, use them with my blessing. I hope they make you very rich.
And if anyone happens to be passing the Shell Centre with a Camera, I urge you to and take photos.