So, as most of you probably know, I’m a bit of a photography nerd. There are few things in life that make me happier than wandering about London with a camera in hand, and most of those things that do are not things I can do in public without getting arrested.
So I get a little exercised when people try and tell me I can’t take photos when I know I have that right. I am of course, profoundly fucked off about all the anti-photography measures that have recently become law here. But the other day, I have an amusing experience with a security guard who told me that I did not have the right to take photos of the building that he was security guarding – The Shell Centre on the South Bank.
Well, I say it was amusing. It was, but that’s because I’m a six foot skinhead in a biker jacket. People tend to pay attention when I assert my rights in a calm and reasonable tone of voice, so when I said that actually, I was completely allowed to take photos, whatever he said, he went off to get his supervisor. By the time they returned, I had taken the few snaps I was amusing myself with, and was on my way. Had I been someone smaller, or less sure of themselves, their assertion of authority might have worked on me, and it would have been much less funny.
Honestly, I hadn’t really planned on putting the photos on-line. They’re hardly great pictures. But I’ll be fucked in the ear with a rusty butter knife if I let some jumped up little shit with the fake authority of a petrochemical giant tell me what I can and can’t do.
Yeah, in the grand scheme of things this is hardly sticking it to the man. But still: if anyone fancies passing the link to this entry around, that’d be very kind of you. When photographers rights are being encroached left and right as it is, I think it’s important to take a stand, however small and irrelevant for those rights that we have left.
So: if you’re passing The Shell Centre, stop and take a few photos, why don’t you?