Public Pictures

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.

So there’re three shots up on flickr, under the widest Creative Commons License I could find. In the unlikely event anyone needs images like that, please, use them and become very rich.

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?