Monday, 7 December 2009

Ban The Imaginary Ban

A couple of days ago I was speaking with a group of teachers and we got on to the subject of photography. I noticed a general sense of relief that cameras were banned from school. If cameras were allowed into schools it only takes one parent to object to their child being photographed and you have real problems. In practice what this means is that nobody gets photos of their children at any school performance.

The conversation went on to the subject of photography in public places. Again I noticed a general agreement among the teachers that photographs should not be taken near groups of schoolchildren. I remembered that I had recently read about someone who was challenged about their photography in public. The photographer was asked if they had permission to take photographs in this public place. The answer was in the form of a question. If the photographer could be told who they should ask then they would say if they had permission. I thought that this was a good answer except if you are in a position to give this answer then you are probably not enjoying your photography.

Yesterday the queen became involved in this topic by asking for privacy from the paparazzi when she is at Sandringham over Christmas. I think that everyone has a right to privacy on private land and anyone who invades this privacy could be prosecuted. Unfortunately this view does not address the main problem. We live in a society in which everyone is guilty of the worst type of crimes unless they can produce evidence from imaginary thought police to say otherwise. Why do we accept that we should just ban photographers? Why not ban everyone from being near groups of children, after all who knows what they might be thinking?

By all means let's do something about unacceptable behaviour but with the present way of thinking just carrying a camera is behaving irresponsibly.

Change the world

1 comment:

  1. During the "alternative timetable" week in the back part of the school year, I accompanied some of the pupils from the school I work at on a fishing trip to a local seaside/esturary place. The senior member of staff did ask someone to stop taking photographs of the group of pupils fishing, as they seemed to be taking several shots of each group of pupils. It does say a lot about the way we have come to think that someone photographing a group of pupils should have to be asked to desist. There was only one girl in the group as well. I can guess that as they were all "rookie" fishermen...the looks on their faces was the focus. Delight, concentration, etc.