Do I look like a subversive to you?

I was out and about taking pictures, when I thought that it would be nice to get a few high-level shots of the town. Well, we’ve got a high-level car park that looks over the main shopping street, so I went up there to have a look.

It took about 5 minutes before two security guards approached me…

‘May I ask why you’re taking photographs?’

‘Because I’m a photographer – it’s what I do.’

‘This is private property; you’re not allowed to take photographs without permission.’

(Here we go again). ‘I’m taking photographs of the town, from the car park. I’m not taking photos of the car park.’

‘Never the less…’

‘What harm am I causing? What’s the problem?’

No answer…

I was in no mood for a fuss, so I left.

Let me state clearly that the guards were polite. There was no aggression, and I even got the impression that they were sympathetic. But they were at a loss to explain why there should be a “no photography” rule.

It got me thinking: the owners of the car park are within their rights to impose any arbitrary rule (within the law) that they want, but shouldn’t rules that limit public freedom (and this is a space to which the public have free access) have some sort of reasonable rationale behind them? If every owner of private land imposes a “no photography” rule, how am I to know whether I’m on public or private land? – most of the time, it’s not clear. And with the way the Government seems to be intent on selling everything off, it’s only going to get worse.

Someone, somewhere, decided that no-one standing on their property should be allowed to operate a camera. Why? What is it about the act of taking pictures that’s so bad that someone has to specifically ban it? Why do we live in such a suspicious society, where you seem to be assumed to be up to no good unless you can demonstrate otherwise?

Anyway, here are the pictures that someone, somewhere doesn’t think you should be allowed to see.