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Being a photographer in the UK just got a whole lot worse

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

It looks like the UK Government is looking to screw photographers by poor orphan laws and will be banning non-consensual photography in public:

UK Gov nationalises orphans and bans non-consensual photography in public

Write to your MP now and state your discontent!

Mass Gathering in defence of street photography

Friday, December 11th, 2009

http://photographernotaterrorist.org/2009/12/mass-photo-gathering/

I plan on going.

War on Photographers – Postive Update?

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

New guidance from The National Police Improvement Agency:

Practice Advice on Stop and Search in relation to Terrorism (.pdf)

Perhaps this means that UK officers will start to use common sense when it comes to photography.

via spyblog

War on Photographers – Update

Monday, October 20th, 2008

New guidance to be published in the UK:

The National Police Improvement Agency will issue revised guidance to all police forces in November. This will cover the taking of photographs in public places, although the general position is that there is no legal restriction on photography in such places.

via spy blog

Watermarks, Tagging and Copyrights

Friday, August 29th, 2008

Recently on my Flickr page another photographer —Neil Creek (blog)– commented on one of my photos that he liked.

I like this shot, and I’ve chosen it as one of my “weekly pics” on my blog, but I have to say, I really dislike your watermark I’m afraid. I think it’s too large, the colour is a distraction, and the bezel/shadow makes it look amateurish.

That is my own personal taste of course. However I suggest having a think about it and ask yourself why you use it. If it’s to prevent theft, then a larger one covering more of the image, but only 10% or so opaque might be better. If it’s just for use as credit, then I think it should be smaller and less obtrusive.

Please feel free to ignore my suggestions if you are happy with it as it 🙂

That got me to thinking about what the watermark I use on the Flickr site is for? As I’m sure you know I watermark all of my Flickr photos, but why do I do it? I guess there are a couple of possible reasons:

  1. For image protection – but I typically try and push the watermark out to the side to prevent ruining the viewing experience
  2. For recognition – but I don’t link back to my website or blog in the watermark nor do I watermark with my name

It seems to me that I am accomplishing neither of my goals and at the same time I am affecting the viewer experience.

Another interesting note is that Neil uses a watermark in his photos (small and to the right of the photo), so I would suggest that he dosen’t have an issue with watermarks in principle.

My question to you all is this: what is your opinion of watermarking photos? Do you like them, do you use them, do you think they work (for any purpose)?

I’m not sure what I’m going to do in the future. I currently have about 50 or so photos in the upload queue that are watermarked, so I doubt I will re-process them. For new photos, perhaps I will forgo watermarking them (it will certainly reduce the processing time required!) and see how it goes.

Are photographers really a threat?

Thursday, June 5th, 2008

Great article from Bruce Schneier at the guardian.co.uk

Are photographers really a threat?

Read it and pass it on!

Photography Rights

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

As I’m sure many of you know, the MET police recently began an advertising campaign that seems to target photographers. There has been significant push back on the campaign — which is great — with even a labour MP proposing (via here) a motion to support photographers. There have also been quite a few incidents in the news of photographers being harassed for simply taking pictures.

Examples:

UK Police seize amateur photographer’s film
UK mall bans grandparents for trying to photo their grandkids

A lot of people are probably wondering what your rights are if confronted by an individual for taking pictures, therefore I thought I would be useful to post some links to various sites that have talked about the issue.

In the UK, there is an excellent resource on UK Photographers Rights (including a useful PDF download) at Simon Moran’s site. There is also a handy pocket guide that you can laminate and carry in your wallet (created by Chris Shepherd):

Travelling? Don’t worry I’ve got you covered! US Photography Rights (also has a PDF download), Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

If you have any other country guides, post them in the comments section below.

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