What costs would you go to for your photography?

TSS 'The Duke of Lancaster'

Last night I risked life, limb, camera equipment and arrest in order to snap some photos of an old rusty ship which is moored up along the North Wales coast but what risks should hobbyist photographers like myself be prepared to take?  And why do casual snappers such as myself find that its becoming increasingly difficult to take pictures like these at all?

Photographers are admittedly a strange breed.  Often not content with the mere click of an instamatic, we can be seen in all weather gear, at all times of the day trying to set up camera tripods and capture a wonderful view which is often completely missed by the masses who walk past or observe with amusement or suspicion.

Of course we need to be vigilant in this age of ‘terror’ but we also need to use common sense too.  Certain views, buildings and locations may warrant extra security but unfortunately the palaces and parliaments may also be high up on the tourist trail or photographers list of iconic images to be captured. Why should private security firms be so surprised if photographers want to take photographs of moody country mansions at dusk?

In light of the general over sensitivity towards photographers, I have found it increasingly difficult to take simple photographs pretty much anywhere.  My photos aren’t of ‘sensitive’ locations and my camera poses no ‘risk’ to anyone other than myself but still, the hobbyist photographer is often singled out by the authorities or over zealous members of the public who somehow feel that they are doing a great service by trying at any length to stop people photographing landscapes.  Of course, we are all allowed the right of privacy and photographers should not invade peoples privacy or take photographs of strangers without permission, but when it comes to landscapes???

I am a vigilant person.  I keep an eye open (obviously) while I’m out and about taking my photographs so maybe some of these ‘do gooders’ would do well to consider that if there are lots of photographers like me snapping away with their telephoto lenses, it makes it harder for the real criminals to act unnoticed.  Maybe photographers can be the extra set of eyes that the security services say we so badly need.  I’m convinced that the vast majority of landscape photographers such as myself don’t compromise security, we enhance it.

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