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  • Paul Hurst 9:53 am on September 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: danger, difficulties, hobby, landscape, landscapes, law, , police, privacy, , terrorism   

    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.

  • Paul Hurst 6:52 pm on August 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Abdelbaset, am, bombing, international, justice, kenny, Kenny MacAskill, libya, lockerbie, Megrahi, mercy, , pan, pan am, scottish, secretary, sword, terrorism, usa   

    Act, Love and Walk 

    8 He has showed you, O man, what is good.
    And what does the LORD require of you?
    To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God.

    Micah 6:8

    So what about mercy over justice?  Today the Scottish authourities chose to release Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, the only man ever convicted of the Bombing of Pan-Am 103. But did they do the right thing?

    At first glance, it seems that you either have one or the other.  You are either merciful or you wield justice.  A false dichotomy which is perfectly demonstrated by two swords, kept in the Tower of London as part of the Crown Jewels.  The Sword of Justice is large.  It moves swiftly and would leave no one under any allusions as to where it has been.  Made from the highest quality metals and incredibly sharp, the sword divides, it splits one thing from another.  Right from wrong.

    The Sword of Mercy looks completely different.  In fact it looks like it is broken.  It has been blunted and shortened at its end.  According to myth and legend, its tip was broken off by an Angel in order to prevent a wrongful killing.  The sword is presented to the Monarch as a reminder that Mercy may be just as powerful as justice in the right hands, so is that what we have seen today?

    The aptly named ‘Justice Secretary’ Kenny MacAskill, hinted that ultimate justice would not be handed out by a government but by a God and he questioned how allowing Megrahi to die in prison served justice any more than him dying elsewhere.  He faces an ultimate judgement which he cannot avoid.

    In showing mercy to this man. Mr MacAskill may have made many enemies.  People still eager for their pound of flesh.  People who feel that  justice left on the plane for Libya with Megrahi.  I sensed a pang of remorse as I saw him leave too yet despite my otherwise indescribable feelings, I also felt that by showing mercy, the Minister may have brought a degree of closure that simply wouldn’t have been possible in a few months.  The time for Mercy was now.  To allow a dying man the dignity that was denied to two hundred and seventy individuals.  It may be difficult to spot at the moment but by wielding the Sword of Mercy, he may send out an example to some who wield their ‘Swords of Justice’ on a daily basis, killing many.

    Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi released this statement, from the plane, shortly after leaving Glasgow Airport.

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