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Photography in public – a dying art

Photographers are getting increasingly concerned about attempts to limit or prevent pictures being taken in public. Photography in public is under attack from a diverse range of vested interests from control freak celebrities to police forces who see it as a PR stunt or who abuse terrorist legislation . Parents are told about the threat of paedophilia on every corner . As far as I am concerned anyone in public can be photographed without hindrance . Unfortunately some police forces see it as a good PR stunt to prevent photography in public places. In Scotland police can use breach of the peace as an excuse to arrest or threaten photographers under the flimsiest pretext . Police often invoke anti-terror legislation to prevent photographers from carrying out their work, and photojournalists are constantly filmed at public gatherings and their details kept on an ever-growing database. Tourists are also targeted by police, as was the case with an Austrian father and son who made the mistake of photographing a building of an extremely sensitive nature—Walthamstow bus station. Celebrities see every public appearance as a carefully choreographed exercise to promote themselves. They don’t like it when pictures of them behaving badly are published .Them’s the breaks . Martin Parr has stated “I am most concerned that the basic liberty for a photographer to photograph freely and legally in a public place in the UK is being slowly eroded by these new laws and overzealous interpretation by the police” . This situation has led

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