I was in Aberdeen at the weekend and woke-up early with the sun projecting a nice orange glow on the hotel room wall. I got dressed quickly, grabbed my camera and headed out for the golden hour. After a session photographing down at the docks, I passed by The Mall on my way back to the hotel. The side entrance has lots of stairs that go from street level to shop level, which I thought might make some interesting black and white shots.
Ten shots later, and with no-one about, I was done. I headed up the stairs toward the shops, but before I reached the top, I was confronted by a security guard who asked why I was taking photographs. He told me that I needed permission and a permit to photograph in the mall. I pointed out that if it was for terrorism reasons, I don't think that terrorists would be standing their with a full sized pro body DSLR and a big Nikon 17-55mm lens. The security guard shrugged his shoulders and I left The Mall, never to return...ever!
How many people do you think take photographs in that mall every day with point and shoots and mobile phone cameras? I would think plenty, just like every-other shopping mall in the UK. I'm no terrorist, but if I was, I would use a point and shoot with a subject strategically placed so that I got whatever I wanted in the background. I would not walk in with a few kilo's worth of Nikon gear and a jacket that has derekclarkphotography.com embroidered on the front and back. The Mall does conveniently display a floor plan on their website for all your terrorist needs Click Here , but I didn't want to infringe on their copyright by posting the plan here.
Photographers are not the enemy! I personally don't even think the enemy are who we're told they are. I don't remember Afghanistan invading another country. I did notice that the UK and US did invade two countries lately though. I suppose it's different from when Hitler did it???
Sorry if this is a bit heavy for a photography blog, but we're losing all our rights, and worse than that, people are losing their lives! I'd rather be squeezing a shutter than squeezing a trigger!