Olympic Security Firm Under Fire Again for Refusing to Clarify Photography Rules

Photographically speaking, the London Olympics have caused quite a bit of confusion for ticket holders. Initially, the ticket holder agreement seemed to imply that you wouldn’t be allowed to upload any of the photos taken at the games to social networks; then once the rules were clarified, a size limit was set in place, but only in certain venues, outdoor venues were promised to be “more lenient;” and now it seems that Wembley Stadium (pictured above), where all of the Olympic soccer matches will be held, will not be allowing any “professional-style cameras [any camera with interchangeable lenses] or recording/transmitting devices.”

This not only prohibits the use of SLRs regardless of lens size, but the myriad mirrorless options out there (many of which are downright small) are also out. To make matters worse, when asked to clarify, a spokesperson for LOCOG declined, saying that “it would be impractical to publish a definitive list of cameras and lenses that would, or would not, meet the requirements.” According to the same spokesman, LOCOG is leaving it up to attendees to have “sufficient technical knowledge to sense what would and would not be allowed…”

The general consensus among photographers attending the games at this point is that you should “take your chances” and see what you can get away with bringing in — especially since we still don’t know if the officers have been briefed on the difference between professional and non-professional equipment. But if you do choose to take the risk be sure to get there early, if for some reason they don’t let you in you’ll need enough time to store your prohibited gear back in a safe place, since LOCOG has already clarified that security will not be able to hold it for you (if you even dared trust them).

(via British Journal of Photography)

Image credit: Wembley Stadium (37) by Martin Pettitt

  • Bob Dunkin

    So, LOGOC is leaving it up to the individual to determine whether or not the camera is permissible. Okay, that ALSO means they’re leaving it up to the individual guard to determine whether or not the camera is permissible, otherwise that ‘list’ IS available. *Note, I didn’t use the phrase ‘sufficient technical knowledge’ since that’s just…well, that’s a whole other argument.
    This isn’t even taking into consideration that cellphone cameras now have some snap on lenses. Of course, that doesn’t make them ‘professional’, nor does it fall ‘exactly’ in the prohibited category, but I think you’ll find that a few people will NOT be allowed to enter with this. Mainly because, without the clarification that is needed, it’ll be up to security to figure it out…

  • michaelp42

    Sounds like it’ll be pretty much common sense then. You’d be hard pressed to get a “proper” camera into say a premiership game or pop concert, so sounds like it’ll be very similar for the Olympics.

  • Mansgame

    I’ve never understood why it’s ok to take a picture from a cell phone but not a DSLR (as long as you don’t have a giant lens that ruins it for everybody else around you). What’s the difference? If you’re allowed to take a picture, why can’t it be a good picture?

  • Nathan Blaney

    How exactly are they going to enforce that social network nonsense?

  • Eduardo Cervantes

    Just another proof that the Olympic Spirit is long gone. Now, is 100% about the money. Very sad.

  • seanlucky

    My thoughts exactly. The Olympics once existed in the name of peace. Now it’s just greed.

  • kyoshi

    No DSLR’s, EVF’s, London Beer, or non McDonald’s french fries… What’s next!

  • John R

    WTF? Are you supposed to forget what you’ve seen too? Ban all memories, ban the pencil too whilst you are at it. I genuinely have no idea why there should be any restriction whatsoever. The people in the crowd have paid serious money to see the event. What purpose does this evil organisation have in banning the collection of photos? To try and screw some more money out of someone else, that’s all. Forget the sport just make money. Thatcher’s soulless legacy of greed above all else is the only spirit here.

  • Paul Coles

    Probably because the 3G network will be so stressed that the Internet won’t work. Or you aren’t on the preferred supplier that’s sponsoring the games. :)

  • Jonathan Yao

    “Recording/transmitting devices”, hmm, that would include cell phones, tablets and wi-fi cameras and depending if they mean if a device can only recording or only transmit, this would include, wi-fi hotspots, e-readers, walkie talkie, video cameras, etc…

  • Yoga

    that means stupid rule… or might be the firm let you take the photos with some money because they lost so much in their stock? stupid rule…!! just don’t buy their tickets and see for another sport events in another country.

  • Tom

    Simple solution – f**k these kind of restricted events.

  • cohenfive

    what is pathetic here is that they aren’t being clear on the rules…and a cell phone is certainly a recording device…and why the arbitrary ‘no interchangeable lens’ camera restriction, which i guess is only at wembley.

    to make matters worse, i just called the london organizing committee and specifically asked them about bringing my dslr. they reiterated no flash, no tripods and no gear bigger than 30cm, but when i asked them specifically whether i would be ok bringing my camera gear to events if i adhered to the above, ‘dee’ said yes..and she did not single out wembley.

    the confusion is the worst part of this….just make the rules and let people adjust.

  • Arjan

    Wonder what would happen if one person would bring a DSLR with a small lens and you get a friend to bring just a big lens. After all, a lens in itself is not a recording device.. :)