Posts Tagged ‘protest’

Repeal Section 44, Says British Terror Tsar

Lord Carlile, the official reviewer of terrorism legislation in the UK, has begun calling for the abolition of Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000. The controversial stop and search law that allows police to search individuals without having reasonable suspicion has become the bane of many street photographers, who are often ordered to stop shooting and are detained when uncooperative.

In January, over 2,000 photographers gathered in Trafalgar Square in London to protest Section 44, and apparently the negative publicity has gotten the attention of the government. The London evening standard reported yesterday that Carlile has begun calling for the act to be repealed:

Lord Carlile of Berriew said the use of Section 44 powers was having a “disproportionately bad effect on community relations” and had become “counter-productive” in the fight against terrorism.

He also revealed that not a single arrest for terrorism offences and only “morsels” of intelligence had resulted from more than 200,000 such searches carried out last year — 151,000 in the Metropolitan Police area alone.

He suggests that the new law should allow searches without reasonable suspicion to be carried out only during terrorist events or around a small number of sites critical to the countries infrastructure.

What we found interesting was the following quote:

Nothing fills my in-tray and in-box more than complaints on the use of Section 44.

Well photographers, your voices were heard!

(via Amateur Photographer)


Image credit: ‘Im a Photographer not a Terrorist’ by =chris=

Photographers Protest UK Terror Laws

This past Saturday, over 2,000 professional and amateur photographers gathered at Trafalgar Square in London to protest recent cases of anti-terrorism laws being used to stop public photography. The protest, organized by the group I’m a Photographer, Not a Terrorist!, was against section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000, which allows officers to stop and search photographers without needing any “suspicion” if the photography is occurring within certain areas.

After a number of high-profile incidents in which photographers — some award-winning — were stopped, searched, and even detained, memos have been circulated among police forces advising them to exercise more discretion in their duties:

Whilst we must remain vigilant at all times in dealing with suspicious behaviour, staff must also be clear that:
- there is no restriction on people taking photographs in public places or of any building other than in very exceptional circumstances
- there is no prohibition on photographing front-line uniform staff
- the act of taking a photograph in itself is not usually sufficient to carry out a stop.
Unless there is a very good reason, people taking photographs should not be stopped.

Officers should be reminded that it is not an offence for a member of the public or journalist to take photographs of a public building and use of cameras by the public does not ordinarily permit use of stop and search powers.

However, stories of officers hindering photographers’ work continue to surface, prompting photographers and groups to step up their calls for more leniency and freedom to photograph without being confronted.

Were you at the protest? Have you been stopped and searched in the UK? If so, we’d like to hear from you in the comments!


Image credit: Photographs by Rion Nakaya and used with permission.

10 Tips for Shooting Protests

Going to school in Berkeley, California, there always seems to be something people are protesting. A few times the past couple years, I took the time to run to some of the demonstrations downtown, and found that they’re always rich opportunities for interesting photographs.

There’s going to be a protest at Union Square in San Francisco tonight at 6pm regarding the election in Iran, so I thought I’d share a few tips for shooting from my experiences.

1. Get In Close

Unlike ordinary street photography, you don’t need to be very cautious about sticking your camera directly in someone’s face, since it’s exactly what most people at the protests are asking for!

getinclose

I remember seeing one of my buddies taking portraits of people at a demonstrate with his camera only a foot or two from the face of one of the protesters. There aren’t too many other opportunities where so many strangers will let you be so intrusive with your camera.

2. Capture Emotion

There’s going to be all sorts of different emotions on display at a demonstration. People shouting, laughing, cheering, etc… Go to where the action is and try to capture it.

IMG_1353

3. Shoot a Lot

Since everything is happening so quickly, it’s difficult to capture exactly the pose or expression you’re looking for. Get into position and take numerous frames (use a continuous shooting mode if you have one). You’ll probably end up with a lot of junk and a few gems.

4. Bring Enough Memory

One of the mistakes I made once was bringing a single memory card and nothing else. When I filled up the card, there was still photos to be shot, and I ended up having to go back and delete photos to make more room. Don’t let this happen to you! Bring extra cards and a laptop to empty your cards onto if they get full.

5. Look for Memorable Scenes

People do all sorts of interesting things at protests that make for eye-catching photographs.

dogandwoman

The woman above wasn’t actually posing for a picture but was simply playing with the dog… From the way it’s captured though, it seems like they’re making a political statement, right?

6. Capture Two Things at Once

Look for angles that allow you to tell a story in both the foreground and the background.

nowaroniran

In the photograph above, the arms in the foreground and sign in the background both contribute to the story being told.

7. Look for Signs

People will probably bring some pretty interesting signs, and capturing them will help you tell the story of what’s going on.

signs1

signs2

8. Show Numbers

In addition to getting in close and capturing details and emotions, it’s also good to step back and show the context of what you’re photographing. Two good ways to show the crowd are from getting up high or shooting down a line of people. A wide angle lens would help for a view from above.

numbers1

numbers2

9. Capture Conflict

Protests often include counter-protesters, and conflicts between the two sides (and with the police) make for interesting photo opportunities.

conflict

10. Shoot Raw

If you have the option to shoot RAW, do it. It will give you much more flexibility in fixing mistakes you make later on down the road. There’s a huge difference in how much you can salvage and fix between RAW and JPEG, so if you have the ability and memory card space to shoot RAW, you definitely won’t regret it.


This list was obviously not comprehensive, but just some things I picked up through shooting protests in Berkeley. If you have any other tips or suggestions (or disagreement), please leave a comment!