Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Taking Pictures in Public Places

This week, we're working on the book cover (Digital Images for the Information Professional) and I needed some copyright free images to use. I had mocked up a cover for the publisher, which Ashgate liked, using images from Flickr available under a Creative Commons license, but its all round easier to use images you own yourself. So, since Husband was in London he kindly agreed to capture the last piece needed for a montage: a busy street scene (Oxford Street) filled with people. It will be tweaked and transformed, and most people wont be recognisable, but we needed the raw image.

Which led to an interesting discussion about photographing in public places, and photographing crowds of people (not least because of the people objecting to having a photographer standing in Oxford Street taking pictures of them. I do this myself when am featured in images, so cant complain).

On Boing Boing today, there was an interesting post about this. In the UK, there have been various concerns about the rights people have in taking pictures in public places (whereas we are the society under most surveillance from CCTV, etc). There was even a very popular petition on started on the Number 10 website about this, even though there are no real laws to stop people taking pictures at the moment. Current have produced a very interesting short documentary called "You cant picture this", by Opencircuit, about the current state of the law in taking pictures in public places: and the attitude of the police in the film demonstrates how misunderstood this area is. Well worth 6 minutes of your time.

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