If there’s one thing I really [really] hate, it’s having my picture taken. Having somebody shove a camera in my face not only irks me, but also makes me want to run a mile. Filming is just as bad. The fact that my whole walk along the high street every morning, and every afternoon, can be caught on three different CCTVs is something I try not to think about …
However, taking pictures of other people is something I enjoy. Even more so, I really enjoy taking pictures of anything [within reason, and perfectly legal of course, and because I know how horrid it is I would never take a picture of somebody who hated having their picture taken]. I’m not particularly good at it, as you can judge for yourself if you toddle along to my Flickr site, and I will never be as good a photographer as The Baby Brother, who takes the most amazing pictures with his squillion cameras and lenses [and perhaps contributed to me starting to enjoy photography and seeing it as more than simply pointing and clicking], but it’s something I like, a way of me being creative. I am not a creative person; I only got an F in my GCSE Art exam, for goshness sake!
Tomorrow I’m off on a course to learn how to use
my our Canon EOS 400D. It’s a course specifically for the camera. I shall have to spend the day talking to folk I don’t know [yikes!] and I shall spend the journey there panicking about this, and I won’t sleep tonight because I’ll be worrying that the other people there will know more than me … *sigh*
But there was an article on the BBC Magazine page that made me wonder if the course is worth the money The Blokey is spending on it.
People take pictures all the time. It used to be mainly tourists and media/journalist types [and trainspotters], but now that cameras are cheaper and smaller, and now that we have them as standard on most mobile phones, nearly everybody takes pictures. They take them in pubs, at events, in schools, even just whilst walking down the street. See something you like? Just whip out your camera, point and click, and the moment is captured for you to keep forever, or for as long as you want. In the digital age you can delete it immediately if you hate it and if you want to keep it you can have it stored somewhere on your PC before the person next to you can utter the words, That’s cool! Let’s put it on Facebook!
But the freedom of photography comes with a price sometimes; society judges you. If I take a photograph in a public place it isn’t because I have an unhealthy interest in children. Nor is it because I plan to bomb a building in order to cause chaos. It’s certainly not because I’m stalking you. It’s simply because I want to capture that moment/place/scene, which I’ll probably never be able to capture again.
As a society we’ve developed an unhealthy paranoia in everything: the world is a worse place than it was thirty years ago, everybody is a potential criminal, and nobody has morals anymore. Because of these unfounded views children don’t play out in the streets like they used to, strangers look at you warily if you try to strike up conversation and anybody wearing a hoody/baseball cap is automatically categorised in our minds as a thug and we cross the road to avoid them.
And obviously, if you cart a camera around you’re either a terrorist or a paedophile.
But it is legal to take photographs in public places. And photographers [whether amateur or professional] have rights. I think I’ll be printing them out and carrying a copy in my camera bag lest I ever get accosted by some inexperienced policeman just out of nappies.
please God bless this paranoid society xxx Elsabeth