Australia now reaches the bottom of the barrel

Discussion in 'Street and Documentary' started by simonpg, Jan 30, 2006.

  1. Sadly during the last week Australia has reached the "bottom of the
    barrel" in terms of attacks on amatuer photographers.

    In the state of Queensland a Government school headmaster announced
    his biggest initiative (my take on it) for 2006 is that "all
    photography of children playing sports will be banned in the
    interests of preventing paedophile activities".

    What the hell taking pictures has to do with paedophillia is anyone's
    guess. Where the linkage between owning cameras an being a paedophile
    lies is also anyone's guess. He draws a ridiculously long bow that
    should offend genuine law abiding photographers world-wide.

    Like all things in life criminal activities are perpetrated by a
    small minority. The evils of paedophiles are obviously conducted in
    secret. No photo of a child is, per se, evil. It's the intent and use
    of images that becomes evil.

    This idiot's initiative was matched by security guards in the
    regional city of Geelong. The local amateur photographer club drove
    to the area of the Shell oil refinery to take industrial images only
    to be challenged by guards who insisted "no photographs are allowed
    to be taken of the refinery because you may be terrorists"!

    Wisely the club members told the guard in plain English (as Aussies
    can do so well) what they could do with that statement and returned
    the next evening to continue their creative activities.

    So, now here down under mindless fools concoct imbecilic ideas about
    protecting the world from wrong-doers.

    So, my point here is if these stories are similar to ones in your
    country and neighbourhood - stand up and revolt; attack those who
    would accuse you of evil because you use a camera; don't allow such
    stupidity to take a never-to-be undone foothold; fight back and don't
    be intimidated by them.

    If we sit back and grumble without taking real action, so much of our
    life events and day to day history will never be recorded for future
    generations. We should ensure that the gifts of Cartier-Bresson and
    so many others can live on.
  2. plain stupid.... but then again France and Quebec have fairly tough laws on the "use" of a person's image.

    The worst part is that people with real cameras are the target of these laws when the dangerous/sick ones are using cell phone cameras to shot their crap!

    BTW most of Cartier-Bresson's photos were done with actors (including the famous "Lovers Kissing" photo).
  3. Thanks Denis.

    Yes, I was aware of HCB's often use of actors but he is identified so heavilly with the "street" image concept so helps my overll point.

    I totally agree with your point regarding cell phones and other "secretive" tools.
  4. :D - there is INDEED a bunch of sick humans on this planet... and it makes some people have weird reactions............
    a man came to me and asked me why I was shooting kids playing hockey??? FGS they are wearing a gladiator outfit and a full-face mask.... I don't see how it could be used for what anything else than what it is.... kids playing hockey! (but then again I'm only Photographer)
  5. Just an aside, but wasn't the kissing photo Doiseneu [SP]. He used actors, I don't think HCB
  6. that's right Doisneau did shoot the kissing couple...
  7. And the persons in that photo (a theatre student and her boyfriend if I remmber correctly) decades later asked for royalities
  8. It's the way the world is going. Expect a return to witch trials and the burning of heretics in the not-too-distant future. Oh, and by the way, the Sun goes around the Earth.
  9. Kick 'em out of the commonwealth, I say. And the next ashes series, and the World Cup and
    Rugby League and Rugby Union. No, hang on. They can stay in Union
  10. Simon - sorry to hear that you have got them as well. I feel that it comes about as a knee jerk reaction to a problem and the "band-wagon" effect. There appears to be a degree of sanity returning here in the UK as the banning has been reversed in a number of cases.
  11. Simon which Qld state school?

    It is getting pretty bad here in Aus photo wise.

  12. How do kids do sport in down under? Naked? if not, it is even more difficult to understand that ban. As for the terrorists, forget about taking pictures. It is way easier, and safer, to use Google maps to get information about any "strategical" target...

    I really hope this stops.
  13. I hope nobody checks the stats on how many kidnappers use automobiles...
  14. that headman sounds like a hick with his brain in his ass. security gards are always hicks with their brains in ther asses.
  15. Are you sure you're reading the article on Geelong correctly? Seems like I remember that the cops checked them out, but didn't tell them they couldn't take photos. Maybe my memory is going bad, tho.
  16. A similar "kiddie photo ban" was attempted by a couple of local councils in Sydney a year ago. Both eventually dropped the idea after a lot of heat from the media:
    As for the VIC attempt to ban shots of oil storage tanks... er, so what? How many of us have been stopped from taking photos by security guards for mindless reasons?!
    Finally, here's a Doisneau "The Kiss" discussion link from a while back:
  17. Well, conservative societies are not going to be concerned with art endeavor (unless it is suitable propaganda)...(while liberal societies will try to integrate psychological theme into art endeavor and thus also supporting art on condition). And there are two sets of law one where determined by court process and the other where the person can be reached without actual process. So for art to survive it must be either determined or profitable...

    But I do see an issue. Photography of children's sports should be for the local community's use only. In other words a child playing an amateur sport should not be recognized as a public figure outside of the community...
  18. I know what you mean simon, but its usually in the most unusual circumstance. support your cause and keep on rattling that film. Here in Sydney all sorts of attitude exists in abundance... just turn a blind eye and revolt.
  19. "BTW most of Cartier-Bresson's photos were done with actors......"

    "Yes, I was aware of HCB's often use of actors......"

    Come on boys, don't be coy. Tell us more.
  20. Absurd. Doisneau occasionally took pictures of people he knew and a few of those people apparently were actors. He also took many, many candid images of complete strangers.
  21. Thanks all. For us in Australia this is very bad and sad - our legacy is that of an easy going society but more recently one where "rocket scientists" and illogical bureaucrats are getting air time. However, we have NO formal bans and our rights in the streets are well known to all so what we MUST do is resist such attempts to squash our enjoyment and fight back. The risk is that keen amateur photographers cowtail to those who intimidate us. I have just been told my essay on this topic is likely to get published in our largest circulating daily newspaper. I decided that I should act rather than grumble. So, I encourage all who are concerened about similar developments to do the same. Keep shooting and use lots of film!
  22. Simon - go for it mate. Sadly though it is only part of the problem.
    What is happening here in the UK is leading me to think that the "Mother of Parliaments" has spawned a control freak agenda that I do not understand.
  23. "What is happening here in the UK is leading me to think that the "Mother of Parliaments" has spawned a control freak agenda that I do not understand."

    What is happening everywhere is that the profitable Cold War of the 1940s - 1980s collapsed and nothing (on the right scale to justify the continuance of the enormous spending of the industrial/military/Government/corporate machine) came along to replace it. Until 'Terrr' or 'The War against Terrr'. (We are not even allowed to pronounce it properly!)

    Now everyone in a uniform feels especially enabled to fight 'Terrr' wherever they think it exists even if they are a shopping Mall guard.

    This will continue for about 40 years like the 'cold war' did. Ordinary people will still have no real idea why they were supposed to hate other ordinary people in other lands but 'War against Terrr' will give them the official excuse.

    Read 1984 by George Orwell. It is all there. In the year 1984 we all said how wrong George Orwell had got it. By 2004 it all made sense. He just got the year wrong.
  24. Trevor - I suspect you and I are coming to this from two very different directions. All I would say in addition is :-

    1. A uniform is not a prerequisite for this kind of behaviour.

    2. Any law that gets approval from all sides and is rushed through is a bad law.

    3. I have always had a healthy disrespect for politicians of all persuasions - that disrespect is now changing to an intense disrespect.

    4. Give a politician and inch and he will seek to take a mile - now it looks like a league ( I'm not into metrification either ).

    5. I hope that I am again part of the silent majority and I hope that they will for once stop being so ....... silent.

    So back to square one - Simon go for it.
  25. I agree Bill.

    However there is a little light at the end of the tunnel. Blair lost a vote for the first time ever recently. (He wanted authorities to be able to lock up anyone under suspicion of terror for up to 90 days without having to charge them. He lost.)

    The Law Lords recently ruled that NO evidence obtained by use of torture (wherever the torture occurred) can be admissable in a UK court of law.

    The government is coming under a lot of pressure to admit they know about (and permit) the transition (or rendition) of prisoners via UK airports and RAF bases to places of torture. They have now admitted they were aware of such 'renditions'. It remains to be seen what they will do to stop them.
  26. They have just lost 2 more on their "Incitement" agenda. They lost the second one by one vote and Mr.Blair did not even bother to vote on it !

    It strikes me that we have a situation where they believe that their "credentials" are so right that they cannot possibly be wrong and that given their majority they will get away with it somehow. I am afraid of big majorities - 20-30 will do me.

    To be honest I rejoiced in their defeats but we cannot leave it up to just the politicians ( whose motives are too often suspect ) or the judiciary. We are to my way of thinking duty bound to speak out - voting is not just a right it is a privilege and a duty as well. We can perhaps learn from the antipodeans here and not just Simon.
  27. Stuart - great idea for the UK.... that way the Poms can win something in future! :)

    Craig - I've no idea which school but a bunch of junior sporting associations in Qld have done the same thing - seems there is a view up there that parents cannot be trusted with a camera! :)

    Trevor - yes like the cold war and even worse still like the McCarthy era! We are now expected to look for paedophiles and terrorists under our beds as well as commies!

    Everyone - Keep up the fight back!
  28. No ! No ! stay in - we will let you win once in a while - please don't sulk about the Ashes at least not until we beat you in the old penal colony.
  29. Under the popular and widely accepted headings of "combatting terrorism" and "countering pedophelia," and even under the guise of prohibiting the practice of "upskirting," all manner of statutes/ordinances/regulations/restrictions are in the offing. Some are carefully drafted. Many more, I'm afraid, are not.

    And who argues *for* the protection of terrorists, pedophiles, or those who would use image-capturing technology to violate a woman's privacy (in a place/manner where the legitimate expectation of privacy actually exists) ?

    Regrettably it's rather easy to provoke a democracy into overreaction on all of these fronts. This is why it's no challenge to isolate a seeming handful of cantankerous fans of the First Amendment (constitutional clause protecting free speech, expression, press, religion in the US) and comparable clauses in the U.K., Australia, and elsewhere.

    I agree with you, Simon, Bill, Trevor, and others. Good time to be issuing a "BOLO" (be on lookout) in this subject area.

    Hope you'll link or otherwise make available your piece when it's ready, Simon. I certainly look forward to reading it, and at some point, with your permission, probably quoting it.
  30. comparable clauses in the U.K., Australia, and elsewhere
    Erm - no Bill of Rights in the Australian Federal (or state) constitutions. So no "Freedom of Speech" in Australia either - despite a few bogus High Court cases finding there may be magically "implied" rights when it comes to political discourse :?)
  31. Andrew:

    <<...despite a few bogus High Court cases finding there may be magically "implied" rights ...>>

    It's in the vibes... it's about the vibes... like Marbo!

    Bill - we Aussies never kick a bloke when he is down... your turn to win an Ashes!


    This is the 200 word (199 actually) version agreed to be published in the major daily next week:

    "Increasingly we witness paranoia driven over-reactions to potential threats. Various organisations, even the police have attempted to prevent public photography suggesting photographers may be todayメs great threat to our safety!

    This is spuriously justified as preventing the evils of paedophilia and terrorism. Those who enjoy recording everyday events are now labelled as potential evil doers. Future generations risk the loss of recorded social history.

    Photography bans at childrenメs events insult us all by suggesting camera-owners cannot be trusted. This means of pursuing a safer world is at best illogical.

    The attempt to stop photographers near the Shell refinery ludicrously suggested a potential terrorist threat. More worrying is that police have no business モenforcingヤ non-existent laws. It was once hard enough to get police to intervene in real crimes such as domestic violence against women.

    What can we expect next - the banning of binoculars and telescopes because their owners may be spies and peeping Toms? Fear should not be driven by people in senior positions whom we trust to have greater sense.

    We must stop such over-reactions from securing a permanent foothold that risks a less rich era in which we are denied the benefits of visual social records. "

    Cheers and keep fighting.
  32. Peter, you generally make a good point that fear distracts people from the real issues that matter. The picture we get of domestic America shows that. In Australia much the same takes place but to a far lesser degree.

    However, while the Australian Government could find A$1.1Billion to gift Indonesia after the sunami, our health system would not subsidise a woman's cancer treatment drugs costing A$70,000 forcing her to sell her home, becuase her cancer is not far advanced enough!

    It's all about twisted priorities.

    But, we should not sit back and allow officials to screw with normal social behaviour because they want to drive a culture of fear and paranoia.
  33. You do not have a monopoly on this problem in Australia and the US. Hospital wards here are being shut down for lack of funds putting people's lives at risk. I do not know how much money has been and is being spent invading Iraq ( it must be billions ) and putting people's lives at risk ( we have just suffered our 100th casualty ).

    WMD - the ultimate fear factor.
  34. Hmmh, good thing they've still got their guns.
  35. What - the ones that do not work too well ?
  36. Everyone should have their eyes put out at birth with red hot pokers. That way they can never see anything pornographic. The only problem is who is going to do it since everyone will be blind.
  37. a red light allows everyone the free access of travel at an appropriate moment. It serves everyone's rights of free travel. You agreed to that stipulation when you applied for a driver's licence. The person not abiding by this requirement WILL eventually cause harm to another person. It should be illegal.

    Producing and distribution of child pornography should be illegal. I am not fully convinced that purchase of said should also be. There's a line there that is worth considering. "Looking" at a picture is not causing harm to anyone, regardless of it's content.

    Owning a gun should not be illegal.......period! Killing or harming a person with that gun (except in self defence), should be. Again, it takes the act to be illegal

    temporary restraining orders are only granted if there is substantial proof, usually of previous less harmful acts upon the person requesting the action. They are not granted on "thought".

    " are being an utter asshole, I hope you realize that...." That must be akin to "you're taking this too far". What else do you think it is when an unjust law is passed. When the accused...based solely on someone else's arrested. If he refuses, he does so at the point of a gun....the authorities gun. There is no other way to force a person to submit to unjust laws except at the point of a gun.

    "....And you will then--perfectly legally--be restricted even more...."......aaahhhh, the true purpose of all those that object to personal freedom of an individual.

    I do care immensely about other people. I care so much that I will voice my opinion any time anyone attempts to diminish those people's rights. People deserve to be free. they do not deserve to be under the whim and fancy of those that think that they "might" do something wrong.
  38. hmmmm...looks like my post is meaningless considering the post I responded to was deleted.....might as well delete that too.
  39. Let me just point out that people who show up with big SLRs and tripods and lenses aren't trying to hide anything. "Here I am, I'm shooting photos". It's the cameraphone owners who need to be clamped down on, sneaking shots while pretending to fiddle with their phones. If there's going to be a law, these devices should be banned. Aye, and stupid ringtones too, while we're about it.
  40. What happened here? I obviously missed something that caused posts to be deleted, including mine. If one has contravened the rules is it not a good idea to let one know how and why ? Or does the baby get thrown out with the bath water ?
  41. Good point Bill - moderator, please say something!

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