Tuesday, February 17, 2009

No bobby pictures, please.

Don't be a "stupid American" the next time you visit London. One of our favorite photos to take when visiting the home of Queen E, Will, Harry and Charles other than Big Ben is of the British bobby (police) and the guards. However, a new British anti-terrorism law might leave you with buying a printed postcard as your only option. The new law, that went into effect last week, makes it a crime to “elicit, publish or communicate information” about British police or military personnel, ie. taking photos. You might not even want to sneak one in, because if you're caught, you could face up to 10 years in prison or a hefty fine.

Why would London do such a thing? The act is aimed to preventing terrorist groups from taking reconnaissance shots and protect the police. But photographers say it could be misused and prevent police abuse from being documented. Photogs were so upset about the new act, about 200 of them protested outside of Scotland Yard's headquarters.

This is quite an interesting news bit as we, the Biggs, are coming up on the opening of the Biggs Shot exhibition next month. Although photography is a form of art and interpretation, it is a clear documentation of an event, place, or person. It is unfortunate that photography has been used in ways that have caused many of us to be unable to photograph that world, including those cute bobbys. Does this align with the constant celebrity paparazzi problem? I think absolutely. What do we really have the right to photograph....is it only what it ours? or what we're told we can? Either way.... to me, and any other Euro traveler, there's plenty of other fantastic things to snap with my digi around London town, so I think i'll be fine (especially if it's helping me be safer on the transatlantic flight back to the U.S. of A.)

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