Monday, December 20, 2010

Nary A Problem

Yesterday, I hauled out my camera gear, and went downtown to take some pictures. Sunny days in the winter are somewhat uncommon around here, so it's best to make the most of them. I'm not a particularly inventive photographer, so I didn't get anything particularly artistic.

But I wasn't hassled by anyone either. As the morning went on, the Christmas shoppers came out in force, and before long there were crowds of people in the usual places. And there I was, snapping away with my SLR. No one seemed to care. Well, that's not entirely true. I had been trying to get the exposure right on this sidewalk tree that had been decorated with lights, when this woman walked up with a shopping bag, glaring at me, and trying to shield her face from the camera with her hand. I glowered back, and waited for her to clear my shot. But there was no official harassment - no questioning or confrontations from police officers or security guards. When I finally got around to hustling it back to my car, it was because I don't like leaving it alone for long periods of time in the city - living in an area with (relatively) high auto-crimes rates does that to you, I guess.

It's easy to forget, when we're surrounded by anecdotes detailing official over-reactions to the presence of a camera, that most people are well aware of the fact that "Photographers are not Terrorists." This doesn't mean that we shouldn't be any less aware of that ourselves, and prepared to stand up for it if required (among other things), but it's nice to remember that we don't actually live in a police state, or even a reasonable facsimile of one, just yet.

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