Came across this news item over the weekend that should be of interest to photographers everywhere and in the U.K. in particular:
Whereas in the past the police have not had the power to prevent photographs being taken of them, from today they have. Under the new Counter-Terrorism Act it is an offence to take pictures of officers “likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism”. This is such a catch-all measure that it can be used—and, in view of recent trends, will be used—to prevent photographs to which the police object merely by invoking counter-terrorist requirements. While it is important for officers involved in such operations to maintain anonymity, many photographers fear these powers will be abused.
It’s a disturbing trend. It’s also kind of disturbing that this has passed without much protest (or have I just missed it all because I’m on the wrong side of the Atlantic/not paying attention?)
Read the full story: Why can’t we take pictures of policemen?
If you want to see some truly amazing photography check out the World Press Photo 2009 winners gallery.
There are some great shots including a photo series of Obama’s campaign, a photo of schoolchildren looking at a victim of gang violence, a daily life series following a family in New York, and the winning shot showing a detective checking a repossesed house in Ohio.
The exhibition of all the winning photos kicks off on 4 May in the Netherlands and will travel the world, you can check out the calendar to see when it’ll be arriving in your country (dates before 4 May are for the exhibition of last year’s winners).
I’m sure this is a sentiment many people can sympathise with at the moment. I came across this photo in Improperganda: Art of the Publicity Stunt which I’ve been enjoying flicking through very sporadically over the last few weeks. If you get the chance it’s worth a look through, the book is an investigation into some of the greatest PR stunts and scams of all time, with some great photographs. I’m not sure it’s actually worth buying but definitely worth a loan from the library.
From the strange but true department: The Colbert Report ran this segment yesterday about photographer Duane Kerzic. The story itself is oldish (December 2008) but it basically boils down to this: a photographer was taking photos for Amtrak’s annual “Picture our Trains” photography contest and was arrested by Amtrak police for taking photos of, um, trains.
You can read Duane’s version of events here. Amtrak has been having this contest for several years now. Enter at your own risk.
If your looking for a cool looking camera to get your kids enthusiastic about photography Lego may soon be able to help you. They recently announced that they’ve teamed up with Digital Blue to produce a range of children’s electronics, including a camera. Dad’s might be pleased to hear you don’t actually have to assemble the thing (it looks like traditional Lego blocks but doesn’t come apart and snap together), although personally I think that takes most of the fun out of it!
The Bionicle Camera (pictured right) is due to arrive in Toys R Us stores this autumn, in the meantime if you want a camera your kids can actually build check out these instructions for pinhole cameras made from a matchbox or a juice carton. Or for something truly unique find yourself and old Mac and check out the instructions for the happy little mac pinhole camera! If you make any of these at home let us know how it turns out in the comments.