by Mike McNamee Published 01/06/2012
At the time of writing the Olympic Torch has arrived in the UK and is on its way round the UK. What with that and HRH’s Jubilee there is plenty of opportunity to document the things that are going on around us this summer. Hot back from the Western Isles, yours truly stopped off in Perth on the way back. The newly appointed city is celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee big time, with a massed band of more than 1,000 pipers marching through the city – what a racket that is going to make! The Olympic torch is not due to come past the door of Editor Towers but is sufficiently close as it comes through Birkenhead Park to justify popping out for a look. Pictures that we all take of these events, showing as they will the cars, clothes and decors of the day, are things that will fascinate our grandchildren if and when the Olympics returns to these shores. Most of us are not going to be here at that time so we had best leave a legacy of images for them to look at. In a world of ephemeral images on phones, iPads and Facebook, our picture heritage is in greater danger that it has been since photography started. The current shenanigans we are going through trying to open Nikon D4 and D800 RAW files points up the compatibility issues that are likely to face our grandchildren. This has been going on in the moving image field for years, how many people do you know who can show Super Eight today and come to think of it how many of us can currently show transparencies on screen? In photography, prints are important, all you need to do to view them is open your eyes, they are quite independent of technology of any type.
The other threat to our heritage is the re-emergence of the jobsworths interfering with photographers going about their legitimate business or hobby. Resist will all your vigour anybody trying to prevent you taking pictures on or from public land, they have no right to see you images, delete your images or ask you to stop, and that includes taking pictures of them. It also includes taking pictures of police officers – providing you are not creating an obstruction, you are free to come and go as you please. It is the bullyboy jobsworths who need the greatest resistance, they are pretty dim by any standards and seem to be overseen by an equally dim set of managers – they do not have a shred of legality behind them so don’t take any truck from them at all, carry a card and read your rights back to them.
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