Photographers, not terrorists

An interesting update from Mike, who attended the photographer’s protest at Scotland Yard this afternoon.

Counter-terrorism legislation, which comes into force today, means if a photographer takes a photograph of a police officer, they could be arrested and possibly put in jail for potentially taking a picture that ‘is likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism’.

The photo of me below, taken way back in 2001 before 9/11, was back in the ‘good old days’ when you could ham it up in front of riot police.

In protest to the Section 76 of the Counter Terrorism Act 2008, hundreds of photographers descended on to Scotland Yard and took endless photographs of the police there.

You can read more about the legislation at the British Journal of Photography’s website.

About nine months ago I mentioned the Downing St petition asking for clarification on photographer’s rights. The response was that:

There are no legal restrictions on photography in public places. However, the law applies to photographers as it does to anybody else in a public place. So there may be situations in which the taking of photographs may cause or lead to public order situations, inflame an already tense situation, or raise security considerations..

Each situation will be different and it would be an operational matter for the police officer concerned as to what action if any should be taken in respect of those taking photographs. Anybody with a concern about a specific incident should raise the matter with the Chief Constable of the relevant force.

Snowy London icons

There are always those little cliches that define London – and when they are covered in snow it makes things all the more pretty! From top to bottom: a snowy cyclist, a snowy street sign, a snowy black cab, a snowy telephone box, a snowy letterbox.

Snowy cyclist, with slush

Snowy Street sign

Snowy black cab

Snowy telephone box, Belsize Park

Snowy letter box, Regent's Park

Primrose Hill toboggan run

I’m going to post some of my London snow photos here over the next few days. If you can’t wait and want to see ALL of the photos not just the ones that make the cut, you can check out my Flickr album, Snowy London. Both day and night shots are included in the album. View it as a slideshow to see the versions in large format.

Today, I’m posting photos from – you guessed it – Primrose Hill. The hill turned into a tobogganing heaven for kids of all ages. Don’t have a toboggan/sled? Don’t worry. Cardboard boxes, stolen street signs, recycling box lids, breakfast trays, plastic bags wrapped around bums, and sheer willpower were used to make the glide down the hill easier. And there were plenty of crashes, near misses and tumbles.

Snowmen were created, dogs turned the snow yellow, and snowballs were thrown left, right and centre. But more of all of that next time.

Primrose Hill - the sledging begins
Primrose Hill - the sledging begins
On the way down the hill
On the way up the hill
A stolen street sign is used as a toboggan/sled
A stolen/borrowed street sign is used as a toboggan/sled
Primrose Hill is covered with fresh snow
Primrose Hill is covered with fresh snow!
Having a ball sliding down Primrose Hill
Having a ball sliding down Primrose Hill

North London snow at night

Wow. I’ve just been outside and it’s an absolute winter wonderland out there! I only walked a few blocks around my flat but managed to take more than 200 photos! I may post a few more tomorrow!

Cheery people in the streets wished me a merry Christmas (one month too late, but it felt like it was the right thing to say!?).

Camden recycling bins in the snow
Camden recycling bins in the snow

A waiter at the Indian restaurant around the corner was in awe, saying he didn’t realise he’d see such a sight. “I heard about it on the news but I didn’t know it was happening right now,” he giggled.

“Well, I heard about it on Facebook!” I replied, and he keeled over laughing.

An old man closing up the Tapas restaurant in Belsize Park smiled and pointed to the snow being reflected by the streetlights.

London snow in Belsize Park, 1 Feb 2009
London snow in Belsize Park, 1 Feb 2009

Three young Europeans were posing for photographs (“London? Snow?”); I took one pic of them and they took one pic of me. Another couple who asked me about my accent took my photo in the street too, and so did a man outside a pub!

I wrote the word “Snow” on car windows – was going to advertise my website but the address is too long 🙂

London snow - amazing stuff!
London snow - amazing stuff!
Untouched snow settles on Primrose Hill Road
Fresh snow settling on Primrose Hill Road

A friend of mine even managed to go ‘urban snowboarding’ and posted the pics on Facebook to prove it!

Here I am, enjoying the fine weather!
Here I am, enjoying the fine weather!

There were also a few young cooks at a take away restaurant going crazy with a snowball fight!

Some cooks start a little snowball fight at a Haverstock Hill take away
Some cooks start a little snowball fight at a Haverstock Hill take away

If you want more of south London, then check out my friend Mike at Urban 75’s snow photos from earlier tonight in Brixton!

Snow in February imminent!

As regular readers over the years will know, the possible arrival of up to 10cm of snow in London overnight is very exciting!

Normally I’ll wander down to Primrose Hill or Regent’s Park but I think I might want to try and take photos of more urban/suburban sights this time.