Weekly Photo Challenge: Fleeting Moment

Young woman gets ready to pose for a photograph

I’ve never really been into street photography.  Here in the UK If you’re on a public right of way there’s nothing stopping you taking pictures of people in public places within reason. Basically you’re free to take photographs for personal and commercial use so long as you’re not causing an obstruction to other users or falling foul of anti-Terrorism laws or the Official Secrets Act.

UK laws are fairly vague when it comes to defining what constitutes an invasion of privacy and in theory street photography shouldn’t be a problem. Unfortunately, a few years back there was increasing paranoia over security and terrorism, resulting in photographers being challenged by police for taking photographs of potentially sensitive subjects like power stations, refineries, bridges and ports.  However, following a prolonged campaign, including a series of demonstrations by photographers abused by Police Officers and PCSO‘s, the Metropolitan Police was forced to issue updated legal advice which now confirms that ‘Members of the public and the media do not need a permit to film or photograph in public places and police have no power to stop them filming or photographing incidents or police personnel’ and that ‘The power to stop and search someone under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 no longer exists.

So although it’s not illegal to photograph on public streets the resulting adverse publicity from the attempts to criminalize photography seemed to have a knock-on effect such that if you appeared on the streets with a camera, especially a DSLR, there was a good chance you would find yourself in a confrontational situation with some misguided security guard or member of the public….

…. and that takes me to this weeks photograph or should I say snap-shot. This young lady was getting ready for her friend to take her photograph. I just thought at the time it would make a good photograph because she had no interest in the camera and therefore wasn’t posing.

26 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Fleeting Moment

  1. Smashin candid shot Mike. I wonder what was going through her mind!!! Cheers.


  2. Nice one. It’s a shame the freedom to take photos in the UK has changed so much. Even though it may not be illegal, as you say, the culture has changed signficantly.


  3. That was a lovely shot Mike and I found your explanation on taking shots of people on the street quite interesting.


  4. I felt really embarrassed and awkward at the thought of taking photos of the public. I like the idea of street photography but still worried someone might come up and have a go at me!


  5. Thanks for the ping back. I would love to be able to read the rest of her shirt because it looks like it says “Sexy Korea”, but it doesn’t look like the phrase is complete. I could be wrong though. Nice candid shot by the way!


  6. Thanks for the ping back, Mike – no laws against it here (Australia), in the main, but ethically problematic wherever you go.


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