Photographers in Sydney fight for freedom to photograph landmarks
More than five hundred commercial and amateur photographers attended a rally in Sydney to protest the increasing restrictions on photographing Australian nature and landmarks. Australia. 29/08/10.
Led by nationally known landscape photographers, a stunning Sunday morning opposite the Sydney Opera House on the harbour saw hundreds of photographers in a public protest. A rare event for normally solitary professionals, the photographers were drawn to this rally by increasing regulatory and financial interference in the freedom to photograph Australia's stunning natural beauty.
Authorities controlling national parks, beaches, suburban parks, and city precincts like around the Sydney Opera House increasingly demand payment for a permit to photograph the view visible to all. Use a tripod while doing your holiday snaps and you are likely to be accosted by a uniformed law enforcement officer on the assumption you must be professional if you have a tripod.
Arts Freedom Australia, a group lead by Ken Duncan a successful commercial landscape photographer, organised the protest to try to highlight the suffocating regulation of public spaces.
We promote the protection of the environment and Australia yet authorities make it hard and charge us absurd fees was the message from a number photographers.
The t-shirts worn by many of the protesters and placards tapped into another issue close to most serious photographers. Increasing paranoia by law enforcement authorities about terrorism and security and frequent ignorance by many police and officials about the actual law concerning photographing in public places has lead to the harassment of photographers. A popular t-shirt at the rally said it all "I'm a photographer not a criminal".