10 May No Cameras Allowed
Some venues make a great fuss about cameras – rock concerts and Russian air bases for instance. This is because they do things in these places that they don’t want you to photograph. Perhaps they would be more lenient if the bands or bombs were less harmful or more attractive looking, but that’s just speculation. Accept that fact that your Kodak will get you into trouble.
Note, Kodak also don’t welcome cameras, but that’s because they already have enough…
You may have found out that there are other places to leave the photo gear home; funerals, defence force land, bikie headquarters. You might not be welcome in some houses of religion and certainly not in some houses of sin. Parliament and the courts exist in a hazy middle ground in between – sometimes yes and sometimes no. When in doubt just leave it in the bag and just demand justice.
How about in city streets? We all take street shots occasionally and generally no-one minds. If there is intrusion or perving there can be trouble…but the readers of this column are neither intrusive nor perverted, so that will not arise. Be aware however, that the other people in the street may well be both…and make trouble because of it.
If you are photographing something that is political – be it a protest or a presentation – you must also remember that someone there is opposed everything – no matter what it is. They want to either hog your camera or smash it. If you cannot be discreet, be closer to the door than they are. Don’t shoot politics with expensive gear – use something that can be broken cheaply. Hey, politicians make promises on that basis…
All the above having been said, shoot as much reality – that IS reality – as you can. Even if you photoshop a bison onto the head of a Lord Mayor ( and goodness knows that’s been done before ) the image can be charming and artistic. If you cache your digital files safely people can appreciate them for decades to come. Which leads me to the sting in the tail of this column…
I’ve just had the RAID device I use to store my digital files fail. It was meant to be the bastion of my workflow. It proved to be another form of bast…
The device failed – not the hard drives it contained. Unfortunately the company who made it has been on-sold to a larger electronics firm and the tech support that may have been needed to restart it has been moved to a small island on the other side of the planet – who may not pick up when the phone rings.
Fortunately the drives contained uncorrupted work and it was possible to load the material onto new drives in a new RAID machine – from a different maker, I hasten to add. This was an overnight job and the new gear is working perfectly well. The new machine connects by faster cabling and the system is responding magnificently. But it propmpts me to prompt you:
a. Check that your data is doing well.
b. Check that the devices that store your data are doing well.
c. Check that the firms that make and support the devices that store your data are doing well. That you can reach them and that they will respond to you. That they still exist.
d. Imagine that it has all gone to pieces and conduct an exercise that tries to pick up the pieces. If you can’t, make changes that get you back onto safe ground before it caves in on you.