Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Bradford City Park

Having just visited the National Media Museum I headed back across Bradford towards Forster Square railway station.

Bradford City Park was along the way and having previously visited the city I knew that it had some rather impressive fountains and surrounding architecture. I walked around the watery heart of the park snapping away at the fountains and generally minding my own business.

Just then a rather irate man (6th photo down wearing glasses, dark grey trousers and light grey jacket), who I assume had children somewhere in the background, approached and berated me for taking photographs. According to him, seemingly oblivious to the fact the City Park is probably the most public place in Bradford, you can't take any photographs there. I explained to him that as it was a public place I was perfectly entitled to take photographs.

It was at the point that he revealed that he was worried I might be taking photographs of children playing in the fountains. He demanded that I put my camera away and leave the area. Demanding anything from me doesn't tend to get you very far, so I pointed to a police officer in the distance and told him to follow me and we'd go and discuss it with him.

The police officer was clearly in a bit of a hurry, but I managed to catch his eye and said to him: "Constable, this gentleman has just told me that I can't take photos here. Can you confirm to him that as it's a public place any person is legally allowed to photograph whatever they like?" Sadly I couldn't get the police officer to say those exact words, but he did tell the irate man that he had misunderstood the situation and I wasn't doing anything wrong.

It's a pretty sad state of affairs when you can't photograph a public landmark without drawing unwarranted suspicion. The law, as it goes, is exactly as I said: It is perfectly legal for anyone to photograph anything in a public place. I would never deliberately photograph someone's children, because I recognise that doing so could be misconstrued or inflammatory - however, suppose I had taken photographs of children playing in that public area, then that too would have been perfectly legal.

Quite simply, if you're in an open public place then legally you have no right to privacy. A handy guide to photographer's legal rights can be downloaded from this website.

The photographs I took in Bradford City Park on 21st July 2015:

Please see the Terms page if you'd like to reuse any of my images.

For more images visit Tom's Photo Log on Flickr.

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