Luna Park and photography

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It has only been a couple of days ago that I have written on the subject of restrictions imposed on photographers in Sydney. On Saturday I experienced it on my own skin. We visited Sydney Luna Park with my wife, my kids and a number of their friends. Naturally I had my camera with me.

About two hours into the Luna Park fun a security guard approached me and politely asked “sir, are you taking photos in the park?”. I must say it is a silly question, as everyone who was there was holding a camera. Knowing what the security guard was referring to I simply replied “yes”. The face of the security guard changed to a more “official” expression and she announced “I am sorry I have to ask, but You know you cannot take professional photographs here”. I was there purely for fun and had no intention of spoiling it for myself or the security guard, as she was only doing her duty, so I quickly said to her “I’m here with my family for fun, and the photos are of personal nature”. She, had one more quizzical look at my Canon 1D MK III with EF 70-200 lens, than at me and at the camera again and obviously decided I was telling the truth. Quick “OK” and she walked away.

In a way Luna Park personnel should not challenge their customers as there is no information on the ticket or at the entry to Luna Park prohibiting any type of the photography. Their clowns often encourage people to take photos of their mini dance routines alone or with the kids. How would they know what such photo would be used for? Same as me, I guess, almost every one there is simply for fun but selective “questioning” based on camera “look” is somehow unfair. Someone with small Leica would probably be unnoticed and yet capable of much higher resolution photographs.

  • Rob Little

    This is nothing else but Visual Apartheid, a restriction of freedoms that are aligned closer to 1935 pre war Europe or the McCarthy era politics.
    This is a result of the 911 flow to a conservative police state. It is a dangerous time in which we live. This is a basic right of an individual to be able to image the world without threat of fine or imprisonment.

  • Sunny

    Why was it a silly question? Was everyone there holding a 1D camera? If anything it’s an intelligent question, based on the fact that you are holding a pro-model camera and are standing out from the crowd. You are clearly a rank amateur but that wouldn’t have been obvious to the security guard, hence their question. Perhaps you should downgrade to a camera that matches your ability, rather than complaining about people doing their job. They were in the right.

    Ted: Sunny, it is a silly question for a number of reasons: 1) almost everyone there had a camera, including many DSLRs with much higher resolution than my 1D. 2) Professional or more to the point commercial photographs are done with all sorts of cameras, inluding point-and-shoot 3) the Luna Park does not have a stated “no photography” policy for anyone to see.

  • Rob Little

    This is nothing else but Visual Apartheid, a restriction of freedoms that are aligned closer to 1935 pre war Europe or the McCarthy era politics.
    This is a result of the 911 flow to a conservative police state. It is a dangerous time in which we live. This is a basic right of an individual to be able to image the world without threat of fine or imprisonment.

  • Sunny

    Why was it a silly question? Was everyone there holding a 1D camera? If anything it’s an intelligent question, based on the fact that you are holding a pro-model camera and are standing out from the crowd. You are clearly a rank amateur but that wouldn’t have been obvious to the security guard, hence their question. Perhaps you should downgrade to a camera that matches your ability, rather than complaining about people doing their job. They were in the right.

    Ted: Sunny, it is a silly question for a number of reasons: 1) almost everyone there had a camera, including many DSLRs with much higher resolution than my 1D. 2) Professional or more to the point commercial photographs are done with all sorts of cameras, inluding point-and-shoot 3) the Luna Park does not have a stated “no photography” policy for anyone to see.