So there i was, moochin down the lower Newtownards Rd yesterday afternoon when i spotted two PSNI Landrovers (the second is parked up out of shot on the RHS) and my interest was piqued. As i crossed over the road i saw the officers fumbling to open the bonnet which had me reaching for the camera. As you can see the yellow tow rope had already been produced.
I of course took a couple of shots, this being the second, and the officer on the rhs saw me and told the other two. All three of them turned and the one in the middle took a particularly belligerent stance pointing and wagging his finger at me. I didn’t hear what he said so I walked over and asked if there was a problem.
He informed me quite forcefully that i couldn’t take photographs of a Landrover showing the number plate. I replied that actually i could and that the PSNI media policy said so. He was slightly taken aback at that and said that he wasn’t going to stand in the street arguing about it. I then mentioned that it’s not often you see a broken down Landrover and shrugging my shoulders said hey what else am i going to do but take a photograph. His colleagues saw the funny side of it but i’m not so sure he did but realised that actually there was nothing he could do.
The media policy states that unless they have a court order officers cannot force anyone to delete a photograph(not that he asked me to).
My experience of street photography is that a smile goes a long way so if you should happen to find yourself in a situation such as this try to keep a smile on your face, it really does help.
Anyways it was too good an opportunity to miss.
So have at it as a caption comp for a bit of craic.
Photographer and visual artist based in Belfast.
I have facilitated community based workshops with groups as diverse as visually impaired individuals in Dungannn, Travellers across Northern Ireland, Young Offenders and many community groups across Belfast.
My work has exhibited extensively here in Northern Ireland in group and individual shows and has been shown in North America and i had my first solo international exhibition in New Zealand. I have been the recipient of a number of grants from the Arts Council Northern Ireland.
I’ll be blogging about Arts and Culture, primarily in Belfast
check out www.moochinphotoman.tumblr.com