High Anxiety

I am in the habit of taking long walks at lunch for a couple of reasons. The first is purely health related and the second is to clear my head. I sometimes take my camera along and shoot things that catch my eye and that serve to inspire my creative efforts. I have shot public transit, signage, parks, flowers and buildings both old and new as I find architecture a fascinating subject.

Recently I was walking down Preston street at lunch (a very busy restaurant area) taking pictures from the street of anything that caught my eye. There is a brand new corporate building just south of the Queensway that offered some interesting architectural design elements and so started to snap a few angles. The security guard came out of the building and questioned me about my purpose and then informed me I had to get permission to shoot from the “management’.

Now I understand we live in anxious times. Security concerns have shaped mindsets to the degree that one has to allow for suspicion of motive when hanging around sensitive areas (e.g. CSIS) with a telephoto lens. But I have waltzed by the American embassy among other such places blithely snapping away from public thoroughfares. Now I find that I will have to research my rights as a photographer in public spaces beyond the usual reproduction rights. Seems a shame really. I wonder what will happen to the camera clicking hordes of tourists that may need to get permission to shoot every building that finds its way into their lens.

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