With several cases of photographers being harassed by authorities, a new UK campaign against “suspicious” photographers, and even a whole magazine (or one issue) devoted to the supposed crime of photography, a thought popped in my head – if you want to be a famous photographer, you should get yourself arrested.
That’s why I’ve come up with these 4 tips to help you get attention from authorities. They all overlap a bit, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that these tips work.
Bring the largest camera (or lens) you have
We all know that terrorists want attention – that’s why they plant bombs wreak as much havoc as they can. They want people to notice them so they can get their message heard. This means that terrorists don’t want to bring around small, inconspicuous cameras – they don’t attract any attention. If you want to look like a terrorist, bring out the biggest hunks of plastic, metal, and glass that scream out “I’m a photographer terrorist.”
The 7D is my choice of camera. In many ways the 6D (older model) is better at shooting quality, but the 7D has 64 focal points that make it perfect for shooting moving objects / animals.
The bigger the lens the better for close ups. My CANON EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II is not the best at close-ups, but its image stabilzer is second to non which is required for telescopic lens.
Focus on famous landmarks
The more famous your subject target is, the more attention it gets. Shooting a famous landmark – one that probably 435,629 other people are shooting – helps feed the terrorist’s need for attention. What differentiates the terrorist from all those other people (aside from the fact that he wants to blow this place to high heavens), is the fact that he uses the largest, most sophisticated, and (most importantly) most attention-grabbing camera in his arsenal.
Spend a lot of time composing your shots
We all know that terrorists are meticulous planners. They’re such sticklers for perfection, in fact, that even their surveillance photos have to be gorgeous. Even if they’re only marking “the location of CCTV cameras,” they have to do this in such a way that the light falls on the CCTV camera perfectly. Otherwise, their photos will be rejected by their bosses.
One of my most favorite terrorist landmarks, Victoria Falls. The challenge is not always the landmark itself but rather whats in front of it (mist).
Be obvious… be very obvious
I’ll say it yet again – terrorists want attention. Make it very clear that you have a camera (a large camera helps) and that you intend to use it. If you needs props or a supporting cast – think assistants holding reflectors, lights, and bags of equipment – bring them with you. If you make it very obvious that you’re a serious photographer terrorist, then you will get attention.
While in Africa, I grabbed the attention of many locals with all the equipment I had with me. This included, tripods, flashguns, lighting equipment and much much more.
The only problems was, the locals that seemed interested in my equipment were the lions.
Do you have more ideas for getting attention from authorities? Leave a comment below.