Due to a corporate reorganisation at the day job, I am now reporting into our Paris office, and this will involve regular trips to the City of Light. Poor me.
Of course, despite having been to Paris many, many times, it would be remiss of me not to take a camera along, at least on the overnighters, and so in that spirit I present some frames from my most recent outing, which happened to coincide with a beautiful summer’s eve. The Olympics were being shown live on a big screen in front of the Hotel de Ville, but I found my entertainment doing a lazy loop around the Ile St Louis and the Ile de La Cité, and perusing the pleasures of the Paris Plage, which seemed full of good-time Brazilians partying as the sun set over the Seine. In the evening I went out again into St Germain, always a rich photographic hunting-ground, and I remembered to bring my tripod…
You guessed it, there are more photos in the relevant photoset over on Flickr!
I just dashed off this fun little missive to the location manager, sub-manager and Brent Council Film Office contact for the location shoot that is going on across the road from me right now. Try to gauge my mood here.
Update 30 minutes later – wow, that was quick, they have replied to my letter – see the bottom of this post.
To whom it may concern,Hi, I live on [my] Road, and, having been on a film set before once or twice, was naturally interested to see a location shoot rock up on my humble street (despite lorries loudly arriving post-midnight last night).Whilst on the way to do some shopping I whipped out the iPhone to do a casual snap of the film crew in action, to show my absent girlfriend later, when I was approached by one of the gentlemen from [Security Firm Name] who asked me not to take a photo. I was standing on the public pavement at the time.I am a photographer on the side and am, as you will see, very protective of photographic rights. I’m going to get pedantic here, but you need to hear it.I explained to him that I had every right to do so, as I was on public land (see http://www.photographersrights.org.uk/page6/page6.html) and furthermore he was a visitor on my street, not the other way around.He tried to explain that there was a “custom” of not taking photos of film crews, which was a new one on me. I said he did not have the right to ask me to stop – not even a policeman’s badge, much less a high-viz jacket, would give anyone the right to stop me taking a photo from a public place – and he demurred that I had the right to take the photo, but then he had the right to wave his arms around in front of me (which he did not do) in order to prevent the photo. I admit that this is technically true, but he would have been harassing me if so and the police might have got involved. I was called “argumentative” for sticking up for my rights. Damn right I am.The point of all of this is that you are filming in a public environment, and so am I. You have a permit, I don’t need one. For your information I took an oblique photo (not video) of the crew, no cast members, and nothing plot-threatening (to be honest, rom-coms are not my cup of tea). But that is not material. As long as I am standing on public property, I could have had my professional camera out, shooting right into the action, and been within my rights.I understand your desire to protect copyright and prevent plot details leaking, and I am excited to have this sort of action in my street, but your desires do not outweigh my rights, and I am not going to be cowed by some guy because he happens to be wearing a vest.ThanksLuke Robinson
This was the admittedly very conciliatory and friendly reply, sent within thirty minutes. Fair play, I am a bit less seething now.
Thanks for your email.
You are quite right, we have no right to stop anybody from photographing on the street, we only try to avoid flash photography or sounds ruining our shots, but that’s all, and this is usually just a request.
I am surprised that any of my security crew would have stopped you from using a camera in the street, only to ask you to be careful not to use a flash or something similar.
Please accept my apologies if this has caused you any inconvenience at all, I can assure you that this is just a misunderstanding, I will ensure that this does not happen again.
I was extremely fortunate that a certain friend of mine decided to move home to Australia, and equally fortunate that he had a kind thought for me, as I ended up with his tickets to the USA v Spain basketball final on the last day of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
As usual in the actual Olympic venues there was no problem bringing in my 70-200mm F2.8 and 1.4X extender – and these were juuuuuuust about enough to capture some of the action from our seats in the rafters.
It was an unexpectedly close match, with a lot of action on both sides of the court, and if you went by audience volume alone then it seemed like Spain was winning for most of the time. (I must say that thirteen years absence from America makes me slightly cringe to chant “U-S-A” like a pumped up frat boy, but I managed it.) There were the expected celebrities – although no Jack Nicholson – and the expected results at the end. USA 107, Spain 100.
As usual these and more shots of the match (and the Olympics) can be found over on Flickr.
Also, I would like to echo the sentiments of many, many others when I say that the Olympics was a real pleasure to host in London, and my didn’t London pull it off? So many emotional moments, so many shared highs and lows, and now back to the sordid business of normal life. I was very fortunate to go to a few events, and was happy to share the fortune with others by giving some tickets to those who had missed out. We will not see the like of these Games in our town again, at least not in our lifetimes. So it was truly special to be here, and I am thankful for it.
Now, if they had only not bolloxed up the closing ceremony…
On Friday, August 3rd 2012 we returned to the Olympic Park to see the Men’s Hockey matches, Spain v South Africa and Belgium v South Korea. Though we arrived late due to underestimating travel time, we still caught some of the first match and all of the second. The atmosphere was merry for the Belgium / Korea match, as while there were a fair few Belgium fans and a smattering of Korean fans, the vast majority of the crowd were neutrals who took up the Korean cause as the supposed underdogs – cue curiously British football-style chanting of “We love Korea, we do, we love Korea, we do… ohhh Korea we love you.” Mexican waves abounded. And the hockey wasn’t bad. We joined the throngs afterwards ambling back towards the park towards Stratford and got to see the Stadium, the Orbit and the other buildings in their full night-time regalia.
There are about double the number of shots here shown in my photoset over on Flickr – go have a look.
I also did a cheeky little 360 degree panorama on the iPhone from inside the Riverbanks Arena which you can see here.