A Photographer’s Chennai

As both a (grossly in-sufficient) photographer and a lover of this city, one thing about Chennai gets to me real bad. It’s the fear of photographers, fear of allowing photography in public areas. It’s one thing to be cautious about photographing sensitive areas, and quite another to ban it altogether, especially when the said ban is arbitrary, and comes more out of indifference and laziness than an actual law.

It is not that photography is banned altogether. Most people, people in authority, have no clue about it. But they just want to play it safe. Making life for me difficult. In many places, I have been asked to put my camera away and asked to leave. Bridges, government offices, old churches, railway stations and more.

4 Comments so far

  1. G V Balasubramanian (unregistered) on July 2nd, 2006 @ 3:36 pm

    Yes CC, I have also come across such instances at Chennai and other cities. In Delhi Metro, there are notices – Photographs not allowed. I managed to take photographs and posted in flickr too. But for one photo, I deleted the rest. Same is the case with U S of A too. I read a discussion thread in one of the flickr groups, that in U S cities people are banned from taking photographs of buildings and railway stations etc., After effect of 9/11

  2. Maran (unregistered) on July 2nd, 2006 @ 6:38 pm

    Yap! It’s a hassle to take picture of government property in India. Lots of police presence in these places. But it’s an opportunity to practice shooting from the hip!

  3. Nancy (unregistered) on July 2nd, 2006 @ 10:34 pm

    I got turned away from the Gov’t Music College on Greenways road yesterday – that’s Brodie’s Castle, a beautiful old building. I told the watchman that I wanted to take a shot from a distance, not to go near the sacred and secret place – but he acted as if it were an atomic power plant. What a pain.

  4. Mukunth (unregistered) on July 3rd, 2006 @ 10:50 am

    Yeah…not to forget the over-ambitious policemen who suddenly treat the buildings as their personal fiefdom(sheikdom?!) and shoo away people. I once had this experience while trying to capture(not “shoot”!) Central Station from the outside…its a station, for heaven’s sake!

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