« Not Such a 'Free Country'—For Us | Main | Deal o' the Day »

Saturday, 18 August 2012


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

We unfortunately live in a time of terrorism. How many attempts (successful or not) have been made in Manhattan? Just sayin'.

A friend of mine once had as his "logo" on his website "In God we trust. All others we surveil."
Apropos indeed.

Miraculous offers for CS6 seem to have been replaced by Random Excellence.
Any chance of an explanation Mike?

Good example of where b&w is inadequate.

Freudian slip of the left middle finger: "Armed Forced Recruiting Center." Just in case no one else let you know yet.
Happy Saturday, and thanks for all the excellent content you post. Take care,
Grant Kinney
Oakland, CA

I can see at least 8 just in that picture, so there's probably even more than that.

"Miraculous offers for CS6 seem to have been replaced by Random Excellence. Any chance of an explanation Mike?"

The discount code wasn't working for people, and I couldn't get it to work for me, either. I'll look into it, but unfortunately my contacts at Amazon only work Monday through Friday (strange concept...). I'll check into it on Monday and see what's up.


"Good example of where b&w is inadequate."

Completely, totally, 100% disagree. I *love* that shot in B&W and feel certain that color would have completely ruined it.


"Freudian slip of the left middle finger: 'Armed Forced Recruiting Center.'"

Yeesh. Thanks Grant.


Eight security cameras ... It's not like it's a target or anything. Oh, wait ... it is.


and who can forget the Faisal Shahzad's attempted car bombing in 2010 which was about 150m from the car bomb.


The problem is not with security cameras but with mindless application of "photographer == terrorist" in the minds of some cops and some of the public.

I do like the photo and it of course makes me wonder "what are those people thinking when making their photo?". Do they like the flag image on the building and are unaware of the buildings purpose purpose or is there something more. What about Stan Banos' intent with his image? Interesting photo.

I like his Pet Cemetry photos too


There's a bit of the Eroll Morris there too?

And I just found his Stan's blog, Reciprocity Failure, which might help the intent question above!


Given the proven impact terrorists can have on the centre of New York, and the fact that the US military as a tool of Government have been leading America's response for 11 bloody years (whatever your politics, that's inescapable), I'm surprised there are only 8 such cameras.

Stan is not only a great guy but an outstanding photographer as well. His blog is always thought provoking.

When we were in London last year, walking on the street near Westminster, I pointed out three cameras along the block we were on. Within 2 minutes, two guys in a white sedan drove slowly past us checking us out.
London is the #1 city for surveillance, but many others are catching up.

The reason that there are surveillance cameras on the armed forces building , is because a few years ago the previous building was damaged by an explosion. The culprit was never found.

I don't think anybody's saying there aren't reasons for those cameras to be there. Only that there's a certain irony in preventing citizens from photographing while at the same time we are being constantly photographed ourselves.


It's not only about terrorism. The "problem" is that technology has became so efficient and so cheap, tks to "digital"...
Simply put, it's easy to do it, so we do it - because we can.
Governments and computers..., a dangerous combination for the future! (Big Brother anyone?)

the guy that had an suv packed with explosives and was trying to blow it up in Times Square a couple of years back was parked 2 blocks up and across the street from this picture. There's a reason for the cameras in this place...

The only saving part of this whole surveillance thing is the mountain of data all these cameras put out. With 99.99% of the time nothing worth noting is going on law enforcement can only look at a tiny fraction of the data when they suspect a crime. It would seem to me that if they had a million cameras in this country you would need at least 4 million people just to monitor the cameras full time. That is a unlikely prospect.

Where's the NRA?

For some entertainment along these lines, check out a tv series called "The Last Enemy".

I think the terrorist should sell surveillance cameras for funding..

As others have noted, there is a very good reason for these cameras being in place. I've been to that location and I'd sure like to know that someone's keeping an eye on it. As Will Wright noted, above, that goof with a carload of explosives was caught very near to this spot. Although, interestingly, if I remember correctly it was actually some of the nearby street vendors that noticed the car being odd, not some sleepy fat guy watching 30+ cameras. There's not better surveillance camera than two eyes mounted on a head very familiar with the sights and sounds of the area. (Ah, the good old beat cop.)

But back to the image for a moment. This is also an excellent example of how the context of presentation can often be the whole game for photographs (and why a photograph cannot really tell a story). The caption on this could easily read "Mr. & Mrs. Bagadoughnuts celebrating their newborn ________, the first generation of Bagadoughnuts's to be native-born Americans."

I'd be more interested in seeing the snap on that woman's phone cam. I'll bet it's intended to be captioned similarly to what I suggested.

Love the photograph. Kind of sums up how I feel about this ongoing creep toward constant surveillance; you can wave the flag as hard as you want, but if there are a dozen cameras watching you do it you aren't really free, are you?

I see the "but there are terrorists, so we need CCTV everywhere" argument cropping up.

Sorry, but I'm not buying it.

How many terrorist attacks failed thanks to CCTV? The Times Square attempted bomber was only found on CCTV *after* he'd already been irrefutably linked to the suspect device through other evidence and was already in custody. But how many were foiled because someone on the scene noticed something odd, or because good intelligence work caught up with their plans, or just because they were fanatical idiots heavy on idealism but light on competence?

And of those who succeeded in completing their attacks, how many, exactly, would have been prevented from doing so by CCTV? (I'm thinking of a number between zero and none here.)

Good counter-terrorism intelligence work is what's needed, not more surveillance of the general populace and certainly not harassment of photographers.

My feelings exactly.


Nobody is watching those videos. They are recorded and then if nothing happens written over when the disk is full. They are only watched if something does happen. And in that case they may throw some light on who did it, so useful in that sense. Some of them might not even be on, for some technical glitch or just plain switching between cameras that record on same hard disk. And some of them might not even have a camera on them, merely acting as visual deterrent to possible crime. Though if these are on military installation then most likely they are actual cameras.

The comments to this entry are closed.



Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 06/2007