Photographing protests in the UK

With photographers getting more hassle at demos and some even being forced to delete their images, I’ve put together a basic guide on how to ensure that your photos stay safe at demos.

Here’s an excerpt:

The police, security guards or anyone else have no right to demand that you delete images off your memory card. After all, if you’ve committed an offence the images would act as evidence, and if you haven’t broken the law, the images are innocent.

However, in some circumstances, the police may be authorised to confiscate your film or memory cards as evidence but they are still not authorised to delete any images.

If an officer demands you hand over your photos, make sure you get a written receipt. Under no circumstances should you just hand them over without that.

If you are forced to delete your photo, take the card out of the camera immediately. Whatever you do, do not take any new pictures – if you want to keep on snapping, use a fresh card. When you get home, you can use a file recovery program to get your images back. These often have a high success rate.

We recommend the open source, multi-platform application external link PhotoRec, which is described as a, “file data recovery software designed to recover lost files including video, documents and archives from Hard Disks and CDRom and lost pictures from digital camera memory.

PhotoRec ignores the filesystem and goes after the underlying data, so it will still work even if your media’s filesystem has been severely damaged or re-formatted.”

Photographing protests in the UK - advice on backing up images, streaming video and keeping your photos safe


If you have an account with social networking sites like Blogger, Twitter, Facebook etc, it’s easy to instantly upload images to your account by setting up your phone to use MMS or email. It’s also worth separately emailing important images to yourself as a back up. If you have a regular camera with you and your phone has a suitable SD card slot, consider emailing images straight off your camera.

Read the full article here.

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