No legs to stand on

NPhoto - - Over To You -

Why is Lon­don so anti-tri­pod?

I went to The Shard last week­end, aware that I had to leave my faith­ful tri­pod with se­cu­rity and walk through body scan­ners. No prob­lem with that – my prob­lem was that, up at the top of The Shard, some­one had snuck a handy four-inch tri­pod into my bag and it seemed rude not to put it to good use… so I dis­creetly screwed it into the bot­tom of my Nikon and placed the cam­era up against the glass with a ten-stop fil­ter to grab some nifty long ex­po­sures. It wasn’t too long un­til I was spot­ted by two se­cu­rity blokes, who laughed but said they were okay with it. Then, ten min­utes later, a job­sworth se­cu­rity guy came run­ning over, de­mand­ing I put the tri­pod away. I ex­plained that his col­leagues said it was okay, but he told me my cam­era on a four-inch tri­pod, pressed up to the glass, was an ob­struc­tion.

I pointed out peo­ple who had pulled chairs up to the win­dow, oth­ers sit­ting on the floor by the doors, and a bloke with a huge back­pack with his coat draped over it, and asked if they were ob­struc­tions? Again I was told I could not use the tri­pod, so I asked if it was okay to lay my back­pack on the floor and sit the cam­era on that… amaz­ingly I was told yes, that’s fine!

Next stop Bank­side, a few hun­dred yards from the Lon­don Eye. It’s 9pm with not many peo­ple around, and I’m tak­ing long ex­po­sures across the Thames… but not for long as, once again, se­cu­rity ap­proach and tell me the only way I can use a tri­pod is to stand it on the wall; I can­not have the legs on the floor. So I have to risk los­ing my Nikon to the bot­tom of the Thames… Now, I can un­der­stand this if a lot of peo­ple are around, but how are we pos­ing a se­cu­rity or safety risk when the place is vir­tu­ally empty? Bartholomew Simp­son, Basil don

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