No legs to stand on
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