Seeing Through Reflection, originally uploaded by Annelogue.

Someone has an unhealthy interest in what I do. On Friday morning I had a phone call from the local police inquiring about a complaint made by one of my across the street neighbours (I don’t know which side) that I once had pointed a zoom lens towards their apartment. I could not believe my own ears. It may very well be that I have done that. I live in a tiny one room apartment and I’m surrounded by a lot of apartments. It’s not a whole lotta space without other people or apartments. I bought a Canon 70-300mm lens last spring and I may very well have tested my lens focus out. I’m sure I didn’t take any photos, though. Why would I? The house facades around where I live are super dull. So this person apparently became so worried that he/she bothered to find my exact address, my name and have the police call me. Talk about overreacting. Talk about wasting the police’s resources. Sure, I would not care for being photographed with a zoom lens repeatedly by an unknown creepy person. It’s just that I haven’t done that. I don’t feel like I’ve done anything wrong. Sometimes I do take photos out my window, either to capture my own reflection in the window, water drops on the window glass or something else on my balcony and that is completely legal.

I looked into Danish Journalist Association rules of conduct in regard to photography and privacy. It does state that there are two central rules be aware of to evaluate whether a photo is legal or not. The first rule states (§ 264) you are not allowed to trespass to photograph. The second rule is (§ 264a) that you are not allowed to unfounded photograph people in a non-public place. You have to obtain permission to photograph in a private sphere like that.

In Denmark you are allowed to photograph:

– people in public places
– public streets, squares, forests and parks
– cars on public streets
– private businesses during opening hours
– public offices – service buildings during opening hours

In Denmark you are not allowed to photograph without owners permission:

– houses, apartments
– private businesses outside opening hours or locked
– city majors office and public offices – outside opening hours
– hospitals, prisons, schools and other institutions
– trains and airplanes

I have to admit that I didn’t know the rules were so strict. Now I do and it makes me want to fight for freedom of expression even more.

6 thoughts on “Who Is Intrusive?

  1. That is just unbelievable! You would not expect a call from police from pottering around your own flat…

    What else does this person report to the police I wonder… people eating breakfast nude in number 34, drugs in number 38.. Hey – who needs TV if you can keep busy watching and reporting what people do in the appartments across the streets?

  2. My thoughts exactly! I am creeped out by this and now I keep my curtains more shut at night, since I know that someone is keeping an eye with me. Actually, somebody told me just recently that neighbor reporting was a Danish phenomena. Now I know.

  3. Maybe you need new curtains that say “I am a friendly person” on the side that faces your paranoid neighbours…?

  4. I think you have some lunatic fans in your neighborhood, unless this person wouldn’t know what were you doing :D
    this is so unbelievable! I mean, have to make a report to the police?
    jeez, get life !

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