With the UK once again in lockdown, there are many asking is it ok to carry on with my photography.
The rules say you stay home and only leave home for essential matters, with taking exercise being one of the allowable reasons.
When I would normally go out with a camera, I would not say it was for exercise it would be for the purpose to capture images. Although it is probably the only exercise I do get, I do not frequent gyms and do not play sports.
During the first lockdown, I was out frequently with my camera, and only in my local area. I chose times when it was quiet, early mornings and evenings, I want to avoid contact with people and made sure I was not near anyone, in fact, I would choose to do this at all times even before Covid-19 reared its head.
There are arguments that photography is good for your mental health, and it probably is, but it still does not answer the question as to whether it is ok to participate in photography while out taking your exercise.
For my own purpose, I have no problem with taking photographs when I am out ‘exercising’, but would not visit popular areas to do so.
An article covering the same subject in a recent edition of the Amateur Photographer magazine contacted the Department of Culture, Media and Sport for further clarification, but while the answer looks good news for the photographer, it also demonstrates the ambiguous nature of the guidelines, “We’ve made clear that basic exercise is allowed. So if you’re on the move whilst doing photography, then yes that should be fine”
On first reading you think ok, that looks all ok, but it is that single word that again causes confusion and uncertainty ‘should’ be fine, ah ok, so it might not be fine.
The news is full of stories of people driving 5 miles to go for a walk, or even further to pick-up a McDonalds, I myself was out a few days ago to get some bread and milk, only to find the local old town actually quite busy with people, but I think the people queuing and gathering outside of Costa Coffee is what dismayed me the most, I am not sure what is essential about a Costa Coffee, why they need to be open and why it is essential for people to travel there to pick-up a drink.
Everyone will have their own way of deciphering the rules of lockdown, but for myself, I will be staying local, with maybe the odd photo here and there.