Taking photos on military base in Afghanistan.
If you will see my pictures, there are - due to my profession - almost all from some kind of military environment. Being repeatedly stationed on military base in middle of nowhere somehow predefines the topics of images taken :). Although I
Generally… taking photos on military bases is prohibited. This rule applies on all NATO and alliance bases and what I know, with other countries (further east or south) is not getting any better.
Nowadays are many more opportunities for common photographing civilian to visit or work on military base, on the other hand, the number of soldiers taking pictures is also increasing. Almost all visitors are equipped with cameras, so probably nobody will taking care, while you are carrying it… using it is different.
Even with the permits (like journalists, politics, and technical workers) there are things you should not photograph.
Those things are:
-Airports (any technical details, buildings, landed aircrafts, access roads)
-Communication devices (antennas, dishes, vehicles specialized for radio communication)
-Anything that gives idea, where the base is, or how it is defended (access roads, gates, overviews from guard tower, etc).
-Artillery in detail
Ok, there is not much left… (I have forget: do not take pictures in dining facility and places related to consumable water:)..Ok, nothing left..
So what can you do?
Ask! Mainly for taking pictures of people, every time ask. You never know, what is their work, and if they will be not compromised. While you not sure, if is something legal to shot, always somebody can tell you. Military personnel at general like, if you show interest about things that are their job, but remember to be patient and never push too hard.
On the base, there is always somebody responsible for such things as media, communication and so: be sure to ask, they will definitely tell you what is allowed on specific place; it can help you avoid problems and you will find out, what can be photographed.
Outside the bases are rules usually less strict, but always check with officer in command what you can shot.
Originally, this note was written as response to questions of my friend journalist (who tried always to look like NOT taking pictures instead of asking – so he repeatedly returned without photos), but I think it can be (maybe) useful for someone in here:).
Photo credits: Scaramax.
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