War on Photography

IF you care about Photographers’s Rights and our rights as US Citizens, please read. You can go to the bottom for a call to action and a link to Photographers’ Rights.

All that’s necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing.” -Edmund Burke

BP Oil Spill, Gulf of Mexico, 2010

I have been reading a fair bit about the recent “War on Photography”. I knew this was going on because I have had friends tell me about encounters recently that they have had. Remembering the first tale I heard about this. A friend of mine used to be an AP stringer in Kentucky. Hearing about a mine collapse/explosion, he went up to the gates of the facility, along with other photographers, and shot as the miners came out of the mine from the accident. He was standing on public property (the road) and shooting into the facility. Well, someone didn’t want the images to get out, so they instructed the law enforcement to confiscate the images. My friend had time to put his roll of film down into his pants (I never really asked him where) and put another roll of film into the camera and fire off several frames. When the officer told him to hand over his film, he replied by opening the back of his camera and strip the film out of the canister and then handing it over. No way for them to know that he had hidden the originals. The story went on to when a Pulitzer Prize. I probably would have stuffed film in my pants for a Pulitzer Prize. This was not recent, not even in the past 15 years, so law enforcement taking liberty with citizens’ rights is not a new event.

Flash forward to 2001. Specifically 9/11/2001. We all know what happened that day. Many of us watched in person or on TV the events that start the War on Terrorism. So why do I mention this? Because, since the advent of Homeland Security and the heightened sense of vulnerability to terrorism, many LEOs have quote the 9/11 Law as reasons to ask photographers from making images in public places in completely legal venues. There is no such 9/11 Law that prevents a photographer from taking images. There are certain places where photography may be limited for national security (certain areas of military bases, certain areas of nuclear facilities) but trains, bridges and buildings are not on the list. But photographers have been arrested for taking images of all of these. Almost all the charges have eventually been dropped and some of the people are bringing suit for false arrest.

Why would I, as a nature photographer, be worried about this? Aren’t these examples of people taking pictures of law enforcement or of oil refineries or trains or buildings? We usually don’t take these kind of pictures. Oh, but we might, depending on the story.

I was fortunate to photograph several different times along the AL and LA coast after the BP Oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. I was not accosted during the process and count myself fortunate. Places were limited at times, but I usually got access by going through the channels. I was even able to photograph the Fort Jackson bird recovery facility, even inside, with a Press Pass. But not everyone was as blessed.

I had friends who went to photograph the results of the BP disaster and were threatened with arrest for photographing on a public beach of the clean up process. They were told that it was against the 9/11 Law and could be considered an act of terrorism. I had other friends who were denied access to areas (that are public land). There are reports of photographers who were denied the right to fly over public land and public ocean during this time period of the BP disaster.

Which leads to me the reason that I started writing about this. Denali National Park has introduced a new Road plan. This plan regulates access along the road within the park. Historically, professional photographers could apply for a road pass and be put into a lottery for a pass that would give them access to the Park in a private vehicle for a certain period of days. Some of these photographers were part of a Pro Photographers focus group that met on teleconference with park officials to help the park understand the position and needs of professional photographers. It has been reported to me by several photographers on those calls that at least one park official stated that they saw no need for photography within the park as there were enough pictures of the park to be used for any needs. Also the park has denied any business permits for photography workshops within the park for several years.

Denali NP, AK

The Denali Road plan wants to take away road passes from professional photographers and give them to tour companies to run more buses through the park. I have been told that the Cruise lines have an active lobbying presence talking to the Park officials and have been requesting that the professional photographers’ road pass be done away with and the road pass permits be given to the tour companies to run more buses through the park.

The ProPhoto committee actually agreed to not have any road passes during the high tourist season (summer) in exchange for a couple of extra passes during the early summer and late summer/early fall periods in which tourist presence is diminished.

Here are comments from Tom Walker, professional photographer in Alaska and a member of the Workgroup:

Denali National Park Planning Change to Road Access that will impact Photographers


For almost two decades large tour companies, through the Alaska Tourism Industry Association (ATIA) have lobbied for increased bus access to the park. For over ten years, for example, they have pushed to have Denali’s Professional Photographers Permit System (ProPho) revoked, and that vehicle allocation replaced with tour buses. The new DRAFT DENALI PARK ROAD VEHICLE MANAGEMENT PLAN (DRMP) seems designed to meet these tour operators’ desires to the detriment to other visitors, especially photographers.

Since 1972, Denali has had a Professional Photography permit system that has allowed private vehicle access to the park for qualifying individuals. Last winter, at the request of Supt. Paul Anderson, a PROPHO work group met with the park planner, Miriam Valentine, to develop a win-win scenario for the program scheduled for change by the new plan. 

After hours and hours of work and tele-conferences the group felt headway had been made and expected reasonable adjustments to the current program. When the DRMP was published, the  group was shocked and dismayed to see its input completely ignored and the Alternatives identical to what Valentine outlined  the very FIRST day of the meetings.  The group determined from this experience, that once again public concerns are being discarded and the outcome of the “public process” is mere window dressing.

Also troubling, Alternatives B and C in the DRMP calls for maximizing bus capacity, in short filling every seat on every bus, making any photography from such a bus almost impossible.

What is most troubling is that if Denali adopts Alternative B or C, a whole new level of monitoring bureaucracy will be established that will cost at least $1 million more per year. A very problematic issue since already the park administration is concerned with next year’s budget cuts.

Alternative A, No Action, is the only Alternative favorable to photographers. Comments may be emailed to: DENA-planning@nps.gov

In addition to Tom’s comments, in reviewing the 300 + page document, it appears that Denali NP would decrease the number of Road Permits from current 610 to 448 in Plan B (but you only get to travel part of the road, so realistically divided the number in half) to 366 in plan C. What is interesting is that the ProPhoto group suggested 7 full road permits a day, but only in the early and late season for a total of about 350 permits, so more permits could go to buses during the peak tourist season in the mid summer.

I am calling on all photographers to go online and read the Denali Road Proposal and then respond to the request for input at the DNP website.

Since it is almost to easily find the Proposal from the Denali NPS website or even from the link that they have on the website to Proposed Plans, I have included quick links that will take you directly to

Denali Draft Vehicle Management Plan


Comment page for Vehicle Management Plan

If you want to read more about the War on Photography, attorney Morgan Manning wrote about this in the Tennessee Law Review for the University of TN, Knoxville, College of Law.  Morgan Manning, Paper on Photographers’ Rights in TN Law Review from UT, Knoxville, College of Law. Also listen to NPR interview with Morgan- NPR.

And attorney and photographer Bert P. Krages II has listed photographer’s rights, in general. Click Here from Photographers’ Rights.


41 responses to “War on Photography

  • Paul Hassell

    Very important issue. Well publicized by you Bill.

    Thank you for your lead,

  • alison

    Sounds like there needs to be “Occupy Denali” protest!

    Thanks for your blog to raise awareness. I’ve just printed several copies of Krages’ Photographers Rights, as I leave in 1 week for Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Basin (for No Water No LIfe) to document effects of opening Old River Control this spring and lowered shrimp returns this fall possibly due to BP spill, etc…

    Occupying E. 79th St, NYC

  • Dr. Juan Biscocho

    Someone needs to contact the park and request unlimited access to
    conduct photojournalism in regard to the parks current and future plans
    to restrict the first amendment right of citizens.
    Federal law specifically prohibits the Dept of Interior from charging a
    commercial still photographer a fee as long as he or she is in a place
    the public is normally allowed to go and the park incures no additional
    expense.(16 USC Sec. 460l-6d 02/01/2010)
    Their permit system already breaks federal law.

  • Sandmich

    “they saw no need for photography within the park as there were enough pictures of the park to be used for any needs. ”

    Sounds like the old (culturaly stagnant) ‘art is settled’ point of view. “Why paint more paintings as we have more than enough great ones already!”

  • AT

    Why should someone who calls themself a professional photographer have any higher rights to a national park then anyone else? Can’t photographers sign up for a tour (or organize their own tour) and take pcitures like any other member of the public?

    This seems like this group has received special treatment in the past and now are getting upset that their special treatment is being restrained. Sorry, but no sympathy from me.

    • billcampbellphotography

      Except the Park won’t approve any photo tours or let photographers’ organize their own tour. And being limited to the public transportation would mean that the majority of the images that the public has seen from Denali wouldn’t not have been made. The buses don’t run at a time convenient for making the best photographs, or waiting on the light or right timing for photographers. And this program has been in effect for years. The problem with the current proposal is that the Park Service wants to yield to the lobbying from Tour Companies (Cruise lines especially) to take away the permits from professional photographers and give them to private tour companies and cruise lines. I would rather see a couple of photographers documenting natural history in the Park than another 50 passenger bus rumbling down the road belching diesel fumes.

    • tw

      Currently the NPS at Denali issues ZERO permits to conduct photo tours in the park. ZERO. The person who would issue such permits has ruled that although photography is “appropriate,” photography tours are “not needed.” Any photo tour conducted in Denali is currently illegal. See any bias in this ruling, AT?

  • greg

    Many national parks have disabled person access plans that provide special permits for folks who clearly require assistance. Paraplegic for example. Two years ago the Denali reception office very clearly told me that there was no such local permit and that my wife would have to ride the bus if she were to see the park. At the last general access bridge where permits are checked, I talked to a native Alaskan about handicapped access and she informed me that there was in fact a policy yet the summertime park management did not want it known because it would generate additional work. Going back to reception, the folks indicated yes there was a policy that they try avoid using and if I really wanted to use it, the process took a week to avail. I left a note to the management that knowingly hiding a handicapped access policy to avoid use was far far more discriminatory than having no policy at all. Never did get a response…

  • 93h6tgftrdi

    You are making very misleading statements calling this part of the war on photography.

    These parks are for all citizens to enjoy not for professional photographers to make money from. Many more people will enjoy the parks in those busses and many more amateur photographers will get a chance to take photographs from them.

    Maybe you won’t have the special privileges that you think you should have at the expense of non professionals and tourists. If it is a war it is not a war on photography it is a war of revolution against the privileged royalty or at least the pro’s who think they deserve to be treated as such..

    • billcampbellphotography

      If you are a photographer, then you would understand that the buses that are coming are not for photography, but a hit and run tour of the park. If the park allowed buses for the purpose of photography or allowed photographers to have permits to run tours the way they allow Cruise Lines to run tours, I think most people would be happy. AND, yes, I my opinion this is part of the war on photography. This is a blatant attempt at preventing people from being able to make photographs in the park. A simple grab snap shot is not the images that you have seen that represent the park and make people want to go there. It is the images from many professionals who spend a lot of time for very little money, so people can see the true beauty of our National Parks. Not everyone will be fortunate enough to go and experience Denali, but if they can enjoy the beauty through someones photographs, that might be the best that they can do. That is what professional nature photographers do. Most professional nature photographers are struggling to make a living while providing images that give other inspiration and a sense of beauty from nature.. I haven’t seen any Cruise Lines that exist to go out where other people can’t and bring images of beauty back.

  • Stephen

    Some thoughts from a previous visitor to Denali and sometimes amateur photographer:

    It sounds like this is about limiting vehicle traffic to the park. Truth be told, for a given number of vehicles, you can give more people an opportunity to see the park if you send tour buses instead of private vehicles. It’s less convenient for photographers, but it just means we’ll need to backpack our gear and use the hop-on, hop-off camper buses. We can still go anywhere and shoot anything, there will just be more planning and hiking involved.

    And while I’d love to have a private vehicle permit, I don’t know if I should have priority over outdoor writers, painters, naturalists, bird watchers, etc. Lumping us all in for the private pass lottery at the end of the season seems fair to me.

    • billcampbellphotography

      I would agree and think that many types of buses should be run. But the park wants use those extra permits to allow Cruise Lines to bring in more tours. It would be great if there were buses for people who want to spend more time at areas than what the normal buses do. But that is not the direction the Park is wanting to take..

  • Jeffersonian

    I don’t believe this is really a photographers rights issue as it is a “rent seeking” attempt by professional photographers vs. cruise lines. I don’t believe the Go’vt owes you a right to make money. All you have to do to protect your “rights” is to pay more money to lobbyists than the cruise lines do.

    By framing it as a photographers rights issue you really do a disservice to photographers who actually are suffering at the hands of law enforcement and homeland security.

    • billcampbellphotography

      Photographers have been having difficulty with access and with lack of understanding of regulations even before the present War on Photography that has been escalated by Homeland Security. And the first part of my essay about problems with access to areas after the Gulf Oil spill are very much photographers’ rights. And why does the government owe the Cruise Lines the right to make money, but not photographers? Does this mean that only the people with lots of money have rights? Hmmm.

      And I’m am not doing a disservice to photographers suffering at the hands of law enforcement. We photographers are all in the same boat.. Our rights are being trampled..

      • Jeffersonian

        I didn’t say the cruise lines had a greater right to make money. I infered that they had a better lobby. And you do indeed conflate your desire to profit from your photography, which seems very good, with a professional or amatuer photographer being harrassed or arrested for engaging in what is a legal activity.
        I believe the Gov’t has indeed worked tirelessly to prohibit access to our nations forests and National Parks at the behest of a rabid environmental movement. I would like to see much greater access granted to all visitors. Not just those who seek to profit from that access.
        This kind of entitlement mentallity is destroying the soul of our once great nation. No matter how you wish to phrase it, you are asking to recieve special treatment.

  • manniepMannie

    Two prong solution.

    1. Sue the National Park Service on First Amendment grounds.

    2. Cut the National Park Service’s budget in half.

  • LAG

    Keep up the good work. Sunshine is the best disinfectant.

  • Cecil Turner

    Sorry, but this is a bunch of apples and oranges.

    The purpose of the Denali permit system is fairly obviously to restrict the number of vehicles through the park for purposes of conservation. There’s no push to oust photographers because people don’t want pictures taken, it’s just jostling for priority over a limited number of permits.

    One could probably argue that photographers ought to have more access or special passes–or perhaps that the park could bear more traffic than they currently allow–but the overbearing and inappropriate Homeland Security style restrictions on photography are clearly not the issue here.

    • billcampbellphotography

      Except park management has made the comment that they don’t think there is a “need” for more images to the Pro Photo group that tried to give them feedback. The number of vehicles is already restricted. The Plans B and C want to further limit the permits for photographers and give them to Cruise Lines, because the Cruise Lines have a lobby group that has been asking for this for some time. If the Park system would allow photographers to have permits to tours in the park, it would be more equitable, but they won’t..

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  • jack

    Gunowners who get a “permit” to conceal-carry a gun often complain about the process, expense, and further restrictions they claim they are forced to put up with. Yet, they decided to play the permit game with the government over an unalienable right. Is it too late for mass resistance to illegal and immoral “laws” — I would say it is never too late to do the right thing.

  • Tim McDonald

    Why exactly do you feel professional photographers should get special access over anyone else? I would prefer to see the quota system abolished and have anyone allowed to travel the park and take photos, tourists as well as professionals.

    It is a national park. Access should only be limited by what is safe for the visitors and wildlife, and ALL should have an equal opportunity at those slots which can be made available, and the number of slots should be maximized.

    • billcampbellphotography

      I agree. That would be a much better solution. Unfortunately not one the Park System has on the table right not. I don’t think it is fair that the park wants to take permits from photographers and give them to Cruise Lines. Taking from the little guy and giving to the organization with lots of money and power.

  • Dean

    This seems to be less about the war on photography, and more about cronyism, pandering to politically connected companies.

  • Wade

    Excuse me but are you saying that professionial photographers should have more priviledged access to Denali that plain old riff-raff like me? This is simply on the merit of them being a “professional photographer” rather than an amateur or just a sightseer? Why shouldn’t we ALL have more access to Denali?

    I fail to see how this has much if anything to do with LEO’s preventing people from taking photos. This looks to me like just a question of access for anyone.

    • billcampbellphotography

      No. I think all of us should have a more equal access. But the Park system proposal would take permits away from photographers and give them to Cruise Lines. Not’s not going to help professionals or amateurs, either one. And to be able to go into Denali with a photography tour, that makes longer stops, waits for the light and gets there early and stays late would be the best for all photographers concerned. Bu the park system won’t do that and they won’t issue photographers’ permits to lead tours into the Park. They feel it is not necessary. But they will issue permits to Cruise Lines to run tours in..

      And it is part of the war on photography in limiting photographers’ access to an area that everyone should have access to..

  • Josh

    Thanks Bill… here are the comments I submitted regarding Denali in case anybody would like to borrow 😉

    As a nature photographer, I feel that it is important to keep the number of professional photographer permits that are available for Denali at its current level. Denali is a truly special natural environment. Some have stated that there are already enough images of the park in existence. I strongly disagree with this standing on two major points.

    1. Each individual photographer, specifically when it comes to professionals that specialize in nature(the photographers for whom these permits have been set aside), has their own unique vision and style and typically will strive to shoot from new perspectives while in the park.

    2. With the extremely rapid advent of new technology related to digital photography, nature photographers are constantly getting newer and better tools that are increasing the resolution, quality and longevity of photographs. On June 15, 1999, when Nikon came out with its revolutionary 2.7 megapixel, D1 Professional SLR camera, we could not have even dreamed that Hasselblad would release a 50 megapixel camera less than a decade later. With new techniques such as High Dynamic Range(HDR), HD Time Lapse, HDSLR Video, Extreme Low Light(Using very high ISO), Gigapan and Panoramic stitching getting refined on a constant basis, photographers are able to return to places that they have shot numerous times before and always return with new material.

    Finally, with climate change threatening to change the look of landscapes across the globe, we should be working to provide more access to nature photographers in order to document the current scenes for historical purposes as well as the changes for scientific purposes.

    For the reasons stated above, I strongly urge you to adopt Alternative A. Thank you.


    Josh Whalen

  • Jr

    first they came for my camera…..

  • Mark

    While I’m sympathetic, this isn’t part of the “war on photography”. This is merely adjusting priorities. You can disagree with prioritizing tourists over photographers – and tourists would no doubt disagree – but no one is being threatened with jail-time merely for taking pictures.

    I’d rather open a coffee-table book of pictures of a god-forsaken wilderness than go there in person, but I am sympathetic to those who travel to the end of the earth and actually want to see all of it.

    • billcampbellphotography

      The issue here is that you would like to see beautiful images from wilderness places that many people might not every go. And without professional nature photographers spending their time and money going to places in the wilderness, there would be no such pictures.
      And this is part of the War on Photography in that it has been a continueal battle for the right to photograph in our National Parks even before Homeland Security made photography a “suspicious” activity. It is still trampling on photographers’ rights, which is what the War on Photography is. Not everyone in the “War” is being threatened with or thrown into jail.

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  • geek49203


    “The story went on to when a Pulitzer Prize.”


    Have a good one! And yes, you can catch my errors when I post online, thus balancing off the universe.

    PS – Nikon D3100, getting my butt kicked trying to learn your craft…

  • GrayCat

    The issue isn’t really photography, pro or otherwise. The issue is control. The issue is bureaucracy. The issue is government. And yet more government.

    Your tax dollars at work for you!

    If it really is “public” — a “national park,” there should be no limitations, no lotteries, no fees, no gatekeepers, no bureaucrats who think it is their duty to guard and keep the people out and away, and presume to set a limit on how much of any kind of photography (or other art expression) is “enough” for all time and all uses and all enjoyment.

    The issue is, what qualifies anyone to make decisions about anything for any other mature adult human being? Who is qualified and entitled to rule others?

    If ALL the people can’t enjoy “public” property and “national parks” equally and according to personal preference, the purpose of “public,” “national park” is a farce, a lie, an excuse for people living on the public purse to dictate to the public who pays their way. (This is referring to the national parks service and “employees.” “Public servants” who are not accountable to the public who through taxation enables them to exist. They exalt themselves through taxation as our rulers. Is this what you pay taxes for, really?)

    If it were privately owned, this wouldn’t be an issue at all. Private property owners have a vested interest in seeing to it their property is preserved and profitable.

    If pro photographers can pay more for access, they should be given it. If the cruise lines want more and exclusive access, they should simply pay for it, without trying to drive out “competition.” For the government to take permits from one person to give to another, thereby disallowing the former holder of the permit, is not “capitalism,” it’s CRAPITALISM — crony capitalism. A free market does not exist here.

    Yes, pro photographers are due “more” than “mere” tourists. They work for it. They invest in it. They ALSO give back more through their sales, which allow uncounted numbers of people all over the world to see the subject than images taken by tourists who may put them in scrap books and/or share them with family and friends — but there it stops. Why shouldn’t they be able to negotiate different terms? Why shouldn’t they be able to earn a living taking photos in a public park?! Why not?! What’s wrong with making a profit at what you produce, even if it is in a “national park”? Unless YOU can do better and more FOR a public park by honestly earning a return on what you give back to the public in beauty, enjoyment, and helping to support that park with increased awareness and support, then please turn your knee-jerk “Occupy” irrationality, your own spiteful, greedy resentment and envy at productive people, somewhere else.

    News Flash: You’re not entitled to what someone else earned. You didn’t earn it. It’s not yours. You contributed nothing to it. Wanting it is a disease; it’s called “envy.” Taking it, either personally or using the government to do it, is a crime: it’s called “THEFT.”

    The issue is government control: Letting the government take your earnings to tell you what you can and cannot do, and threatening you with violence if you are reluctant to comply, and using violence, even to the point of killing you, if you disobey. It’s popular: we all think it would be wonderful if only “the” government would simply do what we think it should do — to those we disagree with or envy.

    This is a violation of basic human rights: the right to not be intimidated, threatened, brutalized or killed; the right not to be robbed; the right not to be cheated and lied to. Yet by wanting “the government” to do that for us, we commit these crimes every day.

    Pro Photographers: it’s past time to come out of your neat little cocoon of single special interest, look around, and see that what’s happening to you is only one (relatively minor!) mob outrage being committed with increasing frequency and violence against all of us every single day.

    If the “Occupy” people really had a clue about what they were doing, they wouldn’t have posted what they did on this board. It’s time to look at what’s really “keeping you down”: it’s mob rule; majoritarianism, “democracy,” government with no bounds, no conscience, no compassion, no “fairness.” You need to learn that if you want fairness, compassion, true equality, and economic stability, government and yet more government is not the answer. All those bogus “rights” you’re demanding? Who in the world do you think is going to pay for it all? Where’s the value going to come from? Whose duty and responsibility is it to take care of you and pay you while they do? If you truly in your heart believe that the richest 1% can and should, you’re deluding yourself. You’re cutting off your nose to spite your face — and your looks ain’t improved.

    If you REALLY want fairness and equality and value in society, if you REALLY want peace and a decent living, then end the Federal Reserve System, fractional banking (try balancing your checkbook by spending more than you earn, and loaning out ten times the amount you deposit and see how you end up and how fair that is to anyone), and taxes. Without YOUR cooperation with the federal government and the Federal Reserve/fractional banking/tax system, the situation you think you’re protesting couldn’t exist in the first place.

    The solution isn’t to force a rich person to make you richer. That only makes you both equally poor, because neither of you is allowed to become any better. “Wealth” is a reward for value. If you do not produce value, why should anyone reward you? If you prevent others from producing value, what do you expect to gain? You can’t. You want to throw out the baby with the bath water!

    On the other hand, if everything of value you produce is co-opted by “government,” as it is through taxes and an artificially increased “money” supply that has no value, thus lowering your value, AND the wealth your value could have commanded, then all of us lose anyway. Taxes go up; inflation goes up because it takes more worthless paper dollars to equal the “value” of the former ones; wages can’t possibly keep pace; jobs are lost; the unemployed have nothing of value to exchange for the value you produced. Everyone loses.

    It’s not “capitalism” that is the culprit; it’s “crapitalism”: crony capitalism. Crony capitalism is a partnership between corrupt corporations AND government.

    Get government out of business, end the Fed (the major, controlling force of crapitalism), fractional banking, and abolish taxes, and none of this ongoing economic disaster could exist. If you would have fairness and freedom, you must insure your neighbor — even if he’s “rich” — the exact same fairness and freedom. As you put others under bondage, you bind yourself.

    You can’t fix government with government. Cronies — whether corporate “special interests” or uninformed, aimless mob movements, come and go. Fads and fashions change; what’s “good” to the party in power today is “bad” to the rival party in power tomorrow. Do away with the “two party system.” They’re merely two sides of the same government-crapitalist coin.

    Socialism, Communism, Conservatism, Democracy, Fascism, Liberalism, Progressivism, etc.: none of those will make anything better. They all offer the illusion of fairness and/or “order,” but all end up at the very same point: someone rules everyone else, and decides who lives and who dies. And the only ones who have any sort of material wealth are — as always — those at the top who rule you. That’s the nature of the beast.

    When you talk to your neighbor over the fence or in your living room or backyard over a barbeque, do you have government officials, military officials, bureaucrats, there to mediate between you and keep it peaceful?

    When you go to the grocery store or the mall, are you accompanied by a government official, a Green Beret, or some bureaucrat, to fill your shopping cart or make your gift choices?

    Why do we REALLY think we “need” government? What real value or product or good does government provide for you that you or your neighbor cannot do yourselves?

    Not even roads or bridges or water treatment plants or sewers or policing or firefighting NEED government. None of those things cannot be done cheaper, more efficiently, and better, by individuals.

    You can object. Fine. But at least do some research on it.

    I know I’ve ranted on your page, Mr. Campbell. But unless the core, underlying issues are resolved, this “War Against Photographers” will only remain and get worse and worse, because you think the government is the solution, if only it would be “fair.”

    There’s lots more at stake than just taking pictures — than even taking pictures and getting paid for it. You need to change out the lenses so you can actually see what it is you’re really looking at.

    It’s not about special privileges or mere “tourism” robbing permits from serious photographers. It’s about the evil that is government. It’s about the lie that government is there to make it right and fair for us — or preserve nature, the ecology, or initiate laws about global warming. It’s not. It’s there because we pay it to be.

    It’s time to stop paying for rotten fruit and trying to make it palatable; everything it contacts gets tainted beyond safe and nutritious consumption. It’s time to bury it and walk away, and start living social lives as men among men who respect each other and do not need violent, thieving, lying rulers over us.

  • Liberty

    It isn’t just the cruise lines. By allowing the buses more people will be able to have access into the park and take their own pictures. The way I see it, more people will have access, and to see it for themselves, and real people will be able to see the beaties for themselves and not filtered through the lens and the mind of so called proffessionals.. The people on the buses will take pictures for us too, and most won’t be the photoshopped crap that the pros are pushing on us. .

    The war on photography isn’t about the pros getting hassled its about every day people. getting arrested. We don’t need an America where some people are more equal than others. The pros can take the bus along with the proletariat.

    • billcampbellphotography

      You obviously aren’t a photographer. Because a photographer would know the difference between the work of a dedicated professional and someone who just “snaps a picture”. And all those great amateurs out there that are doing great work are using the same techniques as pros, the just choose to do it for love and not for money. Wise choice as nature photography makes so little money, that you are basically doing it for love. This is about the Park service not treating Photographers the same and denying them rights. They do have a right to go and create images in National Parks just like the Cruise Lines have a right to go there too. But to say one has the right to profit and the other doesn’t, isn’t sounding too much like the free America we are supposed to have. And yes, the war on photography is about photographers, pro and amateur, being denied their rights to photograph, anywhere it is legal, which is supposed almost everywhere. The cruise line tours and the regular buses in Denali are not set up to be conducive to photography. The argument should be why? It’s our park. Why don’t they set up a system where people (photographers, birders, painters) can go at times that is best for their activity? That would be the ideal choice over Pro Photographer Road Pass and Cruise lines getting preference.

  • A K Dart

    Excellent post. I am adding a link to it on this page about videotaping the police:


  • Alan Majchrowicz (@AlanMajchrowicz)

    Thanks for the alert Bill, I checked out the NPS site and left my comment.

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