This has caused me to think regarding the Health and Safety issues of our hobby. All responsible enthusiasts adhere to the common 'rules' such as...
* not photographing near schools.
* not photographing on private property.
* not photographing on areas of path/road considered unsafe.
* not using the flash in inappropriate circumstances.
Despite me showing the members of the public shots from Lyme Regis, they did not accept I was a bus photographer. I came up with further ideas/trends which may help the safety of enthusiasts...
* from common experience, I find the public highway safer than bus stations, in terms of attention from drivers and the public alike.
* use street furniture. Although not always easy, using benches, lamp-posts, signs or walking away quickly after you have taken a photo often avoids issues.
* photograph a stationary bus (out of service) without the driver around, or seek permission.
* carry either the law regarding photography in public places, or something to make it clear you are a bus enthusiast or that is all. I have said I'm an employee for the bus company and have been asked to go and take photos of the buses for forthcoming publications a couple of times- this obviously works best away from the bus station.
* or follow a structured verbal exchange - address their concerns and make it clear that you have listened, say that you are not doing anything illegal and that it perfectly acceptable and that they have misinterpreted your actions, and I suggest politely leaving their prescience and carrying on.
* offer to call the police for them, if necessary.
Everyone will have their own strategy with how they will deal with their own incident. I've found the worst incidents you simply cannot prepare for - especially with members of the public. I will end this blog entry by wishing every photographer safety when hobbying - which this activity simply is, after all.