DSLR ban tube station explains itself

DSLRs were banned at the historic Aldwych tube station last year

The historical tube station that found itself at the centre of a storm of protests after banning the use of DSLR cameras has explained its actions in a freedom of information request made by the British Journal of Photography.

It was back in December 2011 that Aldwych Underground Station, a disused site that is now a tourist attraction and film set location, placed a sign outside stating that DSLRs were not welcome at the site.

Hundreds of photographers took to Twitter and other social networking sites to express their outrage and disgust, but TFL has now explained itself after a FOI request was entered by the BJP.

"Pro" equipment

In it, the company explains, "The decision was made by London Underground and formed part of the terms and conditions for visitors to the event."

"A complete ban on photography equipment such as tripods was considered because there is no lift at Aldwych and 2,500 people would have to walk down a spiral staircase with over 160 steps. Subsequently, it was agreed that, instead of having an outright ban on all photography, only professional equipment would be deemed unacceptable."

TFL goes on to say that was because it felt that "professionals" were more likely to want to take more pictures. No matter the quality of the equipment, the term professional equipment was defined as any digital SLR and tripod.

Bizarrely, however, it was not safety issues that were mentioned in the sign, but rather the "combination of high-quality sensor and high resolution".

Admitting that the sign and implementation of the ban could have been better handled, the museum says that it is exploring the possibility of holding a special photography event at the end of the year for smaller groups of people to explore and photograph the museum.

Via British Journal of Photography

Amy Davies

Amy has been writing about cameras, photography and associated tech since 2009. Amy was once part of the photography testing team for Future Publishing working across TechRadar, Digital Camera, PhotoPlus, N Photo and Photography Week. For her photography, she has won awards and has been exhibited. She often partakes in unusual projects - including one intense year where she used a different camera every single day. Amy is currently the Features Editor at Amateur Photographer magazine, and in her increasingly little spare time works across a number of high-profile publications including Wired, Stuff, Digital Camera World, Expert Reviews, and just a little off-tangent, PetsRadar.