On the way back I walked past the soccer field and there were a bunch of kids playing and being coached. The field was lovely, the kids seemed to be having fun, and in the distance between the trees, the Telstra tower was lit orange by the setting sun. It would have been a gorgeous photo.
Five years ago.
But of course, in this day and age, I couldn't afford to take it.
Someone may have seen the guy on the footpath with the camera and decided I'm obviously a paedophile, because the only people who could ever have wanted to record a scene like that would be fiends and perverts. No ordinary person could derive pleasure from such shot - children playing at sunset with a solid Canberra icon in the background.
Someone may have made the accusation, and with no prior record or any evidence more substantial than a person worrying about someone standing in open view taking a photo of kids rugged up against the cold and playing sport, I would be investigated. Our computers would be confiscated (usually returned damaged, even if there is not a shred of proof of wrong-doing), friends questioned, and the fact that I play Father Christmas would probably work against me, even though there has never been the slightest concern regarding my conduct with any child. I'm considered one of the company's best Santas.
Oh, and chances are I would have to move out, leaving my 73 year old mum to try and care of my son all day long (which would not be good for either of them), or my son would be taken away from us while the investigation took place.
After months of investigation, even after being found completely innocent, there would still be people who looked at me askance. Because there's no smoke without fire, apparently. Oh and I wouldn't be allowed to play Santa again, because it would be recorded that I was investigated, and that's enough to stop me being allowed to play the part.
Meanwhile, I'm assuming that most of the perverts who have any sense are buying camera glasses and pinhole cameras and getting their pictures that way.
For the rest of us, well, the world gets just that little bit smaller and less colourful as the illusion of safety is maintained for the masses.
It's all really rather a shame, as it would have been a beautiful photo.