Excuse the rant, but this kinda of sh#t pisses me off.
Excuse the rant, but this kinda of sh#t pisses me off.
I guess it pisses everyone off, but each time it happens you must consider if it is a worthwhile way to spend your time, and potentially go through a lot of hassle and unpleasantness. Sometimes it is not.
Research your rights as they apply to your own country. Print off a sheet listing all the relevant facts and carry it everywhere. If anyone tries to restrict your rights present the facts to them. If they persist then call the police.
This is a useful resource if you're in the US:
two were definitely meatheads, including the supervisor, one guy was nicer. The option they gave me was that they would bring in the local police. In my opinion, this was a bullet better dodged.
I am and was aware of my rights, but confronting the armed and ignorant at best is going to ruin your day. Next time I will have Graham's printout, and decide what to do then, but I doubt they would have backed down, claiming "homeland security" marine oil facility, 9/11, etc.
The baseline is that in the trenches, you are not going to be talking to an accurately informed security guard much less a lawyer, and their main concern is that they don't do something to piss off their supervisor and jeopardize their own situation; these guys are low level, not highly paid, are probably bored to death, embracing any diversion and it makes no difference to their day whether i get detained or not
Last edited by jlm; 3rd January 2012 at 04:02.
John, would you be able to find these guys again? I wonder if it might be worth paying them a visit, bringing the sheet, and having a nice chat with them about who you are, what you are doing, what your rights are, and so on. Might avoid a future confrontation.
might try that, there is more there to shoot, that is for sure. My guess I i will have to work upstream in their hierarchy
The thing is that if they "catch" you again, and recognize you, you could be in for a long talk, possibly bringing in the police, who might not necessarily be any more clever or friendly. If you pay them a visit, drop off your business card and show them your portfolio, and then have a chat about your rights, documenting it properly, you could have some allies instead.
Unfortunately here in the UK it's not only the "meatheads" who haven't a clue, the police are also culpable. There have been many incidents of photographers having images deleted or being illegally detained.
Fortunately now there is quite a backlash. Photographers - and the general public - are better informed of their rights. Recently there have been cases where photographers have been awarded compensation by the courts. The police - and meatheads - are now under pressure to educate their own and react appropriately and sympathetically to photographers. One of the leading lights in the battle for photographer’s rights in the UK has been Amateur Photographer magazine.
It is key that we all make a stand when our rights are abused.
damn, i've been scooped, but i like mine better
48 New Hook Road, Bayonne, NJ
using google street view, i was able to get almost the same image! but could not copy the "pegman" view by sopying the link
Last edited by jlm; 3rd January 2012 at 17:17.
What this attitude amounts to is a criminalization of photography--the act of taking a picture is somehow a suspicious activity. And it has spilled over to normal places--it is an invasion of privacy, not a celebration or exploration of the diversity of life. We live in a funny world.
Last edited by johnnygoesdigital; 3rd January 2012 at 19:42.
I don't know about the Niagra thing, so I can't comment. Read this:
Google does not show what is going on in your backyard. It is an image taken at a random time on a random day. Except for your friends and family that have already seen your backyard, who else would know? It is so much easier to drive down your street and look at your backyard than rely on Google as what is happening there.
Peace friend, we just don't see this the same way.
I carry a high visibility vest with my gear for those occasions where I'd rather not get killed on the side of the road when I photograph. I wonder how the rentacops and law enforcement would react if you wore one with TERRORIST written across the back? Now there's an idea.
If there is a serious threat then call the police. Making a potential terrorist delete pictures does nothing but encourage them to be more careful when they return and now you have allowed them to remain at large to return. It's just so senseless. If there is a serious suspicion then you call the police no questions asked. These half baked measures half applied by brainless security must have the real terrorists rolling around with laughter while they realise that they have won without having to actually fight the battle because the only ones who lose from these measures are the innocent public, not the dedicated terrorist.
I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz
Panasonic GH1/G1, Canon FTb(n)/F-1, Mamiya C330F/RB67 Pro SD, Chamonix 45N-2, Nikon F5 + Assorted Lenses
There are two completely different issues here, that have been conflated:
What's the best way to fight terrorists, and
What rights do people have to take photographs in a public place.
Whatever people might think of the need to protect New Jersey's tank farms from terrorist attack, there are limits to what police, and especially private security people, have to interfere with a person's exercise of his or her rights. If the security people can decide what you can photograph in public, why not a patriotic, or paranoid, passerby?
Has the tank farm owner sought to remove its image from Google? Not very likely; Google isn't one guy standing on a truck.
We as photographers have to be respectful too. On an editorial assignment for a magazine covering the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, I decided to put my camera down when I observed that it was upsetting a woman whose home was carried away by the flood. Sometimes taking these images is a privilege and not always a right. In most cases, simply asking permission gets you lots of access. Besides, if you publish them you need a release for anything recognizable, anyway.
"In most cases, simply asking permission gets you lots of access. Besides, if you publish them you need a release for anything recognizable, anyway."
Really; you think that John's asking the security guards if he could take pictures would have made them cooperate? And where does it say that you need permission to publish a photograph of something "recognizable?"
I thought the First Amendment applied to images as well as words, but what do I know? I learn something new every day.
Generally, you'll need a release for most editorial or commercial photography. Not always required, but my editor won't publish without it. Even website photo's might require some kind of release. My travel and destination assignments normally don't require a release though.
Given today's litigious society, I find that simply asking permission for photographing certain locations or people is the respectful thing to do. And yes, I think the guards would have been more cooperating in photographing the tank farm, if only he had asked.
I was once stopped at a security gate for a National Guard base, on an unscheduled stop for an assignment. No photographs were allowed even though I was standing on public property. I asked permission to photograph, and was met by the base commander, who gave me a personal photography tour of the helicopter base. He gave me unprecedented access, just because I asked. The term "media", is practically a dirty word, so lets be respectful. Why is this even an issue?
the guard did tell me i did not look like a terrorist...
the problem y'all are not seeing is that in the trenches you are not confronted by anyone capable of making an informed civil rights decision, instead they are bored, working for minimum pay, and have to guess at the best way to satisfy their boss and keep their own job security.
Sometimes they won't give permission if you use a tripod (south street seaport public property, at 8am, no one around, i was stopped shooting the piers). Once shooting a Con Ed transformer plant in brooklyn again public property, once shooting the waste treatment facility(!!) in Greenpoint, all from a public road.
I also have personal permission from the administration to shoot in the Navy Yard (City of NY property), where I lease 10,000 sq ft for my shop (since 1986, yes 25 years!)
Massachusetts has its own quirks
means don't ever sell street photography where faces are recognizable without a release.
That is what I am told is the way that this is being applied.
The navy yard is an amazing place to photograph. I was excited when there was talk of a movie studio in that location. That must be fun to have a shop there, and be a photographer!
There have been very serious examples of this kind of "identification".
The tripod issue has been discussed thoroughly. It is a law in many places. Especially, you aren't supposed to put a tripod on the pavement (I think it was meant well as a safety hazard).
Dams, several other such infrastructures are off limits to photography. Laws to this effect were written a long time ago though they were not strictly enforced all the time.
With regards to Google maps and such- people should take up that issue against security folks and Google instead of turning it around to use against the laws that rule the places. Google have done a lot of criminal things. There has been massive settlements for stealing intellectual property, copyrighted books, etc, etc. It is laughable that no one has been put in jail for that. However, this does not give any right for anyone else to steal!
Pixiq runs extensive articles on photographer's rights and features many resources that assure our rights as photographers. It's very disturbing for me to observe how many violations in that respect have been committed by police officers who are ignorant of laws when it comes to photography.
YOUR RIGHTS AS A PHOTOGRAPHER.
1. Almost anything you can see you can photograph.
If you can see it, you can take a picture of it. If you are standing on public property you can photograph anything you like, including private property. It is important to realize that taking a picture is different than publishing a photo, which leads to point number two.
2. As long as you are not invading someone’s privacy, you can publish their photo without permission.
You can take someone’s picture in any public setting and publish it without consequence (even if it portrays the person in a negative way) as long as the photo isn’t “highly offensive to a reasonable person” and “is not of legitimate concern to the public.” You can even publish photos if you took them on private property. While you may be punished for being on private property, there is no legal reason why you can’t publish the photo from prison!
3. As long as you aren’t using someone’s likeness for a purely commercial purpose, you have the right to publish the photo.
You can use your photos of other people without their permission for an artistic or news purpose, but you can’t use them for a commercial purpose (such as an ad). You could sell a photo of a person without their permission, but you couldn’t use the photo in an ad saying the person endorses your product.
I've just been sent a link to this wonderful footage of a confrontation between a "meathead" and a photographer.
Scunthorpe photographer faces down abusive security guards at Golden Wonder factory who want to enforce imaginary law against taking pictures from the public pavement - Boing Boing
loved it. very similar "arguments" from the guards in my circumstance.
At one point he was responding
"I have no intention of shitting"