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Thread: Restrictions to Photography

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    Restrictions to Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    even though i was on a public road, they busted my chops and demanded that i delete the images whie they watched.
    Next time, tell them you have the right to take photos from public property and you will not delete anything. Then ask them if you are free to go, if they say no, then you've probably got good cause for a false arrest action. Know your rights, don't let meat heads like these erode them. Giving them the false impression you deleted files just encourages them to harasse the next photog (me:).

    Excuse the rant, but this kinda of sh#t pisses me off.

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    Re: Technical Camera Images

    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.
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    Senior Member KeithL's Avatar
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    Re: Technical Camera Images

    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.

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    Re: Technical Camera Images

    This is a useful resource if you're in the US:
    http://www.krages.com/phoright.htm
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Technical Camera Images

    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 05:02.

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    Re: Technical Camera Images

    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.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Technical Camera Images

    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

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    Re: Technical Camera Images

    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.
    Carsten - Website

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    Senior Member KeithL's Avatar
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    Re: Technical Camera Images

    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.

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    Re: Technical Camera Images

    Quote Originally Posted by alan_w_george View Post
    Next time, tell them you have the right to take photos from public property and you will not delete anything. Then ask them if you are free to go, if they say no, then you've probably got good cause for a false arrest action. Know your rights, don't let meat heads like these erode them. Giving them the false impression you deleted files just encourages them to harasse the next photog (me.

    Excuse the rant, but this kinda of sh#t pisses me off.
    Given this image was taken in the NYC area, and that this is considered a "tank farm", i'm not surprised the photographer was stopped. Quite frankly, i'm glad he was. Better to be safe... Tank farms are not the usual tourist attraction, so unless you explained you're a professional photographer, I would expect this kind of security. Next time you should ask permission, and they'll probably give you a tour, think of the camera angles!

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    Re: Technical Camera Images

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post
    Given this image was taken in the NYC area, and that this is considered a "tank farm", i'm not surprised the photographer was stopped. Quite frankly, i'm glad he was. Better to be safe... Tank farms are not the usual tourist attraction, so unless you explained you're a professional photographer, I would expect this kind of security. Next time you should ask permission, and they'll probably give you a tour, think of the camera angles!
    You mean a place like this? Terrorists can get pictures off Google maps without tipping off any security. You can also peek into Bath Iron Works--a navy shipyard. The photographing terrorist is a myth--you only see them in movies. If I am on a public road, I have rights to photograph. If the site is secret, do not built in next to a public road with a chain link fence. Terrorist are going to be a little less conspicuous with an iPhone rather than MFD--and they can transmit the image immediately.

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    Re: Technical Camera Images

    damn, i've been scooped, but i like mine better
    http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&cl...ed=0CEIQ8gEwAg

    google this:
    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 18:17.

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    Re: Technical Camera Images

    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.

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    Senior Member johnnygoesdigital's Avatar
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    Re: Technical Camera Images

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    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.
    This tank farm is in the approach path for a major NYC airport. It is well guarded and highly sensitive. Personally, I find Googles street view quite an invasion of privacy because now we all know what's going on in your yard. Easy on the caffeine .
    Last edited by johnnygoesdigital; 3rd January 2012 at 20:42.

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    Re: Technical Camera Images

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post
    This tank farm is in the approach path for a major NYC airport. It is well guarded and highly sensitive. As far as no terrorists being photographers, years ago in Niagra Falls a group of terrorists were arrested and their plot was brought to light, in part to their habit of photographing sensitive areas. Personally, I find Googles street view quite an invasion of privacy because now we all know what's going on in your yard.
    Well, it can't be that sensitive or well guarded if I can take a public road to see it. I can also see it on Google Maps--look at Guantanamo Bay on Google Maps; you can see quite a bit of detail except for the sensitive areas.

    I don't know about the Niagra thing, so I can't comment. Read this:

    http://www.schneier.com/blog/archive...r_on_phot.html

    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.

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    Re: Technical Camera Images

    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.
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    Re: Technical Camera Images

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    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
    Considering a couple of years ago they did thwart an attack (in the planning stages) to blow up the tanks at JFK I can see why they would be suspicious. There aren't that many people out taking shots of big tanks. If you were really trying to do something evil you wouldn't be out in the open standing on a car roof but I can see both sides.

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    Re: Restrictions to Photography

    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.
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    Re: Technical Camera Images

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post
    Given this image was taken in the NYC area, and that this is considered a "tank farm", i'm not surprised the photographer was stopped. Quite frankly, i'm glad he was. Better to be safe... Tank farms are not the usual tourist attraction, so unless you explained you're a professional photographer, I would expect this kind of security. Next time you should ask permission, and they'll probably give you a tour, think of the camera angles!
    Stopped, yes. Forced to delete photos? Definitely not! That's what's crossing the line. Who's to say what a photographer might find interesting? Something called presumption of innocence seems to have been lost somewhere along the way with this 'war on terror' business.
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    Re: Restrictions to Photography

    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.

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    Re: Technical Camera Images

    Quote Originally Posted by photoSmart42 View Post
    Stopped, yes. Forced to delete photos? Definitely not! That's what's crossing the line. Who's to say what a photographer might find interesting? Something called presumption of innocence seems to have been lost somewhere along the way with this 'war on terror' business.
    I agree that making a photographer delete images is extreme, and I never had that experience, but there is a hyper sensitivity in these metro areas. NYC has many amazing angles, and many do photograph NY's scenery, such as the Brooklyn Bridge with no issues. To those who are not familiar with NYC, some are very sensitive to this, as many would be terrorists have indeed been caught with photos/videos of NYC landmarks, so again, i'm not surprised by the tank farm security response considering its location.

    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.

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    Re: Restrictions to Photography

    "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.

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    Re: Restrictions to Photography

    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?

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    Re: Restrictions to Photography

    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!)

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    Re: Restrictions to Photography

    Massachusetts has its own quirks
    http://www.malegislature.gov/Laws/Ge...r214/Section3A

    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.

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    Re: Restrictions to Photography

    Jim,
    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!

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    Re: Restrictions to Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    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.
    All the more reason to stand up to them.

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    Re: Restrictions to Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    the guard did tell me i did not look like a terrorist...
    That to me is more serious of an issue. How can anyone tell based on your look or my look as to who we are!

    There have been very serious examples of this kind of "identification".
    See: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-16403636

    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!

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    Re: Restrictions to Photography

    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.


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    Re: Restrictions 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.


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    Re: Restrictions to Photography


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    Re: Restrictions to Photography

    loved it. very similar "arguments" from the guards in my circumstance.

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    Re: Restrictions to Photography

    Cool, Keith!

    At one point he was responding

    "I have no intention of shitting"


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