Shooting in Major Cities

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by PhilGarber, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. PhilGarber

    PhilGarber TPF Noob!

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    Hi-

    So, for a while now I've been dying to do a photography project in NYC. Either on The Hudson (and consequently the George Washing Bridge) or on Broadway. I've seen some great shots of NYC and the GWB but I'm just scared of being labeled a terrorist because im taking photos of the bridge or some cool skyscraper. Is there any resource out there (either a book or on the web) that deals just with shooting in cities? I know that Krages deals with general photo law-I'm just looking for something more spefic.

    Thanks,

    Phil,
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2009
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well first off remember many of the incidents are more isolated than the media (And forums) lead us to belive - its not totalyl bad provided you keep a level head.
    Also if you look like a tourist they are more likley to just ignor you than anything else.
    Further a good defence is even if your not pro - but to look like one - get a website up and a gallery (even just a flickr one or a blog) and then get some cheap business cards made up with your name - email and website on them. That way even though you are not a "pro" you look more like one - and aside from press passes (which you should not need and probably won't be able to get) there are no official groups or such which you have to be a member of.

    Also remember that in any encounter be polite to the officers, yet do be firm if they are performing their duties wrong (the laws are large and complex and even the police can get them wrong sometimes). Its handy to carry some of those legal fact cards that are around which outline your rights and the sepcific laws that state them - find at least one good one for the US and carry that with you in your pocket
     
  3. blash

    blash TPF Noob!

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    Carry a legal fact card and be polite with the police officers if they stop you. So long as the photos are taken from a public spot and the buildings are not sensitive (i.e. be careful around police stations and military bases) then, pretty much, you're in the right.
     
  4. nickisonfire

    nickisonfire TPF Noob!

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    i've walked around shooting in NYC a couple dozen times and i've never even thought about being labeled a terrorist or even being questioned by cops, i wouldn't worry about it if i were you
     
  5. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    A press card would be nice. :)
     
  6. winsley

    winsley TPF Noob!

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    I was in NYC back in October and never had any problem. I actually wanted to photography the subway coming in and out of the station so I asked an NYPD Sergeant about it. He stated that there is no harm unless posted, of which he said that there were none. LOL. I was able to take a few. No one paid any attention to me. Hope this helps. When in doubt ask one of the Officers. If they say no then move on or wait until they leave!
     
  7. bhop

    bhop No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    In L.A. (also a major city), the problems aren't the real police, it's the rent-a-cops and business owners.
     
  8. Jaszek

    Jaszek No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I've shot subways and some bridges and only got stopped once when I was in the park between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges on the Brooklyn side. It's private property but I told the guy I'm taking the pictures for my self so he didn't say anything. Also I was shooting the subway with my 70-200 and only a couple of people looked at me weird and that's it. NYC is not that bad :p.
     
  9. PhilGarber

    PhilGarber TPF Noob!

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    Thanks guys! This is surprising to me. I thought I'd have to be really careful shooting the city. Looks like normal normal common sense should cut it.
     
  10. Jaszek

    Jaszek No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Also if you want, find the photographers bill of rights and print it out in case you get stopped. Remember, do not let them review the pictures. it's your property
     
  11. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Honestly, even if you carry around that bill of rights, common sense dictates that instead of wasting time trying to education some moron rent-a-cop, just move on and find another location. Better to be shooting than wasting time arguing.

    In NYC there are likely thousands of places to shoot from without issues and if one spot doesn't work, find another. Also, go light, If you are carrying 2 camera bodies, flashes, reflectors and stands, expect to get stopped a lot more than if you just have a single body and maybe a lens or 2 in a nondescript backpack.
     
  12. fwellers

    fwellers TPF Noob!

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    I keep hearing that kind of thing, and I don't get it. I would think that terrorists would try to 'spy' pictures. They wouldn't carry tons of gear and be obvious about it. So why would a cop who saw someone setting up with reflectors and stands etc.. think they are a terrorist ?
     

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