Photographing a public place and asked to stop

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tecboy

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One day, I was in downtown photographing a nice Adobe buildings and a nice fountain sculpture right in front of it. A security personal approached me asked me to stop shooting, and he jotted my name down. Where can I shoot pictures with my dslr in these days? There are some popular landmarks in my area require permits, and these are not cheap. Had anyone experienced this?
 

Tailgunner

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One day, I was in downtown photographing a nice Adobe buildings and a nice fountain sculpture right in front of it. A security personal approached me asked me to stop shooting, and he jotted my name down. Where can I shoot pictures with my dslr in these days? There are some popular landmarks in my area require permits, and these are not cheap. Had anyone experienced this?

Hum...it's a California thing?

I shoot all over Texas and never heard of such a thing.
 

480sparky

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Some places have found that charging people to exercise their Constitutional rights is a money-maker.

If you're on public property, I doubt a private security guard has the legal authority to stop you unless they're hired by the AHJ that issues the permits.
 

TATTRAT

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Only once have I been asked to stop, it was at the Capitol Building in D.C., I went to bust out my tripod for some late sunset long exposures and dudes came out of the woodwork. Apparently, to use a tripod, you need a press pass, as I was informed. . . and pretty easy to get.

Hell, you can walk right up to the F.B.I. building and shoot to your hearts content, hell, most ALL federal buildings in D.C. you can shoot with no issues. Cali must be a little wonky in that department. Strange, and seems well, kinda stupid, to be honest.
 

480sparky

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........... Apparently, to use a tripod, you need a press pass, ...........

Many places consider a tripod a public health hazard... they don't want people tripping over the extended legs. Some places ban 'em outright, permit or no.
 

vintagesnaps

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You were downtown... what was the adobe building? was it public or private property? That would probably make a difference on what's allowed.
 

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........... Apparently, to use a tripod, you need a press pass, ...........

Many places consider a tripod a public health hazard... they don't want people tripping over the extended legs. Some places ban 'em outright, permit or no.


Yeah, the Smithsonians are like that.
 

Tailgunner

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........... Apparently, to use a tripod, you need a press pass, ...........

Many places consider a tripod a public health hazard... they don't want people tripping over the extended legs. Some places ban 'em outright, permit or no.

That's seems to be the rule concerning tripods but how about monopods?
 

480sparky

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........... Apparently, to use a tripod, you need a press pass, ...........

Many places consider a tripod a public health hazard... they don't want people tripping over the extended legs. Some places ban 'em outright, permit or no.

That's seems to be the rule concerning tripods but how about monopods?

I've walked right past the ticket-takers in places that prohibit tripods with my monopod, even though it has three 'legs' at the bottom. If they wanna ask me, I'll just tell 'em it's a walking stick.
 

Tony S

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The private security guard was probably blowing smoke up "yer hiney" without any legal authority. If you were on public property you are good to go with only a few exceptions that relate to national security. I doubt an adobe building falls into that category. Shoot, if you were on public property you don't even have to give the police your information let alone a private guard. Lots of stuff about that all over the internet showing people exercising their rights, might be easier to show ID and answer ??'s, but you really don't have to unless they have reason to suspect you are committing a crime.
 
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tecboy

tecboy

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There is a meeting inside adobe building I come regularly. I don't know is this public or private property. The security guy told me this building is to keep privacy. He thought I'm an architect that I might copy the building design.

The Satanna Row is a popular outdoor mall, and I need to pay a permit to shoot my DSLR.

The beach boardwalk nearby lets me use my DSLR, but tripod is prohibited. When I drive north to San Francisco, the Yerba buena gardens lets me use my DSLR, but to use tripod I have to pay the permit.

In nearby mall, one lady shoot her p&s camera with her kids, and a security guard told her to stop and get her name.
 

weepete

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Usually all they can do is ask you to stop taking photos or ask you to leave (and if they ask you to leave you need to go) if you are on private property which the public has access to. If you are on public property they can ask you to stop (like any person can ask another anything) but you don't have to as you are perfectly within your rights. Lots of securtiy guards and building managers seem to see photographers as a threat and some think you need permission to take photographs, even when you don't.

Of course there are exceptions so you'd need to check your local byelaws.
 

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ShooterJ

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The private security guard was probably blowing smoke up "yer hiney" without any legal authority. If you were on public property you are good to go with only a few exceptions that relate to national security. I doubt an adobe building falls into that category. Shoot, if you were on public property you don't even have to give the police your information let alone a private guard. Lots of stuff about that all over the internet showing people exercising their rights, might be easier to show ID and answer ??'s, but you really don't have to unless they have reason to suspect you are committing a crime.

I agree with most of what's on this thread.. but a word of caution here .. if the police want your name and or identification, you DO in fact have to give it.

A police officer needs to have reasonable suspicion to do so, however they do not have to state what that suspicion is at the time of contact.

This is often misunderstood and gets people in trouble.

Not sure where that's coming from but if a police officer asks for it and you tell them you don't have to show them your ID or give your name, they can and most likely will detain you until they have it.

If the system allowed anyone to simply tell a cop "No" regarding identification, we'd never catch anyone that should be caught .. lol

I've had people refuse to produce ID or name, I detained them until I could find out who they were... and in nearly 10 years I've never had a judge NOT back that decision.

A security guard? Well they can make a citizens arrest given the right circumstances .. but you're not required to show them an ID.. you can just leave.

Not the case with a cop.
 
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SCraig

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The key part is what is PUBLIC property and what is PRIVATE property. Roads, sidewalks, parks (although some require a permit for commercial photography), anything that is distinctly PUBLIC property is usually safe. You do NOT have the right to violate the rules of PRIVATE property nor do you have the right to violate the privacy of a person when they have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

In general, as long as both you and the subject are on public property, and not where the subject would have a reasonable expectation of privacy, there is not much anyone can do about it. You may run into some overly-zealous security guards or police officers that tell you that you can't, but in most cases you can. The exceptions would be areas of high security such as prisons, the White House, and other places like that.

If you are on private property then you are subject to the rules imposed by the property owner. If they say "No Photography" then they have the right to enforce that rule. You can argue all you want but they own the property and they make the rules. As long as you are on their property you will abide by their rules.

If you are on public property and the subject is on private property the rules tend to blur. I've heard many instances of security guards from a building forcing people on a public sidewalk to stop photographing the building. Whether they have the right to do that I do not know, I am not an attorney. The building is on private property however it is positioned where it would not have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Keep one thing in mind though: As long as you are on PUBLIC property NOBODY has the right to confiscate your camera or media. Not the police or a security guard or anyone else.
 
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