Beware of Millenium park nazis

Discussion in 'Chicago' started by Mike A, Jan 16, 2006.

  1. Mike A

    Mike A Member

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    Ok, I've shot the Jay Pritzker pavillion in Millenium park a number of times now and I have yet to be confonted by the yellow jacket rent a cops. Though I read on some other sites these clowns were trying to actually shake down photographers because they were using a tripod or looked like a pro, ah the Chicago grease my palm mayor Daley machine.

    Well today was...uh different. I approach the pavillion at roughly sun up to catch the highlights off of Franks awsome structure he has designed and here comes Barney freak'n Phife. Barney says, what is that? I say a rocket launcher. Barney takes this well and chuckles, Ive gotta call this in to see if you can stay. He returns and says go ahead but you need to hurry.

    Ok Barney I'm gonna hurry with my 11x14, tripod and all slung over my shoulder with holders.

    So I set up for about my fourth shot, and up walks one of his buddies, "hey can't set up there you blocking the walk way" ok so I move over a foot or two so the crowd of people can rush by at 0630hrs on a holiday and then he hovers there for the rest of my set up and shot, no biggie I guess.

    They gotta bug me one more time before I finish , Miss Phife in charge sneaks up on me while I'm under the blanket and asks, "are you suppose to be a pro or sumth'n" I say, nope I'm just a amatuer but after all the questions today I feel like a pro. She doesn't like my attitude I can tell. I'm waiting for the boot from her but it never comes, she yaps into the GI Joe hand set and walks without a word.

    Why does this pavilion need a army of no less than a dozen donut eaters walking in circles around it ready to pounce on your freindly neighborhood eccentric ULF photographer? It is a public park is it not? Has anyone else had to deal with simular nonsense?
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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  3. Mark Feldstein

    Mark Feldstein Member

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    Hey Mike !! Yeah, I remember the feeling(s) quite well starting with the democratic convention in August 1968. The cops pulled off their name tags and rioted against the students and media. I was at ground zero in front of the Hilton at Balboa and Michigan shooting for the Sun Times. Later, when hizzonor was asked about the level of disorder and the roles the police played, Mayor Daley in true Daleyspeak responded with " Da police aren't here to create disorder. Da police are here to preserve disorder." His press secretary at the time, later begged the press to "print what he means, not what he says." Aaahhhhhhhhh, dose were da days. <sigh> I miss my hometown.

    Man, I'd install a rearview mirror under that blanket and watch your back. Take care.
    Mark
     
  4. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    I wish they had made the movie "Born on the Fourth of July" before my butt found its way to Vietnam. I might have been there at the convention too. Anyway not much has changed in my opinion. This Nixon throw back Bush will probably wire tape me for my comments.

    I look at my war decorations and think; for this I can't photograph freely in America without being suspect.
     
  5. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    Funny and small world. I was a page at that convention. I missed most the action running errands for the people inside.
     
  6. BruceN

    BruceN Member

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    Even though it's ridiculous, a few idiotic questions from oafish rentacops is a relatively small price to pay compared to the outright extortion going on in places like Monument Valley.
     
  7. Mike A

    Mike A Member

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    So I've heard Bruce, this is why I "played the game". Is it a pass or permit that is required at these parks? I here that in Europe you can not photograph in public places with a tripod with out "zee proper papers" because you are veiwed as a proffesional making money off the image you are making.

    Mike A
     
  8. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    You are on Navajo Nation land. They are using the money they as you call it extort out of the tourists to do projects like health care and schools. It also employes many of the Navajos. I do not begrudge them one cent for us being allowed on their land. It is not public land.
     
  9. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    I too would have found the repetitive questions annoying. However, I doubt that most people have ever seen an 11 x 14 camera (I don't think I have ever seen one in person). As you mention it, I could see that the bellows of a 16 x 20 camera filled with some sort of explosives would be a fine prop for a suicide bomber to use in a large city. Less obvious than the vest laden with sticks of dynamite and bags of nails. Imagine the rapture of a suicide bomber as he pushes the cable release and says "smile!" I am more than willing to put up with modest intrusion for the sake of safety, even if it borders on the ridiculous at times.
     
  10. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Although you may have been annoyed by the "millenium park nazis" at least (I assume) hopefully, you weren't towed by the lincoln park pirates of '60's legend.
     
  11. argus

    argus Member

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    You hear but check your statements before spreading them.
    None of the above is true, at least not in Belgium.

    Generalisations are soooooo wrong.

    G
     
  12. BruceN

    BruceN Member

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    I have no problem at all with ordinary and reasonable access fees, nor with any of the other ordinary "tourist trap" activities that go on there. I'd prefer not to have to have a guide to go to the interesting places, but as you said - it's their land. I have a real problem with what they do to one who might actually try to SELL a photo taken there. Those fees are NOT reasonable and, in my opinion, are extortion. It appears that, contrary to all common sense, terrain features can be copyrighted.
     
  13. Mike A

    Mike A Member

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    Argus,
    I did not mean to offend you, I should not have generalized my statement. It was France I was speaking of specifically ( I hope your not Flemish) It is my understanding they have some of the most stringent copyright laws in the world, this may be the reason for some of the reports I read on other forums about photography law in France. I've been to both France and your country many years ago and found no problems taking snapshots with my 35mm, though I did not try to set up a tripod.

    Mike A
     
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  15. Mark Feldstein

    Mark Feldstein Member

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    Personally, I don't think ANY governmental agency, local, state, or federal, is any more capable of preventing a terrorist attack today than they were 10 years ago. Insofar as I can conclude, all the government intrusions from shoe removal at airports to hassling photographers with tripods (pros or not), to illegal, unconstitutional wiretaps and e-mail snooping, is merely a pretext for gathering information about the people who live here, regardless of their nationality or citizenship. National health information database? For our medical benefit? ROFLMAO !! How about just national health insurance and let us maintain our own health records, let us read our own e-mail without invasion of that privacy, and speak openly and freely on the telephone and elsewhere. Personally, if I want an audience, I'll send out invitations. <G>


    I relinquish the soapbox now and return control of your monitors. <G>
     
  16. That Rich

    That Rich Member

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    Hi all, just discovered this forum and it will be great to get away from all the film v. digital wars everywhere else I go.

    Mike A. 's post really hit a nerve. On Xmas Eve 2004 my family and I drove up to Millennium Park to photograph the *bean* sculpture as it was the first time it was completely revealed to the public. The sculpture was not finished but da mayr decided to give Chicagoans a two week peek over the Holidays... but I digress.

    The sun was just setting as I setup my tripod... it's -15 f and my daughter and I are virtually the only people in the park. Just as I set up and am ready to snap a few frames I am abruptly stopped by two Cook County Sherifs (no idea why THEY were in the park). They tell me I cannot photograph with a tripod because I must be a pro... HA.. They tell me I must aquire a permit from da mayrs office on Monday at a cost of $60... the entire time they are talking to me I am taking readings with my spot meter trying to ignore them. I screw in the cable release and set the camera then snap a picture... at that point they sternly say "we cannot let you do that". I turned red at that moment but thought better about making any kind of a scene with my young daughter standing next to me... freezing.

    Oh well, the park nazis indeed.

    Cheers,

    RP©
     
  17. fwp

    fwp Member

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    You may want to complain to the city and possibly the county. The sheriffs that gave you a hard time had no business doing so. When the park opened there were a lot of issues about whether or not the park in general and the bean in particular could be photographed. Since then the city has made it clear that photography was allowed unless it interfered with movement of the crowd.
     
  18. That Rich

    That Rich Member

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    Hi FWP,

    Certainly thought about filing a complaint but that's as far as it got.... a thought.
    The moment was ruined but I did have another body loaded with 800 film and managed to snap a few half a** shots with that but surely nothing like I had hoped.
    The event I mention was Dec of 2004 and from what you say things have changed a bit for the better.

    Cheers,

    RP©
     
  19. B&Wscapes

    B&Wscapes Member

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    From My understanding is that shooting in the park itself can be done at any time. It is once you point that lens at the Bean is when they step in. The reason is because the artist that created it has copyrights on the bean itself. the pass you have to get is paying for use of the artists Bean. This is the artist way of getting paid for his art work. like the city didn't pay him enough from the budget from the multi-million dollar park.
     
  20. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    Shooting on public property is a right guaranteed under the constitution. Have a copy of the constitution handy and offer it to them to read. Then have them cite the statute which prohibits you from taking the picture on public property, of public property. They can't do it. It just boils down to who has bigger balls. To add spice to the occasion, take their picture with a digital camera and tell them you are going to see your uncle the ACLU lawyer, and that your friend is running the video camera while you wear a wire for the FBI sting about civil rights violations in the park. Loads of fun. tim

    P.S. On Memorial Day organize a shoot with as many photographers with tripods and cameras as you can find. Call a local news station to get it on film. Don't get mad, get even.
     
  21. Eric Mac

    Eric Mac Member

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    Daley's Bean

    The funny thing about the Bean (tm) is that Mayor Daley's 2005 Christmas card featured a picture of the park with the Bean (tm) in it. I wonder if he had to pay a royalty for the use of it on his card?
     
  22. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    I live in Aurora, IL and have never been to the park. I plan to go to the park and take some pictures sometimes. This thread is very discouraging to me.
     
  23. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Chan,
    Use a monopod & running shoes.
    John
     
  24. Mike A

    Mike A Member

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    Sorry Chan, this was not my intent. Just go early on a day when there is little pedestrian traffic, being polite and non confrontational will help as well. Assure them you'll only be a minute, but be firm and remind them that it is a public domain you are in and you do have a right to be there as long as you are not breaking a specific law.
     
  25. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    Mike, I guess I must be missing something here. Is the Patriot Act in effect here? Is this a matter of national security? Is the park public property? Is the "Bean" public property? Are there laws which say you cannot use a tripod, as in Mexico or some places in europe?

    My understanding of public property is that photography is allowed in a public park at any time in which the park is open, day or night. A tripod does not make a professional (see my gallery, I use a tripod but am certainly not a professional). What is the real issue here about the use of a camera on public property. Is it the "bean"? If an artist has a work on display on public property, there are no laws about taking the picture. There are laws about the use of an image in which a copyright has been used wrongfully, but that is certainly not a police issue, it is a matter for the courts to decide.

    I still suggest a large "shoot-in" by as many LF photographers as possible. tim
     
  26. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    I find it annoying when anyone challenges me or even questions me about a photo I am taking. However, I do believe that I should NOT infringe on anyone's rights in any manner whatsover. I would rather pass up a great photo than to stop or to hamper anyone else from that which they are entitled to do. I Make a strong point of avoiding stepping upon private property without permission. I try not to litter even in a minor fashion.

    As I see it a rent a cop has the right to ask civil and appropriate questions. I have no right to impede anyone else from using the sidewalk with the way I setup my tripod and I make a point of not doing so. Of course if no one else is around to use the sidewalk then I set my tripod up as I choose. People who presume that they are welcome to interrupt what I am doing, with questions for example, are not treated very civilly...I have my rights too. If a person is going to attempt to stop me from taking a photo that I am legally allowed to take they are in for a rather hostile debate at the very least.