DC Metro

Discussion in 'Mid Atlantic' started by DBP, Oct 11, 2006.

  1. DBP

    DBP Member

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    Has anyone had any experience with shooting in Metro stations? There is a photo I'd like to take with my 5x7 that I can only get from a particular platform.
     
  2. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    No direct experience with Metro DC. This is always a "touchy" topic - here in NYC we "beat back" a proposal to ban photography in the subways when they tried.

    Setting up a 5x7 is more problemattic than the usual 35mm "street" shot. I'd suggest an inquiry to the Authority (e.g. Public Affairs officer) detailing what, where and how and asking if a permit is required for a "commercial-type"* shoot.

    Besides the usual "terror" concerns, they are also going to be concerned that you don't interfere with passengers, crews etc. Treating like a "commercial situation" may actually get you what you want....
     
  3. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    I suggest you contact Metro directly.

    They are very concerned about the tripping hazard of tripods.

    Does it have to be 5x7? Can't you shoot it hand held on a 4x5 Crown Graphic, or Hobo?
     
  4. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    And let us know how this pans out. I've always wanted to shoot in the metro stations, although with a bit smaller gear.
     
  5. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    Can I watch you get arrested? I promise to photograph it with my Hasselblad. BTW, which station?
     
  6. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Metro station managers and security folk are usually beyond anal about not letting you photograph in stations. I once got yelled at for taking artsy photos with a digisnapper of 1 second exposures of people's feet as they were passing through the turnstiles. No faces, just floors, turnstiles, and feet. I think your best bet is to try and arrange permission beforehand, otherwise you will at best be made to feel like pondscum for trying, and worst case, you will get hauled off and your gear confiscated, of which at least part you can guarantee you'll never see again thanks to the sticky fingers of the folks at Central Booking.
     
  7. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    ... and that's why I've never done it. :sad:
     
  8. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    Is that with all kinds of gear - or just LF stuff?

    Here in NYC you regularly see folks (mainly tourists) shooting 35mm (or digi-equivalent) gear on the subway trains and stations etc.

    Also, the Information booth in Grand Central Station (train terminal) is probably one of the most photographed "icons" in NYC. I figure a lot of folks must have read "A Catcher in the Rye" and are Holden Caufield (?) wannabes....
     
  9. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    This is with all kinds of gear. If you appear to be photographing anything other than other tourists, they get in a snit.
     
  10. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    I should think that which station you pick has a profound effect on the Metro cops' reaction. I mean, aren't you going to get away with a lot more photography at Shady Grove or Vienna than you are at McPherson Square or Farragut West? The strength of the reaction would seem to be in inverse proportion to the distance of the station from the Imperial Compound.
     
  11. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    I think that metro stations and pretty much all gov't places in the DC area aren't even allowing tripods any more.

    Unless your 5x7 is a press camera I think you are going to have difficulties, I am sorry to say.
     
  12. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    It's worse than that. I was driving by the Fairfax County Judicial Center the other day, where they're doing a lot of construction and there are big orange signs every 50 ft. which say "No Photography Allowed without Permission". At a construction site in Fairfax, VA?

    It's way beyond stupid to think that someone actually doing reconnaissance in furtherance of a terrorist plot would use a tripod mounted view camera.

    Unless it's some place like the C&O Canal NHP or the Aquatic Gardens I won't even take my tripod out downtown anymore. And I don't even think about setting one up even near a Metro station, much less in one.
     
  13. wfwhitaker

    wfwhitaker Member

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  15. jclyerly

    jclyerly Member

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    Metro Photography

    If anybody's still interested it this topic.. I worked in downtown DC until just a little while ago. Forget tripods & 4x5s - Tourists, though, with "touristy" (ie - amateur, or P&S) type equipment can pretty much shoot what they like. Just look & act like you're from Podunk - or Osaka - & you'll have no hassles in any DC Metro station.

    JC
     
  16. Eyepix

    Eyepix Member

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    I actually shoot all over the Mall area with a Toyo AII 4x5 camera and sometimes an 8x10 Kodak Masterview camera. In addition, this is usually done at late hours. Of course, I get curious and even odd looks from time to time. Most people don't bother me. What I do know is that you cannot use a tripod inside any of the memorials because they don't want you to damage the marble floors. At one point last summer a park office did come up to me and ask if I was a pro. I am... but my paid work is portraiture and commercial. So I said I was a hobbyist which was essentially true. I have to admit I was a little pissed that I, as citizen that pays taxes that upkeep these places, was made to feel that I had no right to be there. This led me to look on the National Park Service website to see what the law says and it does not say that you cannot photograph or that you need permits. :smile: I don't know what the deal really is but I suspect that there is alot of paranoia out there. Think about it. Would a terrorist set up a 10-20 lb camera on a tripod to take pictures of structural details or police routes? Hmm come on now.
     
  17. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    First, welcome to APUG. :smile:

    This has been discussed ad infinitum. The general consensus is "no". :wink:
     
  18. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    As David notes, this and related topics regarding the NPS, the TSA and the gummint in general have been beaten harder than a dead equiine here.

    But, just to play devil's advocate, what if the 10-20 lb "camera" was really just a shell that actually contained a bomb? :surprised: :wink:
     
  19. DarkroomExperimente

    DarkroomExperimente Member

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    I was using a small 35mm camera pre-9/11 in Bethesda Metro when a cop asked me to stop...he said it was a new rule...and it was because people could hide bombs in cameras

    he was perfectly nice & thanked me for understanding
     
  20. walter23

    walter23 Subscriber

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    Worrying that the prospect of arrest is an automatic assumption isn't it.
     
  21. parker_db

    parker_db Member

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    Metro DC - Photographing in...

    I have had the same problem trying to photograph at the Smithsonian and I certainly feel the same way; we pay for these areas with our taxes, and what terrorist in their right mind would use LF to scope out an area. You would think that there are enough of us tax paying citizens to write our congressmen to see if there is anything that can be done about regular citizens photographing this great country of ours. Let's unite and seek a change.
     
  22. DarkroomExperimente

    DarkroomExperimente Member

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    Unfortunately a "terrorist in their right mind" is a bit of an oxymoron

    I had a friend get harassed by Park Rangers in California about photographing in a National Park....BEFORE they were even photographing in the park!!! someone told a ranger what was going on...and they went to my friend's hotel to give her a hard time !!

    I've been thinking lately that what I was told as a kid..that we're the "land of the free & home of the brave" is less true these days....we're less free, and a lot of people are fearful instead of brave
     
  23. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    You won't get change by appealing to those cuttlefish. Until the public wakes up to that and votes every single one of them out of office, no action will be taken on any important issue.
     
  24. BryceEsquerre

    BryceEsquerre Member

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    I would NOT recommend it. The security and cops in D.C. are so fucking anal. You always have the metro security assholes in the red and blue lurking around trying to bust people.
     
  25. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    I've been taking a night photography class through the Smithsonian, and we've had NO issues when out taking night shots with view cameras on tripods. I was shooting at the Lincoln, along the reflecting pool, and at the WW II, with nary a peep from a security guard. Same over at the Native American museum. Only time I've been hassled was one night I was trying to shoot the carousel on the mall, and the park police came zooming over to determine if I was doing it commercially. Which I wasn't.
     
  26. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    I must say that of all the jurisdictions I've had to interact with around here, the Park Police are the most reasonable if you are respectful and explain to them what you're doing.