Some friends and I decided to meet in Death Valley for the weekend of February 23,24, and 25 2007. It so happens that most like to photograph. 1 had an 8x10, 2 had 4x5s, and 1 had medium format. The others used D****** Cameras. We all arrived late Friday after noon and set up a schedule of meeting places and time. The way it worked was at 5:00 be at Zabriski (sp) Point if you want. 9:00 Sand Dunes by Stove Pipe Wells as an example. All meeting places were voluntary but Dinner was required. All was going well until Sunday Morning when four of us were at Hells Gate. A park ranger truck showed up with two Rangers and they proceeded to give us a hard time about photographing with out permits and licenses. The cameras in use were 1 8x10, 1 4x5, and 2 D******. The asked if we were a workshop, the answer was no. They asked if we were a photo group and the answer was no. We told them we were friends and we were out enjoying the day and doing some photography and none of the images were for commercial use. One rangers response really surprised me. He said you are using a tripod so the pictures must be for commercial use. One friend started to explain why the tripod was needed when I just gave him a look to pack up and leave. We managed to avoid a ticket but we were followed around the rest of the day. As I traveled around the valley I saw many people with large format cameras and tripods but they didnt get bothered. How do I know? I asked a few of them. So I guess the message is, dont congregate in groups to go photographing in our National Parks.