i ran across this artlicle at;city paper.net. i have personally experienced situations where i would not take my camera out of the bag,there are places in philladelphia i no longer shoot , the subway, independance park near liberty bell, 30th st. train station......... i wonder is this wide spread.
iam sorry the jest of the article is, there have been several incidents here in philly where photogs have been detained for taking pictures in public places.
It is part of the general paranoia. The law says you can photograph an public thing, whether it is a building, a bridge, the Liberty bell, anything so long as you do not trespass on private property without permission or invade someone's privacy. Unfortunately too many security guards either don't know the law or don't care. But, it is better to leave the camera in your bag than get beat up by a guard. On the other hand if you are just walking by and they try to hassle you for having a camera in your possession, call the police and then sue the $#%@ out of the guards and their employer. You can start with unreasonable search and seizure, and unlawful detainment. If they take the camera or film you have them for theft/robbery too.
Remember to keep smiling. When you loose your sense of humour (or your temper), they gain power and feel like their winning. I usually ignore stupid laws like that (what are they going to do, arrest me?) Plus, if you shoot like you mean it (act like a real photographer), they usually leave me alone. If I see them first, I'll go introduce myself, let them see my equip, and even ask if they would like to come watch me work.
I'm just waiting for the day when I'm shooting a wedding outdoors and some *idiot* tries their "Patriot Act" crap. I'll let the bride kick their ass for me...
Check with the law before you shoot. Just like rules, laws can be bent or broken, as long as you know them first. Hell, I have the FAA complaint 800 number in my cell phone. Therefore, if some TSA lackie decides to harass me when I fly, I'll ask for the supervisor, and then dial the FAA. Plus, I keep a copy of the 49CFR with me.
I've seen more 35mm photographers get harrassed than MF or LF people. (Try Indianapolis International Airport) I get a lot of "nice cameras" and "heading to a job, eh" from the TSA people when they see my Hassy. I was surprised. Of course, since the TSA took over, airport checkpoints have been very, very much improved in quality. No more minimum wage *idiots* who are clueless and abuse their (limited) power. The TSA folks are actually very professional, knowledgeable, and usually nice.
When I'm out and somebody is starting some sh*t with me about shooting, I usually whip out my phone and threaten to call the cops first. "Hold on one moment here while I call the local constabulary (the other person is still taking to me...) and I'll see what they have on the books for such a law" Most times, they give up and walk away, I've only had one incident where they were stubborn and stuck around. When the cops arrived, they basically told the guy he was an idiot, looked at my gear, shrugged, and walked off. If the cop told me to leave, I would, but if not, I'd smile, smile, smile, and work away. (Or, I'll take a picture of the guy who was harrasing me and threaten to use it for a billboard supporting abortion)
Yup, I'm one of those conspiracy theorizing, stubborn, "hate authority", Dead Kennedy-like people. Come'on, I'm in the computer industry. Since when were we known for being nice people? He He http://apug.org/forum/html/emoticons/smile.gif
Reports in The Village Voice of NYPD harrassing credentialed photographers at anti-war protests:
"Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the citizenry
into a patriotic fervor, for patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword. It
both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind. And when the drums
of war have reached a fever pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind
has closed, the leader will have no need in seizing the rights of the citizenry.
Rather, the citizenry, infused with fear and blinded by patriotism, will offer
up all of their rights unto the leader and gladly so. How do I know? For this
is what I have done. And I am Caesar."
If a Nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose it's freedom;
and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money that it values more, it will lose that too.
- William Somerset Maugham (1874-1965)
"Therefore, if some TSA lackie decides to harass me when I fly, I'll ask for the supervisor, and then dial the FAA..."
I don't quite get the point here. The FAA person can do nothing if your complaint is dealing with the TSA. The TSA Security Director, and airport security in itself has nothing to do with the FAA anymore. The fact that they transferred FARS 107, 108, 109 to 49 CFR (part 1500) puts this totally out of FAA jurisdiction.
So, why "dial the FAA"? You might want to add a TSA number instead.
In my citythe cops act in a similar fashion. During the NCAA playoff riots, they actively targeted anyone with a camera and let the rubber bullets fly. I saw one reporter from the Daily Wildcat (the UofA paper) get shot point blank with a beanbag gun. The force was so great she literally did a somersault!
During the anti-war protests, the cops started arresting some anarchists who showed up. Anyone taking pictures was threatened with arrest. Fortunately the Legal Observers showed up!
Par for the course.
The FAA has requested that any problems with airports and/or personnel be directed to them at the 800 number. Calling them to report any problems gets the problem resolved quicker than anything else (Boston Logan is a popular place for these "problems" to occur)