I am not so sure it is this bad all over the US. The best thing to do is openly set up your camera and take the pictures. If you need to hand hold use a camera that you can hand hold. A lot of places say no tripods because they get in the way of others. I have used a monopod quite successfully in many areas that say no tripod.
Originally Posted by Andy K
As for tribal lands you should contact the tribe for information. SOme tribes allow no photography on their lands. One that comes to mind right away are the Hopi in northern AZ.
There are even more cases of average citizens not allowing photographs of their land, who are not affiliated with a tribe, they just feel they own the view since they bought the land. These are the folks that really piss me off. I could be hiking down a river bank in COlorado and come across a sign that says in big letters no photography beyond this point. but I am allowed to continue walking.
Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI
So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004
I have photographed all sorts of buildings including those occupied by the government. People driving by have called in and reported suspicious activity. When the police show up, I am respectful and answer all their questions. They have never told me to stop. I usually thank them for doing their job and say I understand why you stopped. If some one other then an official stop me I'm also respectful. only once was I told I can't take a photo, I told him to call the police and report my activity and then went back to what I was doing without incident.
Unfortunately, I have a photographic memory. Thus, after 9-11, I was required to register myself. I am now a Registered Photographic Offender and I must report to Homeland Security whenever I move, and must gain advance permission before I approach any government building or entity.
When I travel I am subjected to a brain scan to insure that I have not memorized any critical security detail. Luckily for me I have an ISO 25 brain (I'm a little slow), so these scans do not fog my memory.
WOW! You must be a really nice guy my friend. Where in their cop-job-description does it say to stop and interrogate guys with big cameras? I can't see me thanking anyone for harrasing me when I am photographing. But that's just me!
Originally Posted by Rlibersky
Why invite trouble, when there is nothing to be gained?
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Originally Posted by Rlibersky
Indeed, agree with this approach..but that's just me. In the situation that I had, by the time the postal employee was finished 'discussing' with me the moment (read light) was gone..so I felt the best thing to do was pack up and walk away...until another day. Tried to be polite with the person, but they were quite agitated, don't think he appreciated the fact I disagreed with him.
Will approach the idea again later, and contact the manager of the PO to see if there should be any restrictions. In the meantime will continue to search for the facts, so that I can be better prepared the next time this happens.
Would like to point out that the local law enforcement has never been a problem, and in previous shoots around the city have had them pass by .. looked to see what I was doing and went on their way..some cars some on bikes, never even stopped. Always make a point to nod or at least smile..they are doing their job, plus it not a bad thing to have them come by, hopefully makes me less of a target for less friendly people.
In case anyone is interested here is a link with a picture of the building was trying to shoot...looks to be made pre 9-11
For me it's always been a very distinct line--cops good, rent-a-thugs very bad.
I shoot at night, so I certainly get my share of attention. but have never had a real cop spend more than 10 minutes asking reasonable questions (although sometimes including leading questions trying to get me to admit to commercial intent, which would require a permit).
But I've had rent-a-thugs tell me I needed to stop right now or I was going to jail. (I didn't stop, I didn't go to jail, he didn't even call the cops), I've had them trot out all sorts of copyright, trademark and terrorist malarkey, I've been threatened that they were "going to call the cops if you don't leave right now" several times, and never ONCE did they call when I told them I wasn't stopping. (Note that I was never on their property.)
All this despite the fact that I generally AM doing something illegal! San Diego, like many cities, has gone to great lengths to criminalize homelessness. As part of this, it's an infraction to set any personal property on a public sidewalk for purposes other than the immediate loading/unloading of a vehicle. This would appear to mean I could and should be cited for having my tripod on a sidewalk. But it's never happened, even when it was the real cops stopping by to check me out.
Generally, I agree.
Originally Posted by Roger Krueger
I worked security for the 1984 Olympics in LA. We had to interface with the police. Let's just say that LAPD didn't make that easy. Let's also say that we are damned lucky that someone didn't try to do anything then, as the LAPD didn't take things seriously.
That said, I remember this from my training. At that time, and in California, security were not allowed to actually do anything but observe and report. Obviously, if there were immediate danger, the security guards can do something. However, they can do what anyone can do. The uniform doesn't give them any additional rights.
Actually, we were warned that if we grab/touch anyone, we could be charged with battery.
So, as far as I can tell, a security guard can talk to you, observe you, call the police and stand in front of your camera.
Now, this is for private security. Someone working for the post office or a government building may have different rules!
If you were not on government property, he can't tell you to do anything. Even if you were on USPS (which is only quasi-governmental, BTW) property I would question his jurisdiction unless he's part of the Federal Protective Service, which provides security for Federal Buildings.
Originally Posted by photomc
I work at a US Government facility. If we observe a breach of security we call the FPS. I'm a contractor, but not even the Fed employees can take any action on their own. Unless I'm challenged by a uniformed officer with a badge, I'm very uncooperative.
I would've continued photographing and told the man to kindly bugger off.