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  1. #1
    SchwinnParamount's Avatar
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    Will I be hassled in Paris if I try to shoot street scenes with a rangefinder?

    My wife and I will be in Paris for 10 days starting next week. We have never travelled abroad before and I am a little nervous about upsetting the locals with my camera. I've heard scare stories about tourists like myself being hassled by the local cops for taking pictures of street scenes. Is there anything to this?

    If there is, what is the best strategy to get my pictures and not get hassled. If there is nothing to the stories, I'd like to hear that too.

  2. #2
    ajmiller's Avatar
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    I use a Mamiya C330s in Paris when we visit my wife's family.
    Never had any problems.
    In fact, as is usually the case, people are interested in 'old' cameras.
    I think it's when using a tripod you have to be careful but I've seen tourists using them and seemingly having no problems.
    Have a great time - Paris is a wonderful city for photography both for seeing exhibitions and as a subject.

  3. #3

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    Paris is full of tourists taking photos of every lamp post. You are way more likely to run into problems with taking photographs in the UK or in the US than in mainland Europe. The only places in Europe where you can get annoyed by security for taking photos are around US army bases and US embassies.

  4. #4
    mr rusty's Avatar
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    You will be hassled, but not for taking photos. Watch out for the people selling all sorts around the principal tourist attractions, but a polite. no thanks is all it needs usually.

    I'm no expert on Paris but this is a decent restaurant I can recommend near the pont neuf http://www.auchienquifume.com/- a great place to retire to after an early evening boat trip?

  5. #5

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    Not a problem in Europe (excluding UK), photograph whatever you want, be polite but otherwise you wont have any problem. I shoot with everything from a Leica to a 8x10 and never had any problem.

    When you are in Paris dont miss the Henri cartier-bresson museum.

  6. #6

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    Ah, Paris (spoken with a French accent). I've been to Paris a couple of times. Never had a problem taking pictures. Keep an eye out for pickpockets though, just like in any city. The only thing might be that you will be mistaken for an illegal street vendor, taking pictures from tourists and selling them. As long as you can explain that's not the case, you'll be fine. Using a trypod is fine, just don't setup light deflectors or anything like that . A rangefinder doesn't look that suspicious.
    About the eiffel tower (you're probably going to photograph the eiffel tower): everybody goes across the river Seine to Trocadero garden, up to the palace steps, to take a picture of the tower. It's the standard picture you find in every postcard store. Why not take a side street and make a picture thrue a side street?
    The best way to travel is the metro. With the 2 and 6 you can go all the way around the city center, mainly above ground. North of the river Seine is the old city, south is more trendy. I don't know what your interests are, I might give you a few places you could visit. Have fun in Paris.

  7. #7
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandholm View Post
    Not a problem in Europe (excluding UK)
    Not a problem in Europe including UK.


    Steve.

  8. #8
    Trask's Avatar
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    I lived in Paris for three years, and I did a lot of street photography -- never had a problem. Do watch out for scam artists who will try to take advantage of your presumed greed: you'll see someone walking toward you suddenly bend to the ground and come up holding a gold ring in their hand. They'll ask you if it is yours, or what they should do with it, the whole idea being that somehow they are "willing" to give you the seemingly expensive gold ring for a relatively small sum of money. Of course, the ring is fake, the scam artist palmed the ring that was never on the ground, etc. I used to just keep walking right past them.

  9. #9
    Helinophoto's Avatar
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    I walked around in Paris with my 1ds mk II and various lenses and never had a problem, but I was mostly lurking around the "touristy" areas and snapping off photos of the typical stuff.
    I did the same thing in London as well, there I even photographed some street scenes, but I made sure never to point my camera towards the police in either city.
    -
    "Nice picture, you must have an amazing camera."
    Visit my photography blog at: http://helino-photo.blogspot.com

  10. #10
    mr rusty's Avatar
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    I did the same thing in London as well, there I even photographed some street scenes
    I have shot many street scenes in London, and never had any sort of problem, ever. There are the occasional stories that over zealous security and occasionally a misguided policeman does sometimes try and prevent photography, but the chief of the police media advisory group has made it clear in public memos, that photography is unrestricted in public places. http://tinyurl.com/d6xmucn

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