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  1. #31

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    I must be invisible (or lucky) because I photograph at Capitol and Supreme Court (exterior) and other sites on the Mall with no hassle at all. At Capitol the armed security is quite visible but they seemed to make an effort to "disappear" behind the columns when I was shooting. I know they were aware of me because they acknowledged my presence with what one might say was a friendly non-verbal greeting. At Supreme Court I never saw security even though I'm quite sure they were there.

    In NoVA things can be different. Even standing near some nondescript buildings will result in a "scram" request from a scary-looking heavily-armed security guard with no identifying uniform. They've never been impolite but the message is clear, just keep moving along.

    One of these days I'll have to use a camera at an airport and see if my life is charmed or if I've just been dang lucky so far.

  2. #32
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    This gives me an idea...

    We have a major Air Force base near by. It might be interesting to find a vantage point (on private property, of course) near by, and set up there with a monster zoom lens on a tripod-mounted camera, just to see if there is any response, what form it takes, and how they act. Have someone on hand to video the whole operation. Sort of a performance art kind of thing.

    I'll see if I can get internet access at Leavenworth to let you know how it turned out.
    I shoot digital when I have to (most of those shots end up here) and film (occasionally one of those shots ends up here) when I want to.

  3. #33
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    Naturally, it all depends on what type of photography you do, but in my experience when taking photographs for non-commercial use, it's best to always ask a security person if photography is allowed before pressing down on the shutter in a public/private-owned-open to public space. Now, bear in mind if you intend on selling or making a profit from your work, you, at least here in the US, must get the required permits and obtain release forms of your subject(s) in order to avoid any issues during the time of your shoot and afterwards.
    "The real work was thinking, just thinking." - Charles Chaplin

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by drgoose View Post
    I was 2 hours early for my flight ad bored to death so I took out my Mamiya 645 and took a couple of snap shots. One was of a pilot sitting at a gate with his eyes closed. Nothing out of the world but looked cool. An airline employee asked me if I knew the pilot and I said no, he asked why I took the picture and I said I was an amateur photographer. He woke up to pilot and told on me. I approached the pilot and explained that I was an amateur photographer and that the picture was for my personal use. He wanted to see the picture and I explained it was on film. He asked me to promise not to posted it in the internet and even though I did not need to I agreed.

    I walked away and fairly soon ran into a police officer from Denver International and I asked him if there were any regulations against taking snapshots in the airport. He explained that there were none but that if the person in the picture felt their privacy violated then the photographer could be cited. It did not make much sense to me but I decided not to argue with him. I went on my merry way and on my way back to my gate I saw the pilot talking to the officer. I approached them both and I told the pilot that even though I did not need to I would gladly give him the roll of film ( It was cheap arista and his was only the second frame). He was grateful that I did this and the cop eventually left. After the cop left I talked for a bit with the pilot and he actually agreed that there was no expectation of privacy in an airport, that the picture was not taken in a security area and that nothing would have come out of this whole mess if I had taken the picture with an Iphone.

    So my question as it applies to US airports:
    -are they considered a public place.
    -Other than the obvious security areas, TSA screening, bathrooms, etc. Do people have any expectation of privacy while sitting at the gate?
    -Does being an airline employee change the answer to any of the two above?
    -Does being an airline pilot change anything?
    -Is there a web site or does any one have a collection of the statues and supreme court decisions that protect photographers while taking pictures in public places?

    Thanks
    Joaquin
    First, my personal policy is that if anyone objects to being photographed, I will delete/destroy/surrender the exposure.

    Second, I don't photograph sensitive locations or situations just for personal use.

    It makes people uncomfortable, and I have plenty of other things to photograph.

    Many airports have sections where photography is explicitly prohibited.

    Even if it isn't we should avoid taking photographs that would make passengers and crew uncomfortable, or get you into trouble with security.

    If you work on an assignment to document airports then obviously, it's best to obtain the express permission to work there and set the work parameters.
    Last edited by Jaf-Photo; 05-09-2014 at 10:04 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  5. #35
    Eric Rose's Avatar
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    Gee I take photographs in airports all the time. All over the world. I have never been talked to, by anyone. I have several self imposed rules however. I never take photographs of kids that aren't mine, and I do not take photographs of people that would show them in a negative light (unless of course they are WalMartians).

    It would seem some participants in this thread would like to see the likes of Winogrand etc. packed up and thrown in jail.
    www.ericrose.com
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  6. #36

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    Security theatre, plain and simple. If a Bad Guy wants to photograph a target, the small point & shoot cameras are so small that you probably wouldn't even notice them doing it. Harassment of people who make no secret of what they're doing is just that. An attempt to keep evryone "in line" and to demonstrate that stepping out of line in any way will meet with unpleasant consequences...as will knowing your rights and attempting to assert them.

    Yeah, I'm sad that the "live and let live" America that I grew up in is now the "post 9/11" America, where the excuse for over-enthusiastic policing is "9/11 changed that". What they don't understand, but there may still be hope, is that the best (and perhaps only) way to fight terrorism is to refuse to be terrorised, and continue doing things as you always have, and treating everyone with the respect you would like to be treated with.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Simpson View Post
    Security theatre, plain and simple. If a Bad Guy wants to photograph a target, the small point & shoot cameras are so small that you probably wouldn't even notice them doing it. Harassment of people who make no secret of what they're doing is just that. An attempt to keep evryone "in line" and to demonstrate that stepping out of line in any way will meet with unpleasant consequences...as will knowing your rights and attempting to assert them.

    Yeah, I'm sad that the "live and let live" America that I grew up in is now the "post 9/11" America, where the excuse for over-enthusiastic policing is "9/11 changed that". What they don't understand, but there may still be hope, is that the best (and perhaps only) way to fight terrorism is to refuse to be terrorised, and continue doing things as you always have, and treating everyone with the respect you would like to be treated with.
    I agree with this 100%. Well said.

  8. #38
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    I forgot to mention one more personal rule.

    If I am taking photographs in a public space which is guarded or attended, I start by presenting myself and explaining why I will be taking photographs. I've never been told no, but if I was, I would respect it.

    I live in a country, Sweden, with very few legal restrictions on photography, but to me it is more about common sense than law.

    If you look at the work of the great masters, very few images required them to break any laws or decorum.

  9. #39

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    I'm at one of those public viewing areas at a major metroplolitan airport. When I arrived the area was locked so I stood near the "no loitering" sign for about 20 minutes before cops appeared. They asked 2 questions: are you waiting for someone? And where is your car (its in a local shop at the moment). Their response was to apologize for not opening the gate on time an to wissh me a happy day. No hassle at all. Interestingly, inside the viewing area are the same "no loitering" signs.

  10. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaf-Photo View Post
    First, my personal policy is that if anyone objects to being photographed, I will delete/destroy/surrender the exposure.
    What appears to work is surrendering an unexposed roll of film to the policeman or security guard who will be unable to differentiate this from a digital disk according to Stone or momus. I wonder what said policeman would then do with the empty roll of film? Destroy it by opening it and assume that it constitutes its end or attempt to develop "back at the station", discover it is empty and realise he and the "victim" have been duped?

    Either way if the picture doesn't remain in the user's hands but gets into any kind of public domain then it sounds as if the user should be wary of ever passing through that same airport again. A duped cop may be an even nastier cop

    Let us know how you get on, momus and Stone if you try this, assuming that you remain in a fit state to report back to us on APUG based on how dangerous an altercation with the U.S. police appears to be.

    In the "home of the brave" you have to be brave, it appears.

    To borrow from the "Magnificent Seven" is it similar to Calvera's story where he concludes that to rob a bank in Texas you have to be a Texan"

    pentaxuser

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