This is exactly the problem. Specific information about one village in Wales is probably OK unless you run into the local looney on his day out. Otherwise, it's all but worthless. You just can't tell. In India, for example, you are theoretically forbidden to photograph (among other things) railway stations and bridges. The chance of being nicked for either is roughly zero.
Originally Posted by Paul.
In the UK you can photograph just about anything from anywhere that is open to the public. Depending on where you are, your legal rights may be respected or someone may try to stop you or call the police.
Sorry, Haris, but I really believe that there is not much that people can tell you RELIABLY about most major countries -- as witness my Paris story. Try to avoid offending everyone, and obey every imaginary law, and you'll never take a picture anywhere. Be reasonable, and you'll run into problems almost nowhere. For example, there are few restrictions in Bulgaria -- but take pictures across the river to Serbia and if the police see you, they will politely but firmly discourage you. Smile, nod and it's OK -- though we were stopped by the police 6 times in one day as we drove down the river, and once about 10 km from it (I think that was just because he was bored), but we were never questioned at any other time.
This is not 'senseless chatter' -- it's information, based on wide experience, from someone who travels a lot, shoots a lot, and just doesn't worry too much about it for the reasons given above. Too much depends on who sees you and how they're feeling that day.
I can give you another example of the absolute capriciousness of law enforcement where travel photography is concerned. Jim Collum, who posts on this site, photographed the temples at Angkor Wat in Cambodia with a 4x5 camera and Betterlight scanning back. This combination of course had to be on a tripod. To the best of my knowledge, he neither acquired the requisite permit nor did he run into trouble for not having it. Another photographer friend of mine, Garrie Maguire from Australia, was doing essentially the same thing, minus the scanning back. The authorities finally caught up to him after about four days of shooting and put the kibbosh on his plans. When I went, I shot everything in 35mm and either handheld or on a monopod, and had no issues whatsoever. I saw lots of people using "amateur" cameras on tripods and no negative backlash. If you are looking for an over-broad general principle, if you are shooting with a large format camera, using gear that looks "Professional", you are more likely to get hassled than someone using "non-professional" gear. This is more likely to happen in developing/third-world nations, where they are counting on foreign tourist dollars to supplement their coffers. Your best bet is to check with a local photographer before going to that place if you can, and see what experience they have of shooting there.
FYI - you may photograph just about anywhere in New Zealand without problems. *
To some perhaps we could probably be a little more attentive to the threat of the intrepid travel snapper but actually I think most here just don't worry about it. As an example, I once wandered up the steps of parliament, pushed my camera against the window and photographed the hallowed, marble halls lit by the night lights at two in the morning, just because I felt like it at the time.
When it comes to photographing people, regular western culture courtesy will go a long way. We're a little more sensitive than Izmirians and a lot less sensitive than Parisians.
(* this magnanimous - or rather degage - outlook seems to be changing when it comes to the commercial arm of Maori culture).
I read that too, so when I traveled to Paris last october/november I asked for permission to the Police Prefecture and l'Hotel de Ville. The Police Prefecture e-mailed me saying I didn't need permission if I was not going to make profit from the photos.
Originally Posted by haris
In fact, as far as I know, you're allowed to use ONE a tripod in the street, two cameras and a maximum of three people (technicians) without permission. The law says it, as I was informed by the Hotel de Ville "filming department".
But you need it to shoot in the gardens, so I asked the Hotel de Ville "Gardens department" for permission. No problem, as many gardens as I want for more than three months.
In fact I went to Paris with a bunch of permissions (street, gardens, Pere Lachaise cementery, Pasteur Institute a lot for churches and one château) and nobody asked me for one, unless the Pasteur Institute, they opened the musseum in the morning for me, a private visit :-) Some policeman saw me shooting with tripod near Notre Dame, Saint Germain des Pres and Trocadero and they didn't disturbed me.
After one month asking for permission everywhere... it rained almost all the week, I discovered my lightmeter was not working correctly and the lab ruined the slides underdeveloping them...
BTW, you don't need permission in Spain to use a tripod in the street..
Last edited by Jorge Orte Tudela; 02-23-2007 at 04:00 PM. Click to view previous post history.
In Japan, watch out Japanese mafia (Yakuza) and gangsters. They are everywhere, and so are their offices and their territories. For example, in some areas of Shinjuku district in Tokyo, if you walk around with your camera even during the day, you may be harrassed and/or threatened by some of these types, and you really have to walk away. The police won't be much of a help for this kind of trouble. In other cities, such as Osaka, Kobe, Yokohama, Nagoya, etc, it's the same story when it happens.
I personally have never experienced this, but every once in a while I hear some stories from other photographers. But usually you don't have to worry about this sort of thing and you can sleep well at night.
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Yes, I guess it is worthless... I know you can't avoid individual issues which are exception from rules, I thought it would be nice for people to have general guide, what is generally OK or NO, NO, and for the individual issues, well, life is unpredictible...
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks
But, if it is worthless, what the heck, what ever will be, will be...
Bosnia... You don't have to be crazy to live here, but it helps...
No things in life should be left unfinis
No. It's just something I heard which I assumed to be true! If you dispute this I would rather believe you than trust what I thought was true.
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks
On the Isle of Wight, we have three prisons all in the same town. My father's cycling club used to regularly meet outside one of these prisons for the start of their weekly rides and almost without fail, the police would turn up to see what was going on.
You are of course correct about MOD property. I think you are now allowed to photograph in the public areas of Portsmouth dockyard where HMS Victory and HMS warrior are based but for many years there were prominent 'Photography Prohibited' signs around Victory. However, this isn't a free public space, it is essentially private property which you pay an admission fee to gain access to so they can allow or ban photography as they wish.
I went to the tomb of Napoleon and passed the entrance and nodded my head to the man in uniform and he nodded back and smiled. I had my camera on my tripod and over the shoulder. I went to the garden area and setup the tripod on the gravel walkway. I had a beautiful view of the statue of Mansard and the Eiffel tower in the back ground. A respected Architect and the Eiffel tower, what could have been the most wonderful photograph, but it was not to be. Just as I was to release the shutter the man stepped in front of me and said, "kjfiouiweuds ierewidsj iwe iuiiji jirui". I don't speak that version of French but I was shocked. No photograph.
If you get a chance to go there it's a beautiful garden with a great statue of Mansard with the Eiffel tower in the back ground. For those who don't know Mansard is named after the roof projections on slanted roofs that he designed, seen and done all over the world. I was excited to see the statue because I designed and built my two story garage / studio / darkroom / shop.
If I had seen a sign with the "NO" photo in it I would have just put the camera away or gone some where else. I couldn't believe that he let me get all the way setup then stepped in.
Later that day we went to the Rodin Sculpture garden, I didn't bring any cameras. I sat and looked at "The Thinker" and asked him why I couldn't get a picture of Mansard. I limited my tripod use to what I thought were appropriate places.
It's interesting to note that there were numerous no photo signs in the Louvre but the flashes were going off like mad.
What I need is a "quick drop leg tripod" and work to be more stealthy in my operation. A picture of the statue of Mansard and the Eiffel are not exactly national secrets.
I have taken photographs all over Washington DC and New York including Ground Zero and never had a problem.
Everytime I find a film or paper that I like, they discontinue it. - Paul Strand - Aperture monograph on Strand
That sounds like Scottish French!
Originally Posted by Curt
I know this link has been posted before but it is a good indication of the UK law: http://www.sirimo.co.uk/media/UKPhotographersRights.pdf
I'm sure there are other versions for other countries. Might be a good idea to print it out and keep it in your camera bag just in case.