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  1. #1

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    Important news for photographer's rights (at least in U.S.)

    Good news on rights settlement: http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/0...-that-picture/

    However, does it really matter if Officer Bubba decides he doesn't want you taking pictures? Police make up their own rules, and then rely on ignorance and intimidation.

    And we all know that if a terrorist wants to take a picture, they won't use a cell phone camera or something easy to hide; every self-respecting Jihadist has an 11 x 14 View camera, and shoots wet plates :-)
    Nikon 35mm, Mamiya 645 & RB67, Leica IIIb, other bits and pieces

  2. #2

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    Yes, I've had an occasional run-in with the rare ignorant police officer who needs to find real work. I think it's an excuse so they don't have to deal with the real criminals on the street.
    When I grow up, I want to be a photographer.

    http://www.walterpcalahan.com/Photography/index.html

  3. #3

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    the only time i had trouble with the police was when i was
    in my early 20s and i acted like i was in my early 20s ...
    i've never had trouble with police while making photographs
    it is usually the general public that gives me trouble ...
    Last edited by jnanian; 01-27-2011 at 02:12 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  4. #4
    lns
    lns is offline

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    This covers only photography of federal buildings. More specifically, the exterior of federal buildings photographed from publicly accessible (exterior) spaces, like sidewalks. It only states the obvious, informing federal employees that such photography or videotaping is legally permissible.

    Note that it also advises federal officers to interview the photographer to determine whether there is a reasonable belief of criminal behavior or terrorist reconnaissance activity by the photographer. It's not exactly a ringing endorsement of photographer's rights.

    In fact, it makes me think if I go take a picture of my federal courthouse, there is no question that I will be stopped and interviewed, whereas I wouldn't have assumed that before.

    Don't forget that many states have their own restrictions enforced by local police, some of which are draconian. In addition, most privately owned buildings also have restrictions about photography on their premises.

    -Laura

    That said, I don't think it's nice, or helpful, to call police officers "Officer Bubba." They have difficult jobs and probably have good days and bad days like all of us.

  5. #5

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    I can relate to the early 20's comment, only problem is I'm in my late 20's and the problem still has not gone away... I just have a real problem with ANYONE telling someone they can't do something that is not illegal, immoral, etc. that is not hurting anyone else. It just so happens that photography is my hobby so if someone tells me I can't do that when I know I can it's a real pet peeve.

  6. #6

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    Hi Laura:

    I used a crude stereotype I admit, but there is so much citizen journalism showing police/security guards etc. throwing their weight around that this has gone far beyond good days and bad days. The problem of police and others misusing their authority is systemic. As a resident of Toronto, I only have to think back to the G20 debacle last year for a truly disturbing example :-(
    Nikon 35mm, Mamiya 645 & RB67, Leica IIIb, other bits and pieces

  7. #7
    semeuse's Avatar
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    I was in Paris a few years ago, walking back from the Louvre, when I looked to my left and noticed a view of the Eiffel tower I had never seen. It was perfect (I thought), pedestrians, a statue and the tower off in the back. I put down my bag and turned to frame the shot when a police officer tapped me on the shoulder. I turned and he wagged his finger - "No no." "But..." and I pointed at the tower. He pointed at the door of the building I was standing in front of - The Ministry of the Navy. I sighed and started to pick up my bag. He smiled and said "Un." That is one of my favorite memories of my trip to France. (That was early 2002, btw)

  8. #8
    Paul Sorensen's Avatar
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    I have to agree with Laura on this one. I read this thing and it kind of made me uncomfortable. It seems like they are advising folks that they should suspect everyone who photographs a federal building of being criminals or terrorists. One quote got me: "Observe the individual's actions until such time that you believe that a Field Interview (FI) is warranted." So, by photographing a federal building, you should be expecting that you will be watched the whole time and probably approached for questioning. Also "Conduct a FI to determine the purpose for taking photographs of the facility and endeavor to ascertain the identity of the individual." So, it is pretty much expected that you will be asked to product ID and questioned about your motives. If the person does not wish to provide ID, does this then rise to the level of Reasonable Suspicion?

    I am not at all a conspiracy nut but this doesn't really feel to me like the victory it is supposed to represent. Maybe they can't take your camera or film or make you erase your images, but it seems that they can make your life uncomfortable enough that you will think you should never try that again.

  9. #9
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    Hey, I've been singing the song around here (and a lot of other places as well) that the struggle between the conservatives and the liberals is a smokescreen.

    The *REAL* struggle is between the oligarchy and the populace.

    I'll grant you that there probably is ten cents worth of difference between Pelosi and Boehner, but I doubt there's a dollars worth of difference. They're both career political creatures catering to different audiences. Pick them up and exchange places, and pretty soon they'll be singing opposite tunes once they figure out what words will get the reelected.
    Michael Batchelor
    Industrial Informatics, Inc.
    www.industrialinformatics.com

    The camera catches light. The photographer catches life.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by michaelbsc View Post
    Hey, I've been singing the song around here (and a lot of other places as well) that the struggle between the conservatives and the liberals is a smokescreen.

    The *REAL* struggle is between the oligarchy and the populace.

    I'll grant you that there probably is ten cents worth of difference between Pelosi and Boehner, but I doubt there's a dollars worth of difference. They're both career political creatures catering to different audiences. Pick them up and exchange places, and pretty soon they'll be singing opposite tunes once they figure out what words will get the reelected.
    Hahaha I'm with you Michael, problem is that must people, especially younger people like myself, have no idea what an oligarchy is, let alone that we live in one!

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