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  1. #1
    Janie O'Canon Rebel Janie's Avatar
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    I got yelled at today

    apparently it is a federal crime to take photos of public transportation as per homeland security! Anyone know where we can get updated laws pertaining to photography now that more laws than ever are in place?
    http://janehaas.com

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  2. #2
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    Re: I got yelled at today

    you guys got it rough down in the states
    Come to Canada

  3. #3
    Nikon Samurai #14 DownByFive's Avatar
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    Re: I got yelled at today

    I found this...http://www.straphangers.org/photoban/newsrel.htm but it's not a federal law, it's just an MTA "rule". I also found this about public transport in SF...http://www.resonant.org/node/454.

    As an aside, I have a professor who visited North Korea a couple of years ago. After one of her colleagues took a picture in a direction not dictated as "acceptable" by their North Korean "escort", the security guys promptly pounced on him, opened the camera, and exposed the roll of film...In Egypt, we had to be careful not to take pictures of anything that might have been considered "strategic", including public bridges in Cairo. Now I'm no liberal, but if we have to stop taking pictures of public property from public property for reasons of "national security"...What's next? People need to chill out...


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  4. #4
    News & Rum-or-ator opus's Avatar
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    Re: I got yelled at today

    What form of "public transportation" were you taking pictures of?

    I took pictures of airplanes landing last year, and felt really weird doing it. But nobody stopped me ... I guess probably nobody saw me, I was in a parking lot a few miles from the airport.

    Why was I taking pictures of airplanes, you ask? I was trying to get a shot of "planes, trains, and automobiles" -- there was a highway with a train track behind it (and a train rumbling through) with airplanes landing above. It was cool although I never got the shot I wanted.
    Drink Coffee. Do stupid things faster with more energy.


  5. #5
    Liz
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    Moderator Emeritus Liz's Avatar
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    Re: I got yelled at today

    I'm getting to be more self-conscious when shooting anywhere near transportation places. I noticed new LARGE signs upon entering the Lincoln tunnel "No photographs" or something to that effect.

    Liz



    Quote Originally Posted by kellybean
    What form of "public transportation" were you taking pictures of?

    I took pictures of airplanes landing last year, and felt really weird doing it. But nobody stopped me ... I guess probably nobody saw me, I was in a parking lot a few miles from the airport.

    Why was I taking pictures of airplanes, you ask? I was trying to get a shot of "planes, trains, and automobiles" -- there was a highway with a train track behind it (and a train rumbling through) with airplanes landing above. It was cool although I never got the shot I wanted.

  6. #6
    Around the Ocean... Ryguyinlj's Avatar
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    Re: I got yelled at today

    This is why I like shooting skimming and surfing. There are no real rules and regulations to what I can and can't shoot

  7. #7
    News & Rum-or-ator opus's Avatar
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    Re: I got yelled at today

    what is skimming?
    Drink Coffee. Do stupid things faster with more energy.


  8. #8
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: I got yelled at today

    Yeah, sometimes it's just easier to shoot rocks & trees. Sometimes they listen better than people too!

    I've heard a lot of stories about photographers being told that they can't photograph something when there really isn't any law stopping them from doing it. How much you want to challenge that in any particular situation is up to you though. This site should provide some info on what you can and can't do.

  9. #9
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    For Kelly

    Kelly....Just so happens that I took these ealier this month when I took a trip to the coast. Not the greatest, but will give you the idea of what skimming is. It is fun...I use to do this many, many, many years ago when I had coordination and balance....LOL.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails I got yelled at today-skimming.jpg  

  10. #10
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Lame!

    It's one thing for someone to ask you what you're doing. But it's ridiculous to have a law against taking pictures of public transportation. Doesn't seem like it will do anything but piss people off. I'm sure it makes a good campaign claim for some politician, though. Were you approached by law enforcement or someone else? What kind of public transportation?
    Photo-John

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  11. #11
    Around the Ocean... Ryguyinlj's Avatar
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    Re: I got yelled at today

    Quote Originally Posted by kellybean
    what is skimming?
    This is skimming...





    It's very similar to surfing, except instead of paddling into waves you run onto the board from the sand and then transition to water and do turns and airs and stuff. I skim and surf all the time and I shoot both. These are some of my shots. On the first one you can clearly see the path on the water out to the wave. Skimboards don't need any fins and can be turned a lot tighter than surfboards, but you can only skim in areas where the waves break really close to shore. It's dangerous if you don't know what you are doing.

  12. #12
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    Re: I got yelled at today

    Quote Originally Posted by DownByFive
    In Egypt, we had to be careful not to take pictures of anything that might have been considered "strategic", including public bridges in Cairo. Now I'm no liberal, but if we have to stop taking pictures of public property from public property for reasons of "national security"...What's next? People need to chill out...
    Interesting considering pictures of the license plates of the cars traveling over those bridges can be photographed from satellites.

  13. #13
    Nikon Samurai #14 DownByFive's Avatar
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    Re: I got yelled at today

    Quote Originally Posted by Arctirus
    Interesting considering pictures of the license plates of the cars traveling over those bridges can be photographed from satellites.
    That was my first thought too...But then again, this whole "no pics of public transportation" is sort of similar, since I can log onto to any public transportation system's website and see a ton of pics and probably even a few webcams...So it's not like the information isn't out there. I guess people just feel more comfortable when they think they have control over the information...


    I don't know how to put this, but...I'm kind of a big deal...People know me.

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  14. #14
    Sleep is optional Sebastian's Avatar
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    Re: I got yelled at today

    Janie,

    I get yelled at everyday, I call it "dating."

    In all seriousness, when something like that happens, be civil, try to ask the person as to what their position is, see if they are even someone who is qualified to be telling you what you can or cannot do. Inform them that you will be more than happy to comply if they can show you the rule or law, or at the very least tell you where you can look it up, or who you can call. If they don't provide you with the information, ask for their name, position and who their supervisor is. Sometimes there is someone there who rules over them who you can talk to immediately, talk to them if they are present, and if they are being a pain, get the name of THEIR supervisor. Someone, somewhere, will not be happy to have annoyed citizens calling them, it's just a matter of getting to them. At the very least, pestering the peons like this will potentially get them to drop their power trip and to make it easier for photogs in general to go about their business. The more we bitch and moan, in a civilized manner of course, the harder it will be for these people to put knee-jerk ideas into action. Most of these people tend to be frustrated and any time they can get gullible schmucks to believe them and ruin their day, they will go for it. And sadly, people with tripods and big fast lenses tend to be the primary targets. Yeah, like a terrorist would sit in front a major institution and point a 12 inch lens at it. If I was making the rules, I'd be MUCH more concerned about the loners with small point and shoots, simply because IF they are a terrorist, they do not want to be noticed. But then again, that is more thought than most politicians put into making rules, so I mind as well just shut my mouth...
    -Seb

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  15. #15
    Moderator of Critiques/Hearder of Cats mtbbrian's Avatar
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    I Was Questioned...

    Janie,
    If you are "out of the street" expect it.
    I was out last week, shooting on State Street , here in Salt Lake.
    I was waiting to cross the street, when "this guy" who is in his car, making a right turn rolls down his window, asking me "what I was doing". I just kind of said, "I am out and about", and left it at that. I was noticing that there was traffic building behind him wanting to turn as well.
    So he goes on his way, as do I.
    I cross the street and go into a bar wanting to see if there was anything worth photographing there.
    I was only inside a few minutes and who do you think I see in the parking lot? The same guy!
    He wants to know what I was doing. I explained to him that I was out photographing for a project on State Street. He asks, "Why? I say, becasue.
    Same question...
    I reply, "Because I find it an interesting subject."
    He was all concerned about me photographing people without threir consent, when I expalin to him that I don't exactly need it, because we are "out in public".
    We go round and round, and "this guy" is really starting to annoy me, because I know what I am doing and what not.
    So he finally leaves, perhaps he was just as frustrated as I was, and leaves me with this "word of caution or advice". That I should check with local and state stautes regarding me photographing out in public..

    Some poeple?!

    Brian
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  16. #16
    Janie O'Canon Rebel Janie's Avatar
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    Re: I got yelled at today

    Quote Originally Posted by Janie
    apparently it is a federal crime to take photos of public transportation as per homeland security! Anyone know where we can get updated laws pertaining to photography now that more laws than ever are in place?
    I just looked at their website and they have hi-res photos on the site! What the hell! If it's so illegal, shouldn't that apply to everyone?

    http://nywaterway.com/hi_res.html ARGH!
    http://janehaas.com

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  17. #17
    nature/wildlife co-moderator paulnj's Avatar
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    Re: I got yelled at today

    Quote Originally Posted by Janie
    apparently it is a federal crime to take photos of public transportation as per homeland security! Anyone know where we can get updated laws pertaining to photography now that more laws than ever are in place?
    ASK These guys WHY?

    I email them all the time ! Remember THEY WORK FOR YOU!

    Assemblyman Peter J. Biondi, R., NJ Legislative District 16

    Assemblyman Christopher "Kip" Bateman, R. NJ Legislative District 16

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    Assemblyman Doug Fisher, D., NJ Legislative District 3

    Give them hell people!
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  18. #18
    Co-Moderator, Photography as Art forum megan's Avatar
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    Re: I got yelled at today

    I don't actually remember it ever becoming a rule, and I was following it for awhile. I see tourists take pictures on the train on almost a daily basis, and no one says a thing. Who yelled at you? Someone official, or someone having a bad day, wanting to be a jerk and take it out on you?

    I'll dig around and see if I can find if the rule actually came into being. If so, you can probably always apply for a permit like you have to in Boston.

    Megan

  19. #19
    Co-Moderator, Photography as Art forum megan's Avatar
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    Update

    I couldn't find a thing when I searched the NYC.gov site.
    I'll call 311 tonight and see if I can find out by talking to a human.

    megan

  20. #20
    Seb
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    Re: I got yelled at today

    Quote Originally Posted by Janie
    apparently it is a federal crime to take photos of public transportation as per homeland security! Anyone know where we can get updated laws pertaining to photography now that more laws than ever are in place?
    Well, last week end I was in NYC. On an hike in the Financial District saturday morning I passed by a building which possibly was a federal one (I can't say for sure, there was no clear indication and I didn't paid much attention as the building itself was of no particular interest). Anyway, I climb few step and walk in front of the said building looking toward Water St. in search of potentially interesting scenes to shot with my camera in hands.
    Eventually, a security guy come out of the building (and I was by no mean close from the main entrance) and start watching me. I pay no attention to him on purpose and keep doing my things quietly. Eventually, the guy come at me and ask me to leave the building immediate perimeters as "it is forbiden to shoot pictures of or from this area"....
    I complied without discussing because: 1) I was in vacations and didn't felt like loosing time with this guy 2) I found nothing to shoot and 3) I doubt that I could have a worthy discussion with a guy paid to kick people out.
    Let say that I find is action to be well hmm.... (let remain polite) pointless but I just left.

    It felt odd to go throught that situation though....

    Seb

  21. #21
    Janie O'Canon Rebel Janie's Avatar
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    Re: Update

    Quote Originally Posted by megan
    I couldn't find a thing when I searched the NYC.gov site.
    I'll call 311 tonight and see if I can find out by talking to a human.

    megan
    I was using my rebel - what do you want to bet that if I were using my smaller camera, they wouldn't say boo. I think it's descrimination against Digital SLRs! They are jealous!
    http://janehaas.com

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  22. #22
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Canada

    Quote Originally Posted by 92135011
    you guys got it rough down in the states
    Come to Canada
    You know what's funny? I'm a dual citizen and I get worked over worse when I go into Canada than when I come back to the US. And that's even when I show my Canadian ID.
    Photo-John

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  23. #23
    News & Rum-or-ator opus's Avatar
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    Re: Canada

    how do you become a dual citizen?
    Drink Coffee. Do stupid things faster with more energy.


  24. #24
    Janie O'Canon Rebel Janie's Avatar
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    Re: I Was Questioned...

    Did you have a big camera? If you have a little camera, I bet no one would bother you!
    That is how I feel about the whole thing. I'd be tempted to take my mother's camera out since it's 5.5 mp's, but i'm shooting stock photography so I want to use all my various lenses. I'm just completely annoyed that I have my beautiful camera and people get nervous about me shooting with it as if it were a weapon! We were going into some bad areas and my friends and I were joking that they can drive and I'll shoot and I suddenly got some really quizzicle looks from someone around me - I yelled WHAT! I'm a Photographer! We shoot with cameras! Heh. jerks. So now it's a joke - hey! grap the 35d and we'll go out doing drive by shootings! lol People are just way to uptight.


    Quote Originally Posted by mtbbrian
    Janie,
    If you are "out of the street" expect it.
    I was out last week, shooting on State Street , here in Salt Lake.
    I was waiting to cross the street, when "this guy" who is in his car, making a right turn rolls down his window, asking me "what I was doing". I just kind of said, "I am out and about", and left it at that. I was noticing that there was traffic building behind him wanting to turn as well.
    So he goes on his way, as do I.
    I cross the street and go into a bar wanting to see if there was anything worth photographing there.
    I was only inside a few minutes and who do you think I see in the parking lot? The same guy!
    He wants to know what I was doing. I explained to him that I was out photographing for a project on State Street. He asks, "Why? I say, becasue.
    Same question...
    I reply, "Because I find it an interesting subject."
    He was all concerned about me photographing people without threir consent, when I expalin to him that I don't exactly need it, because we are "out in public".
    We go round and round, and "this guy" is really starting to annoy me, because I know what I am doing and what not.
    So he finally leaves, perhaps he was just as frustrated as I was, and leaves me with this "word of caution or advice". That I should check with local and state stautes regarding me photographing out in public..

    Some poeple?!

    Brian
    http://janehaas.com

    "Art is part of a rebellion against the realities of unfulfilled desire." ~Emma Goldman
    Member:


  25. #25
    is back jar_e's Avatar
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    Re: Canada

    Quote Originally Posted by kellybean
    how do you become a dual citizen?
    Only if we like you.... In all seriousness, usually the parents are one american/one canadian. I know the rules have changed drastically over the last 5 years though.

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