Permit Photography and Tripod Restrictions.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by W1MRK, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. W1MRK macrumors 6502

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    Dec 9, 2010
    #1
    I have been hitting State parks, local botanical gardens, and other sites of scenic interest for my photography. At some of these locations they talk about casual photography is ok but for professional or group photography they require a permit and somewhat excessive fee in my opinion. One of these places a local Japanese garden had a tripod ban but I was able to convince the front counter girl to let me in as I wasn't going to be in the way. First time I have seen a tripod ban at a location.

    I am a hobbyist photographer at the moment but I will shortly be attempting to sell some prints of my work on Etsy. I do not consider myself a pro or commercial photographer and in no way shape or form can I afford a $250 or $500 photographers fee as I am unemployed.

    Does anyone here have a similar situation that you wish to sell casually and have you run into fee issues or challenges? Also is the tripod ban common?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #2
    It's fairly common. Casual photography doesn't require a tripod anyways.
     
  3. W1MRK thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    I have a slight issue with steadiness. My hands shake a bit, to the point VR lenses would not solve it. Same with Monopod.
     
  4. BJMRamage macrumors 68020

    BJMRamage

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    #4
    Longwood Gardens in PA apparently has a tripod restriction after 12noon. I was told this by another photographer as I was headed into the gardens. He said i wont be able to bring it in....this was at 11:50 so I thanked him in the parking lot and returned it before walking all the way to teh entrance.

    I have never questioned it but did see a photographer with a tripod who also had a lanyard or something. I like a tripod as in the slightly darker gardens it is easier to get a clear shot with a tripod. or to take nice fountain shots on long exposure, even an amateur cold do.
     
  5. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #5
    The Smithsonian prohibits tripods and monopods in all of its museums. In fact, in the greater DC area if you are seen taking pictures of a building without a good reason, you're likely to have the photos deleted by a police officer under the blanket reason of "security."
     
  6. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    Northern/Central VA
    #6
    This is true, and easily findable on their Web site. They have both an amateur and professional form to fill out if you want a tripod tag, and are very easy to deal with. You want the better early light anyway- and the cooler temperatures as there's a lot of walking and for macro a tripod is very, very helpful.

    Paul
     
  7. W1MRK thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    I can understand the Smithsonian as that is a enclosed area with lots of people. I would not question that, but for outdoor parks and nature areas which is where I shoot I found it more odd.

    This is mostly new to me though
     
  8. Ruahrc, Jul 7, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2011

    Ruahrc macrumors 65816

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    #8
    I would beg to differ here.

    If this happens, it would be a blatant violation of your rights unless the police had a warrant or court order to do so. The pictures you save to your camera memory card are your personal property which the police (or any "security professional") are not allowed to search or seize your pictures without a court order, or if they are going to arrest you. I will direct you to the following link: http://www.krages.com/phoright.htm

    To the OP- it really varies by location. Some places have restrictions on tripods, others don't. You will just have to find out in advance what locations allow or prohibit tripod photography. Generally a tripod ban is usually put in for safety (extended tripod legs can be a tripping hazard) or if it will cause undue congestion (for example setting up a tripod on a train platform).

    Regarding the requirement of paying fees for "for-profit" photography, I am not totally sure what the regulations are. It definitely seems though that if you are intending to sell the photos for profit, then they are fair to charge you a fee for the use of their services/facilities. If you have a problem with the amount they are charging, that is tangential to the issue. If you are shooting commercial photography (advertising) then absolutely, you must have a permit or authorization. I'm not so sure on the distinction between someone shooting commercially or as "works of fine-art" though. Maybe someone who has more experience with this here can chime in as I'd be curious to know too.
     
  9. H2Ockey macrumors regular

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    Aug 25, 2008
    #9
    Many parks and botanical gardens have relatively narrow walking paths you are restricted to. Even though you are outdoors often enough the best location for a photo is in a very narrow area of a path.

    Not really uncommon to have some kind of restriction on tripods. I would say an out and out ban is less common but not abnormal either.
     
  10. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #10
    My impression is that most places with a tripod ban do so for safety and congestion reasons only. Too many idiots caused too much trouble, so a blanket ban on tripods is put in place. However, in this case the policy may be flexible. The ticket booth attendant will have no authority to be flexible, however - you will need to approach management.

    Try writing a letter to the manager or the executive director. Tell them what you want to do, and what you will use the images for. Tell them that you only use the tripod during slow times, and will be careful to make way for other guests when needed. Offer to donate to them an image or two in exchange. It wouldn't hurt if you were a member of the garden as well.

    I wouldn't be surprised if you needed a "visitor's pass" or something to show the other customers that you weren't in fact breaking the rules, but had permission.

    It certainly can't hurt to try, and might lead to a gig as the "official" unofficial photographer, if you spend enough time there.
     
  11. W1MRK thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #11
    They let me in with it after I asked nicely and told them I really did need it. Their concern was exactly what you said. It was a Japanese Garden and their pathways are very narrow. I could see how it would be a trip hazard and some previous photographers caused some issues with guest mobility.

    I do not think I would let a cop take my memory card or erase photos willingly. I come from a family of lawyers and if it did happen, in about 6-9 months I should have the settlement and that D3 with the 12-24mm Nikkor lens I wanted. And some other toys too.

    Thats here though. I think they still have issues in Britain but not sure. That 2008 terrorism act or whatever.
     
  12. W1MRK thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
  13. btbrossard, Jul 7, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2011

    btbrossard macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    This is a pretty sad state of affairs we find ourselves in, isn't it?

    Too often police officers use "Security" as an excuse just to be jerks about something because they want to, not because it's right or they need to.

    Chicago Tribune Article about photography and security.
     
  14. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    Northern/Central VA
    #14
    Not true at all, so long as you're shooting from public property the only tripod restrictions in the DC area are the grounds of the US Capitol (permit needed from the office of the architect) and the only building restrictions are certain sections of some DoD and intelligence installations (AFAIK, only from on those installations.) Park Police and others may hassle you for tripod use if you're causing blockage of a public sidewalk, though I've yet to be hassled even down on the Mall doing long exposures.

    Paul
     
  15. avro707 macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    Could you also try using a shoulder brace?

    That might be an alternative to using a tripod.
     
  16. Keleko macrumors 68000

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    Mar 26, 2008
    #16
    I wonder if thinking outside the box would work here. Bring a friend in a wheelchair and rig some kind of mount to it. They can't restrict the wheelchair from entering. Or bring a crutch with a camera mount added as a "monopod". You could also get a gorillapod or something like that, unless you'd get in trouble for using it at all.

    I have a beanbag with a mount screw that I can rest the camera on other objects for some level of stability. I used it on a cave tour that didn't allow tripods and got a few decent long exposure shots that way.
     
  17. carlgo macrumors 68000

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    Dec 29, 2006
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    Monterey CA
    #17
    Ever seen the dreaded garden police dragging screaming photographers off to the compost pile?

    These guys come in with tons of equipment and never get questioned. They usually get told that tripods, etc are fine as long as they don't bother the rest of the visitors.

    I imagine that if someone came in with lights and reflectors and helpers then someone would inquire...the usually older docents that staff these places are hardly confrontational.
     
  18. W1MRK thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #18

    Well while the front counter lady gave me permission, I was stopped by 3 volunteers along the way. They had the tripod police there.


    Never thought of a shoulder brace for the camera. How steady do those hold it? never tried one.
     
  19. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #19
    Next time take a clipboard with you. If you walk around with confidence, and with an officious air - and a clipboard - you can practically do anything. Print up some sheets (for the clipboard) that include shooting checklist, notes of what you have shot, your camera settings - anything really. Then, anytime a volunteer approaches you, tell them how glad you are that they finally showed and hand them the clipboard and ask them take notes. Ask them what the names are of the flowers, etc etc.

    With a volunteer standing next to you and holding a clipboard, you will be "official". Better make it a good shooting day, 'cause you may never get in again - :) Or, they'll ask you to become their official shooter.
     
  20. btbrossard macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    Nice!
     
  21. W1MRK thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #21
    Interesting Idea
     
  22. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #22
    Just remember, if you try this and get caught... I don't know you. :D
     
  23. BJMRamage macrumors 68020

    BJMRamage

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    #23
    if you made it that far and get a volunteer to help what can they do to you. it wasn't like you jumped a fence. simply say i thought as a volunteer they were there to help.
     
  24. tinman0 macrumors regular

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    Jun 5, 2008
    #24
    We got busted in London a few weeks ago for using tripods.

    Picture the scene, it's 9pmish, we're on the banks of the Thames by the Millenium Eye and opposite Houses of Parliament, and after about 20 minutes two Polish security guards come along and tell us that we can't use tripods.

    This is a big wide walkway, but tripods are banned. The rules are in their office, rather than on a wall.

    We're invited to see the rules if we want, but we decline for various reasons.

    The problem is that a couple of us are in awkward positions and cannot kick up a fuss and get cops involved.

    For instance, I was emigrating and I do not need any Police incident on a record of any sort, other people in the group work with children and don't want to be listed on anything as they get regular CRB checks, and our other friends don't want to protest in case it damages the other people in the group.

    So we have to back down, and we move on.

    Ironically, later on that walk, another security guard moved our group along as we were a "security risk". I think someone was taking a picture of an aquarium or something daft.

    So again, we move on.

    When we get to Downing Street we meet some real Police officers. For a laugh, we ask if we can go onto Downing Street to take some pictures.

    Imagine our astonishment when they said yes! We even got pictures of them, they took it for us, and my sister even asked the Policeman for his hat for the picture!

    These guys (with their machine guns - protecting the most important place in the UK) could not have been more pleasant. Unlike the rentacops guarding a sidewalk and an aquarium.
     
  25. W1MRK thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #25

    Tinman, do they still have that terrorism act that restricted photography of buildings and such? THink it was from 2008 or something like that. I recall a picture of photographers holding up their cameras in a form of protest. Was just curious if this was still a major issue with REAL Constables?

    Thanks
     

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