How to deal with Police when out photographing (& Photographers Rights) [Archive] (2024)

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NickMonk

02-02-2009, 11:00pm

Increasingly people are becoming paranoid about photographers shooting in public places.

As has already been stated elsewhere it is not illegal to be taking photographs in a public place of buildings or people.

For buildings you need to be in a public place. Be sensible. I don't suggest trying to photograph nuclear reactors or functioning military grounds and buildings.

For people apply common sense. Ask permission if there is an interesting shot, but of course you don't have to. Street photography doesn't always allow for this, but just use your brain. Don't take photos of kids if you can avoid it, that will just be a nightmare.

For those that don't know I am a police officer. I offer the following advice with a disclaimer: Don't sue me if it goes pear-shaped!

1) This can be applied to security guards too but bear in mind they have no legislative power to do pretty much anything different than an ordinary citizen.

2) Shopping centres, sports grounds, community centres are public places MOST of the time for the purposes of 'public place' legislation - ie 'disorderly conduct'. HOWEVER they are actually privately or government owned and permission to be there can be withdrawn. The permission to withdraw the right to take photographs in such a place can also be withdrawn, as is happening in a lot of shopping centres these days.

3) If approached by a police officer the first thing to do is BE NICE. If you don't pass the 'attitude test' you will not win. Ever.

4) If they ask what you are doing be frank and open. Don't be smart. Say you are an amateur photographer or whatever, and that you are taking **insert genre here** photographs.

5) Show them what you are taking and if they question the content (ie building or infrastrucure) explain why you took it. To a police officer the picture you took may be pointless (unless sinister). Let me explain. You take a picture of a boring everyday subject (say an electricity sub-station) with the intention of applying a brilliant photoshop effect to it to make it a work of art. All the police officer sees is a possible vandalism or terrorist target. SO upload some of your finished work covering all sorts of genres onto your mobile phone so you can show that you are serious. "See It IS art Officer!"

6) If a police officer asks you to delete your photography, I would decline. THERE IS NO LEGISLATIVE POWER FOR A POLICE OFFICER TO DO THIS. Explain this very calmly and state why you want to keep it. If it really doesn't matter you can always do what they say of course (but I know I certainly wouldn't). If they do MAKE you do it then you have legitimate reason to complain about their actions.

7) 99% of the time police are there because someone complained about what you are doing (usually they reckon that there is someone taking photos of kids). Remember this.

8) Suggest a course of action politely (don't tell them how to do their job though - the difference is in your tone of voice). For example:
"As you can see Officer I am not taking photos of kids/terrorist targets. Would you be able to let the person who complained know what I am up to so they can put their mind at rest. I'm sure they won't mind me continuing if they know what I am doing."

9) All police are different. 90% are easy to get along with and quite sensible in how they deal with this sort of situation. About 10% can be quite cynical, impatient and/or arrogant. That is exactly the same as any profession, and like other professions they give everyone else a bad name. Also bear in mind very junior officers may make bad decisions and decisions outside legislation when put on the spot by an 'unusual' job. They are often the ones walking the beat that may deal with this sort of situation. Don't treat them with contempt though - you won't have passed the attitude test if you do.

10) Police will often ask your name, date of birth and address. If you are not committing any offence generally you do not have to provide these. BUT you have nothing to hide so give them the details that they want so they can check you are not a criminal/terrorist/paeophile. It won't do any harm to you at all, and refusing might mean to the police that you have something to hide.

11) If the situation starts turning bad for whatever reason do what you are told. It is better than having to deal with a much more serious situation if you don't, even if they are entirely in the wrong. You can always involve the media and complain about their behaviour to higher powers later.

12) My gut feeling is that at least 95% of photographers that are put into this situation are male.

13) It's not rocket science, but I see people that haven't done much (if anything) wrong, go completely down the 'wrong' line when dealing with myself and colleagues, and once tempers fray there are several legislative options available that can get you arrested. So - KEEP YOUR COOL!!

Cheers!

Hobberz

02-02-2009, 11:06pm

Great thread. I think this subject has been on alot of photographers minds lately. Hopefully people can use some of your advice to help save them from being in deep water. I think the main point out of what you said is to KEEP YOUR COOL.

trigger

02-02-2009, 11:11pm

off topic but....

I've always wondered, is it legal to take photos of the officer(s) and their equipment? like belt cars etc?

bigbikes

02-02-2009, 11:13pm

I think that was well written, and as you say we must use a bit of commom sence when takeing photo's. I myself had a small problem recently at a large b/ball sporting event I was at.
It had kids ranging from the ages of 10 years old up to seniors. I was approched a number of times and asked many questions. After staying calm and explaining what I was doing I was then allowed to keep shooting, but I was restricted to what courts I was able to take shots from (mostly the senior teams)
I just think as you said, a bit of common sence goes a long way.
Cheers
:th3:

NickMonk

02-02-2009, 11:17pm

off topic but....

I've always wondered, is it legal to take photos of the officer(s) and their equipment? like belt cars etc?

Yes but don't expect them to be friendly about it. If you really want to do this make sure it is in a crowd situation such as a protest. Then they won't see what you are doing and can't do anything about it anyway.

If I didn't want my photo taken I'd ask for it to be deleted. If this was declined I would know to walk away. Others wouldn't...

Remember that being a police officer can be dangerous. One thing that we don't want is photos of us passed on to gangs and criminals etc - it is unnerving and we are very protective of where we live and who our families are. I'm yet to meet a police officer that doesn't have a silent telephone number for example.

kiwi

02-02-2009, 11:19pm

Being a devil's advocate for a moment, why do they respond in the first place about taking photos of kids ?

It's not illegal it's not a problem and not the police's business, it's just fuelling suspicion.

IF every complaint like this got 2 questions from the call centre?

1/ is the kid dressed ?
2/ is the kid in public ?

if answer to both is yes, then why dont the police just say "nothing wrong here, thanks" and do not respond.

When they respond then the public automatically SEE a problem.

jjphoto

02-02-2009, 11:27pm

Being a devil's advocate for a moment, why do they respond in the first place about taking photos of kids ?

It's not illegal it's not a problem and not the police's business, it's just fuelling suspicion.

IF every complaint like this got 2 questions from the call centre?

1/ is the kid dressed ?
2/ is the kid in public ?

if answer to both is yes, then why dont the police just say "nothing wrong here, thanks" and do not respond.

When they respond then the public automatically SEE a problem.

Good point.

JJ

NickMonk

02-02-2009, 11:29pm

Being a devil's advocate for a moment, why do they respond in the first place about taking photos of kids ?

It's not illegal it's not a problem and not the police's business, it's just fuelling suspicion.

IF every complaint like this got 2 questions from the call centre?

1/ is the kid dressed ?
2/ is the kid in public ?

if answer to both is yes, then why dont the police just say "nothing wrong here, thanks" and do not respond.

When they respond then the public automatically SEE a problem.

I agree but.... The police are a public service and there is a duty of care to check these things out. A member of the public complains, we have to make sure that there is nothing wrong. Happens with a lot of different scenarios, not just suspicious photography. Classic one is the dodgy car that is 'casing' houses in the early hours of the morning. Turns out to be the newspaper deliverer every time :D

For every 1000 suspicious photographers one might be a paedophile. So we have to go to all 1000 to find the crook.

jjphoto

02-02-2009, 11:31pm

...Remember that being a police officer can be dangerous. One thing that we don't want is photos of us passed on to gangs and criminals etc - it is unnerving and we are very protective of where we live and who our families are. I'm yet to meet a police officer that doesn't have a silent telephone number for example.

Nick, thanks very much for your post. Hope this can be stickied, if at all possible.

Your point about keeping identities hidden is probably the most miss understood point about people taking pictures of Police. I think very few people understood this.

JJ

NickMonk

02-02-2009, 11:31pm

I fact more often than not we aren't called about things that we should be called about because people don't trust their instinct enough or think they might waste our time. Unfortunately when it comes to photographers they tend to call more than they should really.

NickMonk

02-02-2009, 11:33pm

Thanks JJ

Hope this can be stickied, if at all possible.JJ

Rick? Maybe it should, took me long enough to write it :eek:

Seven

02-02-2009, 11:35pm

Great advice there and I think majority of people would act the right way.

I never thought of what could be thought in taking certain structures, so cheers for the tip.

Sventek

02-02-2009, 11:41pm

Thanks for the advice NickMonk. I spent 10 years working for WAPOL (not as a police officer), and I think your info is pretty spot on in terms of how to handle that sort of situation from what I saw and experienced.

However, in general terms and from my experience of how things are done, I also think that sometimes too often someone who is incorrectly complained about is challenged and asked to move on just to keep the peace and make like easy for everyone concerned - except the person on the receiving end. In the context of this topic, I think it would be best if a balance was struck and the 'rights' of the photographer to go about their business were as valued as keeping busy-bodies and scare-mongers quiet. I think asking someone to move on for the sake of convenience runs the risk of actually confirming the worst fears of the person who complained, simply because the person's complaint was investigated and the 'offender' was dealt with. I would much rather the complainant was told that everything was OK and the photographer was entitled to be there. They would then be educated and 'their' inappropriate behaviour and concerns wouldn't be rewarded.

JulesJ

02-02-2009, 11:42pm

Thanks Nick!

A very informative thread with sensible suggestions, points of view, attitude and responsible reaction. As seen from the police point of view.

Cheers

Jules

bigdazzler

02-02-2009, 11:59pm

I spend all day every day working very closely alongside the NSW police force, ranging from probationary constables right through to Local Area commanders .. and one thing I can tell you , is if you display any kind of arrogance or attitude towards them when they are trying to do their job, YOU WILL NOT WIN. So as Nick says, be smart, stay cool and most times common sense will prevail.

arthurking83

03-02-2009, 12:01am

I have to say.. whilst Nick's post makes perfect sense, I'd be more inclined to tell them to arrest me and charge me with whatever offence they think I'm committing.

This BS paranoia has to stop!... and if we(all photographers!!) all waste police resources by getting ourselves taken back to the station for these Moron Police to finally realise that they have no reason to be harassing innocent members of the public.. only then will they realise that they need to assess the situation more thoroughly before acting like Rambo's.

Someone posted in that news report web page that 'the police were only doing their job'.
Rubbish! It's the Police's job to be fully aware of the law, and it's exact meaning.
They should know better than to waste their time like that, and to ruin someone else's day(like that Michael chap in Mooloolaba).
If they want to be litigated against for wrongful arrest or transgression of the rights of any person acting legally, they have to suffer the consequences.
They'll only really ever fully understand their mistakes if it somehow comes back to haunt them.

Not that I'm hoping to find myself in that situation, and it's one that's so far removed from where I prefer to be.... away from the crowds, but I think if a few points are made fully aware to the police that:

* I'm only taking photographs, and
* if it's illegal to take photographs here, or
* if I'm not allowed on a particular part of public land with my camera, then
* they must surely eject every other person with a camera(especially the pocketable, little discreet Point and Shoot models) on that same patch of land too.

Would they be prepared to explain to everyone else on the beach, that cameras are not allowed? Or is there some weirdo banana republic law which states that you can have a camera on a beach, as long as you don't use it.
(what worries me most is that the banana law would probably make sense for some police! :rolleyes:)

Another thing that I can't understand is why Nick(Police officer) knows how to interpret the law one way(probably the most correct way), and those two Banana Republic Security Guards didn't?
Do they not teach cadets basic law at police academy/school?
Or maybe the two BRSC's were too busy eating bananas to worry 'bout it?

Anyhow.... I suppose I should just be content that I hate the beach.

ps. I've never had any negative altercations with police, and in general I've only ever come across good cops. Except one real smart hero who tried to convince himself that I rode my bike illegally, when I know I didn't.
I simply asked him(very calmly and politely) to give me the ticket, so I could be on my way promptly and that I will contest it in court, and probably see him there. He never gave me the ticket, and he probably thought that I'd seek costs too(correctly), in taking it to court. He took my rego plate down and had me 'on watch' :rolleyes: .. I bet they got bored waiting for me to do something illegal.. for the next umpteen years.

Apologies folks... just some musings I had.. and I'm curious now, about the workings of police stations and suchlike. Had I been the officer in charge of the station, and had these two idiots brought back this Michael in Mooloolaba fellow in for some stupid reason, I'd have the two cops sacked for impersonating police officers!
Surely they must answer to someone??

bigdazzler

03-02-2009, 12:10am

you make a fair point Arthur .. I was merely saying this though, as Nick has pointed out, every complaint/report MUST be investigated. We can only hope if any of us ever find ourselves in the position of having to explain where /why/what were doing in response to a police officer investigating such a report/complaint , we will encounter a person with a cretain degree of common sense and said common sense will prevail. Moral , always stay cool regardless , resist arrest is a lot more serious than any so called photographic offence ..

NikonNellie

03-02-2009, 12:11am

Thanks Nick - very informative.
As a newbie photographer I still haven't got the hang of going out in a public place and setting up my tripod and taking shots.
I have only done it three times since I bought my camera:
The first time I had to go to a local shopping centre at night for a homework assignment for a photography course I attended - that felt really wierd.
The second time was a couple of nights after New Year's Eve - I went down to Kirribilli for some Harbour shots. That felt OK because I would have been the odd one out if I didn't have a camera.
The third time was the other day when my hubby and I went to Freshwater Beach - the other half took a swim while I took some shots. I received a lot of looks as if to say "what do you think your'e doing" but luckily nobody challenged me.

Anyway, your thread has helped me understand my legal rights a bit better and hopefully I won't feel so guilty about practicing my new hobby next time I decide to do a field trip.

NickMonk

03-02-2009, 12:16am

Arthur - they do answer to Sergeants and then higher. Arrests are brought before a Sergeant. If the Sergeant deems it is unlawful then the person is not charged and the litigation begins.

I agree all police officers SHOULD know the full law. But let me put it this way:

'The Law' is a HUGE amount of legislation covering everything from boundary fences to fishing from jetties. No lawyer or police officer, when put on the spot about something a little bit more unusual than drunk idiots or speeding drivers, will know all the applicable law, common law, council by-laws and federal tax legislation.

Most police know the legislation that affects them every day. I arrest people every now and again and not know what charge I have arrested them on - but I do know that I can arrest them, and I think about the applicable legislation on the way back to the station. A bit dangerous you might say but not really - if someone is behaving badly somewhere in public (in particular) there is an applicable charge somewhere.

If it wasn't for my great interest in photography I wouldn't have a clue what the law is relating to photography in a public place. With all the paranoia going on I could be forgiven for thinking that it IS illegal if I didn't know better!

Where police get into trouble is not asking advice from other police if they are not sure what to do - can look embarrasing for a police officer you know, really we should always emit an aura of control. They may assume that they have more legislative power than they do, that's where the trouble is. And I agree Arthur this isn't satifactory, but that's life. Remember most police had other careers before they became police. They were plumbers, bankers, mechanics, soldiers, students etc etc. Any one of you could become a police officer if you want - then YOU are the keeper of all this legislation and fast thinking!!

clm738

03-02-2009, 12:17am

Thanks Nick,
You have sure cleared up a few questions for me about public places. I also think this would make a great sticky!

NickMonk

03-02-2009, 12:21am

Thanks Nick - very informative.
As a newbie photographer I still haven't got the hang of going out in a public place and setting up my tripod and taking shots.
I have only done it three times since I bought my camera:
The first time I had to go to a local shopping centre at night for a homework assignment for a photography course I attended - that felt really wierd.
The second time was a couple of nights after New Year's Eve - I went down to Kirribilli for some Harbour shots. That felt OK because I would have been the odd one out if I didn't have a camera.
The third time was the other day when my hubby and I went to Freshwater Beach - the other half took a swim while I took some shots. I received a lot of looks as if to say "what do you think your'e doing" but luckily nobody challenged me.

Anyway, your thread has helped me understand my legal rights a bit better and hopefully I won't feel so guilty about practicing my new hobby next time I decide to do a field trip.

I am lucky I guess that I have the confidence to go anywhere at any time and shoot without worry about offending people, breaking the law or getting mugged (although I may actually do this :D ). It sort of comes with carrying around a nice shiny badge.

Doing lots of night photography with a friend or two will soon make you feel more comfortable. If you are in a busy place, yes, everyone looks at you.

bigdazzler

03-02-2009, 12:29am

If you are in a busy place, yes, everyone looks at you.

Nellie , just tell em to smile and take their picture :D

arthurking83

03-02-2009, 12:41am

.... resist arrest is a lot more serious than any so called photographic offence ..

resisting arrest is not something I'd ever do.. ever!
But if a policeman/woman ever wanted to arrest me for taking photos, I'd happily go along, voluntarily, or meet them at the station or whatever and they must be 100% sure they are doing their job within the law. If it turns out that they have wrongfully arrested me in any way, or that they wasted my time or violated my rights to my recreation, then they will be made fully aware that it will cost them. Either financially, or by way to a bad report on themselves in some way.

I also downloaded the PDF on copyright info from a link that Cath posted (http://www.ausphotography.net.au/forum/showthread.php?t=24666) in that other thread.

I'm not too sure of how legal it is to post an except of it, but I'm going to anyhow, for the purpose of education to our members!

Do I need permission to photograph a building?
Generally, no. Although a building is protected by copyright, a special exception in the Copyright Act allows buildings to be photographed without permission. Be aware though, that the owner of a property may impose restrictions regarding entry onto the property. It may sometimes be the case, as with photographs of people, that certain unauthorised uses of a photograph of a particular building may raise issues under other laws, such as trade practices legislation.

One late night last year, I was at the Shrine of Remembrance here in Melb.
Two police officers were walking about in their regular duty guarding the shrine as they described it, and I was there in the shadows with tripod and much photographic gear taking shots of stuff.
They walked up to me, and I stopped what I was doing, and walked up to them, and left all my gear about 50meters away, and we chatted.
One officer explained that I'm not allowed to take photos of the Shrine if they are for commercial purposes
Now, after reading that excerpt, it seems as if I am allowed to take photos of the Shrine, for my own commercial purposes without their consent... as long as I'm not on their property!
I can stand in any number of places that is not on their grounds, eg on the footpath or across the road, and it seems as though there's nothing they can do about it, going by that copyright notice.

The way I'm reading that copyright notice is that you actually can take photos of copyrighted property as long as you are not on the property when taking the photo!!??
If you read the wording carefully in that copyright notice, especially the section used as an example(Sydney Harbour Foreshore) it seems that the wording is to limited to the taking of photos from their land, and if you took it whilst on a legally sanctioned helicopter ride, or from the ocean using a 2000mm telephoto, or any other place that does not include their property, then you'd be OK. :confused013

.. Anyhow the Shrine police and I chatted for quite a while and I offered for them to view my photos.. nothing of commercial value I have to say too, but they declined.
All was amiable I explained about posting on a photo forum(here), etc... and they went about their job, and allowed me to go about my recreation.
They probably thought I was weird having positioned the camera and looking into total darkness though... but some people just don't geddit! :D

to them I was probably just another weird photographer? :crzy:

michael_sa

03-02-2009, 12:52am

...
I arrest people every now and again and not know what charge I have arrested them on - but I do know that I can arrest them, and I think about the applicable legislation on the way back to the station. A bit dangerous you might say but not really - if someone is behaving badly somewhere in public (in particular) there is an applicable charge somewhere.
...

Do you think it possible that this is the same thought process that a police officer who might confront a (law abiding) photographer is employing... s/he doesn't *know* the exact legislation... but surely there must be something..!

I also thought it procedurally correct to notify the suspect that:
a) they're being arrested; and
b) on what charge?

or does that obligation only exist if they (the suspect) actually ask?

(playing devils advocate, but genuinely curious)

Regards,
Michael

bigdazzler

03-02-2009, 12:56am

I too had a police person approach me one night whilst shooting with a tripod at the Sydney Opera House .. he looked at my LCD and said " wow nice shot buddy !! " .. I guess experiences can vary :confused013

jjphoto

03-02-2009, 12:58am

resisting arrest is not something I'd ever do.. ever!
But if a policeman/woman ever wanted to arrest me for taking photos, I'd happily go along, voluntarily, or meet them at the station or whatever and they must be 100% sure they are doing their job within the law. If it turns out that they have wrongfully arrested me in any way, or that they wasted my time or violated my rights to my recreation, then they will be made fully aware that it will cost them. Either financially, or by way to a bad report on themselves in some way.

I also downloaded the PDF on copyright info from a link that Cath posted (http://www.ausphotography.net.au/forum/showthread.php?t=24666) in that other thread.

I'm not too sure of how legal it is to post an except of it, but I'm going to anyhow, for the purpose of education to our members!

One late night last year, I was at the Shrine of Remembrance here in Melb.
Two police officers were walking about in their regular duty guarding the shrine as they described it, and I was there in the shadows with tripod and much photographic gear taking shots of stuff.
They walked up to me, and I stopped what I was doing, and walked up to them, and left all my gear about 50meters away, and we chatted.
One officer explained that I'm not allowed to take photos of the Shrine if they are for commercial purposes
Now, after reading that excerpt, it seems as if I am allowed to take photos of the Shrine, for my own commercial purposes without their consent... as long as I'm not on their property!
I can stand in any number of places that is not on their grounds, eg on the footpath or across the road, and it seems as though there's nothing they can do about it, going by that copyright notice.

The way I'm reading that copyright notice is that you actually can take photos of copyrighted property as long as you are not on the property when taking the photo!!??
If you read the wording carefully in that copyright notice, especially the section used as an example(Sydney Harbour Foreshore) it seems that the wording is to limited to the taking of photos from their land, and if you took it whilst on a legally sanctioned helicopter ride, or from the ocean using a 2000mm telephoto, or any other place that does not include their property, then you'd be OK. :confused013

.. Anyhow the Shrine police and I chatted for quite a while and I offered for them to view my photos.. nothing of commercial value I have to say too, but they declined.
All was amiable I explained about posting on a photo forum(here), etc... and they went about their job, and allowed me to go about my recreation.
They probably thought I was weird having positioned the camera and looking into total darkness though... but some people just don't geddit! :D

to them I was probably just another weird photographer? :crzy:

It's kind of getting off topic but there's a big difference between taking the photo and then doing something with it. There are very few situations where you are not allowed to take the photo in the first place but conversely there are very few situations where you can use said photo commercially without permission, releases etc. Even then, you would be sued after the fact, you would still be allowed to take the photo!

Point is, there are very very few situations where you would not be allowed to take the photo. It's what you do with it later that could get you sued, potentially.

JJ

Dizzy Photographics

03-02-2009, 1:16am

Yes but don't expect them to be friendly about it. If you really want to do this make sure it is in a crowd situation such as a protest. Then they won't see what you are doing and can't do anything about it anyway.

If I didn't want my photo taken I'd ask for it to be deleted. If this was declined I would know to walk away. Others wouldn't...

Remember that being a police officer can be dangerous. One thing that we don't want is photos of us passed on to gangs and criminals etc - it is unnerving and we are very protective of where we live and who our families are. I'm yet to meet a police officer that doesn't have a silent telephone number for example.

At the risk of getting a stern chatting to about it...I guess then thats why the spunky star force boys didn't smile at me when taking their pictures during a seige a few months back :rolleyes:

Must strongly point out too that these photos were never published anywhere or printed or shown to anyone other than family. We had an incident involving a number of star force officers and other emergency service personel just around the corner from home...the shots were purely taken to see how close i really could zoom in with the new (old now) point and shoot...i was pretty impressed really. After about 8 hours the hole incident ended without real drama...all precautionary

ricktas

03-02-2009, 8:00am

Great thread. STUCK!

Kym

03-02-2009, 9:22am

We were recently on holidays in Goolwa. I took around 600 shots (still to be processed ;) )
I had some AP cards and my AP hat on.
Being identified as a photog made a big difference.
We had several +ve chats with people about AP and photography.
I think a lot of it is about attitude (as Nick has said) and how you present yourself.

MarkChap

03-02-2009, 9:42am

Being identified as a photog made a big difference.

This is so true, even if i am off topic a little.

I have to wear a Hi-Vis vest whilst shooting speedway, I had mine printed with Photographer so as to not be confused with the "staff" on the infield.

I have worn this to another couple of events where I was really just a spectator but boy did it make a differenc to where I could get to take take photos.

kiwi

03-02-2009, 9:42am

I agree but.... The police are a public service and there is a duty of care to check these things out. A member of the public complains, we have to make sure that there is nothing wrong. Happens with a lot of different scenarios, not just suspicious photography. Classic one is the dodgy car that is 'casing' houses in the early hours of the morning. Turns out to be the newspaper deliverer every time :D

For every 1000 suspicious photographers one might be a paedophile. So we have to go to all 1000 to find the crook.

Would you get called out for a call about a sighting of a Yeti ?

Based on the number of people with cameras of all kinds (slr, p&s, phone etc) and the number of ACTUAL instances of inappropriate images often quoted, there's about as much chance of an Yeti being true than a sicko with a camera

Jcas

03-02-2009, 9:45am

I love to photograph older houses,but i am hesitant as it crosses my mind that if i seen somebody outside my house taking a pic i would wonder if they were sussing it out for other reasons, am i too suspicious???:confused013

MJR

03-02-2009, 9:48am

I don't know if this has been posted but here is a link for street photograhers rights.....which you can also download the pdf version form here as well.... when I googled it I searched for Victoria photograhers rights.... but it looks to be Australian rights
hope the link works

http://www.artslaw.com.au/legalinformation/StreetPhotographersRights.asp

MarkChap

03-02-2009, 10:49am

I love to photograph older houses,but i am hesitant as it crosses my mind that if i seen somebody outside my house taking a pic i would wonder if they were sussing it out for other reasons, am i too suspicious???:confused013

Have some of your work with you.

Knock on the door and say "hey I am "insert name" and I would really love to add a photograph of your house to my series of old/historic/iconic/unique houses and show them what you do.

Nicholas N

03-02-2009, 11:06am

I have to say.. whilst Nick's post makes perfect sense, I'd be more inclined to tell them to arrest me and charge me with whatever offence they think I'm committing.

I agree, either arrest me or back off.

I arrest people every now and again and not know what charge I have arrested them on - but I do know that I can arrest them, and I think about the applicable legislation on the way back to the station. A bit dangerous you might say but not really - if someone is behaving badly somewhere in public (in particular) there is an applicable charge somewhere.

Is this something you really should be admitting to on a public forum?

Your basically saying "I am arresting you, not sure what for, we'll find soemthing to stick you with back at the station."

Do you wonder why people often have a negative attitude toward the Police?

I'd hope to God that comment doesn't find its way to the media, you'll be public enemy number one tomorrow.

Chuq

03-02-2009, 11:17am

Hi Nick,

When I read a post on another forum referring to this post as a "Really good discussion on Photographers rights etc. and Police here from a serving Police officer." with a link... I knew exactly who it would be before I clicked on it!

Edit: 0 posts?!?!

NickMonk

03-02-2009, 11:20am

I agree, either arrest me or back off.

Is this something you really should be admitting to on a public forum?

Your basically saying "I am arresting you, not sure what for, we'll find soemthing to stick you with back at the station."

Do you wonder why people often have a negative attitude toward the Police?

I'd hope to God that comment doesn't find its way to the media, you'll be public enemy number one tomorrow.

You missed my point. I'm talking about myself personally, not others. In the split second something happens on the street trust me YOU KNOW that the law is broken and that an arrest is LAWFUL but I'm not always 100% ready to quote the act, section and exact wording of the charge. And not only that it is only RARELY that things happen like that.
I'm pretty sure I'm repeating myself here - I thought it was clear in my original post.

This thread was made in good faith. It would only go to the media if one of the members here sent it, and that is not going to happen.

Kym

03-02-2009, 11:52am

You missed my point. I'm talking about myself personally, not others. In the split second something happens on the street trust me YOU KNOW that the law is broken and that an arrest is LAWFUL but I'm not always 100% ready to quote the act, section and exact wording of the charge. And not only that it is only RARELY that things happen like that.
I'm pretty sure I'm repeating myself here - I thought it was clear in my original post.
This thread was made in good faith. It would only go to the media if one of the members here sent it, and that is not going to happen.

I get it!

Eg. Some person is trying to bash someone.
You grab him, arrest him, cuff him etc.
You don't know the exact chapter and verse for his specific crime, but it is obviously a crime.

So Nicholas N ... are you suggesting an officer look up the exact crime first? or actually do his job and stop the crime from happening immediately!:crzy:

NickMonk

03-02-2009, 11:55am

I get it!

Eg. Some person is trying to bash someone.
You grab him, arrest him, cuff him etc.
You don't know the exact chapter and verse for his specific crime, but it is obviously a crime.

So Nicholas N ... are you suggesting an officer look up the exact crime first? or actually do his job and stop the crime from happening immediately!:crzy:

Exactly. Thankyou.

ricktas

03-02-2009, 11:58am

Hi Nick,

When I read a post on another forum referring to this post as a "Really good discussion on Photographers rights etc. and Police here from a serving Police officer." with a link... I knew exactly who it would be before I clicked on it!

Edit: 0 posts?!?!

Your post count will remain at zero till you post photos etc. Posts to certain sections of the site, do not accrue a post count.

ricktas

03-02-2009, 12:04pm

Members also have to remember that each State and Territory has differing laws/legislation, therefore what may be an offense in one State, may not be in another.

As was stated in the other thread, re copyright. Disobeying the directive of a police officer is an offense in itself. So, even if you felt you had done nothing wrong, you would be stupid to push the issue to far.

NickMonk

03-02-2009, 12:07pm

Hi Nick,

When I read a post on another forum referring to this post as a "Really good discussion on Photographers rights etc. and Police here from a serving Police officer." with a link... I knew exactly who it would be before I clicked on it!

Edit: 0 posts?!?!

Hey Chuq!

What forum is that on?? Congrats on the second child on the way BTW!

MarkChap

03-02-2009, 12:11pm

I cannot believe that people seem to be advocating "arguing" the point in public with a police officer.

I am pretty sure the first point Nick made is probably one of the strongest points.

If you FAIL the ATTITUDE test you WILL LOSE

"He who turns and runs (leaves peacfully, avoids unneccesary confrontation) away, LIVES to fight another day.

Chuq

03-02-2009, 12:12pm

Your post count will remain at zero till you post photos etc. Posts to certain sections of the site, do not accrue a post count.

Thanks ricktas, nothing is broken then :)

I don't know if I want to force my shocking photos onto the more experienced members of this site, but I will dig up a few when I am at home tonight :)

Surprised this thread is in "off topic", I thought it is very ontopic for a photography site!

Chuq

03-02-2009, 12:23pm

Hi Nick,

It was on Whirlpool - http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=1130939&p=12#r240

(Note their Photography section may not be immediately available to new users)

Thanks on the news, hopefully no-one else on this forum knows me as not even my family knows yet :)

Kym

03-02-2009, 12:24pm

Hey Chuq!
What forum is that on?? Congrats on the second child on the way BTW!

I posted to Whirlpool as they have a very similar discussion going on.

MrJorge

03-02-2009, 12:44pm

Interesting thread and thank you for taking the time to put up some advice Nick.

It's just a shame that the world is in such a state where this sort of thing is almost required knowledge.

Nicholas N

03-02-2009, 1:46pm

I arrest people every now and again and not know what charge I have arrested them on - but I do know that I can arrest them

Sorry but that just sounds a bit suspect to me, and unfair to the person who they are arresting. What happens if there ends up being nothing to charge them with? Or if they get slapped with some other charge just to make the arrest seem legit.

So Nicholas N ... are you suggesting an officer look up the exact crime first?

No, I am suggesting they should have some sort of knowledge of what they are arresting someone for before they do it.

Nicholas N

03-02-2009, 2:12pm

How would you all feel if Telstra sent you a bill for $500 worth of phone calls, claimed they didn't know what calls you had made exactly but they know they can charge you for them so they will?

Everybody would be up in arms, going to the media, it would be plastered all over 60 Minutes and Today Tonight.

ricktas

03-02-2009, 2:33pm

Your Telstra comparison is exactly the same.

Telstra sends bill / policeman arrests you
You call Telstra and discuss situation / You talk with police officer and discuss situation
Matter is resolved amicably- dispute escalates to telecommunications ombudsman / Matter is resolved amicably - dispute escalates to sergeant or higher.

Considering 60 Mintues/ Today Tonight are trash media, anyone with intelligence would ignore anything they put to air.

pgbphotographytas

03-02-2009, 2:38pm

I have had some dealings with the police a few years ago (nothing to do with photography) and I found that if you are nice about things and don't come across as being a d!$#head you normally are ok, even when you are proving to them that they were wrong in what they were saying. :eek:

Paul

Dizzy Photographics

03-02-2009, 2:49pm

I think this has really got off topic again....it started as a really informative post by Nick and has turned into a bit of an attack on him i think. At least that is how i am reading it, maybe i am reading it all wrong??

Kym

03-02-2009, 3:01pm

Sorry but that just sounds a bit suspect to me, and unfair to the person who they are arresting. What happens if there ends up being nothing to charge them with? Or if they get slapped with some other charge just to make the arrest seem legit.
No, I am suggesting they should have some sort of knowledge of what they are arresting someone for before they do it.

The Police do have more than 'some sort' of knowledge - just they may not know the exact act/section at any point in time.

Do you know all the road rules - exactly - when you drive?
Technically you should as they have been gazetted by the Govt.

I think this has really got off topic again....it started as a really informative post by Nick and has turned into a bit of an attack on him i think. At least that is how i am reading it, maybe i am reading it all wrong??

Actually I think most members are supporting Nick's position - I am for sure!

davesmith

03-02-2009, 3:12pm

I don't think it's necessarily off topic, perhaps unnecessarily personal, but not off topic. Nick's statement, if read out of context, does suggest that the police in general can and will carry you away without exact reason why. Apply that to a photographer. In some cases, as Nick confirmed, it's obvious why, but also consider a police officer ignorant of the exact law regarding photography, they may see the photographer in their mind breaking some law and for whatever reason cart them away. The police officer in his mind believes a crime is/has been committed through the act of photgraphy but clearly not sure what. Is that different?

As for the attitude test, I will wholeheartedly arc up and defend myself if I have done no wrong. If that's costly down the track so be it, but I refuse to be intimidated if I am doing the right thing. I'm not that naive though to suggest it doesn't exist and know if I have done something wrong that "playing nice" will keep you out of a lot more trouble.

kiwi

03-02-2009, 3:17pm

Possibly Dave, but, guarantee it wouldn't happen twice with the same officer. I think police have enough to do without wasting their time on a mistake twice in a row

It's always amusing the bravado that people have on paper.

I guarantee that no matter whether i thought/knew I was in the right or the wrong I would co-operate with a police officer on the spot.

ricktas

03-02-2009, 3:29pm

It is great that this open discussion can take place, but please stick to the topic.

Any comments directed at a member, rather than the topic discussion will be dealt with (read, temporary or permanent site bans).

For reference - Forum Rule 3:
[3] Members should be treated with respect and courtesy. Members are requested not to insult or make personal attacks on other members. Remarks deemed to be libellous, defamatory, slanderous or offensive will be deleted, "Flame bait" postings, identical or similar repeat postings will also be deleted.

MarkChap

03-02-2009, 3:31pm

What happens if there ends up being nothing to charge them with? Or if they get slapped with some other charge just to make the arrest seem legit.

**** Heeds Ricks Warning*********

Re written in a better tone
I think you will find that unless an officer was CERTAIN that a law HAD BEEN BROKEN there would be no immediate arrest.
Investigations woulde made into the incident and what laws applied, and if the police thought there was a case to answer, that evidence would be put before a judge and then an arrest warrant would then be issued by a court of law.

Police don't just arrest people for the hell of it with the intention of "finding' something to charge them with to make themselves look good.

davesmith

03-02-2009, 3:34pm

It's not a matter of bravado on paper, everyone know's you can't win an argument with them and I'm smart enough to know when to back to down. I haven't let it pass that easily though. So even though you're well aware you're in the right, you'd move along without question?

kiwi

03-02-2009, 3:40pm

Personally, I would ask politely what the issue was, probably state nicely what I thought the position was, but then if still asked to move on, put camera away I would.

Just being honest.

Kym

03-02-2009, 3:49pm

I think security guards are a much bigger problem than Police officers.
They are just ordinary citizens with attitude :D
Again - being nice does defuse situations.

ving

03-02-2009, 3:54pm

gee its great having a cop on here!
thnx nick :)

jjphoto

03-02-2009, 4:01pm

...Considering 60 Mintues/ Today Tonight are trash media, anyone with intelligence would ignore anything they put to air.

Except their regular appraisals of new bra technology...

C'mon, we need that kind of information!!

jjphoto

03-02-2009, 4:35pm

I think security guards are a much bigger problem than Police officers.
They are just ordinary citizens with attitude :D
Again - being nice does defuse situations.

Yes and No.

I regularly have this problem because of the nature of my work, shooting cars for magazines. I would be the first to call the Police if a security guard gave me enough grief as I'm quite aware of my rights. The key is to know your rights and to stand up for them because they usually don't.

Most security guards are just fine, especially the more experienced ones. They're just doing their jobs. It's the snotty nosed green ones that cause grief.

If you are on private property then the guards have every right to potentially tell you to stop shooting or maybe eject you so you need to consider the circ*mstances. The problems generally arise when they over step their mark and tell you that you can't shoot some thing from public land, usually outside of the property they are guarding. That's when I usually get indignant and all huffy and puffy.

JJ

NickMonk

03-02-2009, 6:47pm

Thank you everyone for the valuable comments that have been added.

I am sorry that one of my comments was taken to be ambiguos, you may have noted I am very careful about what I write on this topic.

I clarified the point later, so that should be enough of that!

Without making myself out to be some sort of martyr, it would normally be unlikely you would get this sort of topic openly discussed by a serving police officer on an internet forum.

As I have answered most of the extra questions already put to me I won't be answering further ones based on every permutation of a situation unless it is via PM, and then at my discretion. By all means continue on this discussion though. If I have something meaningful to add later I will.

Buddah

03-02-2009, 6:57pm

Hey Nick

You have given more than enough. Many thanks. Any more and it should be over to Police PR.

Claude

TOM

03-02-2009, 10:16pm

Thanks for taking to write this article. There is some terrific info there. I always knew the law but it is great to hear it from a policeman's perspective.

As Justice Dowd said in 2001, "A person, in our society, does not have a right not to be photographed’.

Nicholas N

04-02-2009, 8:24am

Considering 60 Mintues/ Today Tonight are trash media, anyone with intelligence would ignore anything they put to air.

Rick unfortunately the general population swallow everything fed to them by current affairs programs.

rossmorgan

06-02-2009, 1:10am

Hi All

Well those who know me will know I used to have a website called morgs.tk and a business name Morgs Net - Photos from around Tasmania. This was a hobby business that actually made me a few dollars from my interest in photography and my volunteer work as a firefighter with TFS. Anyways I used to photograph Ambulance, Fire and Police Vehicles along with nature and anything and everything else.

I attended a few scenes where police were on site including a structure fire (out of my brigades area so I was there as a photographer not firefighter) and walked past the first police car with an officer standing there he looked at me with camera (DSLR) and didn't stop me. I was approched by a officer a few moments later as I was turning the camera on and he asked for my name and phone number, at that time I had some business cards advertising my website so handed one over and went on to grab a few photos one which appered in he TFS fireground Magazine.

As a volunteer firefighter I attended a few car fires and had the camera in my car the other guys knew of my camera and would ask if I had it if they knew it was a car fire or something suss as i would often take photos of the incidents (keeping in mind my first job as volunteer firefighter) but on two incidents my photos were used by police one was a stolen car and the other was taken at a vegetation fire.

Also if you do take a photo of a police officer / firefighter or ambulance officer make sure they are wearing their correct uniform. I once took a photo of a firefighter who was at a job and was almost going to submit it to the fireground magazine however he was not wearing his full turn out gear and if the ranking officers saw this the you know what would hit the fan. I have seen similar issues with Police who are not wearing there hat for photos.

We all spend a few dollars (some more than others) on our camera gear to enjoy our hobby so often something as simple as a business card, polo shirt with a business name on it is a good idea.

Overall, Expain the 3 W's and you're fine.

Ross

willia

06-02-2009, 2:24pm

This is a very useful discussion to have. I agree its always handy to carry business cards to give to people.
I've also read on other forums about people who carry detailed information about their way of working with photography on A4 sheets, to hand to people who are curious about what they are photographing.

AmPhot

07-02-2009, 5:35pm

Nick,
Thanks so much for writing this, as I'm becoming interested in street photography, this is a subject that has been at the forefront of my mind. As you say, common sense applies and as with any dealings with the public, a bit of common courtesy and respect goes a long way.

BTW, thank you for your service. :)

pirate59

11-03-2009, 6:41am

already said but id like to add in my thanks. i always see this sort of stuff covering UK and US police and always wondered about Australia.

thanks heaps

Paper_Mache_Man

11-03-2009, 1:56pm

Yeah I agree, a great post and 99% of the time keeping your cool will result in a more positive outcome. This is a fact of life and a lot of people seem utterly oblivious to this simple fact.

I'd like to add the same info I posted in the other related thread as this one is a sticky and the info pertains particularly to being forced to delete photos by the police.

The only way to permanently delete data off a storage device is to overwrite it.

Most cameras, much like computers, simply unflag the data as a file and it's recognised as free space - i.e. space that can be overwritten. Provided you don't take any photos after "deleting" the photo you can easily restore it at a later date as the series of 1's and 0's remain in place. You'll need special software to do this but a lot of SD cards now ship with it.

Deleting is completely different to formatting an SD card. The process of formatting is basically writing "0" across the entire allocated memory. "Quick Formats" however are much the same as "Erase All" commands and the data can usually be retrieved.

This is something to bear in mind if you are ever forced to delete your photos.

Now, hopefully there isn't a backlash against the spread of this information whereby all photographers are asked to format their SD card or even worse, hand it over. ;)

Kym

11-03-2009, 8:04pm

Deleting is completely different to formatting an SD card. The process of formatting is basically writing "0" across the entire allocated memory. "Quick Formats" however are much the same as "Erase All" commands and the data can usually be retrieved.

Camera formatting does NOT remove images. It is in fact a 'quick' format which means it simply writes and new empty directory structure to the card.

Proof: Files can be recovered after formatting on a camera by recovery software - eg: http://www.ausphotography.net.au/forum/showthread.php?p=203033#post203033

The ONLY way to fully clear a memory card is to do a full format on a PC or use special overwrite software. Eg. http://www.killdisk.com/features.htm

Paper_Mache_Man

12-03-2009, 8:54am

Can't seem to edit my post but yes I believe Cypher is right, at least as far as most cameras go. I didn't specify that the formatting was being done on camera for this reason as I suspect the format option is a lie. Really that's a problem with the camera though as in virtually all cases formatting would be construed as the process of writing 0's I outlined.

A very easy way to check this is the time it takes to "format" a card. If your camera takes the same amount of time to "format" the SD card as it does to "erase all images" (as it does on my 450D) then chances are it's just doing a "quick format" which is virtually identical to erasing data (in the fact that it doesn't lol). Properly formatting an SD card actually takes a very long time, think Atari style.

Hope everyone is plesently confused now...I mean um...enlightened.

michael_sa

30-03-2009, 11:58pm

Some food for thought:

"A MAN detained and threatened with arrest under the Terrorism Act for filming police on his mobile phone has alleged police abused their powers."
"It was in my hand, and they were saying, 'Give me your phone, give me your phone,' but I just kept repeating, 'I do not consent to a search of my phone',"

http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,24844476-952,00.html

A recent SA incident. This guy (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0803/unclep/pokerrun09/pokerun09_ulysses.jpg) was taking photos of Police. I understand he was arrested for 'Resisting Arrest' (?!)

http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/0,22606,25186085-5006301,00.html

http://www.dolforums.com.au/style_emoticons/default/offtopic.gif Not at all confidence inspiring... (http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,24896542-2862,00.html)
Not at all (http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,27574,24748827-2862,00.html)

pommie

31-03-2009, 4:36pm

Sorry michael_sa, I don't really understand what you are trying to say in regards to the last two links in your post, I get the idea that you are saying the police are all corrupt stand over merchants and the bikie gangs (as opposed to groups of bikers) are all sweet and innocent.
Surely I have misunderstood you :confused013

Cheers David

oldfart

31-03-2009, 6:52pm

Sorry michael_sa, I don't really understand what you are trying to say in regards to the last two links in your post, I get the idea that you are saying the police are all corrupt stand over merchants and the bikie gangs (as opposed to groups of bikers) are all sweet and innocent.
Surely I have misunderstood you :confused013

Cheers David

One would hope that even bikies deserve the same rights as the rest of us until a court has proven them guilty of a criminal offense.

atky

31-03-2009, 7:23pm

I'm disgusted that I have to parse an attitude test to have any rights

campdog

31-03-2009, 8:15pm

I agree, either arrest me or back off.

Is this something you really should be admitting to on a public forum?

Your basically saying "I am arresting you, not sure what for, we'll find soemthing to stick you with back at the station."

Do you wonder why people often have a negative attitude toward the Police?

I'd hope to God that comment doesn't find its way to the media, you'll be public enemy number one tomorrow.

I dont know about that. One offence can have a a lot of different charges depending on circ*mstances.You would be better to take them back to the station and then decided. If the Police questioned me about my presence with a camera taking photos of a train station, then I would know they are doing their job.
I just cant believe people can buy tins of paint and deface a wall and call it art, yet take a photo of it and you could be a terrorist.
John

michael_sa

31-03-2009, 10:53pm

Sorry michael_sa, I don't really understand what you are trying to say in regards to the last two links in your post

OK,
There are 339 police stations in Victoria. (http://www.police.vic.gov.au/content.asp?Document_ID=3) In a 12 month period, 100 (police employees) were "taken into criminal custody or punished for serious disciplinary breaches" (http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,24896542-2862,00.html)

That's one bad egg for every 3 baskets.

I get the idea that you are saying the police are all corrupt stand over merchants

Emotive poetic licence, but no I'm not using those words at all.
What I am saying is that statistically, 1 in every 3 stations has a (confirmed) bent cop - how do you read it?

the bikie gangs (as opposed to groups of bikers)
There is no difference. A *bikie gang* is by definition a 'group of bikers'
"ah... it's just the vibe of the thing." (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJuXIq7OazQ) huh?
One of these: :crzy: seems appropriate.

Surely I have misunderstood you :confused013

Is it OK that a 50+ year old Ulysses motorcycle club member gets taken down by two Star Group officers because he was taking photos of motorcycles & Police?
That could have been you, me or any one of the people who would find interest in this thread.

For the record, I have no connection to the Ulysses Club (http://www.ulyssesclub.org/default.asp) or any other.
The last bike I rode was a Malvern Star Dragstar (http://canberrabicyclemuseum.com.au/manuf%201960-1980.htm)

The constant erosion of our civil liberties and freedoms is of concern to me.

Regards
Michael

pommie

01-04-2009, 5:07pm

I was not taking you to task for anything but posting two links without comment, leaving the reader to guess what you what mean, a risky thing to do at the best of times :D

Did you read the charges against those police, the most numerous one was disregarding or disobeying a senior officer, hardly a serious criminal offence (usually), but that discussion is for a different forum ;)

And while I quite readily admit there are rotten apples in the force, I will also assume there is the same number of good members in the bikie gangs, and there is a difference between a biker and a bikie , I have several mates that ride Harleys and they do not like being called bikies.

I too do not ride motorbikes, to many crazy car drivers on the road for that :crzy:

Cheers David

Ronbo

02-04-2009, 3:47am

Thanks Nick for your thoughtful post on the subject of photographers rights.

All to often when approached by police officers we immediately get the impression that we are doing something wrong from the Point of View of the officer investigating a complaint. As stated before officers are not lawyers and are not versed upon every law of the land. With that said with a good attitude towards the responding officer regardless the situation, you catch more bees with honey than you do with vinegar.

As a side note towards the identification information...here in the US it is law that you produce identification when asked by a law enforcement officer. If you refuse you can be arrested for obstructing an investigation. This has been upheld in every court of the land all the way to the US Supreme Court.

In my dealings with the police in my local community I have yet to run across an officer that is out there to get me. If you are courteous to them they will reciprocate in kind. I don't expect them to quote me chapter and verse the laws when investigating a complaint.

I have many friends within the Law Enforcement field and they all mimic who they are dealing with...if you give respect they mirror that back to you. If you give them a bad attitude you're sure to lose.

I'm not saying that you have to fold like a house of cards when you know your within your legal rights, you just don't have to act the idiot proving it.

Again thanks Nick for posting this thoughtful insight from the other side of the badge.

hyperactive

06-04-2009, 12:55am

what a great thread! Actually read over 95% of it patiently in case I get flamed for "this has already been stated before, read the thread" etc...

I have never personally been approached by a police officer when taking photos but I have been told many many many times to stop taking photos on private property. When that happens I just comply. I do notice "no photography" signs but I've read up on laws and legislation that apply to many states and countries before visiting. Basically they can't tell you to delete photos nor do they have the right to ask you to even show them the pictures. They do however have the right to ask you to stop taking photos and if needs be remove you from the property with "reasonable force".

I guess to be a photographer you need to be a bit thick. I just take pics until someone tells me to stop. When I know they're right (usually they are) I just stop. However, on public property I would be inclined to defend my rights. If they ever force me to delete a photo thats when I'd opt to be arrested and pursue the matter with higher authority later on.

The police officer on this thread has been very helpful answering most questions and keeping their cool. Its great to get a perspective from "the other side". In regards to him arresting without knowing the actual laws I believe that to be okay as long as the law was in fact broken. Its like saying I know that stealing is illegal but how many of you can quote to me to exact section and clause that applies (without googling it)? Remember that the police (I think) need to write a full report as well (correct me if I'm wrong) and to simply arrest a person based on "I really really think he commited a crime" would be unprofessional and a waste of time to everyone.

I also doubt very much that any of those were photographers that were law abiding citizens. Besides, being a photographer means having good PR - making others comfortable, easy to talk to, helpful, etc. If you've got an attitude problem before they've even started questioning you then you should really start thinking about it. One last thing that I'd do aside from having some of your work on your iPhone (talk about instant marketing) is give them a business card. It somewhat substantiates your claim and its always good to get your name out there no matter how, right?

NickMonk

06-04-2009, 7:58am

OK,
There are 339 police stations in Victoria. (http://www.police.vic.gov.au/content.asp?Document_ID=3) In a 12 month period, 100 (police employees) were "taken into criminal custody or punished for serious disciplinary breaches" (http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,24896542-2862,00.html)

That's one bad egg for every 3 baskets.

Regards
Michael

It has already been said but the figures are not accurate when you actually read the article. There were 32 police involved in criminal matters (there were no conviction statistics either, they are suspected). Disciplinary matters are internal matters. In any big company or gov department there are always going to be people disciplined.

I understannd that there are about 10000 police officers in Victoria. That's 0.0032% of police in Victoria.

Matix

06-04-2009, 10:51am

It has already been said but the figures are not accurate when you actually read the article. There were 32 police involved in criminal matters (there were no conviction statistics either, they are suspected). Disciplinary matters are internal matters. In any big company or gov department there are always going to be people disciplined.

I understannd that there are about 10000 police officers in Victoria. That's 0.0032% of police in Victoria.

Yes, good point.. and the percentages would probably be close to the number of the photo taking public who have been hassled by the police for taking photos in public. Unfortunately in this media sensationalist world we live in, we only hear the bad or sensational news, not the good or mundane.

I take hundreds of street, candid and in public shots every month of the year, and in Australia at least I have only been approached once by a security person, and that in the Adelaide railway station. He watched me take a couple of shots, then wandered over and asked if I knew that it was not lawful to take photos in this particular building. I explained that I did not, had not seen any signs, and he said well it is a beautiful building and worth capturing, and you should finish your shoot and put the camera away as quick as possible.

That I respect, and I will agree that attitude played a part here on both sides as did common sense.

In the many overseas countries I have visited, I read up and watched carefully for signs, and had no problem at all. In the US it is of course different, you have to watch the security people, police are not usually a problem if you take your shot and move on, even in New York.

What I do not understand though in the US is why, in a couple of cases my friend with a D300 was prohibited for taking shots, asked to put his camera in the bag and move on, while dozens of other tourists with P & S cameras happily flashed away at everything in sight.

I can just imagine how their training went, "Ok guys, watch for the mature age bearded guy with a mature aged woman, with the big DSLR and Lens on a Tripod spending 10 min setting up... he will likely be the terrorist, but ignore the two with the black beard and hair taking quick furtive shots with a small P & S camera, they are ok"... huh?

Thanks for the thread...

Phil

Kym

06-04-2009, 11:03am

It has already been said but the figures are not accurate when you actually read the article. There were 32 police involved in criminal matters (there were no conviction statistics either, they are suspected). Disciplinary matters are internal matters. In any big company or gov department there are always going to be people disciplined.

I understannd that there are about 10000 police officers in Victoria. That's 0.0032% of police in Victoria.

32 / 10,000 * 100 = 0.32% or 1 in about 300 - but your point is still valid. And as you said suspected not convicted.
Go to to any business of 300 people and at least one will have a conviction.

Photogra

10-04-2009, 1:12pm

A great thread Nick, thank you so much for advising of what could be/couldn't be etc. I have found that sometimes when out and about taking photos in public places, if there is a shot you want and you have kiddies in the FG, it is common sense to approach parents, in my case I give them a business card and ask them would they like me to send the photo to them via email. I have had no problems and the parents more often than not can't wait to see the photo.

Krzys

26-06-2009, 4:16pm

I know that there is a paper on the Photographer's rights that you can carry around in case of trouble but it generally applies to NSW law. Are there any papers that address QLD law specifically?

NickMonk

26-06-2009, 11:04pm

I know that there is a paper on the Photographer's rights that you can carry around in case of trouble but it generally applies to NSW law. Are there any papers that address QLD law specifically?

Not that I am aware of. Would be nice for someone with legal experience to be able to put one together. The NSW one can be found here:
http://www.4020.net/words/photorights.php

Kym

27-06-2009, 6:43am

Not that I am aware of. Would be nice for someone with legal experience to be able to put one together. The NSW one can be found here:
http://www.4020.net/words/photorights.php

This one is from the via the Arts Law Centre of Australia...
http://www.artslaw.com.au/legalinformation/StreetPhotographersRights.asp

The PDF can be printed double sided and double folded - I keep a few copies in my bag.

Scotty72

27-06-2009, 8:48am

I arrest people every now and again and not know what charge I have arrested them on - but I do know that I can arrest them, and I think about the applicable legislation on the way back to the station. A bit dangerous you might say but not really - if someone is behaving badly somewhere in public (in particular) there is an applicable charge somewhere.

Geez, and cops wonder why they have so little respect.

I'm going to arrest you then make up something, anything to justify my stupid decision.

Glad cops aren't surgeons; I can hear the train of thought, "I'll remove a kidney, then think of a reason for doing so tomorrow."

Scotty

ricktas

27-06-2009, 8:55am

Geez, and cops wonder why they have so little respect.

I'm going to arrest you then make up something, anything to justify my stupid decision.

Glad cops aren't surgeons; I can hear the train of thought, "I'll remove a kidney, then think of a reason for doing so tomorrow."

Scotty

Read the entire thread Scotty! What Nick said was that he knows they are breaking the Law, but not the exact law, its wording etc. He didn't say he just randomly arrests people.

Your comparison is not a valid one. A Doctor will have seen you, had x-rays and tests done, and discussed the results with colleagues and then you, all prior to the surgery date. Police often have only a second or two to make a judgement and act.

Scotty72

27-06-2009, 8:56am

I get it!

Eg. Some person is trying to bash someone.
You grab him, arrest him, cuff him etc.
You don't know the exact chapter and verse for his specific crime, but it is obviously a crime.

So Nicholas N ... are you suggesting an officer look up the exact crime first? or actually do his job and stop the crime from happening immediately!:crzy:

Hi,

Sorry to sound so frank but, :) this is a silly analogy. You are giving the example of a clear and present danger that could lead to loss of life or serious injury and, and of course, the public would expect cops to jump in and sort it out.

However, having a camera on the beach is not a serious threat to anyone.

..and yes, when there no danger, I would expect a cop to know what s/he is doing before they wade ignorantly into a situation and infringe upon civil rights. If that means radioing back to VKG (or whatever), yes, they should.

There is also the point that by doing so, they are taking sides by implying you are doing something wrong. Police are supposed to uphold the law, not take sides - especially the side of ignorance.

Scotty

Scotty72

27-06-2009, 8:59am

Read the entire thread Scotty! What Nick said was that he knows they are breaking the Law, but not the exact law, its wording etc. He didn't say he just randomly arrests people.

Your comparison is not a valid one. A Doctor will have seen you, had x-rays and tests done, and discussed the results with colleagues and then you, all prior to the surgery date. Police often have only a second or two to make a judgement and act.

Exactly, :)

A doctor will take the time to properly assess the situation. So to should police before they go in.

Why do police only have a second to act? In the case of photographers, they literally have as much time as they want. There is no public threat, no one is going to die.

Why rush to judgement? That is not a cop's job.

Scotty

ricktas

27-06-2009, 9:02am

Nick did NOT say that he did this with photographers, he stated that in some circ*mstances, it happens. He was talking about Police work generally, not directly about photographers when he made that statement.

Scotty72

27-06-2009, 9:35am

Ok, fair enough..

On a photography forum, you can see why I would make that connection.

But,

This is a little raw for me today after my experience last night.

Having received my camera from Paul yesterday, I jumped on a train to Circular Quay. Wandered around, took a few pics, then went back to Circular Quay Station.

I was standing there, on the platform, with camera on tripod. I was not actually taking any pics. I was still trying to figure out the 'danmed' :) Canon menu system (after my switch from Olympus - man, this is going to take time).

Well, a train pulls up, and three cops step out and notice me.

Without any complaint (I was on the platform for about 45 secs before they turned up - and they were in a rail tunnel for 5 mins prior - so there was no way anyone could have complained, rang 000 then, a message sent from 000 to police radio to three cops in a subway tunnel)....

Without any complaint, they approached me and DEMANDED I stop taking photos.

This attitude, by them, was met, by me, with a whole lot of attitude.

The summary is that they reckoned it was illegal to take photos on public transport (???). I reckoned that the ombudsman would find it illegal for cops to harass members of the public, accussing them of crimes that were clearly ficticious

This whole episode lasted about 15 secs, I then explained I needed to be on that train and that, if they weren't going to arrest me, I was leaving.

I did, they didn't.

I agree with the poster who argued that the public is not required to pass any attitude test to please cops. We are not their pets. In fact, as police officers, they should be the ones examined as their behaviour should be of a much higher standard.

My point,

I am really sad that so many people think we should slink away (and give up rights) whenever some ignorant cop decides he is a tough guy OR when they opt for a quick fix (get rid of the tog) instead of take the time to explain to complainants that their complaints are unwarranted.

SCotty

Kym

27-06-2009, 10:25am

Ok, fair enough..
<snip>

Well they acted incorrectly and outside the law. Those specific officers were just wrong.
And that does leave a sour taste.

I would write it up in detail and send it to the commissioner and whatever complaints department they have in NSW (ICAC? Police ombudsman?)

If nothing else they need training.

Interestingly we had an item published at work re: dealing with the media and photographers...
http://www.ausphotography.net.au/forum/showthread.php?p=317714#post317714

Analog6

27-06-2009, 10:49am

Meeting rudeness with rudeness compounds any situation. Politeness is free and fairly easy too! And even if it does not elicit an improved response in return, at least you leave feeling virtuous, not upset.

A simple explanation couched in polite terms would have left all participants in a better frame of mind.

Scotty72

27-06-2009, 10:55am

Meeting rudeness with rudeness compounds any situation. Politeness is free and fairly easy too! And even if it does not elicit an improved response in return, at least you leave feeling virtuous, not upset.

A simple explanation couched in polite terms would have left all participants in a better frame of mind.

To a point, I agree with you.

However, much like running away from a scene implies you are guilty; if we always back away when confronted (assuming you are within your rights) will also leave photographers looking like we are doing something wrong - and should be challenged.

I am sick of it!! :angry0:

Scotty

hoffy

27-06-2009, 10:56am

The thing is, though, that I believe it is actually illegal to take pictures on public transport in certain cities, without prior permission. You have to remember that train stations and the like are not Public spaces, so they can apply terms and conditions such as that.

Just reading your post, while it may feel confronting to you, they asked you to stop, you told them you weren't and you both went on your merry way.

Not sure if I would really call that harassment.

BUT that being said, I wonder if they ever tell anyone to stop taking pictures using mobiles?

Scotty72

27-06-2009, 11:28am

The thing is, though, that I believe it is actually illegal to take pictures on public transport in certain cities, without prior permission. You have to remember that train stations and the like are not Public spaces, so they can apply terms and conditions such as that.

Just reading your post, while it may feel confronting to you, they asked you to stop, you told them you weren't and you both went on your merry way.

Not sure if I would really call that harassment.

BUT that being said, I wonder if they ever tell anyone to stop taking pictures using mobiles?

I know Victoria is a 'shoot first, ask questions later' kinda state :P
SA, no idea!

but in NSW at least...
###
(http://www.4020.net/words/photorights.php)

What about railway stations?
This is a different story for they are public space (even if they are not, technically speaking, "public land"). So provided you don't make a nuisance of yourself, you should be fine. In 2004 the NSW Minister for Transport Services spelled it out (at NSW Legislative Council Hansard, 24 Feb 2004, p.6394, art.53):

It is not an offence to take a photograph on a train or at a station.

Transit officers are required to detect graffiti and other offences as they occur, as well as protecting State Rail property from vandalism. I am advised taking photographs of graffiti may indicate a connection between the person and the graffiti they are photographing, as graffiti offenders often photograph their work. See also the earlier Q&A in NSW Legislative Council Hansard, 12 Nov 2003, p.4731, art.22.

In 2006 there was a lengthy discussion about this issue at Railpage Australia. As many advised, apply a little common sense. If you are going to linger and take formal photographs (eg. using a tripod or for publication), then contact the Station Master first. For casual hand-held photography however — don't ask, shoot.

###

Scotty

hoffy

27-06-2009, 12:26pm

Very good. You have done your research.

I have a query in to the local authorities here to see what they have to say.

ricktas

27-06-2009, 1:30pm

Re your train station incident. How about rather than giving them attitude as you stated, you calmly and politely discussed with them the legalities etc. Sorry, but giving attitude back to the cops doesn't achieve anything for photographers in the long term

As soon as they tell you to move along, and you don't, no matter whether your previous argument was about photography or any other issue, you are breaking the law. Disobeying the direction of a Police Officer.

I completely disagree with your approach above Scotty, by giving them attitude back, you now have three more police officers who will find photographers irritating. A calm, intelligent discussion would have been a much better approach.

CapnBloodbeard

27-06-2009, 2:21pm

I agree with the poster who argued that the public is not required to pass any attitude test to please cops. We are not their pets. In fact, as police officers, they should be the ones examined as their behaviour should be of a much higher standard.

Courtesy is a two way street. People who immediately put their hackles up whenever a cop is around are just as bad as the cops that abuse their power.

Cops are going to react poorly to people who show them attitude - and I don't blame them.

Of course, the public is going to react badly when faced with an arrogant, power hungry copper, and that's also understandable.

I just don't understand why people have an attitude towards cops.

As for your incident - it may have been a misunderstanding of the law on their part - after all, how many laws do they have to deal with? Not justifying an attitude if they showed one, but a mistake may have been understandable.

Scotty72

27-06-2009, 2:26pm

Oh well.

Had the circ*mstances been different... maybe.

However, the police, with no reason to suspect a thing gave a direction.

The law states the you must obey a 'reasonable' direction. As no one had complained and I wasn't breaking any law, I felt they were being unreasonable.

I suspect that these guys have always been (and will always be) anti photographer.

As a teacher, if I unreasonably approach my students and tell them to stop doing something that is totally legit, they will laugh at me and the principal will tell me to pull my head in.

I would never do that, as it would be an abuse of power.

If cop are being a abusive bullies then, they deserve no respect. In fact, bullies must be challenged.

Remember, they approached me. They did not say, "Hey, what are you doing? You're not bugging anyone are you?"

In which case, I would have probably would have said, "Na, just practising with the new camera. No problem, is there?"

They chose to come at me like bullies. I also had a train to catch.

Scotty

CapnBloodbeard

27-06-2009, 2:34pm

Are you taking offence because they acted like arrogant pricks? Or simply because they told you to stop photographing? There was something in their manner that was clearly rude?

CapnBloodbeard

27-06-2009, 2:35pm

Geez, and cops wonder why they have so little respect.

I'm going to arrest you then make up something, anything to justify my stupid decision.

Glad cops aren't surgeons; I can hear the train of thought, "I'll remove a kidney, then think of a reason for doing so tomorrow."

Scotty

He's already defended himself; you've misinterpreted what he said

You missed my point. I'm talking about myself personally, not others. In the split second something happens on the street trust me YOU KNOW that the law is broken and that an arrest is LAWFUL but I'm not always 100% ready to quote the act, section and exact wording of the charge. And not only that it is only RARELY that things happen like that.
I'm pretty sure I'm repeating myself here - I thought it was clear in my original post.

This thread was made in good faith. It would only go to the media if one of the members here sent it, and that is not going to happen.

Scotty72

27-06-2009, 2:50pm

Are you taking offence because they acted like arrogant pricks? Or simply because they told you to stop photographing? There was something in their manner that was clearly rude?

Both

NickMonk

06-07-2009, 10:14am

Thanks for saying your bit Scotty72 but I can quite clearly see why you had issues.

Scotty72

14-07-2009, 9:23pm

One of the talk-back stations today (in Sydney) took a bunch of calls about police harassing people for being in public.

Two 'highlights', as presented by the callers

Call 1. A sales rep, felt like eating his lunch. Rather than eating his sanga whilst driving one handed, he pulled into the carpark of the local park. Cops turned up and asked him ro move on as there are kids about. He produced ID, cops then still advised him to move on - despite the fact they could have easily checked on the police database to see if he was on a list.

Call 2. A lady, last week, was 'ordered', by police, to not take pictures of her own kids because she was near a primary school. Problem here was she was on her own front lawn. So, some police think they have the right to order you to not photograph your own kids in your own house. How dare they.

There were others...

Nick, I hope this makes it a little more clear why some people (incl I) have issues with police trampling on our civil liberties in order to 'save the children'.

Scotty

Paper_Mache_Man

15-07-2009, 2:14pm

lol...

Just had a funny experience on campus (where I work, we lease a building).

I was going for a walk and brought my camera with me. It's the UWS Ag college so not much to see but it is pretty spread out, has lots of scenery and a fair few animals about. Anyway, I'm walking around taking photos and I see a guy (prob security) walking towards me. I didn't realise it though, I thought he was just walking somewhere in my direction, he didn't 'look' at me.

So anyway, I realise the time and decide I need to hurry back. I take a short cut behind some uni buildings off the path. Then I hear all this shouting coming from the building, take a look and try and see into the window but can't see anyone so keep walking.

Then I hear all this yelling behind me 'Oi you!' etc. I turn around and there are 3 security guards (again I assume) and I'm assuming a grounds manager behind me. They're practically running after me lol.

I'm just thinking...***. They go:
'are you alright?'
'Err...yeah, fine, thanks!'
'Oh ok because you look lost'
'No I'm just going for a walk...back to work actually...I work in blah blah'
'Oh ok then'

They all turn and leave.

I had a good chuckle on my way back. Somehow I don't think they'd be quite so concerned about me had I not had an SLR on me. The funny thing is they didn't even ask me about the camera....whaaaa?

zollo

16-07-2009, 12:21pm

lol...

Just had a funny experience on campus (where I work, we lease a building).

I was going for a walk and brought my camera with me. It's the UWS Ag college so not much to see but it is pretty spread out, has lots of scenery and a fair few animals about. Anyway, I'm walking around taking photos and I see a guy (prob security) walking towards me. I didn't realise it though, I thought he was just walking somewhere in my direction, he didn't 'look' at me.

So anyway, I realise the time and decide I need to hurry back. I take a short cut behind some uni buildings off the path. Then I hear all this shouting coming from the building, take a look and try and see into the window but can't see anyone so keep walking.

Then I hear all this yelling behind me 'Oi you!' etc. I turn around and there are 3 security guards (again I assume) and I'm assuming a grounds manager behind me. They're practically running after me lol.

I'm just thinking...***. They go:
'are you alright?'
'Err...yeah, fine, thanks!'
'Oh ok because you look lost'
'No I'm just going for a walk...back to work actually...I work in blah blah'
'Oh ok then'

They all turn and leave.

I had a good chuckle on my way back. Somehow I don't think they'd be quite so concerned about me had I not had an SLR on me. The funny thing is they didn't even ask me about the camera....whaaaa?

G'day. I work security at a uni here in perth. What happened to you is not really uncommon. With all the cases of nasty chemicals being thrown, bashings and worse going on around universities for some reason lately (directed a lot at international students, but not all) security has been stepped up a lot. If you look like someone who is loitering or suspicious, we will tell you to move along. Sounds like the guard did the right thing by calling back-up also. So in this instance I doubt it was because of your camera and you weren't being singled out. Dont take it personally just tell them what you are actually doing and you should be fine. If they do tell you to move on, then on university ground, you dont really have a choice.

Scotty72

16-07-2009, 1:59pm

If they do tell you to move on, then on university ground, you dont really have a choice.

If you're entitled to be there: ie you are a worker or student on the campus, and you are not in an enclosed area, then you're also entitled to ignore them.

Scotty

zollo

16-07-2009, 2:14pm

If you're entitled to be there: ie you are a worker or student on the campus, and you are not in an enclosed area, then you're also entitled to ignore them.

Scotty

lol. Yes, show us a student card and you will be fine. Show us a staff card and you will be fine. All workers/visitors must/will have a pass saying so. If you dont, like I say, move along. It is security's right at any time of day or night to ask for these passes. It is your right to show us or if you refuse, be shown the door. Conditions of entry and the document you sign says so. Dont like it? Dont enter the uni.

cheers

Scotty72

16-07-2009, 2:20pm

That is fair enough, they are enclosed lands.

The exception is a member of the public with a legitimate reason to be there also.

Eg, I might be there for a conference etc... in my lunch break decide to go for a stroll.

It always amazes me how people often assume the worst of people carrying bulky DSLR's. That is just dopey; surely someone up to no good would be carrying the smallest, most concellable thing they can - not carrying a beacon of obviousness.

Wish people would remember that - passing on those vibes to you :P

Scotty

Scotty72

16-07-2009, 2:23pm

Oh, and by the way, not all conferences give out passes.

Just recently, I attended a two-day conference at UNSW, no passes, lanyards etc.

Maybe, they know Sydney people are all well intentioned :)

Scotty

zollo

16-07-2009, 2:35pm

I am not anti dslr at all, infact, the uni i work at is the epicentre of photography and media learning. We have a lot of photography students (myself included) and teachers as well as after hours short courses. Never once have i had bad altercations with anyone with a dslr. Thats not something i could say about crooks who have figured out that a lot of camera gear + lot of students studying with said gear = easy targets, big pay. I have personally saved at least 2 people a lot of money/a hardcore flogging by doing my job. Sometimes at night, telling a photographer to move on is more for their benefit than mine in particular. And the point that not everyone gets a pass is true - but security is made well aware of who is visiting at what time and where - plus, we aint all meatheads ;)

cheers

ving

16-07-2009, 2:43pm

If you're entitled to be there: ie you are a worker or student on the campus, and you are not in an enclosed area, then you're also entitled to ignore them.

Scottygee i hope kyou dont have a problem with librarians too:eek:

Scotty72

16-07-2009, 3:07pm

gee i hope kyou dont have a problem with librarians too:eek:

Well, I was actually thrown out of my university library once (with about 4 or 5 others) cause we were caught smuggling pizzas into one of the study areas...

Outrageous... :P

But, did you ever see that series on the ABC a couple of years back? Librarians? Funny stuff, and true.... Some of the teacher / librarians I have known.... omg! :eek:

Scotty

Scotty72

16-07-2009, 3:12pm

I am not anti dslr at all, infact, the uni i work at is the epicentre of photography and media learning. We have a lot of photography students (myself included) and teachers as well as after hours short courses. Never once have i had bad altercations with anyone with a dslr. Thats not something i could say about crooks who have figured out that a lot of camera gear + lot of students studying with said gear = easy targets, big pay. I have personally saved at least 2 people a lot of money/a hardcore flogging by doing my job. Sometimes at night, telling a photographer to move on is more for their benefit than mine in particular. And the point that not everyone gets a pass is true - but security is made well aware of who is visiting at what time and where - plus, we aint all meatheads ;)

cheers

Weren't suggesting security guards all were meatheads... The idiots who dream up restrictions and the phony justifications usually are, but not those forced to impliment them.

My favourite is... "For your convenience, City Rail no longer provides rubbish bins on trains or platforms. Please take your rubbish with you." - Yes sh*tty Rail, very convenient that.

Scotty

Paper_Mache_Man

17-07-2009, 1:39am

G'day. I work security at a uni here in perth. *snip*

No drama...but I did think it funny that it was 'necessary' to have 4 guys chase some random dude with a camera. Oh and it had everything to do with the camera...if I didn't have it on me I wouldn't have seemed any different to someone walking and I doubt they stop everyone that walks by.

ving

17-07-2009, 12:58pm

Well, I was actually thrown out of my university library once (with about 4 or 5 others) cause we were caught smuggling pizzas into one of the study areas...

Outrageous... :P

But, did you ever see that series on the ABC a couple of years back? Librarians? Funny stuff, and true.... Some of the teacher / librarians I have known.... omg! :eek:

Scottysigh... you didnt get me :rolleyes:

mongo

17-07-2009, 1:11pm

Mongo says thanks NIck for going to the trouble of writing this reasonably comprehensive and smart piece of advice for the rest of us. It is very useful.

Mongo has already expressed his dismay about this situation and how ridiculous it has become in other old threads so he is not going to repeat it here. Clearly, you are aware of what Mongo is talking about already

ving

17-07-2009, 1:39pm

mongo doesnt like to repeat himself?

mongo doesnt like to repeat himself?

mongo doesnt like to repeat himself?

:p

Krzys

10-09-2009, 6:52pm

A friend of mine has a sister who is a police officer. I was talking to her yesterday and brought up street photography. She reacted offensively to any notion of a public candid telling me any photo taken without someones consent is illegal. Remember she is a working police officer with this mindset. The topic went on as I dicussed the current laws and photog's rights, while she expressed how willing she would be to remove a photog's film/card. A recent post on another forum talked about how older photojournalists used to carry dummy rolls and (now) cards to palm into the police's possession if they get militant. A good idea IMO.

CapnBloodbeard

11-09-2009, 11:36pm

A friend of mine has a sister who is a police officer. I was talking to her yesterday and brought up street photography. She reacted offensively to any notion of a public candid telling me any photo taken without someones consent is illegal. Remember she is a working police officer with this mindset. The topic went on as I dicussed the current laws and photog's rights, while she expressed how willing she would be to remove a photog's film/card. A recent post on another forum talked about how older photojournalists used to carry dummy rolls and (now) cards to palm into the police's possession if they get militant. A good idea IMO.

So what was her reaction when you attempted to re-educate her?

Police are only human, and we have to expect that they're not going to remember every detail of every single law that's out there.
However, even carrying a copy of the laws isn't necessarily helpful - a copper may think you typed it up yourself.
Just because a copper may not have the right to confiscate your images, it doesn't necessarily mean they won't - and sure, you'll get it back after you complain, but you might not get your images back.

Certainly makes sense to not antagonise police :-)

At the Melbourne night meet, the 4 of us had tripods set up taking photos of a ferris wheel when a couple of coppers came up and asked us if there were any problems around (they had received a report of some drunk causing trouble in the area). I told them no, just the random drunk screams you tend to get at night, then he was asking me what I was photographing, then asked to have a look through the images.

Though the request wasn't made as a copper; it was made as a human being. He was simply curious and genuinely interested in the images. Great pair of coppers, really nice, and it's always good to have a positive experience with the police.

Krzys

13-09-2009, 1:57pm

So what was her reaction when you attempted to re-educate her?She wasn't willing to accept much of what I was saying. I told her to look up some various websites for information and ask her work colleagues on what they think.

nurgle

23-10-2009, 5:15pm

I was once threatend with arrest by a Sheriff's Officer, while on a Sunday, in Sydney.

I was in Elizabeth St, photographing an old building across the road, and it turned out that I was standing with my heals on court property (even though it was a public street and not marked) I was using a large format camera. this was in 1992.

He was extremely abusive. I stayed calm. played dumb, after all there was no markings on the street as to where the public street ended and the court property began.

afterwards I made a formal complaint, the head sheriff examined the video tape of the incident, and the guy was stood down. and I received an apology from the Sheriff. there is the occasional bad apple in every bunch.

Had I been arrested, I would have staid calm and done the same thing..

I have been warned off standing too close to Parliament house in Brisbane, even though I had a police permit to be there. I just go with the flow.

regards, Sandy

Kym

23-10-2009, 7:07pm

Sandy - I agree, playing it cool is 99.9% the best option.

NickMonk

25-10-2009, 6:42pm

A friend of mine has a sister who is a police officer. I was talking to her yesterday and brought up street photography. She reacted offensively to any notion of a public candid telling me any photo taken without someones consent is illegal. Remember she is a working police officer with this mindset. The topic went on as I dicussed the current laws and photog's rights, while she expressed how willing she would be to remove a photog's film/card. A recent post on another forum talked about how older photojournalists used to carry dummy rolls and (now) cards to palm into the police's possession if they get militant. A good idea IMO.

I am sorry there are police out there that are ignorant. Most aren't. Point her to this guide and see how she reacts :D

AlexandraT

26-10-2009, 2:06pm

Going out on Saturday to test out my new 7D I wanted to get some people shots but my mum was worried. Thanks for clearing up the etiquette.

I thought I wouldnt attract too much attention considering Im a smallish teenage female but it does worry me that people will sort of look at me sideways.

Krzys

26-10-2009, 10:06pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nussenzweig_v._DiCorcia

An interesting read and very nice photo. Reassuring if you are in America, I guess.

NickMonk

31-10-2009, 1:07am

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nussenzweig_v._DiCorcia

An interesting read and very nice photo. Reassuring if you are in America, I guess.

Yeah I've read about that one before. There were actually other photos he took that were also subject to negative publicity or lawsuits as I recall. They are terrific shots. I can understand why people get cheesed off about them, but this is art. There is another guy that I have seen that gets right in peoples faces and shoots with a flash held off-camera to the side. Very nice shots, but, if I remember correctly, when it was posted here (I think) people were quite negative about his attitude towards street photography. It was the sort of photography that would be likely to get you a punch on the nose.

Krzys

31-10-2009, 9:19am

Yes but you cant judge Bruce Gildren from the NYC street shots video. There are much better videos of him out there showing him having fun interaction with the subjects.

GSP

06-11-2009, 9:32pm

Whilst this is an interesting discussion,I think some are confused about 'rights and privileges'.
Oz does not have a bill of rights like the USA does or many other countries,what we basically have are inferred rights.
E.g. you do not have the right to hold a drivers licence it is a privilege that can be withdrawn at any time by the powers that be,on their whim at the stroke of a pen.

And until such time as we do have our rights duly passed into law,I think we as ppl who value our hobby as photographers should bear this in mind when dealing with the public and the police.
It wouldn't take much of a groundswell of public/police opinion to be taken into account when and if Oz ever does get a Bill of Rights.

So thats a brief of my thoughts on this except to say to those that have jumped up and down about how they would burr up if the police seemed unduly harsh with them,your actions now can and will affect how photographers are seen and dealt with down the track.

FotoHijinx

09-11-2009, 1:34pm

thanks for all the posts - insightful.

cruisie123

13-11-2009, 6:22pm

thanks Nick...timely advice, have been dealing with this issue with a client in the last few weeks.

I like some of that street photography, but worry about some schmuck becoming offended just because I shot a group of people in the street...with no sinister motives or offence intended.

bobt

22-11-2009, 7:54pm

I recently visited Parliament House, one of the most photographed buildings in Australia. After taking my less-than-original photo I wandered off towards the bus stop unaware that the nation‘s constabulary had been watching my every move and had become not only alert but also alarmed by my camera. Somewhere an instruction was issued and a gun toting member of Her Majesty‘s finest leapt to his bicycle and peddled furiously after me and questioned me about my motives in taking the photo.

Apparently in an obscure corner of my viewfinder several policemen had been lurking, and they were now convinced that my long distance photograph was in fact a deliberate attempt to undermine not only parliamentary security but the safety of the free world and civilisation as we know it.

After a short interrogation which involved a brief slide show of my images (but mercifully no rubber gloves) I managed to convince the concerned officer that my sinister looks were a genetic legacy and my photographic records were unworthy of a photo album let alone objects of terrorism. Fortunately he did not enquire further into the alternative charge of being a pervert which of course is always harder to refute.

yarnella

26-11-2009, 8:39am

I would not normally read all the posts in a thread this long but this time I read every one!

Thank you, NickMonk, for giving us the view from your side of the fence. That was very kind of you and there is lots of wise advice there. I can now appreciate that just a small amount of "attitude" could easily work against you.

I have never yet been asked to stop taking photographs but in today's environment it is just a matter of time and I am now much better prepared to handle it when and if it occurs.

The only incident I have to report was one day when I was taking photos down at Circular Quay with my Yashica TLR. I attempted to take photo of a busker and he (who must have known more about photography than your average busker) said "It'll cost you a dollar to take a shot with that camera". Frankly, I did not consider that he was even worth that much so I turned and walked away.

yarnella

26-11-2009, 8:45am

This one is from the via the Arts Law Centre of Australia...
http://www.artslaw.com.au/legalinformation/StreetPhotographersRights.asp

The PDF can be printed double sided and double folded - I keep a few copies in my bag.

Hi Kim,
Thank you for that link. I have downloaded the PDF and printed it.
It does, however, mention the Summary Offences Act. Is that Act still in force? Or have just some parts of it been revoked (or whatever the correct term is)?

As you can see, I am a photographer, not a lawyer!!

Kym

26-11-2009, 8:47am

Hi Kym,
Thank you for that link. I have downloaded the PDF and printed it.
It does, however, mention the Summary Offences Act. Is that Act still in force? Or have just some parts of it been revoked (or whatever the correct term is)?
As you can see, I am a photographer, not a lawyer!!

The word is 'repealed'. ;)
That maybe a NSW act. So I have no idea. IANAL also! :rolleyes:

Krzys

27-11-2009, 10:54am

The only incident I have to report was one day when I was taking photos down at Circular Quay with my Yashica TLR. I attempted to take photo of a busker and he (who must have known more about photography than your average busker) said "It'll cost you a dollar to take a shot with that camera". Frankly, I did not consider that he was even worth that much so I turned and walked away.Perhaps he was not asking for money and just warning you that the photo of him was not worth the film, as he did know that a roll of Tri-x costs $12 at the local store and your photo would indeed cost $1 :p

The Charlie Chaplin mime at Brisbane city always asks for money in exchange for photos. He will step out of the way if you don't pay him.

Scotty72

28-11-2009, 9:21pm

Well, after a 3 month version of what Her Majesty once called her 'annis horribilis' (sic), I'm back.

I have been out around taking a few pics but, I've tried a new tactic... I'm exercising my right (even if it is only inferred) to remain silent.

Take the pic then, walk away (once you have their attention, the shot is usually over anyhow)

Also, I sometimes wear a lanyard (a few bucks at Office Works) with a KFC broucher folded inside it. Other than on close inspection, it looks like a media credential - and people assume you've reason to be there. If questioned, I walk (unless I am determined to get some shot).

Scotty

I @ M

28-11-2009, 9:26pm

Good to see ya back Scotty, couldn't you at least have some class and use a maccas menu? :D

Scotty72

28-11-2009, 9:36pm

Good to see ya back Scotty, couldn't you at least have some class and use a maccas menu? :D

Might go Opporto's next time.

Like many of the great ideas of civilization, I got it from the Chaser APEC stunt.

If you get yourself a yellow reflective vest and a lanyard, I reckon you could get in just about anywhere with no questions asked.

I was gonna gatecrash the Whitehouse but, looks like I was beaten to it.

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/world/tareq-and-michaele-salahi-did-meet-president-barack-obama/story-e6frev00-1225804871577

Scotty

Kym

28-11-2009, 9:44pm

Also, I sometimes wear a lanyard (a few bucks at Office Works) with a KFC broucher folded inside it. Other than on close inspection, it looks like a media credential - and people assume you've reason to be there. If questioned, I walk (unless I am determined to get some shot).

Great to see you back! :th3:

Neat trick!

Fluro safety vests work well - you look like you are on business, also AP shirts :D

Scotty72

28-11-2009, 10:18pm

Great to see you back! :th3:

Neat trick!

Fluro safety vests work well - you look like you are on business, also AP shirts :D

Nice plug! :cool:

peterb666

28-11-2009, 10:35pm

The only incident I have to report was one day when I was taking photos down at Circular Quay with my Yashica TLR. I attempted to take photo of a busker and he (who must have known more about photography than your average busker) said "It'll cost you a dollar to take a shot with that camera". Frankly, I did not consider that he was even worth that much so I turned and walked away.

Well I donate to the busker first if either their entainment is good or they represent an interesting photo opportunity. They don't object that way. Come to think of it, the last time was probably in the early 1980s in York (UK) where a couple of punks (remember them) were busking (well miming actually) to songs from a small cassette player. I considered that they had a lot of gumption to expect money for that and it was worth a silver coin.

dowden photography

07-12-2009, 9:44pm

I do a lot of night photography and have been stopped a number of times by the police, everytime I ask what I am doing wrong them point out that photography is not a crime.
I also point out that I am not pointing the camera into anyones house and if they want to see my work go to my website. I NEVER ALLOW THEM TO LOOK AT OR TOUCH MY CAMERA.

If they have any issues with me taking night shots I ask them to point out in the law books where night photography is a crime and if they don't mind let me get back to it.

Apart from giving a website address I don't give them any other info, if they make a big deal out of it I tell them that I can simply complain about them.

para

10-12-2009, 9:21am

Thought this would be interesting read for some of you

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/warning-do-not-take-this-picture-1833127.html

Chief Constable says anti-terror powers shouldn't be used to stop photographers

http://www.bjp-online.com/public/showPage.html?page=871675

dbax

10-12-2009, 9:45am

An interesting read, not sure if its been linked in before.
http://www.australiantraveller.com/component/content/article/71-columns/4050-ken-duncans-panorama-when-ulurules-a-you-kakadont-dare

Miaow

10-12-2009, 10:04am

It is an interesting read - sad theres so much red tape stopping people taking pics now :/

Fantasyphoto

10-12-2009, 10:12am

Thanks David, I haven't read the article before but I do know of Ken Duncan's passion in this area as it was discussed in Sydney recently in a very public competition and forum for which I was one of the judges and Ken was the guest speaker.

PS Max Dupain's image was called "Sunbaker" not the "The Sunbather".... I wonder who got that wrong :confused013

fess67

10-12-2009, 10:27am

Crazy world,

I am very cautious when taking beach shots and go well out of my way to avoid populated areas, especially when there are kids around. I usually try to take my wife along if I think there wil be people around as it seems to calm the nerves of idiots who think a guy with a big camera is a child molester in waiting.

Sad times indeed.

maccaroneski

10-12-2009, 12:54pm

Crazy world,

I am very cautious when taking beach shots and go well out of my way to avoid populated areas, especially when there are kids around. I usually try to take my wife along if I think there wil be people around as it seems to calm the nerves of idiots who think a guy with a big camera is a child molester in waiting.

Sad times indeed.

Agreed. My sister in law asked me to take some photos of her kids at nippers, and I agreed only on the basis that she stayed within about 2 metres of me as long as I had the camera out. Even then I'm still nervous about it.

I'm going to be keeping this link bookmarked - still under construction, but hopefully numbers can result in action.

http://www.kendundev.com/aims.php

dowden photography

10-12-2009, 1:06pm

I've been shooting a lot down at Brighton Beach this summer, only once had I had someone come up to me and have a go at which I replied "I'm not taking any images of kids or people unwilling, I'm taking images of boxes, sand and the beach & water, so go back to where you were and shut up until photography is against the law"
She ended up calling the police on me, that was fun, but saw my photos and said it would be best to move on, I told them that there was no way I was moving on unless what I was doing was against the law and showed them my pictures (without them touching the camera) and they told the woman I was fine and if she felt uneasy it was best if she left.

As a photographer you've got to start standing up for your rights, yes there are some freaks out there who will give all of us a bad name but what we are doing is not against the law.

kevinj

11-12-2009, 8:07pm

I was out taking pics when,on the way home,I came across 2 police officers taping off a crime scene,in public area.I took a shot and was told to stop,the reason,one officer didn`t want his face in pics,was threatened with having my camera confiscated,I left.The police were wrong,is this fair.They have a gun,what rights do we have?

**merged threads **

kiwi

11-12-2009, 8:10pm

You are within your legal rights.

I @ M

11-12-2009, 8:15pm

Once again, this thread has the potential to drift into unsubstantiated legal advice, please guys and girls be careful with that which is typed. :)

kevinj

11-12-2009, 8:21pm

I was legal,one officer said"I don`t want my face in any photos".Did he have something to hide?

Miaow

11-12-2009, 8:22pm

Merged your thread Kevin into this one that is about dealing with police

ricktas

11-12-2009, 8:25pm

He could have been part of a Special Operations Group etc, where personal privacy could be of importance. A police officer is no different to any other member of the public. Some do not want their photos taken and we have to respect that. Consider you were at the same location, taking the same photo, but no police present. A lady approaches you and says she does not want her photo taken, would you react the same as you did with the officer? Maybe the lady was under witness protection or had moved from interstate to hide from an abusive partner.

Sometimes just cause we can take a photo, doesn't mean we should.

dowden photography

11-12-2009, 8:38pm

He could have been part of a Special Operations Group etc, where personal privacy could be of importance. A police officer is no different to any other member of the public. Some do not want their photos taken and we have to respect that. Consider you were at the same location, taking the same photo, but no police present. A lady approaches you and says she does not want her photo taken, would you react the same as you did with the officer? Maybe the lady was under witness protection or had moved from interstate to hide from an abusive partner.

Sometimes just cause we can take a photo, doesn't mean we should.

I always try to make sure people aren't in my landscape images and will always ask the person if they are in my shot to move if they can, try to take the photo without them in it or photoshop them out later.

Sometimes people just need to get over themselves and think that maybe we don't want them in the shot as much as they don't want to be in it.

CapnBloodbeard

13-12-2009, 9:33pm

Ricktas has a point - however, it doesn't justify the police officer threatening unlawful confiscation.

Man, what is it with photography and ignorance by the police?

bobt

14-12-2009, 7:34pm

Man, what is it with photography and ignorance by the police?

It's not so much the police, but the police reacting to the public. If no-one out there was concerned about us then the police probably wouldn't bother us either. There is so much emphasis placed on the negative aspects of photography (sex, terrorism etc) that people tend to forget about the less alarming aspects.

Same thing happened with shooting firearms - a few massacres and all shooters were made to pay the price. I like to shoot targets, but now I have to comply with all sorts of restrictions that make the sports less appealing.

It's the same with being a male. My wife was a primary school teacher, and if I visited her at school I felt like a child molester and was made to feel uncomfortable simply by being there.

Oh well .... could be worse .... they used to burn people they thought were witches - now they just think they're a bit silly. :rolleyes:

HerveyBayShutterBug

19-12-2009, 1:17am

Seriously guys, the poor old cop doing his job these days has enough hoons, loons and spoons to deal with. Plenty of uniform cops have done undercover work, sensitive case work and copped enough abuse from a largely ungrateful public. Surely they have the right to go about their work without feeling they are under a microscope and being scrutineered 24/7.

Yes they're in a public place in a tax payer funded uniform. It doesn't mean they have to be or feel "Owned".

I'm sure if there's any cops on here, they'll know what i mean. I'm not in that particular line of work, but have spent enough time working in the public with cameras crammed in my face at the scene of carnage, accidents and major incidents to know how and why someone may object to being photographed in those situations.

I for one don't need to come home to my family and try to sit down to a normal domestic situation and have them worried about how i'm feeling after they've just seen the news footage or read the paper etc. It's my time to "normalize" and i actively guard it at all expense. If that means telling the occassional photographer, cameraman or news reporter to flippantly go frantically fondle themselves, then so be it. ;)

Having said that, i've got a background in photojournalism, had my own column in glossy mags and regional newspapers etc. from a while back and understand where a professional Journo is coming from. That's while i smile politely when issueing the aforementioned instructions.

What i don't get is why anyone would want to photograph a crime scene. Want some arty effect.....go buy some tape from a safety shop and do a set-up. The rest of the reasons are nothing short of narcisistic voyeurism "because i can" isn't done because you can.

Bet that raised a few hackles, but seriously folks............think about it. Why would any of us wish to take hold and review a photograph of a crime scene where someone has been robbed/shot/stabbed/raped/killed ? What purpose does it serve and what are the positive aspects of holding that record on your computer or in your album at home?

I'd be interested to hear.

My own view on seeing this type of scene would be, well, it doesn't involve me on a personal or professional or social level, so i'll just move on and maybe mention it in conversation over coffee with a mate......maybe not. I certainly wouldn't feel any need to preserve a copy of it in my home.

Martin

Tony B

19-12-2009, 10:48am

Sound advice Nick.

Krzys

19-12-2009, 3:09pm

Nice topic, HerveyBayShutterBug but I don't think that it has much to do with how to deal with Police when out photographing. Another thread perhaps.

peterb666

20-12-2009, 11:25am

1% of the problem is caused by people in authority (or who think they are in authority) and don't know what they are doing.

99% of the problem is caused by people who should know better and attempting to cover up for the reamining 1%.

It is that last group which is a real problem and only escalate minor issues into major issues.

peterb666

20-12-2009, 11:37am

An interesting read, not sure if its been linked in before.
http://www.australiantraveller.com/component/content/article/71-columns/4050-ken-duncans-panorama-when-ulurules-a-you-kakadont-dare

That's an excellent piece from Ken.

I am a nobody photographer and have recently experienced a similar occurrence in a different situation.

It is a sad reflection on society that people who are trying to par-take in their own pastime which is usually of no consequence to anyone around them is harassed.

I doubt that attitudes will change and things revert to how they were. I feel that many people have become too wrapped up in themselves and their own self-importance for this to return back to what most people would consider the ‘normal’ of the past.

It is said all power corrupts, but it is power when combined with ignorance that is even more dangerous.

Bean

01-01-2010, 8:20pm

Ugh so much confusion.

Just wondering though, is it illegal to photgraph police operations in public? I mean we see it in newspapers and such but today i was with another friend taking photos in a street with a house under seige and we were told to stop taking photos by an officer, also one of the neighbours in the street had his video camera removed from him for 'evidence'. Luckily at this point we had decided to put our cameras away. Still, is this right?

peterb666

01-01-2010, 8:28pm

I would think that it is important not to get in the way of police who are working and to follow any directions given. Being a nuisance isn't a particularly welcome position when someone is trying to do a job.

damnameany

19-01-2010, 7:44pm

Very interesting read.

Just some points about the UK the rules are similar to here except photos of certain buildings. There is a list compiled by the police of sensitive building and surrounding areas. This list is not in the public domain due security, they do not want terrorist to know the buildings. We have the regular police and community support officers CSO. CSO cannot arrest you cannot stop you taking any pictures even of sensitive buildings. They must have a regular officer there. The police cannot force you to delete them. They also cannot force you to let them look at the picture you have taken they need a court order first. Even with this they have very tight restrictions as to what they can do and how they can view them. They can stop you taking shots if the area is on the list you are not allowed to see. Although this is the law it does not mean you do not cooperate with them. Show them the pictures and if that satisfies them great if not then follow the law and go with them to the station.

This law is a bit daft IMO as the list contains buildings like the Houses of Parliament also Google Earth has been round. How many people here who have never been to London does not know what the Houses of Parliament looks like or Buckingham Palace.

Attitude the right attitude is vital in dealing with the police anywhere. I was a dispatch rider parked illegally but doing my job. When leaving the building and seeing the police looking at mine and several other bikes I thought ticket time. He asked which was mine, I pointed out which and that I was collecting goods and will be straight of, his reply was great you parked close to the curb and he wished the others would park the same it was a bus lane and 8am. Just before riding of another rider came out and started arguing with the police and he was nicked. This proved a point I always believed argue with the police at your own peril. Also remember they are the same as us doing a job a very difficult often thankless job. Balancing the needs and rights of EVERY member of the public the one complaining about you and of course you. I do not appreciate it when I am told I am doing my job wrong by someone who does not do what I do. Why do we the public think the police will be different. They are first a person like you and I and then the police so deserve respect unless they behave in a way that means they do not deserve that respect.

A motto of mine is bad manners etc are the most expensive commodity you can have in life.

sans2012

20-01-2010, 1:29pm

That is sound advice Nick - wish I read this before my last run-in :)

Cheers for the advice!

Jesse24

28-01-2010, 2:54pm

An interesting read, not sure if its been linked in before.
http://www.australiantraveller.com/component/content/article/71-columns/4050-ken-duncans-panorama-when-ulurules-a-you-kakadont-dare

I just photographed that same lagoon yesterday around 11:30 till 12pm when it opens. I've taken photos there many times before when the pool is busy with a P&S with no troubles. Yesterday was the first time I took a SLR there and the lifeguard did go out of his way to see what I was doing but he didn't say anything. I guess if I had been with the SLR when it was busy it would have been a different story. It's the same with the Gold Coast, people seem fine with me taking photos with a P&S while I walk along the beach. I haven't taken a SLR to the Gold Coast yet.

I am only 18 so maybe me being young makes a difference?

Krzys

28-01-2010, 3:06pm

I think they are just a bit bored and think 'oh no this person is here for a purpose other than swimming, better investigate'. I want to bring a sextant to the beach just to see peoples reactions.

para

29-01-2010, 9:52am

I just photographed that same lagoon yesterday around 11:30 till 12pm when it opens. I've taken photos there many times before when the pool is busy with a P&S with no troubles. Yesterday was the first time I took a SLR there and the lifeguard did go out of his way to see what I was doing but he didn't say anything. I guess if I had been with the SLR when it was busy it would have been a different story. It's the same with the Gold Coast, people seem fine with me taking photos with a P&S while I walk along the beach. I haven't taken a SLR to the Gold Coast yet.

I am only 18 so maybe me being young makes a difference?

There is a council red tape bs you need a permit to photograph on the esplanade/lagoon area $150.00 per half day absolutely crazy I know

Kym

29-01-2010, 10:00am

Just wondering though, is it illegal to photgraph police operations in public?<snip>

No. But as soon as you are asked to stop or move on and you don't another law kicks in "Failure to follow a lawful order".

peterb666

29-01-2010, 10:36am

There is a council red tape bs you need a permit to photograph on the esplanade/lagoon area $150.00 per half day absolutely crazy I know

There is no permit or fee for photography on the Gold Coast.

The only licencing is in relation to film and TV production. This is also free if your business is registered within the Gold Coast area, otherwise it is $330 per day for 1 to 7 days.

Go to Gold Coast City Council (http://www.goldcoast.qld.gov.au) for more information.

para

29-01-2010, 11:08pm

There is no permit or fee for photography on the Gold Coast.

The only licencing is in relation to film and TV production. This is also free if your business is registered within the Gold Coast area, otherwise it is $330 per day for 1 to 7 days.

Go to Gold Coast City Council (http://www.goldcoast.qld.gov.au) for more information.

I was referring to cairns lagoon

Scotty72

29-01-2010, 11:40pm

No. But as soon as you are asked to stop or move on and you don't another law kicks in "Failure to follow a lawful order".

But, and courts have made rulings to this effect, the order has to be reasonable as well.

For instance, a cop can't stop you at random and tell you that you must walk backwards with underwear draped over your head (an extreme eg, but you get the point); you have the right to refuse.

If you were so close that you were interfering with the investigation etc. they Cnst Plot may have a reason to ask you to (not stop shooting) but move out of the way.

However, if you were to cross the street (get well out of their way), then you are free to keep shoting.

I had an slight issue the other day (Australia Day). I happened onto a scene at Circular Quay where a disturbance was just being sorted out by police.

There was a large crowd and beside me was a lady tourist (I later found out she was from S. Korea) trying to take a pic with her P&S. I found nothing of interest to try to photograph.

This lady tourist was singled out by a female cop and told to put her camera away (remembering, she was in a large crowd behind a police cordon made up of at least a dozen uniformed police - so she wasn't in anyway hindering them). She kept trying to take a picture - the female cop (senior Cnst) strode towards her yelling at her to stop.

At this point - my instincts kicked in
a) help a lovely dansel in distress
b) be a nuisance to authority where-ever possible

I yelled whilst stepping in front of the lady "she's allowed - not illegal'
Cop: "What would she think if it was a member of her family? It's disrepectful."
Me : "You are probably right; very disrepectful, but it is not illegal. You are not a 'morals' officer."

The cop turned away and that was the end of it. Had a chat to the lady, she thanked me.

About this time, one of the guys they had arrested was dragged into view. Seeing the female cop nearby b) (above) kicked in.

Despite cops and SHFA rangers shouting and waving their arms, I managed to take this shot. :)

** Photo removed due to the Risk of Sub Judice Contempt (http://www.vgso.vic.gov.au/resources/publications/lit/managingtheriskofsubjudicecontempt.aspx) - Admin ***

Scotty

jim

30-01-2010, 12:07am

Not a bad image Scotty, and a good story too.

You're a stroppy bugger, but.

Kym

30-01-2010, 9:29am

But, and courts have made rulings to this effect, the order has to be reasonable as well.

For instance, a cop can't stop you at random and tell you that you must walk backwards with underwear draped over your head (an extreme eg, but you get the point); you have the right to refuse.

Agreed.
BUT If someone is being arrested or a house is burning etc. and Constable Plod asks you to move on - the courts will say that is reasonable.

On another favourite topic... Rail access. ;) ...

I had a chat with our in-house senior counsel re: pedestrian rail crossings and taking photographs. (I forgot to post a while ago)

It turns out that when using a pedestrian crossing you are obliged to walk across promptly and not stop (loiter) for any reason.
The moment you stop to take a pic - beeeeep! Your breaking the law. :cool:

It actually common sense and safety as to why that is in the law.
The exact wording of the law varies by state; but they all have it.

If you really want to take rail piccies (Gunzel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunzel)) then find a couple of certified rail safety workers and arrange a formal shoot. (eg. me)
That way you will end up with the right safety gear; train control will be happy; and you will have a protection officer to ensure you don't get killed.

farmer_rob

30-01-2010, 4:22pm

...BUT If someone is being arrested or a house is burning etc. and Constable Plod asks you to move on - the courts will say that is reasonable...

But if the Police asked you to move on (because you had a camera) and not other bystanders? The officer's "reasonable" request at that point seems to be biased.

Kym

30-01-2010, 4:27pm

But if the Police asked you to move on (because you had a camera) and not other bystanders? The officer's "reasonable" request at that point seems to be biased.

I'm not disagreeing; just that the courts are likely to say it was reasonable (privacy yada yada yada).
The argument is likely to be around publishing on the 'net etc.
I'm not saying it is right; just (IMHO, IANAL) what is likely in court.

peterb666

30-01-2010, 5:24pm

You have to also ask yourself if you want to waste the time and money to test 'reasonable' in court as well as the inconvenience of probably being asked to 'assist' some young police officer back at the station for several hours on the day along with the glory of looking like the bloke in the photo in this thread.

farmer_rob

31-01-2010, 12:46am

You have to also ask yourself if you want to waste the time and money to test 'reasonable' in court as well as the inconvenience of probably being asked to 'assist' some young police officer back at the station for several hours on the day along with the glory of looking like the bloke in the photo in this thread.

Yes, but if none of us push back, then "they" have won.

peterb666

31-01-2010, 8:29am

Yes, but if none of us push back, then "they" have won.

There is a far less time consuming process.

Ask the officers name and note their number. Write a letter to your local MP, Police Minister or Leader of the Opposition. Takes about 15 mintues rather than 3 or 4 hours plus and it sucks up the time of others including the police officer concerned. They learn that way.

RememberThis

06-02-2010, 10:47am

7) 99% of the time police are there because someone complained about what you are doing (usually they reckon that there is someone taking photos of kids). Remember this.

Hey!!! Im not taking photos of kids!!!!!! .......:lol:

selaw

06-02-2010, 5:17pm

Interesting reading, I am considering offering my services as a freelance photographer in the future to local tabloids. My mind keeps me thinking towards local sports and I have made a few preliminary enquiries with regards to how to aproach sporting clubs and facilities in order to introduce myself, explain what my intentions are and be willing to compromise in part in order to get the shots so lacking throughout our regional publications. One club official has mentioned how they are constantly approaching photographers who seem to think the best shots come from a nearby carpark or nature park. I am looking forward to the challenge of developing relationships.

Scotty72

06-02-2010, 5:33pm

One club official has mentioned how they are constantly approaching photographers who seem to think the best shots come from a nearby carpark or nature park.

Not sure what you mean / are driving at with this statement...

selaw

06-02-2010, 6:29pm

Not sure what you mean / are driving at with this statement...

Thank you. I am sorry for not being clearer. I am new to this game and trying to tread carefully. I was reflecting on some comments made to me while I was making enquiries. It was brought to my attention that one particular club of junior footballers (of which a friend of mine is an official) is always approaching photographers (and maybe others with binoculars etc) in order to validate their reasons. I suppose I am reitterating the awareness / concerns of club and family members towards their children's public safety. From my observations I was trying to share the importance of the point made by our policeman friend to ask permission (out of courtesy) in order to save any unpleasant interruption and potentially missing out on the shot of the day. I hope not to offend or confuse and acknowledge that there are a lot more qualified than I on this subject. I hope I have made myself somewhat clearer now. I have enjoyed being an interactive part of this thread and hope to learn a lot more through others.

ricktas

06-02-2010, 6:38pm

Umm, this thread is about dealing with Police when out photographing, not sporting body representative, parents etc, I think that is why your posts are confusing. Two completely different issues.

kiwi

12-02-2010, 11:27am

Here's a small victory for photographers. The city of NY has to pay 30K for NYPD's blunder. More info here (http://www.myfoxny.com/dpp/news/investigative/100209-shutterbug-fights-nyc-subway-ticket)

cherhan

23-02-2010, 9:30am

Came across this news article this morning,

Photographers do shoot but we are not terrorist...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/feb/21/photographer-films-anti-terror-arrest

Miaow

02-03-2010, 8:25am

From the sounds of it he wasn't photographing his own kids..

Man allegedy photographed kids at swimming carnivals (http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,,26791472-3102,00.html)

JM Tran

02-03-2010, 8:29am

its idiots like these that forces society to create stupid laws and restrictions, and phobias that affect others like us.....

*edit*

but then again, I shouldnt jump to conclusions before hearing both sides of the story, I was a bit harsh at first

pgbphotographytas

02-03-2010, 8:29am

I can see both sides of this normally but in this case he was not photographing his own children and had no reason to photograph those children.

Just another reason why I don't take many photos of people / children in general.

Paul

farmer_rob

02-03-2010, 8:36am

Not much detail as to what he actually did wrong

The man was charged with three counts of recording in breach of privacy in relation to the Thornlands incident and two others at Alexandra Headland on the Sunshine Coast and Cairns in far-north Queensland.

This seems to be an odd charge for a public event. Not a lot of detail apart from "he positioned himself in the marshalling area". The bloke sounds a bit strange - perhaps his problem was that he wasn't taking "art" photos like Bill Henson.

I note also that "a search of the man's vehicle also turned up a Bible" - clearly an unsavoury character :confused013.

pgbphotographytas

02-03-2010, 9:36am

I note also that "a search of the man's vehicle also turned up a Bible" - clearly an unsavoury character :confused013.

Yes, must be up to no good with a bible in the car :(

oldfart

02-03-2010, 10:15am

The worst thing about this is that due to his being charged with "recording in breach of privacy", his lawyer will only have to prove that the girls being in plain view in a public place had no expectation of privacy, No matter how morally corruptible this persons motives may be.

kiwi

02-03-2010, 10:54am

Its good to see the Swimming QLD policy re it being quite OK parents using their cameras, bravo.

Lani

02-03-2010, 11:20am

Not a very thorough report really....seems to maybe be a bit more than meets the eye....but will never know from that amount of information.
I thought it was good re swimming Qld too Darren....common sense is a beautiful thing.

kiwi

02-03-2010, 11:23am

The worst thing about this is that due to his being charged with "recording in breach of privacy", his lawyer will only have to prove that the girls being in plain view in a public place had no expectation of privacy, No matter how morally corruptible this persons motives may be.

I doubt whether a school or council swimming pool is deemed a public space however

Kym

02-03-2010, 11:40am

In principal ... Since when is taking a photograph a crime?

The pool would probably have conditions of entry, so it is not a public place in the normal sense of the word.

Ok, this guy is *probably* a creep - and it does damage to all of us. How I hate this sort of 'journalism'.

virgal_tracy

02-03-2010, 12:17pm

The worst thing about this is that due to his being charged with "recording in breach of privacy", his lawyer will only have to prove that the girls being in plain view in a public place had no expectation of privacy, No matter how morally corruptible this persons motives may be.

I think that a school hiring out the facility and having its own guidelines would be enough expectation of privacy from someone with no connection to either the school (through work or as a parent / guardian) or the facility.

Without any legal backing for this next statement, I would assume that any student would have an expectation of privacy from anyone not associated with the carnival.

In this case, in imho, the man charged would have to prove that he wasn't going to use the images for personal gratification.

James T

02-03-2010, 12:30pm

I doubt whether a school or council swimming pool is deemed a public space however

It has an assumed right of public access though. I'm not too up on relevant Aussie laws though. In the UK you'd be fine unless there were conditions of entry stating otherwise, or until someone from the centre asked you to stop taking photos.

Looking briefly at the Southgate Centre or whatever it was a few years ago in Melb. Rob Hulls seemed to suggest that the shopping centre should act as though it was a public space.

Can't comment on this story until I see the pictures.

jim

02-03-2010, 12:50pm

Rather worrying story since it gives no real evidence of any wrongdoing, yet it seems the bloke has been charged. Perhaps rather than watching for half an hour then detaining him, they should have asked him to stop as soon as it became apparent that he was photographing their kids.

The clear assumption is that he is a predator who needed to be caught and put away, and I think that taking photos of kids isn't really enough to justify that.

kiwi

02-03-2010, 12:51pm

Rather worrying story since it gives no real evidence of any wrongdoing, yet it seems the bloke has been charged. Perhaps rather than watching for half an hour then detaining him, they should have asked him to stop as soon as it became apparent that he was photographing their kids.

The clear assumption is that he is a predator who needed to be caught and put away, and I think that taking photos of kids isn't really enough to justify that.

It looks as though there is more to the story - notice that he's also been charged over other incidents in other locations

jim

02-03-2010, 12:55pm

Well the story posted is rather light on detail. Would certainly hope there is more to it than that.

Of course if the incidents at other locations are similar, he might still just be a photographer who likes photographing people.

farmer_rob

02-03-2010, 12:56pm

I think a lot of here have tried the man and found him guilty of "something we don't like". This is VERY dangerous. What if his daughter was going to be at a swimming carnival in a couple of weeks and he wanted to ensure he was able to get good photos? What if he was developing a series of photos of swimmers for a book? What if he wanted to break into the ranks of sports photographers and he was doing the hard yards at the low end? There is nothing to suggest that the photos he took were indecent - only that the police and people did not like him taking them. Where does the line get drawn? He may have been stupid or misguided but does that mean he was bad?

Although, technically, the pool was probably not a "public" place, it would also be hard to define it as a place where people would normally expect privacy (unlike a changing room), especially during a swimming carnival.

Watch out, because next time you accidentally capture someone in a picture, you might also be arrested on the same grounds.

kiwi

02-03-2010, 12:57pm

well, Id like to believe that, but the circ*mstancial evidence that he was only taking pics of girls aged 12-16 is a bit indicting I think

In this case, common sense seems to be right

kiwi

02-03-2010, 12:59pm

I think a lot of here have tried the man and found him guilty of "something we don't like". This is VERY dangerous. What if his daughter was going to be at a swimming carnival in a couple of weeks and he wanted to ensure he was able to get good photos? What if he was developing a series of photos of swimmers for a book? What if he wanted to break into the ranks of sports photographers and he was doing the hard yards at the low end? There is nothing to suggest that the photos he took were indecent - only that the police and people did not like him taking them. Where does the line get drawn? He may have been stupid or misguided but does that mean he was bad?

Although, technically, the pool was probably not a "public" place, it would also be hard to define it as a place where people would normally expect privacy (unlike a changing room), especially during a swimming carnival.

Watch out, because next time you accidentally capture someone in a picture, you might also be arrested on the same grounds.

I agree it's dangerous. Id like to think the best of him but cant in this case with the facts as presented. It does not appear if the circ*mstances you describe, ie a sports photographer, are relevant here. He offered no excuse for what he was doing. If he was what you describe it would have been sorted out on the spot

I hear what you are saying in broad terms though of course

jim

02-03-2010, 1:10pm

He offered no excuse for what he was doing.

I'm certainly not arguing that the bloke is innocent when the people on the spot and the police clearly think otherwise, though in times past I've taken photos of kids and if challenged I wouldn't have been able to offer any excuse except that I thought they might make nice pictures. You can imagine how well that would go down in the current climate.

kiwi

02-03-2010, 1:13pm

Well, in my hobby I take 500 pics of kids every weekend and the only excuse I have is I wanna make some money off them.:). I get approached at times also.

But, Im not sure though as a "joe citizen" that going into a school swimming carnival into the marshalling area and taking pics of girls is defensible under any pretence. If you do have honourable intent surely you would go and arrange permission from someone.

This to me is quite different than taking kids pics in a public park etc. Though i will say that it's likely these days sooner or later to cause you harm.

I @ M

02-03-2010, 1:17pm

I think that there are far too many "what ifs" involved here and one other thing to think of is that this man may be tried and judged by a jury, which may even be composed of people from amongst the AP membership data base and in order for justice to work properly those jury members should not be influenced by comment, innuendo and here say from the media. AP has grown to be media in the fact that we are now discussing this case for all of Australia and the world to potentially see.

Kym

02-03-2010, 1:18pm

Merged the thread ;)

oldfart

02-03-2010, 1:52pm

I hate defending the photographer against the moral inferences made by the story but:

Observations or recordings in breach of privacy
(1) A person who observes or visually records another person, in circ*mstances where a reasonable adult would expect to be afforded privacy—
(a) without the other person’s consent; and
(b) when the other person—
(i) is in a private place; or
(ii) is engaging in a private act and the observation or visual recording is made for the purpose of observing or visually recording a private act;
commits a misdemeanour.
Maximum penalty—2 years imprisonment

http://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/LEGISLTN/CURRENT/C/CriminCode.pdf

I don't see how being surrounded by other competitors, officials and parents gives anyone the expectation of privacy. This photographer was operating in a marshalling area, not the girls change rooms. Even the argument that the entire facility is deemed a private place would be mute if the photographer paid an admission fee to gain entry, and photography is not clearly sign posted as activity prohibited at the facility. Further, clearly none of the images have been deemed sexual in nature or he'd have been charged with child p*rn offenses.

I would think that charges against those making the citizens arrest for Offences against Liberty would have a much better chance of being successful.

dowden photography

02-03-2010, 2:03pm

I agree it's dangerous. Id like to think the best of him but cant in this case with the facts as presented. It does not appear if the circ*mstances you describe, ie a sports photographer, are relevant here. He offered no excuse for what he was doing. If he was what you describe it would have been sorted out on the spot

I hear what you are saying in broad terms though of course

News Ltd do not report facts, they report what people have told them and in this case they have reported 1 side of the story, told by the police & people who didn't want their children photographed while swimming.

kiwi

02-03-2010, 2:23pm

News Ltd do not report facts, they report what people have told them and in this case they have reported 1 side of the story, told by the police & people who didn't want their children photographed while swimming.

What !!!! You are rocking my whole belief system
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Jacs14

05-03-2010, 10:49pm

good thread NickMonk and some useful pointers to remember ... off topic you may have even taken a step in restoring my belief that the police are human!!! as an ex-emergency nurse having worked in England have a very jaded view of the police ... point to remember Jacs, Aussie police could be human and treat them as such!!!

castaway

09-03-2010, 11:40pm

thanks Nick it helps to know where you stand when in public

Jeanette

12-03-2010, 11:50pm

I know many police and most are just lovely ( my brother being one of them )
and if a complaint they have to ask .. i understand .. but if i were approached I would most likely freak out .. or i would not have been taking photos of places or people that i thought i could have..
but knowing my rights more now I feel more comfortable ... for sure ...

I was in Melbourne many years ago with my daughter and my niece aged about 10 and 11
they were having a great time in the water fountain on the river that shoots up from the ground.. I had a lovely photographer approach me and ask if they could take some photos and happy to send me copies... i gave my postal address thinking ohyeah right ... but understood why she wanted to take photos of the lovely girls laughing soooo much .. ONLY wishing i had such a camera at the time...
the Photographer was happy and several weeks late I had photos of the girls in the post .. not a few but about 20 of them ..... Thank you to who ever that person was.... i never did get their name :)

Tony B

16-03-2010, 9:11am

Quote:
Iknow many police and most are just lovely ( my brother being one of them )
and if a complaint they have to ask .. i understand .. but if i were approached I would most likely freak out .. or i would not have been taking photos of places or people that i thought i could have..
but knowing my rights more now I feel more comfortable ... for sure ...

I was in Melbourne many years ago with my daughter and my niece aged about 10 and 11
they were having a great time in the water fountain on the river that shoots up from the ground.. I had a lovely photographer approach me and ask if they could take some photos and happy to send me copies... i gave my postal address thinking ohyeah right ... but understood why she wanted to take photos of the lovely girls laughing soooo much .. ONLY wishing i had such a camera at the time...
the Photographer was happy and several weeks late I had photos of the girls in the post .. not a few but about 20 of them ..... Thank you to who ever that person was.... i never did get their name

The correct way to go promotionally & professionally in most situations. Good PR too if one hands out a card or 2. If the above steps are taken the police- unless one was photographing them at work-& ugly parents would never become involved.

smallfooties

19-03-2010, 10:05pm

I was taking pictures of discarded furniture under a building today... It was outside and in a public place although, i did have to go under the building to snap the shots and the men from this pizza place came down and told me that i couldn't take pictures of the place and that i needed to ask for permission. Is that true?
Anyway, i just apologized and went my merry way.

Tony B

24-03-2010, 7:40am

I was taking pictures of discarded furniture under a building today... It was outside and in a public place although, i did have to go under the building to snap the shots and the men from this pizza place came down and told me that i couldn't take pictures of the place and that i needed to ask for permission. Is that true?
Anyway, i just apologized and went my merry way.

Only if you were on their property.

Redgum

26-03-2010, 5:39pm

Whilst out shooting the arrival of the new RAAF Super Hornet this afternoon in a local park a close by resident called the police. Apparently his house was burgled two days ago and he saw me hanging around with the D700 and 70-200 lens (not really small) and thought I was setting him up again. He didn't approach me or indicate his concern and at my age I don't think I'm a threat. Mind you, I had a company T shirt on with lots of detail including my mobile phone number.
When the police arrived they told him it was a public park, that I could take photos whenever I needed and to stop being paranoid. In anger he retorted that he had caught me on his outdoor security camera which he had just installed. The police promptly acquired his security camera and recorder to help with their enquiries and advised him it would be returned when the matter was settled.
I guess the moral to this story is to ask questions first (when there is obviously no risk and plenty of information) rather than going off half-co*cked. The irony is that I live in the street behind him and have seen him regularly at the shops. Maybe we should get to know our neighbours better?

ameerat42

26-03-2010, 5:51pm

Hold your sides when you laugh. I hear it helps. (Doesn't sound as if much else does.) And I can't wait for Part 2. Am.

DAdeGroot

26-03-2010, 6:16pm

Well that's definitely a breath of fresh air in Photographer/Police relations :)

dbax

26-03-2010, 10:09pm

I see no evidence of Super Hornet photography!
Guilty as charged;)

rwg717

26-03-2010, 10:16pm

No doubt about some of them...total rat-bags:(
Richard

Kym

26-03-2010, 10:25pm

Whilst out shooting the arrival of the new RAAF Super Hornet this afternoon in a local park a close by resident called the police.<snip>

The underlying problem is the guy that made the report.
These turkeys end up lobbying pollies and next you know we lose our rights.

PS I merged the thread ;)

peterb666

26-03-2010, 11:07pm

In anger he retorted that he had caught me on his outdoor security camera which he had just installed. The police promptly acquired his security camera and recorder to help with their enquiries and advised him it would be returned when the matter was settled.

That's funny. Maybe they will lose the evidence - you know it does happen from time to time. :lol:

Cabrioletman

01-04-2010, 9:28am

Hi Guys, first post here for me, I was serving in the RAF for 18 years in the UK, whilst stationed in Germany in 1987 we were trialing some new equipment, a PAAG (Portable Aircraft Arrestor Gear) it was not on the secret list, being a keen amatuer photographer and a member of the RAF Photographic club, I had a permanent pass that allowed me to take certain military photos including photos on the airfield, I took photographs of the aircraft engaging the cable at the point of impact, this was a challenging shot with a Once only chance.

Then my Flight Sergeant saw me taking photos and grabbed me and started the procedure of charging me for what ever he could. He demanded my camera, I rewound & removed the film and gave it to him, he was unhappy with this but agreed. As i appeared in front of the boss I explained I had the various passes etc, the F/S was adamant that the charge be progressed, I remembered seeing a group of Pilots and navigators on the other side of the runway and of course being a Corporal at the time, I did not know the officers but due to the fact there was one about 6'10" and next to him a very short guy with red hair also taking pictures, they were readily identified, i figured they would not have passes / authority, they had just wandered across from the flight crew room for a look. I used the fact that they were also there taking pictures 'illegally' as the F/S put it. My understanding boss had a quiet word with him and the matter was dropped.

This is just an example of people's attitudes. I could Never say their was a personality clash between myself and my F/S but other Flight Sergeants would & have handled similar matters in an entirely different way. I was promoted to Sergeant shortly after.

Kind regards, Nick

Kym

01-04-2010, 9:39am

Hi Guys, first post here for me, I was serving in the RAF for 18 years in the UK, whilst stationed in Germany <snip>

G'Day and welcome. Please post a formal Intro; and we'd love to see some of the photos!

Flash Hit

06-04-2010, 5:40pm

Thanks Nick for the info. It's not only photographers that get odd look of angst from the public. My late father in law who had just lost his wife of 50 years and feeling a little down, asked some kids (around 8 years old if they were catching any fish (he was walking on a jetty). A mother of on of the kids, who was a few metres away, instantly fronted him and called him a dirty old man. My Dad in law told us it was the most humiliating thing he had ever endured. Shows how people can jump to the wrong conclusion.
Greg

Danylu

10-04-2010, 10:57pm

Not trying to be sexist, but my gut feeling is that 95% of amateur photographers are male. I rarely see females with DSLRs on outings.

This is a very useful guide. If only they would publish some legislation online for Victorian citizens akin to the page for photographers in NSW.

Kym

11-04-2010, 3:41pm

Not trying to be sexist, but my gut feeling is that 95% of amateur photographers are male. I rarely see females with DSLRs on outings.

This is a very useful guide. If only they would publish some legislation online for Victorian citizens akin to the page for photographers in NSW.

Not sexist if its just statistical fact. We have more male forums members as well.
The POTY 2009 was won by Lani; and 2008 by Colin so generally skills are equal.

The Arts law Centre guide is national.

Danylu

11-04-2010, 5:35pm

Not sexist if its just statistical fact. We have more male forums members as well.
The POTY 2009 was won by Lani; and 2008 by Colin so generally skills are equal.

The Arts law Centre guide is national.

Thanks for giving me those key words! Originally I only knew about this site regarding NSW (http://www.4020.net/words/photorights.php) but now I know about this site as well (http://www.artslaw.com.au/legalinformation/StreetPhotographersRights.asp)

Greatly appreciate it :)

NickMonk

17-04-2010, 12:01am

It's great to see that people are still contributing to the thread, and thanks for the thanks! You'll be pleased to know that I have (several times now) corrected some police colleagues about their misconceptions regarding photographers and their rights. I'm not saying they would go out and unlawfully arrest people, but plenty do have a '2010 general public perception' about photographers. In general they were very receptive to what I had to say. Maybe I should put together a national training package on this LOL!

Xenedis

17-04-2010, 1:29pm

You'll be pleased to know that I have (several times now) corrected some police colleagues about their misconceptions regarding photographers and their rights. I'm not saying they would go out and unlawfully arrest people, but plenty do have a '2010 general public perception' about photographers. In general they were very receptive to what I had to say. Maybe I should put together a national training package on this LOL!

It might be good idea!

What your post indicates to me is that it wasn't what you said to those police officers; rather, it was how you said it.

If photographers get defensive to the point of hostility, they'll get nowhere with law enforcement; but if they explain politely and calmly in an education-delivering (rather than right-defending) manner, it may be far more effective.

Good on you for having the courage to do what you did. I imagine many people would not have.

Beej

18-04-2010, 6:08pm

Nick, Great post. You have eased my mind quite a bit. I have been snapping away at macro, nature, landscapes... pretty much anything that didn't involve me pointing my camera anywhere near people. Simply through an ignorance of how I should act as an amateur photographer. Maybe now I can get the gumption to go out and broaden my horizons with a little street photography. Cheers again, Nick. Well done.

woosang

28-04-2010, 11:22pm

great advice. Thank you
I was searched in London last year by a community officer. Of course I could have refused but it was just easier to show them what we were doing. It is a shame that people can't just go about their day without having to prove their innocence but there you are.
Our laws here are much better and I am very very glad to be back.

Dachimas

03-05-2010, 10:01pm

That's some good advice Nick, #3 the attitude test is a really good one! Same if you are pulled over for something, I try to get out of the car and move to meet the officer instead of making them come to me.

Xenedis

03-05-2010, 10:29pm

I was searched in London last year by a community officer.

'Scuse ignorance, but what is a community officer?

It is a shame that people can't just go about their day without having to prove their innocence

Actually, people can.

If people start acting like they have no rights, eventually they will have none.

farmer_rob

04-05-2010, 7:43am

If people start acting like they have no rights, eventually they will have none.

Couldn't agree more - I just had to highlight it.

Jeanette

04-05-2010, 8:52am

It's great to see that people are still contributing to the thread, and thanks for the thanks! You'll be pleased to know that I have (several times now) corrected some police colleagues about their misconceptions regarding photographers and their rights. I'm not saying they would go out and unlawfully arrest people, but plenty do have a '2010 general public perception' about photographers. In general they were very receptive to what I had to say. Maybe I should put together a national training package on this LOL!

i know you did the lol after this Nickmonk but why not put something forward,
as an officer they know a fair bit about the law but cannot remember everything or gain knowledge about everything especially when they are in different areas..
I am a nurse and so much i dont know about my field but we have on going education availabilities and so good when people come in and speak at functions or put information out there.. so why not put something forward in an education/informational way..
I am sure they would be open to that...

andrask

05-05-2010, 9:08am

...
I was searched in London last year by a community officer..

Talking about London, I was apprehended (in a rather polite way) by two police officers when I was photographing outside the Liverpool Street Station in October last year. I guess I did attract attention with the 70-200mm f/4L attached to my Canon EOS 5D Mark II and dressed somewhat scruffily. Apparently with the heightened terrorist alert there they were routinely checking for any signs of surveillance activity.

They were quite young officers, the female being more involved with filling in the required questionnaire while the male was making polite small talk. I got a copy of the official form for my troubles. I guess I'm now in their routine database FWIW.

peterb666

05-05-2010, 10:59am

I got a copy of the official form for my troubles. I guess I'm now in their routine database FWIW.

So what's it say "beware scruffy young person from Oz with big lens, could be dangerous"?

andrask

05-05-2010, 1:57pm

It probably just says "Must note scruffy 'older' Aussie with big lens not shoot crooked". :D

SnowA

05-05-2010, 2:51pm

Fascinating thread. Andrew Nemeth's article is a cracker.

Aus Mackem

06-05-2010, 7:03pm

Good thread and good advice Nick. I too work in the same vocation and find that if you are generally calm towards myself or my colleagues that the 'situation' will be dealt with quickly and amicably, however once someone fails that dreaded attitude test then it is always more difficult to deal with favourably. I've only ever dealt with a few photographers and have never had a problem yet...maybe it's because I'm interested so I understand, who knows.

Michael asked about procedures when you do arrest a person, here's WA's take on it. Like Nick said arrests can be, and have been, done without knowing the exact charge (yes we should know every law but honest truth is we don't...do we know everything about photography?). We know that they can be arrested so they will be arrested on suspicion of x, once back at the station the exact charge can then be preferred (if you haven't got it spot on). Once arrested they will be given their rights which do include the right to be informed of what they have been arrested on suspicion of.

It should never really get to that point though, just be nice to us, we really are only doing a job and believe it or not we're human too!

darylcheshire

18-05-2010, 11:42pm

Yes, you need permission to take photos at Southern Cross station in Melbourne. (formerly Spencer St. Station).
It is a magnificent building and worth taking. Plus lots of trains. Once I was photographing a short length of dual gauge track and two security guards came up to me in a golf cart and told me I shouldn't be taking photos. they were nice about it and I wasn't beaten severely. I didn't know if they just happened on me or if I was observed on a CCTV.

They turn a blind eye to Aunt Muriel photographing Grandma on the Albury pass.

You can go to the security office and sign a book. They ask what reason and then say "uh gunzel?".

You are however, not allowed to use a flash or tripod.

I'm a rail enthusiast and often photograph on railway property without any problems. Usually on country stations. Sometimes I stand on the tracks (the pit) but I get their permission to do so.

I recall some enthusiast in England who's thing was photographing buses, that was his thing, but in recent times people complained about him and accused him of being a paedophile and/or terrorism. Eventually he hung up his camera and didn't do it any more which I think was a shame.

Personally, I don't photograph people unless they are not prominent and it is unavoidable as public wander around and are part of the scenery, such as the air show or motor show.

If I'm just riding on normal trains or trams, I use the PHS camera or a 5D with a 50mm lens. I felt self concious riding trams with a canon 24-70mm lens as it's relatively large and sticks out on a tram. It's a bit different on Puffing Billy or on a special where everybody will be using a camera.

However I've not had any unwelcome attention so far.

In another post I mentioned using a camera taking time lapse photography sitting on a tripod in the passenger seat and I wonder what the reaction of police would be if I got pulled up for any traffic reason with a snapping camera in the front seat.

A reason why police would be nervy is that everyone can film things with their mobile phones and I saw this happen when railway Authorised Officers were interviewing someone and he made a run for it. Immediately the other dozen AOs surrounded him and did stacks on the mill like a rugby scrum. The normal passengers started filming them with their mobile phones, and I noticed some AOs remonstrating with the more obvious photographers. Imagine if I had a 5D and a 24-70 lens. I'd probably be in a scrum myself.

Daryl.

woosang

21-05-2010, 7:43am

* post removed : admin *

Site Rule:

[13] Members with under 30 days membership and 50 posts cannot post complaints about service/people/organisations/products/businesses, etc. Join in, build up a reputation on Ausphotography and then your views will be allowed.

NickMonk

25-05-2010, 1:39am

Good thread and good advice Nick. I too work in the same vocation and find that if you are generally calm towards myself or my colleagues that the 'situation' will be dealt with quickly and amicably, however once someone fails that dreaded attitude test then it is always more difficult to deal with favourably. I've only ever dealt with a few photographers and have never had a problem yet...maybe it's because I'm interested so I understand, who knows.

Michael asked about procedures when you do arrest a person, here's WA's take on it. Like Nick said arrests can be, and have been, done without knowing the exact charge (yes we should know every law but honest truth is we don't...do we know everything about photography?). We know that they can be arrested so they will be arrested on suspicion of x, once back at the station the exact charge can then be preferred (if you haven't got it spot on). Once arrested they will be given their rights which do include the right to be informed of what they have been arrested on suspicion of.

It should never really get to that point though, just be nice to us, we really are only doing a job and believe it or not we're human too!

Thanks for the backup :D

Aus Mackem

27-05-2010, 10:58pm

Thanks for the backup :D

No problem Nick, we are in a minority afterall! Have to look out for each other. ;)

Vince B

17-06-2010, 7:30pm

Interesting read. Nice to hear from Nick. Maybe more police should be encouraged to do photography?
I must say that emotions can be stirred when confronted by the police. It isn't always easy to remain cool and detached! You always feel threatened because you wonder what you have done wrong to be intercepted and questioned.

I was at the Royal Easter Show in Sydney in April 2008 taking photos of the rides at night. I had my DSLR on a tripod and made sure I was visible and not in the way of people. Some older teenage girls saw me taking a photo and asked who I was taking photos for. Dolly? Cleo? No, I told them I was taking them for myself. Then they asked me to take their photo! These teens had stuffed toys and looked like they were enjoying themselves. So I put up my flash and took a few photos. One of the older girls did a pose and I told her to turn towards the other girl to make a better photo. There were three together. They didn't ask for the photos and we both went our own ways. They wanted their photo taken and I wanted to capture some of the local colour of the show. Big mistake!

About 10 minutes later I was shooting the Ferris Wheel using a 3 second exposure. Two police officers came up to me and asked me what I was doing. I clicked the shutter to show them. The female, older officer grabbed my lens and pulled it down. Then they accused me of taking 'provocative photos of underaged girls'! I was confused because I had no idea what they were referring to. What provocative photos I was wondering? They asked me to show them the photos I had taken. So I started to do so but stopped after a few frames and remembered I had read the article about not breaking any law taking photos. I objected and said that paparazzi are able to take photos. They said that is different because they take photos of celebrities. They said it was illegal to take photos of children under the age of 16 without the consent of their parents. This was getting nowhere. They said that paparazzi had ID so I gave the older officer my driver's licence and she moved away and made a call. I chatted with the young fellow during that time. Everything was pleasant but I was worried. After 10 minutes she returned and gave me my licence back. She said it didn't look good that I refused to show them the photos. I breathed a sigh of relief and told them I was going to take a few more photos of the rides. The young officer suggested that I should stop taking photos of the rides. I told him a 3 second time exposure would reveal no person at all. Well, he said he didn't know much about photography and maybe I could capture people that way. I put my tripod and camera away and went home.

I complained to my camera club and they sent a letter to the organizers of the Easter Show and after several months I was sent two free tickets for the next year's show! I made sure I attended.

This year I had set my camera up on my tripod and was shooting light trails of one of the rides after dark. A young security fellow approached and because I had a large camera and lens told me I needed a special permit to shoot professionally. I told him I was an amateur just taking photos. The Canon 5DII does draw attention with the 70-200f/4 attached. After a lengthy discussion/debate he said he would be back in half an hour to see what I was shooting. I told him to come and have a look. When he returned he was amazed at the interesting photos I had captured. He returned twice more to see if I had captured anything better. I returned another two nights and always invited police or security to have a look at my photos. While I was shooting, a couple of other photographers with tripods also shot the same ride. I even helped them by recommending settings and tricks. One bloke had a lanyard with a pass. Apparently if you enter the photo contest at the Easter Show you get a free pass and can use it as much as you like. Plus, they have a record of you so that pleases the security. I even wrote to the officials and was told it was okay to take photos there and I included a few samples of my shots.

I now refuse to take photos of young people unless with their cameras. Some people will approach you to take their photos if they see you have a large DSLR. I don't mind one bit and usually have to sort out the proper settings on their compacts so that they get good exposures.

Most people didn't seem to mind that I was set up to take photos there.

You people sure have a lot of rules around here!!!! I wanted to post a photo or two illustrating my points.

ricktas

17-06-2010, 7:38pm

You people sure have a lot of rules around here!!!! I wanted to post a photo or two illustrating my points.

Yes you can, so what was the exact problem you had posting a photo or two? Cause there are no rules stopping you from doing that.

Vince B

17-06-2010, 7:52pm

I want to comment of several points made by others in this thread. I think this is an important issue and it needs to be discussed more.

After the news on TV about the hapless young fellows who were fined for behaving in an inappropriate manner at Coogee most people now believe we are not allowed to take photos of people on our beaches. The fact that the girls in the photo were topless made the issue into a sexual one when it is not against the law for women to be topless on Sydney beaches. Men have been topless for over a century now! A lot of people see topless photo = pervert.

I have had debates with lots of people over this issue. Even friends stubbornly believe you aren't supposed to take photos of people on the beach. Others feel it isn't right to take photos in public without consent. So these are issues that won't go away and people feel strongly about them. I think we are losing the battle and there will be legislation to limit photographers.

Even though people don't have the right NOT to be photographed doesn't mean we have a right to take their photos. I am not sure where the line will be drawn but a reasonable person doesn't want to take a photo of someone who is hostile about it.

The media has broadcast the court cases and in both the young fellows were smart to plead guilty and not have to pay huge legal fees. They weren't charged with taking photos but behaving in an inappropriate or offensive manner. I believe subsequent, similar cases were dismissed by local magistrates. The public have beliefs and police, security, and lifeguards share these beliefs and react accordingly. Not everyone, of course, but enough participate to share this belief and that leads to disapproval of photographers at beaches.

joeyvaldezjr

17-06-2010, 9:09pm

This is a very informative topic.

Thanks Nick!

Alpacamike

17-06-2010, 10:40pm

I think it is a crying shame that as a photograph one has to feel uncomfortable when taking photos of children, I fully understand why but non the les it is a shame, I have 12 grandchildren and it gives me so much pleasure to watch and take photos of them, if only we could turn back time

justdave

13-07-2010, 1:48pm

im under the assumption that if its news worthy you are able to take photos of it, thats what the council of civil liberties told me anyways. the only down fall is then they have the right to conviscate the memory card as evidence if need be

kiwi

13-07-2010, 1:53pm

no. no. no

You are confusing the use of images for editorial as opposed to commercial useage and the right of privacy, each have their "rules"

OK, editorially newsworthy might be a picture of kevin rudd punching julia gillard in the lodge on the night of the long knives - this doesnt mean you can get the shot or use it if you entered private property to take that shot

Its a complex area.

Study www.copyright.org.au

ricktas

13-07-2010, 1:56pm

im under the assumption that if its news worthy you are able to take photos of it, thats what the council of civil liberties told me anyways. the only down fall is then they have the right to conviscate the memory card as evidence if need be

Not quite that simple. It depends on where you are standing. Public land, private property etc. If you are not on public land, you need to permission of the land owner to be there taking photos. It is also often assumed that space accessible to the pubic is public land, when often it is privately owned. Ie, the forecourt of some buildings, carparks attached to shopping centres etc.

natogden

16-07-2010, 6:46pm

awesome tips, thanks mate

tcdev

21-07-2010, 10:01am

New article in - Popular Mechanics (http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/how-to/computer-security/taking-photos-in-public-places-is-not-a-crime?click=main_sr) of all places...

MEMBERS: Note this is a USA publication and some aspects discussed may differ from Australian Law : Admin

Scotty72

21-07-2010, 4:13pm

Hopefully, this sort of article appears in every genre of magazine so that the wider community is aware that police, psuedo-police etc. can not deprive us of our legal right to our hobby (in public at least).

Scotty

Kym

21-07-2010, 4:43pm

Turns out that the aritcle makes the same basic points that Nick stared with...

So what should you do if you're taking photos and a security guard or police officer approaches you and tells you to stop? First, be polite. Security people have tough jobs and probably mean well. Ask them what legal authority they have to make you stop. (If you're in a public place, like a street, a park, etc., they have none; if you're in a private place, such as a shopping mall, they may have a basis for banning pictures.) Krages advises those hassled by security guards to threaten to call law enforcement. If it's an actual police officer who's telling you to stop shooting, ask to speak to a superior. And remember--you never have a legal duty to delete pictures you've taken.

kingfisher29

26-07-2010, 1:35am

*Post deleted - refer to the site rule below- Admin *

[13] Members with under 30 days membership and 50 posts cannot post complaints about service/people/organisations/products/businesses, etc. Join in, build up a reputation on Ausphotography and then your views will be allowed.

Beanstalk

31-07-2010, 6:54pm

I think you will find if you are acting within the law the police won't bother you. They may check what you are up to if you try to photograph them or have a complaint that you may be taking photos of children, but if you understand they are trying to do their job or protect people and don't become aggressive, they will respond in the same manner.

Scotty72

31-07-2010, 7:03pm

I think you will find if you are acting within the law the police won't bother you. They may check what you are up to if you try to photograph them or have a complaint that you may be taking photos of children, but if you understand they are trying to do their job or protect people and don't become aggressive, they will respond in the same manner.

Whilst this may generally the case, it is the seemly increasing occurances where police do bother photographers when they are not breaking any law that is a concern.

jasevk

10-08-2010, 12:30pm

Quite amusing...

http://newsarse.com/2010/08/06/terrorists-sick-of-being-treated-like-photographers/

Kym

10-08-2010, 12:36pm

I merged jasevk's thread into this one.
:lol: to the post - very good!!

Lance B

16-08-2010, 12:36pm

I posted this on another forum in reponse to the (supposed)crack down on photography in public and of public icons etc, but I thought my ponderings may be of interest.
Consider the following:
Why is it, that I am frowned upon for photographing one of the world's most iconic beaches, like Bondi Beach, especially if there happens to be a topless bather in the frame somewhere? Why is the topless bather's right to remove her top more important than any photographers right to take an innocent photo of a beach??? Why do I have to wait until the bather leaves or puts her top back on? I just do not understand this upturning of rights.
Why do I have to feel concerned about a child, or anyone, also being innocently included in a photo of same said beach, or anywhere for that matter, and needing (parental) permission to take such a photo? Yet, this same parent would possibly fall over backwards to have their child's photo taken with a movie/music star if one happened by and then plastered all over the evening news and in the newspaper. Or, this same parent may have their child posing for photographs for a Big W catalogue and therefore this image plastered all over the place as well. So, it seems once they are paid for such exposure it is ok, otherwise their rights to privacy in an open place must be observed? Bizarre.
Didn't the British government ask for people's photographs of the London bombings areas so they could see if they had captured any information that may have been of interest to the police in order to hopefully see who the terrorists were? So, if the public can't take photos, then only the terrorists will be the one's taking subversive photos as there is no way you will be able to stop secretive photos being taken. If you want to get a photo of something, it can be done and it will therefore only be the terrorists, or whatever undesirable types, that will be taking photos.
In my opinion, Uluru belongs to Australia, not anyone person or group of individuals and therefore the sale of photos of it should not incur any copyright. In fact, many of the man made or natural points of interest in Australia belong to all Australians and should be available to anyone who wishes to take a photograph of them.
The Opera House, Harbour Bridge, 12 Aposltes, 3 Sisters in the Blue Mountains, Olga's, Uluru, all our beaches etc are there to be enjoyed by all and are tourist attractions mostly for their photographic appeal which are the very icons that attract tourists. You start charging to take photos of these landmarks or stop tourists or anyone from taking photos, then you will kill off tourism and camera sales.
Didn't the Australian Tourism ask for us to submit photos of our favourite places of Australia and write a blurb as to why we like it so much and post it for all the word to see? I can't see how this can be done if we have to wait until a beach is completely devoid of people so as not to intrude on their "rights". I can't see how this can be done if we have to pay for the priveledge of taking the photo and then try to convince the rest of the world to come here and enjoy Australia if they have to pay for taking photos of everything that is of importance. How bizarre is that sort of logic. I can imagine a tourist going home and saying to their friends and prospective toruists to this country that they didn't take photos of Australia as they had to ask permission everywhere and/or pay for the privledge!!

peterb666

16-08-2010, 3:57pm

Quite amusing...

http://newsarse.com/2010/08/06/terrorists-sick-of-being-treated-like-photographers/

Excellent. I do expect that Al-Qaeda would really be p***ed off it it were treated like Al Jazeera. :lol:

Lance B

16-08-2010, 4:17pm

Quite amusing...

http://newsarse.com/2010/08/06/terrorists-sick-of-being-treated-like-photographers/

That is funny!

It would appear as though photographers are treated worse than terrorist suspects!

Benicio

17-08-2010, 6:45pm

The current climate of paranoia is certainly getting out of control in Aus. My friend is too scared to take photos of his son playing under 10's football due to past incidents of parents confronting/abusing people with cameras.

I know in certain parts of Asia people are certainly not aggressive to photographers in public. I just cant figure out what it is with the level of paranoia here.

I'll blame mainstream news outlets feeding the fear.

atky

18-08-2010, 5:42pm

I keep hearing attitude test I'm a law abiding citizen my attitude has nothing to do with anything unless I break the law I am a grumpy old man get use to it. Leave me alone to do what I have a rite to do go hassle a drug dealer.

Scotty72

18-08-2010, 11:02pm

I'll blame mainstream news outlets feeding the fear.

Whilst they are a part of the problem, to simply lay the blame at their feet is letting us all off too lightly.

Scotty

Kym

19-08-2010, 3:30pm

I just had a short chat with the head MSS (security) guy here at work and made him (and also his team) aware of the Arts Law Centre 'togs rights etc.
They have a hard copy on file.

He himself is a photographer.

Bottom line they are aware of when people can and can't take photo's of our Rail infrastructure.
(It's ok if your on public land, but you cannot enter the rail corridor without permission from train control;
and can rightfully be asked to leave or be arrested if you do not).

Benicio

21-08-2010, 1:12pm

Whilst they are a part of the problem, to simply lay the blame at their feet is letting us all off too lightly.

Scotty

I forgot to use the sarcasm emote

Norman

27-08-2010, 7:44am

:Doh:G'day all

With other threads on photography rules and regulations i thought this may be of interest/amusem*nt

I have been taking pics around Melbournes waterways and docks for as long as i can remember (am 58) and until recently (last 5 years) have never had a problem with the law , local national or otherwise but things are getting ''silly'' lately and it has prompted me to post this thread

I was in the station pier area of Melbourne recently taking pics of various shipping that interests me it was a weekday morning , i had a tripod and my Nikon D3 with 200-400 mounted thereon and was happily snapping away until i received a tap on the shoulder by a large ''private'' security person asking me what exactly it was that i was doing and did i have a permit to do what i was doing !!!! eh????? what??? says i,,,, i am just taking pics of some freighters out in the channel and a few of the vintage sailboats i told him politely and i do not need a permit for that !

He said ( now process this !!) '' That lady there (pointing to a lady with a small compact camera) is using a camera ,,,,YOU HAVE HI-TECH SURVEILLANCE GEAR AND I WANT TO SEE A PERMIT !!!!

Well there are many replies i could have made but instead i am afraid i giggled at him and said i can't believe what he is saying to me we exchanged a few more words as i continued to take pics during which time he continued to ask for my permit which i ignored then he started to become irrate and said he would confiscate my gear to the amusem*nt of myself and the small crowd that was gathering ,,,keeping calm i requested he fetch a policeman if he was so worried and we will put his views and accusations to the test, i told him there was a police van nearby in the carpark, he then threw his hands in the air and said '' you tech heads are all smart A***s's'' and stormed off ! never to be seen again and i stayed there for over an hour and forty minutes, quite bewildered but realising that i had just had an encounter with a private lawmen gone crazy , now i never asked him anything i.e what right do you have to accuse me etc etc etc but i remained calm

But consider if you will

I spent four months in Europe last year photographing all manner of public/private buildings, military objects train/tube area's and in Hong Kong with my 200-400 in dock and waterfront areas where i was asked by Police and Chinese Army gaurds where i bought the 200-400 and was it any good !!! never ever once in all that time was i questioned what the hell i was doing

Now this is not the first time this has happened to me in Aus in fact it is becoming so frequent i have my response down pat ,,i stay calm and ask to meet with a policeman and thats where it ends i have never been questioned by police

Now if you really want some laughs go try to take some pics with your hi-tech surveillance gear during a sporting event in Melb, you wont be able to operate a big lens on the fence at the MCG or Grand Prix etc etc i really had fun during the Comm Games in melb taking pics of shipping as we had the water police, chubb security, port of melb authority, port of melb harbour security, Fed Police,army response team, navy water patrol, and a few others i cant remember their names but can post pics as i took photo's of all of them i found it so amusing

It saddens me we do not have the intelligence to handle this issue correctly and with ''manners'' as it should be

Rant over

Cheers

old dog

27-08-2010, 8:38am

agree totally Norman.......it`s really getting silly out there. Thanks for the heads up about asking for a real cop to intervene, etc.

PH005

27-08-2010, 8:46am

A sad sorry sign of the times.

Chilcotin

27-08-2010, 12:54pm

Where I live, (Canada) I have never had a problem. Mind you I walk around with two camera's hanging from my neck and a lens bag as well.

I do believe though common sense comes into the picture.

Xenedis

27-08-2010, 2:35pm

i giggled at him and said i can't believe what he is saying to me we exchanged a few more words as i continued to take pics during which time he continued to ask for my permit which i ignored then he started to become irrate and said he would confiscate my gear to the amusem*nt of myself and the small crowd that was gathering ,,,keeping calm i requested he fetch a policeman if he was so worried and we will put his views and accusations to the test, i told him there was a police van nearby in the carpark, he then threw his hands in the air and said '' you tech heads are all smart A***s's'' and stormed off ! never to be seen again

Hilarious.

Rent-a-cops unfortunately aren't terribly good at handling facts and challenges to call upon a real law-enforcement officer.

Your anecdote was quite amusing; it would have been jolly good fun to have witnessed the spectacle for myself.

peterb666

28-08-2010, 4:53pm

The private "pseudo police" in Australia are poorly trained and largely ignorant people who could not get another job. Too many of them make up for their low standing in the community be having grand ideas of their status and their knowledge of the law. All power corrupts but it is also dangerous when mixed with ignorance.

Xenedis

04-09-2010, 11:47am

While poking around on the Web this morning, I stumbled across a letter Emeritus Professor Des Crawley wrote in response to a personal story Port Macquarie photographer and APS member Rob Smith related on his Web site about the time a police officer confronted him as he was photographing people (including children) in a public place for a project on which he was working.

Firstly, Rob's article:

http://www.predatek.com/wowfactorpix/signoftimes.htm

This is well worth a read. Rob very candidly goes into what he was doing (which was in no way wrong, perverted or insidious), and relates in horror what happened to him when the police officer turned up in response to anonymous, well-intentioned but grossly off-the-mark concerns by members of the public about a middle-aged man photographing children with a telephoto lens.

Rob handled the situation very well, as you'll see upon reading the article.

Des Crawley responded to that story, and has some very wise and passionate advice to offer on the matter. Here is his response:

http://www.predatek.com/wowfactorpix/signoftimes_dcrawley.htm

This alone is well worth a read, even if you hadn't seen Rob's story. As it turned out, I read Des's response before reading the article it was addressing, but the advice is generic enough to stand on its own.

Please, read both of these articles, be aware of what we face (as if you weren't already), and take on board Rob's approach to handling situations like what he encountered.

__________
Mod note: Merged Thead

ameerat42

04-09-2010, 1:01pm

Xenidis. Thanks for such a doubly interesting post. Am.

Scotty72

04-09-2010, 1:53pm

I remember this article came up in another thread but, good post

this is something that we should not let die

Scotty

OzzieTraveller

05-09-2010, 7:48am

Thankyou Xenadis for highlighting this issue again

Earlier this year I posted a note regarding an unwanted & unwarranted 'confrontation' I had with the police while doing 'what comes naturally - taking photos' - at a funfair

Since then I have followed Ken Duncan's lead and had some text burned onto the fluoro-orange safety vest I wear when out taking pix anywhere where traffic is passing me by ... in 10cm high letters it says "PHOTOGRAPHER" under which is "I am not a criminal"

But I do like Rob Smith's idea of supplying the local coppers with a wanted-style poster, mug shot identifying him/myself so as to avoid any further issues

It's just a damn shame that we have to do this - or even to feel the need to do this
Regards, Phil

Xenedis

05-09-2010, 2:19pm

Thanks guys. We need to keep our eyes on this sort of thing, as it's really got out of hand.

Re Rob's approach of sending a self-generated mugshot to the local constabulary, I don't believe it's at all necessary, and perhaps his doing so was more to send a strong message than to make the police aware that he's a photographer exercising his lawful right.

By the same token, I wouldn't be sending the police a photo of myself, declaring that I own large, sharp kitchen knives, and indicating that if anyone in town gets stabbed, I wasn't the perp.

OzzieTraveller

04-10-2010, 9:11am

G'day all

I met this article on a caravanners / travellers forum and liked it ... hope you do too
= = = = =
Recently, SAPOL ran an e-mail forum (a question and answer exchange) with the topic being "Community Policing."

One of the civilian email participants posed the following question;
"I would like to know how it is possible for police officers to continually harass people and get away with it?"

From the "other side" (the law enforcement side) Sgt. Kym Webb of Mount Barker police, (a cop with a sense of humor) replied:

"First of all, let me tell you this...it's not easy. In the Adelaide Hills we average one cop for every 600 people. Only about 60% of those cops are on general duty (or what you might refer to as "general patrols") where we do most of our harassing.

The rest are in non-harassing departments that do not allow them contact with the day to day innocents. At any given moment, only one-fifth of the 60% general patrols are on duty and available for harassing people while the rest are off duty. So roughly, one cop is responsible for harassing about 5,000 residents.

When you toss in the commercial business, and tourist locations that attract people from other areas, sometimes you have a situation where a single cop is responsible for harassing 10,000 or more people a day.

Now, your average eight-hour shift runs 28,800 seconds long. This gives a cop one second to harass a person, and then only three-fourths of a second to drink a Farmer's Union Iced Coffee AND then find a new person to harass. This is not an easy task. To be honest, most cops are not up to this challenge day in and day out. It is just too tiring. What we do is utilize some tools to help us narrow down those people which we can realistically harass.

The tools available to us are as follows:
PHONE: People will call us up and point out things that cause us to focus on a person for special harassment. "My neighbor is beating his wife" is a code phrase used often. This means we'll come out and give somebody some special harassment. Another popular one is, "There's a guy breaking into a house." The harassment team is then put into action.

CARS: We have special cops assigned to harass people who drive. They like to harass the drivers of fast cars, cars with no insurance or no driver's licences and the like. It's lots of fun when you pick them out of traffic for nothing more obvious than running a red light. Sometimes you get to really heap the harassment on when you find they have drugs in the car, they are drunk, or have an outstanding FINS warrant on file.

RUNNERS: Some people take off running just at the sight of a police officer. Nothing is quite as satisfying as running after them like a beagle on the scent of a bunny. When you catch them you can harass them for hours.

LAWS : When we don't have PHONES or CARS and have nothing better to do, there are actually books that give us ideas for reasons to harass folks. They are called "Statutes" . These include the Criminal Law Consolidation Act, Summary Offences Act, Road Traffic Act and a whole bunch of others ... They all spell out all sorts of things for which you can really mess with people.

After you read the law , you can just drive around for a while until you find someone violating one of these listed offenses and harass them. Just last week I saw a guy trying to steal a car. Well, there's this book we have that says that's not allowed. That meant I got permission to harass this guy. It is a really cool system that we have set up, and it works pretty well.

We seem to have a never-ending supply of folks to harass. And we get away with it. Why? Because for the good citizens who pay the tab, we try to keep the streets safe for them, and they pay us to "harass" some people.

Next time you are in the Hills, give me the old "single finger wave." That's another one of those codes. It means, "You can harass me" - Its one of our favourites."

Cheers,
Peter

= = = = =
Regards, Phil

farmer_rob

04-10-2010, 9:31am

That's quite amusing OzzieTraveller - but photography is not against the law, and the copper with a sense of humour failed to note that there are times the police don't bother seeing if it is against the rules, they just "harass" anyway.

(Also, the one-finger wave up our way is when you lift one finger off the steering wheel to acknowledge someone driving past - I didn't think that was an offensive gesture. Perhaps he meant the 'one-finger salute'.)

warhammer

12-10-2010, 2:28am

great advise... a hot topic for a lot of people, as to be expected..

aramis

14-10-2010, 11:34pm

Just noticed you can join Arts Freedom Australia for $2. I just joined :) http://www.artsfreedomaustralia.com/blog/?page_id=339&cpage=1#comment-5695

Kym

19-10-2010, 10:05pm

From the UK

http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/news/Photographers_force_pics_in_public_policy_Uturn_news_302937.html

Protests by photographers have forced bosses of an Edinburgh shopping street to review their photography policy in a move likely to see managers back down, Amateur Photographer (AP) understands.

Managers at the Multrees Walk shopping area came under fire over the weekend after a video showed 'heavy-handed' security officers clash with photographers.

The crackdown on photography followed concerns that pictures of the shops may increase the risk of the retailers being ram raided.

Security staff were briefed to approach photographers on a 'fact-finding' mission.

However, AP has learned that managers are this week reviewing their policy and that this may result in what many photographers will view as a welcome dose of common sense.

Management now concede that if they ban cameras then they might just as well outlaw the use of camera phones – a policy impossible to police.

Stemming from

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=161N9OqFy4E

and

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnTBj01AmDI

Xenedis

19-10-2010, 10:18pm

Re "The crackdown on photography followed concerns that pictures of the shops may increase the risk of the retailers being ram raided"...

I suppose security staff also insisted that people walking past the shop shut their eyes in case they saw the store and were compelled to later do a ram-raid on it.

Rather than cracking down on photographers, it would be nice to see a crackdown on ignorant fools who come up with stupid, impractical, fear-driven and sublimely ridiculous anti-photography policies and then expect the public to bend over and cop it.

Scotty72

20-10-2010, 11:22pm

The ignorance of many authorities in the UK and this country is absolutely breath-taking.

I might add, that the acting principal of my school is joining the ignorance.

She has announced, yesterday, that all photograph taking is banned unless she gives permission on a case by case basis - permission will only be granted if 15 criteria are met.

She also declared that the thousands of pics that I, and another teacher, have taken are now DET property.

Of course, we immediately deleted all our images and invited her to sue us for their return.

All this because ONE teacher thought it inappropriate that pictures be taken of a girl in a leotard on stage.

I have been in a series of heated arguments with this ignorant woman.

Today, I wore (and it will be getting a fair work-out) my 'I'm a photographer, not a criminal t-shirt." :P

Scotty

kiwi

20-10-2010, 11:31pm

Isn't the school effectively private property ? So, can't the owners, det, ban photography if they choose to ?

farmer_rob

21-10-2010, 6:55am

^ Just because they can does not mean they should.

What are they going to do about students taking pictures with camera phones?

Scotty72

21-10-2010, 7:40am

Enclosed lands. And, I suppose that the principal can, within the law and DET guidelines, do what she likes.

But, that is not the point. There are often very legit reasons for photographs in education and she is ignoring many of the guidelines.

There is also the issue of the principal effectively telling her staff she does not trust them. Obviously, this will destroy morale and stop many of us from volunteering to do anything. Eg. we have all agreed the none of us will (even if asked) contribute any pics to the magazine etc. So, who loses? The kids. Due to the new suspicions, I have withdrawn as debate coach - I don't want to be in the position where I am alone with a very small number of girls then, have this 1 moron teacher think that is strange. So, debates are cancelled.

The whole thing snowballs?

It should be more than the issue of who is technically able to do what. There are other principles at stake. These apply both in schools and elsewhere.

These are the things that management and police should (but often don't) have the brains to consider before they persue idiot policies.

kiwi

21-10-2010, 8:44am

You guys know my feelings on this, but, I thought worth mentioning that yes, legally they can stop you

Kym

21-10-2010, 9:25am

I might add, that the acting principal of my school is joining the ignorance.
She has announced, yesterday, that all photograph taking is banned unless she gives permission on a case by case basis - permission will only be granted if 15 criteria are met.

Stupid, but yes they can do that.

She also declared that the thousands of pics that I, and another teacher, have taken are now DET property.

Patently illegal, further there was no need to delete those images.

Xenedis

21-10-2010, 4:17pm

What are they going to do about students taking pictures with camera phones?

Didn't you know that only DSLRs are a threat to the sensibilities of ignorant fools?

Camera phones and P&S cameras are okay...

Xenedis

21-10-2010, 4:19pm

Enclosed lands. And, I suppose that the principal can, within the law and DET guidelines, do what she likes.

Indeed, it is true that the foolishness of outlawing some activity doesn't prevent people from using the powers that are available to them.

But, that is not the point. There are often very legit reasons for photographs in education and she is ignoring many of the guidelines.

It stands to reason that the school's Web site and newsletter is going to be rather text-centric from now on.

Due to the new suspicions, I have withdrawn as debate coach - I don't want to be in the position where I am alone with a very small number of girls then, have this 1 moron teacher think that is strange. So, debates are cancelled.

Ouch. How was that received?

The unfortunate result there is that the students lose out; it probably won't send the right message to the fools who need to hear it.

Scotty72

21-10-2010, 5:12pm

There prob was no need to delete our pics but, we saw it as our form of non-violent protest :).

She has no good faith basis for suspecting any wrong doing by anyone. She is simply follow this stupid society's eg and thinking that if 1% of people are bad, we had better assume everyone is a potential 1%er.

I believe she knows she's gone too far but face/bloody-mindedness is holding her captive. The stupidity of rules is often in proportion to the number of clauses to those rules. What started as a simple complaint by 1 parent (rather than her simply saying, 'No, I trust my staff) has now blown out to a 4 page document with 15 protocols and even more conditions outlining the context of each protocols. In other words, stupid rules often need even more stupid conditions.

I've had no comment on the debate thing. But, I suspect bloody mindedness will allow her to justify it until, she hopes, it all blows over.

Once again, the real point here for the principal (and police) is when you impose stupid restrictions on decent people, they lose respect for the rules and the idiots enforcing them; you get people bickering over points of law and not doing their best at work or in life. Sure, they get to feel powerful; that theirs is bigger than mine but, in the end, everyone loses.

Scotty

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

farmer_rob

21-10-2010, 10:01pm

... in the end, everyone loses.

So true.

Norman

22-10-2010, 7:41am

This is a great thread and i am enjoying the various viewpoints

I took these whilst on a three month holiday i UK last year please note they are not submitted as an example of great photographic skill , merely to illustrate a point and add something to the discussion

Police at a well known London landmark , police are everywhere in London and i found them polite and mostly charming people with a great sense of humour i asked these two if i could take their pics and the senior female officer replied ''clothes on or off'' !!! then said ''of course you can and thank you for asking'' !!

They then struck this pose ,,,,,

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1368/5102614461_c188d8af3f_b.jpg

I had no trouble anywhere with police or any other authorities in the U.K. ( did not go to Scotland) i am a large bloke and with a Lowepro backpack and two Nikon pro bodies and lenses around my neck i am hard not to see , maybe its my grey hair and advancing years and my wish to treat everyone politely , anyway here is a couple i took in a feature series on the underground and railway stations

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1351/5102620193_bd7583f205_b.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4129/5102625257_9babd3b80d_b.jpg

And finally a scene from a saturday evening sroll along the southbank of the Thames (for another series i'm compiling) which also includes many shops and arcades,

No hastles from anyone

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1087/5103210142_a1963eee72_b.jpg

I really do think ones attitude is a huge factor in the whole subject of street/public area photography i ask when i can for permission and make it obvious i am about to press the shutter release and look for a reaction and have not had a bad one to date well except for private security in Straya

Comments questions welcome

Cheers

Lance B

22-10-2010, 8:13am

As a matter of interest, Scotty, does the school produce a yearbook with everyone's photo in it?

Scotty72

22-10-2010, 11:05am

As a matter of interest, Scotty, does the school produce a yearbook with everyone's photo in it?

Since 2005 (my arrival here) until this year, yes. Although I deleted all my pics, I gave them to some of the students who were compiling the mag; It looks great. I do have to say, that with myself and one other teacher's pics, it would be only, grainy phone camera shots or mug shots taken on school photo day.

Rather, we have close-up shots of girls in action at swimming carnivals, sports carnivals, public speaking, drama nights, dance comps etc. (often I attend in my free time -unpaid) Most of which occur in very poor light. (if I remember, I'll post a couple of egs when I get home - they are no longer students here so, there is nothing preventing me - the girls already have them all over facebook :P )

So, it looks like 2011 will be a very plain looking year-book.

Scotty

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

kiwi

22-10-2010, 11:24am

Scotty, at least at my local school on sign-on the parents all tick off (or not) an image release for pictures used for internal school use (newsletter, website, year book etc). I do quite a bit of "work" with my kid's school and based on that there are six kids that are not OK to photograph out of 400 and they are known and simply deleted from any publication by the school. I dont need to worry too much personally

james derek

22-10-2010, 3:36pm

More of a legal matter.
Does anyone know if it is illegal to set up a tripod in the water of a stream in the rainforest?

A pro tog told me he was fined for setting up his tripod in the water even though it was only 3" to 2' deep.
I believe it was a ranger who fined him.

kiwi

22-10-2010, 3:39pm

That's a new one on me James

Kym

22-10-2010, 4:29pm

More of a legal matter.
Does anyone know if it is illegal to set up a tripod in the water of a stream in the rainforest?
A pro tog told me he was fined for setting up his tripod in the water even though it was only 3" to 2' deep. I believe it was a ranger who fined him.

I'd be asking to see the regulation of that! I just googled and could not find anything like that sort of law.
Sounds like an officious little p**** of a ranger to me.

The only possibility is some generic T&C on entering the park about staying out of waterways etc. But even then I'd be surprised about the fine, or the legal ability to enforce it.

Scotty72

22-10-2010, 4:57pm

Scotty, at least at my local school on sign-on the parents all tick off (or not) an image release for pictures used for internal school use (newsletter, website, year book etc). I do quite a bit of "work" with my kid's school and based on that there are six kids that are not OK to photograph out of 400 and they are known and simply deleted from any publication by the school. I dont need to worry too much personally

That is what we have done for many years - suddenly, even that is not enough...

ricktas

23-10-2010, 8:11am

More of a legal matter.
Does anyone know if it is illegal to set up a tripod in the water of a stream in the rainforest?

A pro tog told me he was fined for setting up his tripod in the water even though it was only 3" to 2' deep.
I believe it was a ranger who fined him.

It depends! Is the stream an eco-sensitive area in its own right? There could be a million and one reasons why certain streams are like that. Endangered creatures, aquatic plant life, erosion and degradation caused by humans tramping in the stream in the past, maybe there is a pest species already introduced and they do not want it spreading. etc. I think without knowing the full details, it is impossible for us to answer that one. There are quite a few areas where signposts advise the public to not enter due to animal/plant habitat. If there is a valid reason this stream is protected in some way, that is signed at some point along the track, or entrance to the park etc, the ranger has every right to stop someone placing a tripod in the stream. Just cause we are photographers does not mean we don't have to obey signage/direction/instruction etc.

Without full and accurate details of what/when/where this issue arose, we are not in a position to advise.

beckscj

24-10-2010, 12:26pm

Thanks to Nick for the thread!

I'm a copper as well and all I ask for is common courtesy. I'm not annoying you, I'm doing a job that can be thankless.

When it comes to taking my photo while I'm working I would rather you didn't without asking. If I have time I may say yes, but I will always be professional. My concern is that the photo may be used to effect my job.

Cindy

Longshots

24-10-2010, 12:47pm

Excellent comment Cindy. Respect is a two way thing. BTW Welcome to AP

HappySnap

24-10-2010, 1:10pm

I agree totally with you Cindy. I'm a copper too and a keen photographer also. I understand the want of my fellow togs to take photos and that not everyone's out there to do the wrong thing with those pics. All I ask is for the same respect I show you. Sometimes we need to speak to you due to a number of concerns. Once we know it's totally innocent and any concerns we or other members of the public may have had are unfounded - go enjoy your day and thanks for a moment of your time. Please there is no reason to have attitude from the time I say hi and introduce myself. A respectful and adult like conversation where everyone is heard and respected makes for a much quicker and less stressful interaction for everyone.
As for photos of me whilst I'm working I too would prefer you asked and on most occasions I will probably say yes unless I'm busy or believe the photo may affect my job or be deliberately altered in a negative manner.
And please i don't mean to offend when I say "you". I'm using the term loosely - I know the great majority of folks are respectful and understand what I'm saying. The 'you' is referring to the 1% who don't. And yes this includes the 1% percent of my comrades who could benefit from reading this too.

Kym

28-10-2010, 11:27am

Not strictly photography but it hits the underlying issues around photography in public. A very good article.

http://www.news.com.au/opinion/miranda-devine-asks-why-are-all-men-made-to-feel-like-fiends/story-e6frfs99-1225944489870

Miranda Devine asks: Why are all men made to feel like fiends?

ONE sunny morning last week a 55-year-old advertising executive and father was walking to work on Sydney's North Shore when he came across a toddler wandering by himself just 10m from busy Military Rd (in North Sydney), no guardian in sight.

"Where's your mummy," he asked the small boy, who didn't respond and kept walking towards the dangerous thoroughfare.

Against his instinct, the man did not pick up the boy, for fear of being accused of being a paedophile abductor.

Instead, as the child kept moving towards danger, he called to a lady in a nearby shop to ask if the boy was hers. She ran outside and chased the toddler down.

In the commotion the mother emerged from a nearby shop, apparently unperturbed.

But the man was angry.

"What would have got her upset is if I had picked the boy up when I saw him, which was my first instinct," he said.

"If the child had walked on to Military Rd and been killed I would have had to wear the guilt for life. Men have been reduced to [failing to react] when they see a child in danger for fear of being labelled paedophiles."

In 100 different ways every day the same scenario is played out, reflecting a profound and largely unspoken shift in the way decent men view small children.

These are just ordinary men, fathers, grandfathers, brothers, uncles, who have been made to feel like criminals around children and obliged to suppress their natural, healthy instinct to protect the most vulnerable members of our society.

In the same way, you can understand why men using the change rooms at a public swimming pool in a northern Sydney suburb last week might be concerned about the presence of unsupervised young boys undressing nearby.

Afraid of being falsely accused of being paedophiles, several men complained to pool management that they felt uncomfortable undressing in front of the schoolboys, in an increasingly febrile atmosphere in which even the mildest accusation of sexual impropriety can be ruinous

So the boys were banned from the change rooms of the Hornsby Aquatic Centre and reportedly had to ride back on the bus to school in wet swimsuits.

<snip> Read more:http://www.news.com.au/opinion/miranda-devine-asks-why-are-all-men-made-to-feel-like-fiends/story-e6frfs99-1225944489870

rellik666

28-10-2010, 1:21pm

What a sad world.

The minority and very small at that spoil it for the many!

Roo

Benicio

28-10-2010, 7:42pm

http://www.news.com.au/opinion/miranda-devine-asks-why-are-all-men-made-to-feel-like-fiends/story-e6frfs99-1225944489870

Very relevant to this conversation.

I assisted a crying lost little boy into a shop to find his Mum and as I was leading him to the shop my friend barked out "Dont touch him!"
It didnt occur to me that someone looking in from the outside would draw a negative conclusion like that until my friend pointed it out. I got quite paranoid after that.
It's scary the direction Aus is taking.

Ionica

28-10-2010, 8:10pm

Very relevant to this conversation.

I assisted a crying lost little boy into a shop to find his Mum and as I was leading him to the shop my friend barked out "Dont touch him!"
It didnt occur to me that someone looking in from the outside would draw a negative conclusion like that until my friend pointed it out. I got quite paranoid after that.
It's scary the direction Aus is taking.

I had a similar experience a couple of years ago, in the local supermarket. A small boy (pre-school age ) was wandering around alone , crying and very upset, but ignored by the staff and other shoppers. In the end I took his hand and walked him along for a minute or so until we found his mother. When I returned home, I told my wife about it, and how I had reservations about helping, due to the suspicion I felt I would automatically come under.

Scotty72

30-10-2010, 12:36pm

Perhaps there should be a thread "How cops should deal with photographers."

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/female-police-officer-threatens-to-smash-camera-at-kings-cross/story-e6freuy9-1225945264997

james derek

30-10-2010, 5:19pm

I'll second that Scotty

james derek

30-10-2010, 8:34pm

The policewomen in the 'incident' in Kings Cross obviously didn't pass the attitude test.
So how do you 'deal' with an abusive /aggressive policewoman with a bad attitude blatantly abusing the public?

Stingray

30-10-2010, 9:07pm

very interesting post nick, and nice replies, makes very interesting reading.
Myself, I have only really been approached by police once whilst taking photographs,
and that was of a storm, whilst parked in a darkened section (lol), overlooking moreton bay, trying for some lightning over brisbane port, from clontaf.
Afterwards, in hindsight i did think it might be looked at as suspicious (LOL). car parked in the dark, man "just out of sight beside car" - errie glow (LOL.. from laptop with radar page open)
But they were fine, just cruised past, stopped, reversed, parked beside me, then both got out to ask what I was doing.
I was happy to explain - and it didnt hurt that at that point as i said "trying for a lightning .. argh!" a very nice cloud to ground bolt went right thru where my POV was yet I hadnt clicked..LOL.. because i stood up to talk to them :)
i shows them some of the images i had already taken and they were happy, even asked if i posted them anywhere so they could check out my photos when they got home :)

Ionica

30-10-2010, 9:12pm

The policewomen in the 'incident' in Kings Cross obviously didn't pass the attitude test.
So how do you 'deal' with an abusive /aggressive policewoman with a bad attitude blatantly abusing the public?

It's interesting how the assault on a member of the public by the policewoman had been handled 'at a local level', and no disciplinary action was taken. If the situation was reversed, I'm sure the outcome would have been different.

james derek

31-10-2010, 11:00am

Dear Ionica, You are sure the outcome would have been different. I can almost guarantee if you told the policewomen to " drop that taser or I'll smash it to the ground", and then shoved her in the chest, the commander would not tell you to 'handle it better'. You would be seeing 6 t0 12 months.
In 'how to deal with police', first you identify what you are dealing with.
What is a 'code red' and 'attitude test'. Are these in the police manual?
Are you dealing with a level playing field?
Does what your dealing with have double standards and scales of justice?
Is there any psychology involved?

Some insight in the problems with power abuse is seen in the Stanford prison experiment.
http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CBgQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.openculture.com%2F2007%2F03%2Fthe_famous_stan.html&ei=YLDMTOyqHYi4vgODnJkR&usg=AFQjCNH9B5WL5i741p93TrAWvkz0auqTLQ

james derek

31-10-2010, 5:43pm

Dear Ionica,
I'm glad you found my post useful.
There is plenty of info on the net about Dr Phillip Zimbardo and his famous experiments.
The psychology of why that policewoman assaulted a citizen is explained by Dr Zimbardo in his seminars. Essentially , and i'll be brief here, it's about the anonymity of the uniform and not being personally accountable for bad behavior as long as you a part of a group that is only accountable to itself (and is a master of arse covering).

'Attitude test' is not about attitude or test, its about power to deviate from the 'manual' and do evil without accountability. ( i.e. to be a bully and go above the law )
Hierarchies with 'unwritten' terminology like 'attitude test' and 'code red' , is a prime example of sociopathy. Having a code where only one side can win because they have the power to be only accountable to themselves results in double standards and scales of justice. When a cop adopts the 'attitude fail' position, he/she has corrupted and compromised the legal system.

When you 'deal with police' ...... what are you really dealing with?

Ionica

31-10-2010, 6:01pm

I did read about these experiments some years ago, and found them interesting, disturbing, and thought- provoking. One attitude I don't respect is the Police ( admin., union ) insisting that accountability to an outside body would be bad for morale, and police should investigate police. It seems that in some instances police are not subject to the laws they enforce.

james derek

07-11-2010, 9:55am

Hierarchies like police have been a law unto themselves since the first settlement. That 'bad for morale' BS is a pathetic argument indeed and they are only fooling themselves.
Implementing an 'Internal Affairs' department now would be almost impossible. The police here have had it so good for so long.
The police are a public service just like any other service to the community, like a bus driver or school teacher except the police are, as you say, not subject to the laws of the community at large.
The fact that police can cross lines and go beyond the law and not be accountable to the community is what makes 'dealing with police' somewhat complicated.
This is some advice i had from retired detective.
If approached by police and you are in 'photographer mode' , first you have to assess his/her demeanor.
#1 If they are polite and courteous then you can respond in the same manner but never give personal information.
#2 If they come at you like [Benjamin Price] or that lunatic police woman , do not respond in any form, simply drop to the ground and "make like you are unconscious " and wait for an ambulance.

I thought he was joking but he was dead serious.

If you are unlucky to get to #2, the reality is you just don't know what you are dealing with simply because the police can and do go above the law. When ( and if ) police adopt an unwritten code and act on it, they are just being spiteful and malicious. ...... power corrupts , absolute power absolutely corrupts. This why they say you will never win. Laws for the community do not apply to police and as such it is not a level playing field. i.e. corruption. Even as an assistant to a paralegal I have seen police statements and summary briefs that are entirely fabricated and used for spite and malice. ( I've also seen ARW , registrars and lawyers reports that have been fabricated )

Your rights:
You have the right to remain unconscious, anything you moan will be misconstrued and taken out of context and made to look like whatever they want. If you choose to stay unconscious, a lawyer will be appointed to you and he/she will lie to you to get as money out of you as he/she can.

A picture tells a thousand words, a photoshopped picture tells whatever you want.

Chelle01

09-11-2010, 1:25pm

A lot of good advice here and I think common sense prevails in most cases. Nice to know what you can and shouldn't do just the same :-)

CraigPauli

12-11-2010, 11:31pm

In my experiences showing respect when the Police start asking questions and being quick to offer to show them your pictures puts them to ease quicker then if you have a bad attitude.

farmer_rob

13-11-2010, 7:50am

Since when is standing up for your rights a "bad attitude"?

Redgum

13-11-2010, 10:11am

Since when is standing up for your rights a "bad attitude"?
Never!

Longshots

13-11-2010, 10:33am

In my experiences showing respect when the Police start asking questions and being quick to offer to show them your pictures puts them to ease quicker then if you have a bad attitude.

Instead of quoting a section, I thought it worth repeating all of your words, as they're clearly being misunderstood.

You can stand up for your rights without losing a mutual respect for another individual/s doing they're job. Again, comes down to common sense and little bit of logic.

At the end of the day, the policeman (which is what this topic is about) is granted some powers, which are going to override any rights to freely photograph (which I strongly advocate), and if they instruct you to do something (ie move on) and you dont then I believe (and I'm no lawyer or legal eagle) that would be "obstruction", and that gives them the right to arrest you - probably the least palatable and very least likely option on your bucket list of things to do. ;)

CraigPauli

14-11-2010, 4:42am

Since when is standing up for your rights a "bad attitude"?

Wasn't saying that sticking up for your rights was bad attitude, but if a person starts mouthing off and swearing or highly aggressive that is.. You can stick up for your rights and be calm and polite. Just put yourself in their shows for a second, if you were responding to a call about some guy standing around taking photos etc and when you started to question them they responded in a calm professional manner would you not prefer that then if you had someone raise their voice start waving their arms about ,maybe swearing and going on about harrassment etc, which one would you most likely if you had a bad night etc want to take to the station and try book with some offence or another.

Norman

15-11-2010, 1:34pm

Found in SMH letters

http://www.smh.com.au/national/letters/city-planning-streets-ahead-and-blocks-behind-20101114-17skm.html?skin=text-only

copied and pasted for your information/comment

''Snap judgment has no standing

I was interested to read about the harassment of professional photographers by ''uniformed goons'' (Letters, November 12). It is not only professionals who are so treated.

About 18 months ago, while taking a photograph of a streetscape outside a Westfield shopping centre at North Lakes, Queensland - with no individuals identifiable - I was approached by a ''uniformed goon'' who told me it was illegal to photograph any public building in Queensland. When I complained to Westfield management, I was assured there was such a law and that people had been ''hauled away'' for ignoring it.

I took the matter up with the Premier's Department and was hardly surprised to be told there was no such blanket ban. I referred the Premier's response to the local police.

I was subsequently advised that Westfield security had been apprised of the law and their limited authority to interfere with people going about their private lives. No apology from Westfield was forthcoming.

I wish the professionals luck.

Brian Jeffrey Cook (ACT)''

Cheers

Longshots

16-11-2010, 6:30am

Yep Norman

Sadly happens all of the time these days. Its unusual if I'm not stopped, or questioned when I'm out simply trying to do my job, and doing it within the law.

The only thing Westfield can do is to stop you if you were on their land. I've shot for North Lakes/Stockland for many years, and Westfield security, even when well informed of any shoots near them or including them, have always been more attracted to what I've been doing instead of ensuring the safety of their clients and centre shoppers. Just for the record, even if you had been including people, it wouldnt have had any difference on what you were doing. Westfield couldnt stop you, and neither could the individuals. However, if someone specifically asks you not to photograph them, I have always respected their wishes.

Scotty72

16-11-2010, 2:22pm

In my experiences showing respect when the Police start asking questions and being quick to offer to show them your pictures puts them to ease quicker then if you have a bad attitude.

No! This is not good advice. Whilst it is imperative you remain calm and polite, you do not have to agree to show them your pics. If you do, this may be considered you submitting to a search. What if you have photos (from another day) that they may wish to use against you. This doesn't have to be because you were doing anything wrong.

What if a cop comes because he thinks you are photographing close to a school. You submit to a search and show the cop your pics but, you've forgotten you took pics of the local kids' footy team yesterday. Cop puts 2 + 2 and comes up with 15. You've done nothing wrong yet, you've put yourself under a cloud of suspicion. (you must be a kiddie fiddler)

Be polite but, only submit to a search if it's absolutely necessary.

Scotty

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

bobt

16-11-2010, 2:31pm

This thread seems to have been going forever, but I am still wondering whether there is a clear article anywhere which details exactly what our rights are (in Victoria) insofar as photographing people and places. Lots of opinions, all of which are interesting - but is there something that one can use as a definitive outline of what we can photograph when? I'd really like to be able to know what I am allowed to do as a point of law rather than simply other people's beliefs.

kiwi

16-11-2010, 3:02pm

This is the closest online resource I have found or know of

http://www.4020.net/words/photorights.php

(Disclaimer - it may not be right in all circ*mstances and is his personal interpretation of the legal lay of the land. However I think it at least covers most of the common questions quite well. But Im not a lawyer.)

and

http://www.artsfreedomaustralia.com/blog/

and finally

www.copyright.org.au

ricktas

16-11-2010, 3:06pm

the page Darren posts above is often copied and printed and kept with photographers as a way of 'enlightening' the il-informed.

bobt

16-11-2010, 3:30pm

This is the closest online resource I have found or know of

Thanks for that. It seems that with the ongoing problems we photographers face, there needs to be some sort of informed documentation that we should carry around as another accessory along with lenses, lens hoods etc.

I find that being a photographer and being male (and probably being older) all place me in a vulnerable position. It's part of the global paranoia that seems to be invading our lives these days, with assumptions being made about motives that simply don't exist. It's got to the point that I take my wife with me as a sort of "chaperone" which effectively tells the world that I am with a woman and therefore I am not a child molester or pervert.

There is so much I do not photograph these days simply because of the stigma that is becoming the "norm" in a suspicious and judgmental society.

rellik666

16-11-2010, 3:46pm

Also found this which seems to be pretty comprehensive if a little dissappointing!

http://www.artslaw.com.au/LegalInformation/StreetPhotographersRights.asp

Roo

bobt

16-11-2010, 4:09pm

the page Darren posts above is often copied and printed and kept with photographers as a way of 'enlightening' the il-informed.

Is there a place anywhere on AusPhoto where these links are collected for the benefit of all? It seems such a central issue that it would be useful if the most informative urls were kept for future reference. I'm jotting them down, but furture readers may miss them in such a humongous thread.

ricktas

16-11-2010, 4:17pm

Is there a place anywhere on AusPhoto where these links are collected for the benefit of all? It seems such a central issue that it would be useful if the most informative urls were kept for future reference. I'm jotting them down, but furture readers may miss them in such a humongous thread.

No and even if we did, people would still post new threads anyway. Just look at all the threads for new camera models, or how often we get 'which camera should I buy".

Kym

16-11-2010, 4:20pm

@bobt use the site search function or use the site Google search via AP Extras on the menu!

bobt

16-11-2010, 4:34pm

No and even if we did, people would still post new threads anyway. Just look at all the threads for new camera models, or how often we get 'which camera should I buy".

I was thinking more of a non-postable area. I have a section on my club website where I post all sorts of links to stuff like this. (I'll add the ones I got here today) but members can't add stuff. It's more a resource than an interactive thing.
It's quite useful really, because I tend to forget all these little bits of info, and by writing them down on the website it helps both me and my members to find useful resources.

@bobt use the site search function or use the site Google search via AP Extras on the menu!

Ta !

kiwi

16-11-2010, 5:08pm

Also found this which seems to be pretty comprehensive if a little dissappointing!

http://www.artslaw.com.au/LegalInformation/StreetPhotographersRights.asp

Roo

ahh, forgot about that one, that link is also very good.

Longshots

17-11-2010, 9:36am

I think its worth pointing out, the wording of the subject line in this topic.

While my personal experience is that I'm virtually always asked "what am I doing", when I have a big tripod, and a camera pointing towards a big building, the instant desire to deliver a cynical response, I've found that life is much easier, to grit my teeth, smile, and patiently explain that I'm taking photographs, and if asked further, I'll explain why, and who for.

The point about the topic subject, is that I will certainly be courteous, and polite, my response to a policeman, is going to be far more professional and forthcoming than I would to an unidentified person, who may be claiming a position of authority.

So I'd highly reccomend that you respond to a policeman in a courteous respectful manner. I've never felt intimidated by the police. And I've shot in so many places around the word, and in so many places across Australia. I would never dream of pulling out a list, detailing my rights in front of a policeman. I see it that they're there for a purpose, and may be responding to a complaint from someone, and in that, its their decision, good or bad if they move you on. And if they do, suck it up and move on. Take the matter up a later time if you feel you were not treated courteously and within your rights.

But a security guard is a different thing. Yes, I would still offer them respect, and a courteous response. But having a list may be a useful thing to have. My personal understanding is that what they're not allowed to do, is to touch you (and you're not allowed to touch them), and they're not allowed to touch your camera/tripod. They may however be in the position of asking you to cease, and remove yourself from the area that they're patrolling. Then again, they may be well out of their rights.

Most of the time, if I encounter a problem in this area, its generally from someone, who comes up to me, and doesnt inform me of who they are. They're instantly rude to me. They generally demand some type of identification from me, and yet offer none from them self. I still try and respond, with that same gritted smile, courteously. However, once I've explained who I am, what I'm doing, and will explain that I've made prior arrangements, that any senior and relevant staff would have and should have been informed of my presence" I'll then ask them to explain to me who they are, and why a more polite introduction would procure more information from myself. If they continue to be impolite, I will explain why they may have no right to tell me what I can do. But, if the situation escalates, I will remove myself from the situation, I will pass on any additional charges to a client for additional time because of a rude or aggressive security person. And I'll eventually make a note of who they are, and mentally record the encounter, and make dam sure that their boss knows what happened.

The most important thing, which I stress all of the time, is that the original question was about interacting with a police directive. And to me the logical step is to do what they instruct you to do. I've always taken the approach that they're simply doing their job, so no need for any negative reactions from myself to them. And to date, as I said, once a policeman has asked me to explain what I'm doing - once I've identified myself, I've always been left to get on with what I've been doing.

kiwi

17-11-2010, 9:43am

Good post that William. I havent been approached by police but often by parents and officials whan shooting kids sport and a smile and genuine explanation goes a long, long way

Longshots

17-11-2010, 3:27pm

I'd also add that despite shooting in Palestein, Brooklyn and the Bronx in New York, Istanbul, Belfast in Northern Ireland, the slums of so many other UK cities, like Liverpool, Glasgow, Newcastle etc; I have only ever been physically attacked by a single person, a subject, who despite agreeing to a marketing managers request for all staff to be photographed, this office worker, without any real warning attacked me during a shoot - suddenly changing his mind about being photographed. And that was in good old Brisbane - albeit about ten years ago.

It's a sign of the times, that despite being able to handle myself, as a consequence of that I took up training in a variety of self defence techniques. Now you should never ever need or want a situation like that, but these days, I will always do a mental risk analysis of when I'm shooting which will ensure my safety in the event of worse case scenarios. Disturbing but true reality of the result of government inspired hysteria of treating anyone with a camera should be regarded by the public as a potential terrorist threat. Perhaps off topic though.

Tatts

26-11-2010, 12:27pm

mis-post. sorry

Tatts

26-11-2010, 12:35pm

If it does happen it's not going to be someone with a big telephoto, it'll be someone with a camera phone.

He said inappropriate usage of cameras was becoming increasingly difficult to monitor with the rise in mobile phone cameras and he asked the public to be vigilant.

lifesavers-on-pervert-watch-this-summer (http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/lifesavers-on-pervert-watch-this-summer/story-e6frf7kx-1225961260446)

Tatts

26-11-2010, 12:37pm

Not sure what i did but i accidently posted this in another thread instead of a new one. hope it's fixed now

Kym

26-11-2010, 12:37pm

I was readin the same item... how insane is this

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/lifesavers-on-pervert-watch-this-summer/story-e6frf7kx-1225961260446

LIFESAVERS will be on pervert-watch during summer as concerns grow over people taking lewd photos of children and beachgoers.

Surf Life Saving Victoria general manger Guy Britt said lifesavers would have no hesitation in asking people to move off the beach and would call police if they noticed shady activity, the Geelong Advertiser reports.

He said inappropriate usage of cameras was becoming increasingly difficult to monitor with the rise in mobile phone cameras and he asked the public to be vigilant.

"We will be out in force this summer and lifesavers' number one job is to keep people safe in the water and when they are out of the water," Mr Britt said.

"It's pretty obvious if there is a seedy old guy with a big lens and when you ask what they are doing they leave pretty early."

Mr Britt said Surf Life Saving Victoria had to introduce a new policy five years ago where parents had to sign consent forms to take photos of their children competing in junior events such as the nippers program.

Tatts

26-11-2010, 12:39pm

Sorry kym, i tried to start a new thread and accidently put it in here. i've tried to fix it and started a new thread, didn't want to hijack this thread, but i guess it kind of fits.

Kym

26-11-2010, 12:40pm

I merged the threads ;)

Kym

26-11-2010, 12:45pm

No problem Tatts... we are trying to keep all the 'rights' discussion in one consolidated thread.

The whole premise here is a presumption of guilt if you have a camera - which is really obnoxious.

Everyone, Please write a comment on the HeraldSun site: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/lifesavers-on-pervert-watch-this-summer/story-e6frf7kx-1225961260446

Tatts

26-11-2010, 12:48pm

oh, oops. i started a second one cos i thought it was my mistake.
your too quick kym :D
I see you've fixed it all up now, sorry to create more work for you guys.

vanngirl

12-12-2010, 1:51am

I was shooting at the Ekka (in Brissy) with a friend this year and 2 police officers were watching us, and I can honestly say I think because I'm a girl they left us alone. I know my (male) friend was much happier shooting at the Ekka with me (no nonsense gorgeous mother of 3;) ) than on his own. (the male comment earlier is quite true I think) it's quite upsetting how overreacting ppl are to photographers nowadays. I shoot most of the photos for my primary school and even then some of the parents are oddballs about me with a camera and images of their kids. Our school is small (105 families) - we only have about 6 firm 'no photos" families. (We have 3 semi-famous families at our school, they are not on that list.) I'm not sure why some parents have chosen the "no photographs" route, but it's exhausting as a parent to have these permission slips for photos for every sport, activity and excursion. I really don't know what most parents are afraid of. Perhaps they all think their child will become famous one day and a stranger will have a photo? (seriously, that's not crazy, SO many parents think their children are geniuses, academically or sporting... lotto is no longer the Australian dream)

If I can offer any advice about Nutbag Parents: if they approach you looking cross and you aren't a parent or connected in any way - you just can't reason with them! They Are Nutbags. walk away. they are a minority, but unfortunately they are the In Your Face Minority. They are on the P&C/Sporting committee, and They Will Complain.

Norman

12-12-2010, 7:57am

Gillian

Spot on comments there , same thing happened to me recently at a sporting event where my grandchildren were competing, unlike you i saw red and almost lost my cool but for my dear wife who calmed me down, i can't help it, i think these people are morons yes they are in the minority but unfortunately we live in a world where pandering to them has become normal, a lot of people here may disagree with me and that is their right but i was brought up in a different country (Australia) where we respected everyone's rights but the majority ruled , the whole subject has become silly in the extreme

Last summer i was with a friend at a local beach here in Melbourne near a shipping channel and we were taking pics of ships and motor boats when my much younger friend spied quite a few topless girls/women on the beach sitting and walking around he then started to fire off a few shots , i chastised him and he stopped but not before he was seen and screamed abuse at by two of the subjects who ran over to us yelling perverts !! Police Police !! i hightailed it back to the car knowing whatever happened we would be the losers but he stood his ground and told them to go to hell and put some clothes on, they said it was their ''right'' to be able to go topless and be left alone and not ''perved '' upon , i packed my gear in the car and returned to pull him away from the argument before it got even further out of control and was abused by the women who by this stage were hysterical it was ugly !! now in the ''OLD DAYS'' people would have said those women were asking for trouble strolling around half naked ! but times sure have changed now they are allowed to do this and no one is allowed to stare or take a picture

Next time i stuck to the breakwater even though it was further from the shipping channel but being in my late fifties and not real fit i stay away from trouble and its a pity but you go anywhere near a beach or sporting event with a digital SLR and largish lens and you are asking for trouble and thats the reality , we can type all we like about it here and beat our drums online and say how unfair it all is but in the end the simple fact is these situations will continue and most likely get worse

Me i just walk away and go shoot somewhere there are no topless women, sporting events , children's gatherings ,oil refineries, military installations, piers, shopping malls, etc etc (just joking !)

Just my two bobs worth

Cheers

james derek

13-12-2010, 11:48am

HI Norman

ran over to us yelling perverts !! Police Police !! i hightailed it back to the car knowing whatever happened we would be the losers

So... what are your rights here? What if the police turned up? Why would you be 'the losers'?

kiwi

13-12-2010, 12:02pm

If you believe the 4020 site, beach photography of topless women is quite lawful. If that woman was say in her backyard that's a different matter entirely

james derek

13-12-2010, 12:28pm

ran over to us yelling perverts

According to the dictionary a pervert is...pərvərt|
a person whose sexual behavior is regarded as abnormal and unacceptable.

Um ... taking a photo of people on beach doesn't quite reach 'sexual behaviour'. However, wandering around half naked in public could be regarded as abnormal and unacceptable.
So who is the pervert???
If a person chooses to walk in public with sexual appendages exposed ( sexual behaviour), then by default, they are the pervert. To photograph this individual is simply recording the perverts behaviour. As far as i know, photographing abnormal behaviour of a pervert in public is not illegal.

Scotty72

27-12-2010, 8:24am

I am going to make a comment only - not a judgement: I'll let you do that.

This is purely me saying, "What the hell?"

Last night, I took my girl (10yo) to our local aquatic centre.

Of course, I took my DSLR (+ 24-105mm L) to take a few pics of her having fun (as parents do).

Before long, an employee came to ask me what I was doing and to, 'be careful what you take photos of.' - clearly, he had a 'reason" or 'suspicion' that drove him to do this.

'Fair enough', you might say.

BUT! not long after, two men, in their twenties, arrived before entering the water with a waterproof compact camera. They were openly swimming amongst the crowd (all ages/both sexes) with an underwater camera.

Now, sitting there with my camera; warned I was being watched, I was very curious as to whether these two would be similarly be asked to ''be careful what you take photos of.'

Well, after about 30 mins, we left; in that time, they were not approached by anyone.

Go figure.

Scotty

kiwi

27-12-2010, 8:27am

Go figure, you must look dodgy rather than gen y

Scotty72

27-12-2010, 8:52am

Hmmm.. Who would you think more worthy of attention?

A man (with my wife, BTW) making himself obvious and obviously photographing his daughter (who was splashing around, posing) or;

Two young men mingling with bikini-clad teenage girls with a concealable, underwater camera?

It seems the DSLR was the problem.

BTW, not sure why this was moved to this thread, not a mention of police (just want ppl to know I didn't choose here - I'm not stirring :p).

Scotty

Kym

27-12-2010, 9:44am

We are trying to keep all 'togs rights stuff under one thread. Not just police related.
It's more useful as a consolidated sticky resource.

This one re: Lifeguards http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=1605305&p=1

tr0j

30-12-2010, 8:30pm

This is more anecdotal than useful, but yesterday I was with a friend and her nephew in a park. I wanted to shoot the very funny pic of a father dangling his upside-down toddler over the drinking fountain, while he silmultaneously held the tap on with the other hand and gripped master five, who was straining at the leash to get to the jungle jim like a hound at a crippled duck convention. It was a *multitasking* adventure. But conscience does make cowards of us all and the native hue of resolution was sicklied over with the pale cast of the nearby mother.

bobt

30-12-2010, 9:23pm

This is more anecdotal than useful, but yesterday I was with a friend and her nephew in a park. I wanted to shoot the very funny pic of a father dangling his upside-down toddler over the drinking fountain,

This has absolutely nothing to do with oppression by others - just the natural fear a man has of his wife!

We were in a church overseas, listening to a lunchtime concert, when a disheveled looking guy in a white robe sat opposite us. He had unkempt long hair and a beard with a very "Jesus like" overall look. As he sat listening, he stretched his arms along the back of the pew in a similar position to one who has been attached to a cross. Then, finally, in the spirit of really enjoying the music, he closed his eyes and let his head sag to one side.

My wife wouldn't let me capture the moment with various threats against my person which cowardice made me obey. It would have made a great candid shot!! Looked just like the second coming! :D

coullone

03-01-2011, 9:09am

Excellent advice BUT this is OK for Australia and most western countries but be very carefull in eastern and mid-eastern countries, their rules and laws may not be the same and you could end up in jail and having you equipment sized!
Generally military site are very deffinately off limits and offten public transport facilities. I was taken to task for photographing a train station with interesrting buildings in Egypt and had to prove I was a photographer not a spy!

Basically use common sense

Regards

Kerro

03-01-2011, 10:39am

I'm an old guy with a camera and walk around with a big lens attached to it.
Some weeks ago I was out on the foreshore in Mandurah with the said camera and lens
and got all sorts of dirty looks and smart comments. Since then, because I love getting
out with the camera, I have bought a Hi-Vis vest and had the word Photographer
embroidered on the back in 2 inch high letters. Now, people don't look at me strangely
any more and come up to me and start talking about cameras and photography.
One $20 investment has made it easier for me now, to enjoy my hobby without being thought
of as a pervert or terrorist.

Scotty72

03-01-2011, 10:52am

I'm an old guy with a camera and walk around with a big lens attached to it.
Some weeks ago I was out on the foreshore in Mandurah with the said camera and lens
and got all sorts of dirty looks and smart comments. Since then, because I love getting
out with the camera, I have bought a Hi-Vis vest and had the word Photographer
embroidered on the back in 2 inch high letters. Now, people don't look at me strangely
any more and come up to me and start talking about cameras and photography.
One $20 investment has made it easier for me now, to enjoy my hobby without being thought
of as a pervert or terrorist.

It's amazing what a hi-viz vest can do, isn't it?
Same for a lanyard around your neck.

I think I've mentioned this before, but I've worn a lanyard around my neck with a KFC menu folded up inside it - no hassles.

I used to wear a hi-vis when riding my bicycle. When just standing around waiting, people would often come to ask me questions as though they though I was an employee or otherwise belonged.

And I remember reading a newspaper article whereby a journo was able to fake his way through airport security and onto the tarmac simply by having a vest with 'security' printed on it.

Amazing!

farmer_rob

03-01-2011, 12:44pm

Excellent advice BUT this is OK for Australia and most western countries but be very carefull in eastern and mid-eastern countries, their rules and laws may not be the same and you could end up in jail and having you equipment sized!
Generally military site are very deffinately off limits and offten public transport facilities. I was taken to task for photographing a train station with interesrting buildings in Egypt and had to prove I was a photographer not a spy!
...
If you check out the relevant laws, I think you will find taking photographs of military installations here is illegal too. (It's not just them furriners...)

Bromeo

07-01-2011, 3:03pm

It's amazing what a hi-viz vest can do, isn't it?
Same for a lanyard around your neck.

Want to get onto a building site? Get a clipboard.

Hi Vis is no good for Street, but I might try the Lanyard option. Make a fake Press Photographer thingy perhaps.

Scotty72

07-01-2011, 3:07pm

I did the old 'KFC menu in the lanyard' trick last ANZAC day at the Cenotaph in Sydney. Without me saying anything, I was ushered to the front.

Eating at KFC must open doors. :)

Finlaw

08-01-2011, 10:26pm

Thank you this thread is so helpful. Oh and I think I need to get myself a lanyard and a KFC menu

Scotty72

09-01-2011, 8:19am

Just don't eat the food :)

ricktas

09-01-2011, 10:19am

Just don't eat the food :)

KFC sell anything that could be called food? :D

Scotty72

09-01-2011, 11:32am

According to their adverts, it is all 100% fresh.

I guess that includes the grease :eek:

Due to my daughter's nagging, I went there for the first time in about 5 or 6 months the other day. Urggghh! Let's just say I became more familiar with the "small room". :eek:

james derek

10-01-2011, 9:39am

This is a picture of my daughter in Manhattan yesterday ( one in the middle).
Try doing that in Australia!

http://i867.photobucket.com/albums/ab238/jamesderek9/167527_484575634341_513549341_6005974_1661070_n.jpg

This is how you 'deal with police' in USA

Xenedis

10-01-2011, 10:11am

This is a picture of my daughter in Manhattan yesterday ( one in the middle).

Thanks for clarifying that your daughter is the one in the middle; I'd have never guessed. :-P

kiwi

10-01-2011, 10:20am

I gurantee if you try that in Australia you will probably succeed. In fact in general my experience is that Aussie Cops are far more laid back than those in NYC

james derek

10-01-2011, 11:34am

Mmmm.........To' try' something on a guaranteed probability ???

I have a family member in the Aussie 'blue shirt' and I would be surprised if you saw that same picture in oz.

kiwi

10-01-2011, 11:39am

ok, not great wording, here's one example...no problem. I dunno, I have often seen police quite happy to pose with tourists.

http://www.peakactionimages.com/weddings/d/4704-1/jade-269.jpg

Fantasyphoto

11-01-2011, 2:35pm

I did the old 'KFC menu in the lanyard' trick last ANZAC day at the Cenotaph in Sydney. Without me saying anything, I was ushered to the front.

You were lucky, Scotty.

I have been photographing the march for the last 15 years and I know the police have been briefed as to the correct colour accreditation for the Sydney march (it changes every year). I was checked over 20 times during the morning last year.

Obtaining accreditation is simply a matter of emailing the correct person one month prior to the march, it is free and they even pay the postage and supply an official RSL lanyard.

They will request that you attend a short seminar to have the rules explained regarding what you can and can't do, mainly in repect of the host broadcast rights (ABC TV) and where you are able to stop the participants for a quick photo without upsetting the flow or the marshals.

Give me a call and I will provide the contact numbers and email for accreditation and also give you a briefing so you can avoid the seminar.

Scotty72

11-01-2011, 6:08pm

That's ok. I really don't think I'll be able to this year. I'm off to Bundaberg around then and prob won't be back.

Yes, I was lucky. I didn't even intend to get in. It was more of a chaser inspired dare to myself :)

But, if you look and act like you belong, it's amazing what you can do: a few years back, I managed to fake my way into the Members stand at the SCG, right outside the Aussie rooms. Spent the whole day there after my 1 and only 'Padddington Gift'. :)

SerenityGate

14-01-2011, 10:13pm

Very good points Nick.
I had a visit from the police after a neighbour lied to them about what I was photographing, i.e., him, his wife and family in their home. I was very calm and collected, especially when I knew who made the complaint. I thought they were waisting their time, but they explained they had to follow it up.
The only reason I would have wanted to be charged was to sue the person or have him charged with making a false complaint.
:th3:

douglasdc8

26-01-2011, 4:45pm

Very interesting thread. I have been questioned by AFP guys a few times at Sydney Airport taking photographs of aircraft. After a quick chat , I offered them my i/d [ WA drivers licence] and they were happy. No problems at all. * removed - please read the site rules, members with under 50 post cannot post complaints on Ausphotography. : Admin *

Tao

01-02-2011, 7:31pm

Interesting, however I am wondering about copywright now. Photographs taken in a public place or of people in a public area, the copywright then belongs to the photographer. This excludes crown land and or buildings that have some security value. What this could mean is that unless permission is granted to you to photograph in places like national parks you could be breaking laws you have never heard of!! Common sense will tell you that it is probably not a problem, however as far as the law in concerned you are breaking the rules!! What I'm getting at is that we as photographers do not have a great deal of legal security. Has there been any review of copywright laws in this country in recent years?

kiwi

01-02-2011, 8:23pm

Tao, don't confuse copyright with permission to shoot. You own copyright on every photo that you take automatically

Longshots

04-02-2011, 6:38am

Interesting, however I am wondering about copywright now. Photographs taken in a public place or of people in a public area, the copywright then belongs to the photographer. This excludes crown land and or buildings that have some security value. What this could mean is that unless permission is granted to you to photograph in places like national parks you could be breaking laws you have never heard of!! Common sense will tell you that it is probably not a problem, however as far as the law in concerned you are breaking the rules!! What I'm getting at is that we as photographers do not have a great deal of legal security. Has there been any review of copywright laws in this country in recent years?

Its copyright btw.

Not sure where you get your information about exclusions, crown land and building that "have some security value". None of that has any basis of fact I'm afraid,

Yes there are normally restrictions on photography in some national parks - those are readily available at national park websites and would be within the terms and conditions of entry. And same issue is prevalent in areas of some council managed parks, beaches and foreshores, But that has nothing to do with copyright.

Sorry but common sense rarely prevails. In my day to day experience of encountering over zealous security guards who've often not read or listed to their own management briefings announcing my arranged presence as a photographer. They take great interest in my tripod and larger than normal camera equipment, and even when given my business card and various accreditation, without any similar actions from them, they use the "anti terrorism" reasoning - and when I respond with the obvious "if I was a terrorist, dont you think I would do this with a little bit more discretion - ie with a camera phone ?". So sorry, you can forget about common sense.

We as photographers actually do have plenty of legal security, what we're facing is a barrage of additional and unnecessary restrictions.

The copyright law is quite clear. And for your information, I was involved in the lobbying and eventual significant amendments to the copyright act of 1968 -which was amended in 1998.

I must post this particular link on a monthly basis to this forum alone:

http://www.copyright.org.au/admin/cms-acc1/_images/3525355584d00168563bdf.pdf

Personally, whether you're a pro or taking pictures is just a hobby, the time invested in reading this information is well worth it - and its just 11 A4 pages long.

Other useful link from the same site:
http://www.copyright.org.au/find-an-answer/browse-by-what-you-do/

And as Kiwi said, dont confuse permission to shoot with copyright - two very different things.

HTH

farmer_rob

04-02-2011, 9:08am

...

Not sure where you get your information about exclusions, crown land and building that "have some security value". None of that has any basis of fact I'm afraid...

Although it is outside the concept of copyright, there are issues with photographing defence installations - it is illegal to photograph them without "lawful authority" - ref Defence Act 1903 (Cth) Section 82(1) (http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/da190356/s82.html).

The links Longshots offered on copyright are well worth a read, and lay out in pretty clear terms what the situation is WRT copyright.

Longshots

04-02-2011, 9:15am

Although it is outside the concept of copyright, there are issues with photographing defence installations - it is illegal to photograph them without "lawful authority" - ref Defence Act 1903 (Cth) Section 82(1) (http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/da190356/s82.html).

The links Longshots offered on copyright are well worth a read, and lay out in pretty clear terms what the situation is WRT copyright.

You're quite right Rob, but I was referring to Taos quote about copyright and the exclusions he suggests exist in relation to some crown land - which is quite different to the permission to shoot which I completely acknowledge. :th3:

Tony G

09-02-2011, 10:05pm

This morning I walked from BMD Northcliff surfclub on the Gold Coast (which is across the road from where my wife works) up the beach to work this morning carrying my new camera. I took a couple of photos and next thing I know a surf life saver is charging over to me yelling what the hell am I doing.
I replied just taking some photos on the way to work with my new camera.
His reply was, "Don't you know its against the law to take photos on Gold Coast beaches with cameras like that!"
I whirled around to have a go and decided not to, but simply told him - "Bullsh*t, there is no such law applicable to any beach in Australia and bluffed by saying it had been proven in court already. I quickly followed up by saying I could understand about pervs taking pics of little kids and topless sunbathers but it was still not illegal for anyone to take general shots up and down the beach.
I offered to show him the pics I had and he calmed down, said thanks and followed up with nice photos and that he could not see any problems with them but that they had been told it was illegal for people to use cameras like mine on the beaches.
I bluffed again and asked him if he had or any of his club mates had an I Phone. He looked at me strangely and I pushed him a bit before he said yes he did. He was shocked when I told him what the specs of his phone camera were and what mine were and that he could technically take better concealed photos than I could yet phones were not banned as he put it. rofl
He actually became quite chatty then but arced up again when I said that if I was a single female or an asian tourist he would not have come near me - it was just because I was a male with a DSLR walking on my own.
His only answer was that it was obvious who were Asian tourists and you don't hear about female perverts.
He shut up when I told him I worked with a photography mad Indonesian woman who loved taking pics of kids on the beach - any kids! She is harmless, just loves the facial expressions etc when they are laughing and playing and but definitely no naked kids either.

I stewed on it for half the day and when I went for coffee this arvo I dropped into the Cavall Mall police beat and asked if any new rules had been introduced re taking pics on the beaches.
The officer got very agitated and spluttered a bit so I said I understood about pervs, kids etc and only meant photography in general and offered to show him the pics I had so he understood where I was coming from.
He said the first photo attached (looking up the beach) could get me into trouble because it only needed 1 person in the photo to object to having their photo taken and I could be sued for invasion of privacy if I did not delete the photo immediately upon their complaint. Strangely, the second I have attached, he said was ok because the person could not be identified.
The 3rd (Q1 and other motel) could also get me into trouble if any of the residents complained that I was perving on them from the beach.
He started whaffling on then about how they could arrest me for public nuisance and a whole string of other trumped up charges before I reassured him I was just there trying to do the right thing by asking where I stood as far as the law was as I did not want to get into trouble.
He said again, that there was no law against taking photos but if I take a photo and a person walks into shot I should immediately ask them if they objected to the photo and delete it if they do. I pushed my luck a little and asked about the Asian tourists on the beach taking photos and if I could ask them to delete a photo if I was in it. He told me not to push it and that it would be damaging to tourism if everyone took that line. Talk about double standards!!!
I thought discretion was the better part of valour, thanked him and left.

kiwi

09-02-2011, 10:14pm

As far as I am informed the copper was talking out if his arse to be honest. No one has any recourse to you taking pictures of them if you are in a public space whether they are outside or inside their house unless and only possibly they are famous and you use that image commercially, they have an expectation of privacy where they are or the pics are indecent. Id be having another chat with them

Tell me if wrong

Norman

10-02-2011, 7:30am

I reckon we need to look at these problems for what they really are,,,,Total illogical rubbish

The point made about being sneaky with an iphone is absolutely spot on

Lawmakers etc seem to have lost the ability to think clearly and with logic

Stand up for your rights, stay calm and ask for a policeman to be called if needed

Cheers

Scotty72

10-02-2011, 4:12pm

I'm with kiwi. The life saver and the cop are clearly fools who should be arrested for being idiots.

Even if there was a topless woman walking down the beach, it is she who is putting herself on display. The law is quite clear on reasonable expectations of privacy.

Honestly, I cannot believe that cops can be allowed to keep their jobs who are so completely clueless and/or want to arbitrarily apply their own ignorant opinions and dress them up as law.

No wonder police are losing the respect of the public. In Qld, the police should be reminded the Sir Joh has left the building so, cops can't make the law up as the go any more.

I can be more forgiving of volunteer life savers, a bit.

Scotty

Scotty

Xenedis

10-02-2011, 4:15pm

He said the first photo attached (looking up the beach) could get me into trouble because it only needed 1 person in the photo to object to having their photo taken and I could be sued for invasion of privacy if I did not delete the photo immediately upon their complaint.

That is utter nonsense.

Firstly, there is no right to, nor expectation of, privacy in a public place like a beach, mall, etc.

Nobody can sue you for photographing him/her in a public place, and I'd challenge anyone who made such a threat to actually do it. Apart from the fact that there is no law against photographing people in public and the 'case' wouldn't get beyond a lawyer's office (assuming it even got there in the first instance), it's unlikely that anyone who'd make such an asinine threat would actually have the willpower (and big pile of money) to go through with it.

He said again, that there was no law against taking photos but if I take a photo and a person walks into shot I should immediately ask them if they objected to the photo and delete it if they do.

You do not have to do that.

A person can ask you to delete a photo, but you're under no obligation to do so.

That cop was clearly clueless, but you were right not to try to educate him, as it would have only made matters worse.

My advice to you (and anyone) is to know your rights and responsibilities and ignore the damned fools who don't.

I really wish people would stop attempting to justify photography. There's a certain paranoid, utterly ignorant and sometimes contradictory element out there that would love to have our hobby banned, but as far as I'm concerned those people can go to hell, while I continue about my legitimate business without needing to explain myself to anyone.

kiwi

10-02-2011, 4:27pm

I wonder if there is an "official" photographic body that would on behalf of amatuers caught in that same situation that would, as an example, semd a letter to the local District Commissioner to point out the issue

Xenedis

10-02-2011, 4:28pm

I wonder if there is an "official" photographic body that would on behalf of amatuers caught in that same situation that would, as an example, semd a letter to the local District Commissioner to point out the issue

The Australian Photographic Society (APS) would perhaps be the most appropriate organisation to do that, but whether or not it would get involved, I cannot say.

William

10-02-2011, 4:37pm

Interesting Tony, 2 weeks ago I was at Currumbin Alley taking some shots for my 52/11 challenge across the water to Surfers Paradise , There was one guy in the water swimming , As he came out of the water he accosted me in a very threatining manner , Asked if if I took his photo , He had tatts all over him ( Not that is a problem) But his manner had me worried (I answered "No Mate) , So I kept going over to the main beach , Looked around and he was stalking me to see what I was doing , He kept on following me , When I got the chance , I deleted the 2 images with him in , Mind you , You could'nt see any detail at all of him , But his nature was not good , Hope this is not the way things are going , Now I'm having a problem keeping up my Gold Coast Beach theme for the 52/11 , Because I'm worried I'll get bashed doing it , Not good :( PS: I might toddle up to Palm Beach Police Station tomorrow and get there view on the Subject, Will report back

kiwi

10-02-2011, 5:22pm

Willima, if he abused you physically you could lay assault charges on him....not sure of anything wlse anyone would or could do, and, youd hope for your sake it wouldnt happen anyway

There are always those out there who just do not want you taking photos of them, inadvertantly, and always those that will let intimidation act out there displeasure

William

10-02-2011, 5:47pm

Thanks Darren, But it still has me thinking , I'm gunna go to the police tomorrow , See what rights I have on this , As I said . Will report back , I'm not worried about the people that get in the shot, Sort of hard to get the perspective on the Gold coast , Without someone in the shot , Nah, I'm going to bite the Bullet and check with the people that should know , The "Police"

kiwi

10-02-2011, 5:56pm

Based on Tony G's experience, well, you can hope I suppose

William

10-02-2011, 6:16pm

:eek: I hate going to the Police Station at the best of times , But I'll do it for AP information, Wish I could get a shot of the desk Sargents face , When as i'm walking out of the door , I Mention that what he said will be quoted on the web :D

Tony G

10-02-2011, 10:25pm

Will be interesting to see what sort of response you get at a different branch. I took a copy of the photographers rights document to the Cavall Police Beat today but it was empty. Will try again.

Xenedis

10-02-2011, 10:32pm

To the Gold Coasters who are trying to clarify your rights with the local constabulary...

Don't bother.

You already know your rights.

Unfortunately, the local boys in blue seem clueless about photographers' rights.

The simple fact is that you're not doing anything wrong, and you don't need to try to convince ignorant people (official or otherwise) of that basic, undisputed fact.

Just go out and shoot. You owe nobody any explanation.

kiwi

10-02-2011, 10:44pm

...until they tell you to stop

Xenedis

10-02-2011, 10:45pm

...until they tell you to stop

Who is 'they', and on what grounds?

james derek

10-02-2011, 10:52pm

As I have said before in this forum, I have a family member who wears the blue shirt and from the many conversations and meeting with his comrades I've had , they know very little of any laws. They are taught the very basics if anything at training school about law. The other family member is, or was should i say, a medico legal whom I assisted a few times in court cases. There is a wall greater than the wall of china between these two!!!
I was shocked the first time i saw police give 'evidence' they just made up and then to watch them lie about their fabrication because they didn't know the law. As an assistant to the ML i asked a registrar of the court why police get away with what is essentially contempt. He politely informed me that , "Thats what they do, and the court actually takes this into account. It's a kind of 'given' that police either exaggerate or just make it up". Why is that, i asked. " It's all about justification!" "Thats why you'll never win, not fair but thats the way it is".
I heard that a lot.
I asked an old solicitor friend ( retired now) what are my rights when photographing on the beach and his reply was, " Whatever i want to interpret them to be".

kiwi

10-02-2011, 11:24pm

Who is 'they', and on what grounds?

A policeman, whatever grounds they decide...you can't just offer them no explanation. I think as William said if you ignore them, or argue with them you open yourself up to a possible obstruction type charge.

I agree education is the answer. Guilty until proven innocent seems to be the current path.

Xenedis

11-02-2011, 5:30am

A policeman, whatever grounds they decide...you can't just offer them no explanation. I think as William said if you ignore them, or argue with them you open yourself up to a possible obstruction type charge.

It should be noted that neither William nor Tony were approached by police when they were photographing. Tony went to the police to seek information and William is contemplating doing the same.

Why would police approach you in the street to confront you about your photography unless you were doing something illegal? There is no law against photography.

If police did approach me, I'd be wanting to know what law I was breaking.

Yes, you should not obstruct police or otherwise be hostile towards them, but certainly lifeguards, rent-a-cop types and Joe Public types are not entitled to any explanation from you as to your perfectly legal activities, which are none of their business.

Scotty72

11-02-2011, 5:18pm

It should be noted that neither William nor Tony were approached by police when they were photographing. Tony went to the police to seek information and William is contemplating doing the same.

Why would police approach you in the street to confront you about your photography unless you were doing something illegal? There is no law against photography.

If police did approach me, I'd be wanting to know what law I was breaking.

Yes, you should not obstruct police or otherwise be hostile towards them, but certainly lifeguards, rent-a-cop types and Joe Public types are not entitled to any explanation from you as to your perfectly legal activities, which are none of their business.

Nor are police...

You are only required (in NSW at least) to tell them you name and current address (not prove it - though if they catch you in a lie :(). As far as I have been made aware you are required to produce ID only if you are: on licenced premises; in charge of a motor vehicle for which a licence or permit is required or are on public transport or have been arrested.

I have, whilst on the street, refused to show ID to police without consequence (they didn't like the fact I went for walk late at night).

More importantly, it is unbelievable that police can know so little of the laws they enforce. Imagine a mechanic who didn't know much about your car and just made it up as they went along...

Geez, I feel motivated to go set up my tripod outside the local police station (and carry no ID). :lol:

Kym

12-02-2011, 5:07pm

Ahhhh!!! http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/8209507/sydney-man-was-filming-up-skirts-police

A man who allegedly spent a year filming up women's skirts in Sydney's CBD, taking more than 1000 pictures, has been caught, police say.

The 56-year-old architect was allegedly caught by police at Central Railway Station during afternoon rush-hour on Thursday.

Detective Superintendent Mark Walton said the man was using a digital camera to film up the skirts of women as they walked up the stairs to a platform.

The camera was placed on top of the man's briefcase.

When the man was arrested after a short police chase, eight indecent video recordings were allegedly found on the camera.

Police then searched the man's home in the northern suburb of Eastwood and seized his computer hard drive, where they alleged they found about 1100 similar photos.

This sort of creep gives photographers a bad name.

Scotty72

12-02-2011, 5:26pm

Ahhhh!!! http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/8209507/sydney-man-was-filming-up-skirts-police

This sort of creep gives photographers a bad name.

Not really.

He concealed his camera in a briefcase: does that give businessmen a bad name?

bobt

12-02-2011, 5:31pm

Ahhhh!!! http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/8209507/sydney-man-was-filming-up-skirts-police

This sort of creep gives photographers a bad name.

I was quite entertained by the charge though ........ it seems that they sometimes have trouble knowing exactly what law has been broken. If I remember rightly, it was something like "photographing private parts" which I'm sure isn't a stand-alone law. I think maybe there must be something broader. You're right though .... it doesn't exactly paint photographers in a good light, although I doubt that most people would associate upskirting with photography as such.

james derek

12-02-2011, 10:09pm

This sort of creep gives photographers a bad name.

Dude was an architect, 56 yo and didn't get bail. Charged with 'photographing private parts' which I believe is against the law.
I don't believe an architect can give photographers a bad name by the way he uses his camera.
The fact that he didn't get bail is not good news for him.
It shows just how powerful photography is....... it can tell a thousand words..... earn you a million dollars .. or.... get you locked up.

Kym

12-02-2011, 10:19pm

Not really.
He concealed his camera in a briefcase: does that give businessmen a bad name?

Its by association, i.e. anyone with a camera is suspect and when someone does the wrong thing we all get the fall out.

Xenedis

12-02-2011, 10:48pm

Its by association, i.e. anyone with a camera is suspect and when someone does the wrong thing we all get the fall out.

I thought it was only us SLR owners who were pure evil.

The umpteen million people who own an extremely capable and easily-concealed camera with a phone built into it simply fly under the radar.

Lubitel 2

12-02-2011, 11:14pm

Nick, Thank you for the useful information.

Scotty72

13-02-2011, 12:12pm

I thought it was only us SLR owners who were pure evil.

The umpteen million people who own an extremely capable and easily-concealed camera with a phone built into it simply fly under the radar.

This is so true. A month or so back, the staff at a public pool made it known they were keeping an eye on me as I had my DSLR and L lens. Yet, there was a dude in the pool with a submersible P&S held under the water near young, bikini clad ladies - he wasn't approached by staff.

This gives swimmers a bad name - they must all be pervs. :D

Xenedis

13-02-2011, 12:50pm

A month or so back, the staff at a public pool made it known they were keeping an eye on me as I had my DSLR and L lens. Yet, there was a dude in the pool with a submersible P&S held under the water near young, bikini clad ladies - he wasn't approached by staff.

This gives swimmers a bad name - they must all be pervs. :D

Double-whammy. I have not only a DSLR, but a pool too.

I think I should walk around with a 1930s-era 8x10 field camera; I'd be less noticeable and would not attract the attention of wannabe cops and clueless members of the public who have a little too much concern about something which is none of their damned business and of which they know marginally less than SFA.

William

13-02-2011, 1:05pm

Weird Hey !! , Here I am sitting on the beach late in the Arvo, Camera , 30D with the 24-105 on I'm getting bad looks from all sorts of people (You can tell) My son Joel puts his G11 in the water proof housing and goes out to get some Tube shots in the shore break , Right between the flags !! And never gets a look , Go figure :confused013

PhotoBuddy

14-02-2011, 5:21pm

Why taking photos of kids is illegal in your country? Why do their parents care about?

rossl

23-02-2011, 9:21pm

Using a vintage camera is not always a good means of protection. A few years ago (2002) I attempted to photograph a jetty using a 1950s medium format film camera (Mamiya Press 6x9) but found thare were some people in the water about 50 metres away. They appeared as black specks in the viewfinder but still spoilt the shot. I had just picked up my camera and tripod and started back to my car when I was confronted by a very loud male screaming "PEDOPHILE" and demanding I give him my "digital" camera so he could delete the photos I had taken of the swimmers. I had no digital camera and no photos and had I wasted my precious Ilford Delta 100, no details would have been visible of the swimmers at 50 metres through a standard 100mm lens. I tried to explain this to the ranting person and the gathering crowd of onlookers most of whom took the side of the accuser. Fortunately I did not have to resort to using the 1Kg Mamiya and my substantial tripod as a weapon and made it safely back to my car, somewhat shaken and with no photos. I returned to the jetty on a much cooler day when there were no swimmers to spoil the photo and was reasonably pleased with my effort.
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5178/5469902261_a5e809536a.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/41541679@N02/5469902261/) 2010 09 73.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/41541679@N02/5469902261/) by Ross Lamb (http://www.flickr.com/people/41541679@N02/), on Flickr

Talachulitna

28-02-2011, 5:47pm

I found out today that my little nephew is starting to play rugby league this year. My first thought was, beauty, I can take some pictures of him & then I remembered, I have a camera & am therefore evil. This paranoia is crap!!

kiwi

28-02-2011, 7:48pm

You'll be right, just ask what the rules are, usually just a nod from both team managers at that level.

Flesh

07-04-2011, 4:07pm

I have had much more success with the police in Australia than in the UK in taking photos undisturbed (that sounds suspicious doesn't it?). I will explain. In the UK I have been told to stop shooting 3 times and 3 times I have had to stop (Stop or get arrested). On all three occasions I was in a public place (High street in Swindon) trying to get a shot 1. Down the high street 2.Library that had just been finished 3. Outside the shop where I was buying the camera (the last one still makes me laugh now).

Now since I have been in Australia my kit has grown and it would seem that it might / might not have changed the perception of what people think I do with my shots. I have a taken shot of two mounted Police women (on their horses with permission) and a Police officer (again with permission). I have spent more time with my camera around my neck in Australia than I ever did in the UK and not once have I had any problems with the police. I know from past experience in the UK, photographs of the police are generally a nono and I respect that. When asked by any Police force (especially in Spain) not to do something (be right or wrong in my perspective) I will comply. They have a job to do and I would not like someone messing my day up, so I won't do it to them.

Spanish Police are a different kettle of fish altogether, nuff said.

Great OP and respect to you Sir :th3:

tonimcp

03-06-2011, 12:54am

Wow, great to see a thread like this one... In summer I was at Maroubra Beach taking a few snaps of the Ocean and my son surfing.
well, well, well............ I was so PARANOID when onlookers, well were ummmmm looking??????
staring at me like I was some pervert........

I was taking pics of shells in the sand, waves, and my son.

Suddenly the Life Guard in his buggy just stopped right in front of me, sat in his buggy and stared at me like I just landed from the moon.

I was so intimidated I said to my husband at the time.... wow I am never taking pics again in a public place...

peterb666

03-06-2011, 6:36am

I have shot 3 or 4 times at Maroubra with my 150-500 zoom and never had a problem. On occassions chatted with the life guards as there were setting up etc. I am usually there not long after sunrise having come from Mahon Pool or similar or from breakast across the road.

I am usually off to the south of the beach near the bogey hole when shooting so never in anyone's way. You get a good angle from there almost shooting across the closest sufing spopt and avoid the sun from behind.

Wow, great to see a thread like this one... In summer I was at Maroubra Beach taking a few snaps of the Ocean and my son surfing.
well, well, well............ I was so PARANOID when onlookers, well were ummmmm looking??????
staring at me like I was some pervert........

I was taking pics of shells in the sand, waves, and my son.

Suddenly the Life Guard in his buggy just stopped right in front of me, sat in his buggy and stared at me like I just landed from the moon.

I was so intimidated I said to my husband at the time.... wow I am never taking pics again in a public place...

colinbm

03-06-2011, 8:34am

Wow, we even have Girl perverts at the beach :eek:
Maybe the blokey life guard wanted to be in a full page spread too.
I would have photographed him & reported him to higher authority.
Col

ameerat42

03-06-2011, 10:07am

Wow, great to see...I was so intimidated I said to my husband at the time.... wow I am never taking pics again in a public place...

It must be a fine line between doing one's job and sheer jackassery. That lifeguard sounded like he had been rather under the influence of the latter.

Upon reflection, I have never been harassed when taking shots. I hope it keeps up.
:rolleyes:

Scotty72

03-06-2011, 4:25pm

I would have asked him to smile then taken his photo (whether he agreed or not).

Public place - you were not being in anyway offensive.

There is a term for this type of behaviour (the life-guard) ... 'Self-importance.'

Another might be 'intimidatory behaviour'... you should think about reporting that.

Xenedis

03-06-2011, 5:53pm

It must be a fine line between doing one's job and sheer jackassery.

Not even slightly. He's a lifeguard; his job is to save lives, not stick his beak into the perfectly legitimate business of photographers in a public place.

Nikkie

09-06-2011, 9:40am

Good post Nick thanks for this information great said and well put. Now for a little off topic any hints and tips to stop my partner from going on about me taking photos in public not that Ive done much of that well not really we went to the local rubbish tip and I took my cam as there is great scenery I was not taking photos of the the work place it self but I copped it from him all the way home and even days after. :eek:

ricktas

09-06-2011, 9:48am

Tell him that it is not illegal to take photos in public places, of anything, buildings, scenery or people, as long as you (the photographer) are standing on public land when you take it.

Scotty72

09-06-2011, 10:26am

If the local tip is enclosed lands (access is controlled by a govt authority) then, the manager may be able to stop you photographing whilst you are within the boundaries of the tip.

But, like Rick says, unless the manager stops you, tell your partner to go jump :eek: :D

Xenedis

09-06-2011, 4:13pm

any hints and tips to stop my partner from going on about me taking photos in public

Withdraw all special privileges...

Scotty72

09-06-2011, 4:31pm

Is that how you keep Xenedette in line? :lol:

coxy

11-06-2011, 10:33pm

This is a very informative post, but a really sad indignation of what this country has become.

geoffsta

12-06-2011, 5:32am

Not sure whether this has been posted yet. I found this.
http://www.artslaw.com.au/info-sheets/info-sheet/street-photographers-rights/

ricktas

12-06-2011, 7:59am

Not sure whether this has been posted yet. I found this.
http://www.artslaw.com.au/info-sheets/info-sheet/street-photographers-rights/

Yeah, it's been posted on AP quite a few times. Some things to remember is that it's primary focus is NSW, and other states can have differing laws, and laws change, but that page may not be updated to reflect that. So whilst it can be a good read, and legally accurate, be careful cause it may not apply depending on where you are, and what you are doing, and when you are doing it.

geoffsta

12-06-2011, 8:49am

I have also found this which could also help. But once again I'm not sure whether it's been posted.
It's actually a good read, but open for interpretation.
http://4020.net/words/photorights.php

mechawombat

12-06-2011, 8:33pm

I have read this thread all the way through with all the POV's Etc

So the reality is dSLR is the root of all evil but shooting upskirt on phone cameras and P&S are ok because it is not a dSLR??

What about the new Hybirds?

As for police, I have only ever had positive experiences, many just come over and ask what you shooting in general conversation and talk about seeing a Sony camera and not knowing Sony made cameras!:(

I do suppose it helps I have my 2 yr old with me on most of my shoots

I have many friends serving the community and I would not do their job for quids

colinbm

12-06-2011, 10:19pm

I have read this thread all the way through with all the POV's Etc

So the reality is dSLR is the root of all evil but shooting upskirt on phone cameras and P&S are ok because it is not a dSLR?

Come to QLD & do that & you will ruin your holiday & career :confused013
Col

mechawombat

12-06-2011, 11:05pm

Come to QLD & do that & you will ruin your holiday & career :confused013
Col

Funnily Colin I was there in november took this at Snapper rocks, along with a few others the boys in blue did not bat an eyelid at me. They were in the carpark the whole time I shot

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5086/5282855238_78a63516d7_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/39873691@N04/5282855238/)
Snapper rocks (http://www.flickr.com/photos/39873691@N04/5282855238/) by Mecha-Wombat (http://www.flickr.com/people/39873691@N04/), on Flickr

Just wish I had the camera out when the F1-11s screamed on a low past on the way back to amberley

colinbm

12-06-2011, 11:40pm

Your quote
"So the reality is dSLR is the root of all evil but shooting upskirt on phone cameras and P&S are ok because it is not a dSLR?"
If you were doing this they would not have sat in the car watching you for long :confused013
Then you would have had an enforced holiday on the QLD taxpayers expense :eek:
Col

mechawombat

13-06-2011, 7:52pm

My point Col is the people who do bad things do not carry an SLR, but concealed hardware, but we dSLR users cop the blame even though it would be fairly obvious in what you were doing if you were using a SLR

I would NEVER do such things as shooting up someones skirt for gratification. I find people like that a vile and abhorent

Scotty72

06-07-2011, 5:02pm

The thing is, though, that I believe it is actually illegal to take pictures on public transport in certain cities, without prior permission. You have to remember that train stations and the like are not Public spaces, so they can apply terms and conditions such as that.

Just reading your post, while it may feel confronting to you, they asked you to stop, you told them you weren't and you both went on your merry way.

Not sure if I would really call that harassment.

BUT that being said, I wonder if they ever tell anyone to stop taking pictures using mobiles?

No, it is not... not in Australia anyway.

If they ask you to stop photographing, and you don't, they may be able to ask you to leave but, the act of taking a photo is never illegal (with certain exception relating to court orders and indecency - and perhaps certain military facilities).

Anyway, on a slightly different tact :cool:

Here is an example of how some use other laws as an excuse to get people to stop taking photos.

Of course, there are no doubt many sides to this story :)

http://www.news.com.au/travel/news/woman-kicked-off-jet-for-pic-of-rude-hostie/story-e6frfq80-1226088639034

Lion31Cybershot

07-08-2011, 9:19am

No problem with police here what so ever, I can take pictures of whatever I want, when I want en when I want, of who ever I want.
Been taking pictures for 5 Years now,

As a matter effect, they smile right in to your lens here when you take a coppers picture.

Scotty72

07-08-2011, 9:44am

Sounds like a very civilized country.

Lion31Cybershot

07-08-2011, 6:03pm

Sounds like a very civilized country.
No, Just budget cuts so they dont have time fore small fuzz...:lol:

Tez

10-08-2011, 12:49pm

Great thread, thanks for the info

muggins

05-09-2011, 10:47am

Hi all,
Reading through this thread I sat back and thought about all the comments and it seems to me that the Law is not very clear on the subject of the rights of photographers, I think that until it is tested in court we as photographers will have no definite information to go on.
There may be a problem with this as those in power may not wish this issue to get to court eg police, security companies and other interested parties because the confusion that surrounds the issue at this time allows them to bully photographers into obeying their orders. If it went to court and the photographer won the case it would hinder the the officials in their ability to harass togs going about their lawful business.
Perhaps if someone with more knowledge than me could comment on this.
All the best,
muggins

Xenedis

05-09-2011, 5:02pm

it seems to me that the Law is not very clear on the subject of the rights of photographers

As far as I'm aware, there isn't any legislation specifically about or against photography.

The sort of legislation we encounter as photographers is the kind that applies to behaviour which is not specific to photography, but may be enacted in the process of engaging in photography; eg, trespass, privacy et al.

There are, however, rules imposed against photography by the owners of privately-owned or government-owned establishments, and just like I can prohibit you from smoking in my house, those owners can prohibit you from photographing in their premises. There's nothing we can do about that.

I think that until it is tested in court we as photographers will have no definite information to go on.

We have a lot of information; the main problem is that many of the people who tell us we cannot engage in photography, aren't possessed of the facts.

There may be a problem with this as those in power may not wish this issue to get to court eg police, security companies and other interested parties because the confusion that surrounds the issue at this time allows them to bully photographers into obeying their orders.

In a lot of cases confusion isn't the issue; ignorance is the issue.

Carol1950

28-09-2011, 10:12am

I find that when out taking photos of festivals etc, or in town, I ask some people if I can take there photos. And usually they will say YES. If you approach them with a happy sincere attitude and be nice to them, they will be nice to you back.
Thanks so much for the info Nick.
Just one question. What is regarded as a suspicious photo of a child?
Cheers
Carol

fastr1red

12-10-2011, 8:13pm

I don't know if anyone else has seen this but I've been following it on FB and the media.
It's a terrible thing that's happened to this guy.

A FATHER was harassed by police and a security guard under "anti-terror legislation" after taking pictures of his own child.

There is also a youtube vid of an interview he's done.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5wxjLE9TdA&feature=share

Longshots

12-10-2011, 9:19pm

If you're going to put all the separate topics that relate to being harassed when out shooting, I hate to say it, but this topic is going to get huge. Come on this surely should be a topic all by itself, its a genuine news story that has been getting some huge press?

Not only was the guy stopped by the centre managements security, but then the police were called who threatened with confiscating his mobile phone (on which he took the pictures of his own daughter and immediately uploaded them to Facebook) and a threat of arrest under the Anti Terrorism Act in the UK.

It hardly constitutes being lobbed into a How to deal with the police when shooting in public. Its an important topic about the freedom of the individual - quite different. Surely this story deserves its separate discussion topic ?

Should we expect the moderators to lob all the subjects about Canon cameras into one Canon Cameras topic as well ?

And yes I've been following this topic in the media and social media closely. I'm dissapointed that moderators feel the need to hide it within what was an important topic that is now going to get diluted by the discussion on this quite individual and importantly a topic that is eventually going to relate to UK laws and not Australian Laws - a rethink is needed here please ?

fastr1red

12-10-2011, 9:22pm

Sorry William, noted.
I went through the whole thread again before posting it and it looked like that's the way it was going.

new thread raised in f/stop.

Kym

12-10-2011, 9:24pm

Sorry William, noted.
I went through the whole thread again before posting it and it looked like that's the way it was going.

Not your fault. I merged the threads.

Kym

12-10-2011, 9:27pm

@William... What makes this case any different to what has been talked about under the general topic?
What else can be said than over zealous security people without a clue.

The only question is how to educate these security people?

Longshots

12-10-2011, 9:43pm

@William... What makes this case any different to what has been talked about under the general topic?
What else can be said than over zealous security people without a clue.

The only question is how to educate these security people?

Well the important thing here Kym is that the advice to date on this topic on How to deal with the police is based on Australian law. The case in question here is about UK and importantly (if youve been following as I have the UK photoraphers fight for press and basic rights freedom) is the UK police misuse of the Anti Terrorism Laws.

So if you're going to arbitarily move all topics together because they have one thing in common,there seems little point in contributing to a forum where you're controlling the ability to choose a seperate topic - which is exactly what this is. Which brings me back to my original question of why not lob all the topics about Canon cameras into a single topic on that same basis ?

And to your question how to educate the security people - well it wasnt just the security people - if you'd read the entire story, the security people were just doing there job as instructed by the shopping centre management, which was then exasperated by the heavy handed Scottish police force misusing the Anti Terrorism Act, which many police forces have already been given a rap over the knuckles by the High Court in the UK. So in this case it has nothing to do with education. It was the centre managements policy and misuse of the UK laws. So in this case its not over zealous security people - the issue is much higher, and more important - in the UK. It should be noted that the centre management have apologised and are reviewing their policy. Scottish police have not (as far as I know today) responded regarding their misuse of the UK's Anti Terrorism Act.

And as I expected, the original topic on how to deal with the police, is now going to be diluted because you merged the threads (topics) and now I have to respond to you on this as opposed to relating to the original topic, and subsequently, unless you go back 12 pages (!), people are unlikely to read all 12 pages of responses and there will be confusion on this - great !

arthurking83

12-10-2011, 10:14pm

I seriously can't see the fuss!

Well the important thing here Kym is that the advice to date on this topic on How to deal with the police is based on Australian law ....

I endured the interview myself to see what the fuss is, and as I remember this thread(from way back mind you), while you are correct in that it does deal with Aussie law, it also deal with a lot of common sense advice as well(which isn't an entirely Australian based legal system!)

As the interview was as much about the common sense approach to the problem, as it was about about a foreign law that may or may not have any relevance to our location, there is nothing in the post that dilutes this thread in any way.

The man clearly said(which to me indicates the practical application of how to deal with the police) that he could easily have escalated the situation and possibly been arrested, but for his control of his emotions, due to the fact that he had his daughter with him.
That has nothing to do with Australian law ... so what's the issue? Isn't this about common sense, pragmatism or in this case circ*mstance??

Just be practical about it is what the underlying message in this story is. The fact that he didn't get arrested, that he kept his images was more about the fact that he kept his cool(almost involuntarily).

Summary! Don't lose your cool, just because you're a hothead, or you have a bad temper!

.. how is this confusing?

Longshots

12-10-2011, 10:45pm

Actually if you and Kym had read the entire story, and not based your opinion on a singular interview, while I accept its common sense to not lose your cool, both of you are missing the point about the misuse of the UK's Anti Terrorism Laws. I suggest if you want to see and understand the entire story go and read all of it which is available on the FB page : https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Boycott-Braehead/288861364476077

I couldnt help miss your opening word "endure". Well if you "endured" this, well done, but I congratulate the individual on standing up for his rights as a father and a citizen. A great deal of effort on his part.

Sorry, but I dont see much point in contributing if topics are just going to all be lobbed together on an unhelpful basis regardless of their relevance. Clearly if you only look at a portion of this individual topic you would assume incorrectly that it has some relevance to the Sticky.

You cant see the fuss Arthur because you clearly cant see that its about two entirely different topics based on two countries different approaches to Anti Terrorism.

Its confusing because its two different topics, and it has only a slight context of keeping your cool when faced with a situation relating to dealing with the police. Its also rather pointless creating a new topic, when its going to be moderated and "refiled" according to a basic understanding of the issue - which I repeat is about the Scottish police's use of the UK's Anti Terrorism laws - which dont apply in Australia - hence no point in offering anymore information on that basis.

peterb666

12-10-2011, 11:42pm

fastr1red's post is very much on topic and many of the people on AP travel overseas and should be aware of the differences that may apply in other countries. If there is such a concern that the thread would become so long, possibly comments about the relevance of posts should be in another thread.

Longshots

12-10-2011, 11:52pm

fastr1red's post is very much on topic and many of the people on AP travel overseas and should be aware of the differences that may apply in other countries. If there is such a concern that the thread would become so long, possibly comments about the relevance of posts should be in another thread.

I didnt say it was off topic - I said it was two different topics, and simply that the topic that Fastr1red's post actually has far more depth than just how to deal with police - importantly it was originally posted as a separate topic by the OP.

As their post was actually posted in that separate thread in the first place, then merged because it was "moderated", then its a tad ironic that its suggested that the comments should be posted in another thread !

And again this isnt just about how to deal with police, I repeat that its about the misuse of a particular law/act in the UK thats received a great deal of publicity, a huge press campaign in the UK and resulted in the House of Lords making the Metropolitan police stop misusing the Anti Terrorism Act in a way that was never considered by Parliament. Its a great pity that a personal view of the moderation team and lack of understanding of the entire issue, has resulted in this topic being diluted to a generalised topic of how to deal with the police.

Simply there is little point in choosing to post a new topic here.

arthurking83

13-10-2011, 11:22pm

......

....

You cant see the fuss Arthur because you clearly cant see that its about two entirely different topics based on two countries different approaches to Anti Terrorism.

......

Actually I pretty sure I can see that there is fuss over a trivial matter.

Your problems about the merging of the thread was based on the fact there was no relevance of the UK story to us in Australia, or with respect to Australian law.

Sorry to say William but this is clearly wrong, and it shows a lack of in depth reading on your part.

I'll refer you way back to when the thread was originally posted, and one of the main points of emphasis from NickMonk was that

3) If approached by a police officer the first thing to do is BE NICE. If you don't pass the 'attitude test' you will not win. Ever.

This was a point offered as advice from a police officer to the reader on the topic of conduct and decorum.
This line is in Nicks opening post.

His final parting words are .. Keep your cool!

Now I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure I'm right, but keeping your cool is not about Australian law, and more about maintaining a level head, and not losing your temper .. which was the same advice offered a few times by the affected person in the story.
'
How is that not relevant.

That the story has aspects of law which are not relevant to Australia is a another issue and no one in their right mind would ever take for granted that you can apply Scottish law in Australia.

If a police officer asks you to delete your photography, I would decline. THERE IS NO LEGISLATIVE POWER FOR A POLICE OFFICER TO DO THIS. Explain this very calmly and state why you want to keep it. If it really doesn't matter you can always do what they say of course (but I know I certainly wouldn't). If they do MAKE you do it then you have legitimate reason to complain about their actions.

This is quoted by the member that originally started the thread, and he being a police officer has at least some basic understanding of the law.

So for your clarification William!!
The OP's original intent was to help other's dealings with police and their photography(if it ever came to that), based mainly on points of common sense, and in the 13 points that Nick raised as methods of dealing with police, 2 of them have any relevance to Australian law.

How is this going to be diluted when the vast majority of the intent of this thread was originally about keeping your cool.
references about law barely made any impact until

your comment earlier of:

" ... And as I expected, the original topic on how to deal with the police, is now going to be diluted because .... "

seems to indicate complete ignorance of the original intent of the member that started it, who I stress again is not a Monk, but a police officer.
How is extrapolating the OP's original intent being diluted with adding another story of police ignorance on legitimacy of photography in public, where common sense apparently saved the person affected?

I think you need to take a deep breath calm down, and don't simply read a few snippets of info here or there and maybe read the entire thread, or at least the OP's initial post.

I remember this thread very well, for a long time .. OK .. maybe the first three pages or so, but beyond that point, I kind of lost interest(on a personal level).
I know I've reiterated a few of my experiences in there somewhere, and a lot of the early postings are about temperament ...

and NOT as you say:

"Well the important thing here Kym is that the advice to date on this topic on How to deal with the police is based on Australian law."

The thread is not based purely on advice about Australian law as you think has happened, or as it may have evolved over the final few pages or threads.
And the OP, who's rights have been fully respected here with the merging of that news snippet into this thread, made many references to maintaining a level head and logic if a situation ever arises.

So before you go accusing anyone of missing any point, try a bit of introspection.

If you have missed the (original)point of this thread, then this is an issue that you have to deal with.

Kym

16-12-2011, 12:57pm

http://www.smh.com.au/world/gay-and-stupid-slur-cameraman-wins-payout-20111213-1oryz.html

Lawyers say a British teenager wrongly stopped by police from taking photographs at a public event in London has been compensated.

A solicitor said officers prevented Jules Mattsson - then 15 - from taking pictures at a military parade in Romford, east London, in June 2010.

The Metropolitan Police said compensation had been paid and an apology issued.

Law firm Bindmans, which represented the youngster, said a police inspector had described photographing in public as "anti-social behaviour".

A spokesman for the company said: "He described the act of taking photographs as 'silly' and 'gay' and 'stupid'. When [Jules] continued to state the lawfulness of his behaviour, the inspector declared it was 'dangerous' as he was 'likely to be trampled on by soldiers' from the parade."

Solicitor Chez Cotton, head of the police misconduct department at Bindmans, said: "The police had no legal power to stop him photographing in a public place. The inspector attempted to justify his actions in shocking and absurd ways."

Mr Cotton added: "The treatment of the police towards our client, a 15-year-old, was shocking. The inspector's comments were designed to belittle.

"Our client politely and reasonably maintained that the police were not entitled to interfere with his right to report.

"In response the inspector used serious anti-terrorism legislation, cynically telling Mr Mattsson 'I consider you a threat under the Terrorism Act young man. I've had enough'.

"The police have no legal power or moral responsibility to prevent or restrict what journalists record."

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/gay-and-stupid-slur-cameraman-wins-payout-20111213-1oryz.html#ixzz1getqM3Z3

At least it got sorted and maybe the copper in this case got smacked.

Kerro

16-12-2011, 6:36pm

I live in Mandurah in WA, which is like a holiday resort with lots of people around on any day of the week.
I wear a bright orange reflective vest with the word Photographer in 2 inch letters on the back when out in public and it is suprising the number of people, who, now come up to, " a long haired old fellow with a big lens", and stop for a chat. I used to get strange looks, especially for Mums with kids before I wore the vest. Works for me anyhow.

peterb666

16-12-2011, 8:28pm

I have been out in public several times in recent months (surely enough to arouse suspicion) and people have asked me to photograph them. They obviously haven't seen my photos.

Today, a young boogie boarder, probably about 15 years old came up to me when I had my Sigma 150-500 shooting surfers at Cronulla and requested that I take some photos of him and he gave me his email address to send a link to the photos.

There does seem to be less paranoia compared to a couple of years ago.

Mark L

16-12-2011, 9:23pm

'.......a police inspector had described photographing in public as "anti-social behaviour"." :umm:

PJI254

24-12-2011, 1:54pm

Whilst that applies to Australia, I would be very cautious in other countries especially where you can be shot. ie China, Middle East etc
These days photo shoots in and around some military bases here can get your film/disc with-held.

bobt

24-12-2011, 2:16pm

I would be very cautious in other countries especially where you can be shot.

You've got to admit that gives a whole new meaning to the term "photo shoot!!" :D:D

golftragic

23-11-2012, 10:59am

It's great that this thread was stuck. I've just joined AP but was able to read what everyone has said about this interesting, sensitive and tricky subject over the past few years. It's been a mine of useful information.

Leggy

04-01-2013, 12:41pm

My first viewing on the forum and great informative read.
I have not been approached, but being a dad I am always wary of people taking photos around my kids and I would respect if a policeman or citizen asked to see my shots.
Thanks

Doktaduck

08-01-2013, 4:57pm

It seems strange to keep commenting on a post made over 3 years ago, but as a new user of a camera (I'd hardly call myself a photographer yet), I must say that this has concerned me a little, and also has driven my attitude of NOT taking my camera out a lot to events, or even just shopping trips to the city...

I really want to take some photos of some of the great Melbourne architecture, but man if "they" don't make me feel "dirty" by doing so...

Thanks again for the topic.

kiwi

08-01-2013, 5:09pm

Don't over-react, taking touristy pics like you describe is perfectly normal behaviour and you would not even be looked at twice.

Darey

11-01-2013, 4:30pm

The Manly Daily, Friday January 11, 2013 Article on Page 9.

" Man charged over beach photos "

Here we go again, some "DROPKICK" has been taking naughty shots of kids and now the mums and dads will be on the look-out and be very suspicious of any Photog carrying a camera with a large professional looking lens. If your shooting near the Northern Beaches area be very obvious about what you are shooting and be prepared to show anyone your shots if necessary.

Following is a quote of the article from Page 9.

Warriewood

Man charged over beach photos

A MAN has been charged with child protection offenses after he allegedly photographed children at Warriewood Beach on Saturday, January 5.
About 2pm a woman told a council lifeguard she was concerned a man was taking photos of children. Northern Beaches crime manager Insp Craig Wonders said the lifeguard approached the man, who was sitting in a car, and asked to see his camera. Police were called after the man refused and then left the area. Insp Wonders said detectives executed a search warrant on a house at Rydalmere on Tuesday and arrested a 55-year-old man. They seized computer equipment, hard drives and storage devices. The man will appear before Parramatta Local Court on February 27.

If the man is guilty I hope he gets a heavy sentence. Equally, if he is found to be innocent it would be nice to see the Manly Daily report the fact. (I don't think that would happen so the damage is done.)

extraball

14-01-2013, 9:50pm

saved me starting a thread about this. Last weekend, at the beach I taking shots of surfers, and swimmers etc. I later thought of the legality, and wether my activity could be seen as deviant. My wife was with me taking shots, so I guess that helped legitimise my purpose for taking photos. But I would like to shots in shopping centres, some urban stuff, and am concerned that people may not be as tolerant in a less casual/carefree surrounding (compared to the beach).
:scrtch:

ricktas

14-01-2013, 9:58pm

saved me starting a thread about this. Last weekend, at the beach I taking shots of surfers, and swimmers etc. I later thought of the legality, and wether my activity could be seen as deviant. My wife was with me taking shots, so I guess that helped legitimise my purpose for taking photos. But I would like to shots in shopping centres, some urban stuff, and am concerned that people may not be as tolerant in a less casual/carefree surrounding (compared to the beach).
:scrtch:

Shopping Centres are private property and thus a different set of legalities apply. Shooting in public means taking photos when you are on public land (streets, roads,footpaths, beaches etc. But be aware that some footpaths and open spaces are on privately owned land as well. When taking photos on private property, it is best to try and seek out the property owners permission first.

extraball

14-01-2013, 10:11pm

Shopping Centres are private property and thus a different set of legalities apply. Shooting in public means taking photos when you are on public land (streets, roads,footpaths, beaches etc. But be aware that some footpaths and open spaces are on privately owned land as well. When taking photos on private property, it is best to try and seek out the property owners permission first.

thanks for the that. One question, when we publish a photo (net or print media) with members of the public as subject matter, are we leaving ourselves open to legality issues? I have read that we can seek written permission from indiviuals on the spot, but this wouldnt be practicable for crowd scenes.

ricktas

14-01-2013, 10:33pm

thanks for the that. One question, when we publish a photo (net or print media) with members of the public as subject matter, are we leaving ourselves open to legality issues? I have read that we can seek written permission from indiviuals on the spot, but this wouldnt be practicable for crowd scenes.

No, unless you use the photo for commercial gain, IE you sell the photo to Coca-Cola and then they use the photo with a big co*ke bottle next to the person's image. By doing this, it is implied that the person in the photo endorses co*ke, which they may not. They can sue!

So that is when you require a model-release.

bobt

14-01-2013, 10:43pm

saved me starting a thread about this. Last weekend, at the beach I taking shots of surfers, and swimmers etc. I later thought of the legality, and wether my activity could be seen as deviant. My wife was with me taking shots, so I guess that helped legitimise my purpose for taking photos. But I would like to shots in shopping centres, some urban stuff, and am concerned that people may not be as tolerant in a less casual/carefree surrounding (compared to the beach).
:scrtch:

Always a problem ... there are so many candid shots out there just dying to be taken - but you can't risk it in case you get labeled a pervert! I too take my wife along sometimes to "legitimise" my perverted photography. I'd actually like a booth in a shopping centre with one way glass, and just sit there taking photos. I just love the candid shots I see all the time but can't take.

Xenedis

15-01-2013, 5:03am

I'd actually like a booth in a shopping centre with one way glass, and just sit there taking photos. I just love the candid shots I see all the time but can't take.

You can capture those images; the only thing holding back legitimate photographers from practicing their craft is fear and paranoia.

The worst thing photographers can do is walk around on egg shells as though we're up to something we shouldn't be.

extraball

15-01-2013, 7:42am

You can capture those images; the only thing holding back legitimate photographers from practicing their craft is fear and paranoia.

The worst thing photographers can do is walk around on egg shells as though we're up to something we shouldn't be.

plus it's a shame that these candid/urban shots will not be recorded, so much history lost.

bobt

15-01-2013, 11:44am

You can capture those images; the only thing holding back legitimate photographers from practicing their craft is fear and paranoia.
The worst thing photographers can do is walk around on egg shells as though we're up to something we shouldn't be.

Yeah ... all good in theory, but in practice it's often not so easy. Odd when you consider how many times our photos are taken each time we go out with so many security cameras snapping away at us!

Kym

15-01-2013, 12:43pm

You can capture those images; the only thing holding back legitimate photographers from practising their craft is fear and paranoia.

NOT in a supermarket, shopping centre or other private property. Which is what Bob was saying.
In the public in general go for it.
Some councils have restrictions (eg. Waverley in Sydney)

Xenedis

15-01-2013, 5:28pm

NOT in a supermarket, shopping centre or other private property. Which is what Bob was saying.

Understood; my comment was more about photographers in public places.

Even there, people unfortunately act like they're doing something naughty, which is a shame.

vk2gwk

02-06-2013, 5:28pm

Whenever I go on the beach with the long (and highly visible) lens to shoot surfers I make sure my wife is close..... I haven't had a problem yet but expect some idiot may start causing trouble and calling me a pervert... I wonder if a proper reply to that would be: "Please give me your name and address because I want to sue you now for defamation....". Depends on his size... :)

in2fx

02-06-2013, 5:54pm

an interesting threat, and thanks Nick for posting your thoughts on the matter

Redgum

02-06-2013, 8:09pm

Geez, making statements on a public forum about taking photos of (half naked) surfers and then identifying the beach, all your own personal details including a photograph, identifying your gear down to the last detail (except serial number) and threatening to prosecute anyone that gets in your way is sure to attract the attention of authorities. Possibly at the head of the list already just waiting for something to happen. Point of view is fine but it's not wise to threaten others that have rights identical to your own. Always wise to ask or negotiate and if the answer is no, go somewhere else.

graemelee

08-12-2013, 5:49pm

Great info

TAG

01-11-2015, 7:12am

This is useful for the legal side and common courtesy also goes a long way,
treat others as you would have them treat you at least

Allie

01-11-2015, 8:32pm

It is interesting that I saw this thread opened again today as my partner and I actually went to the beach today. He is quite ill and uses home and portable oxygen 24/7. He also uses a mobility scooter and decided to go to the end of the pier by himself to check if people were catching anything. When he returned he said he had taken some photos of some young girls and immediately my reaction was he needed to be careful taking photos of young girls due to him being a male.

It turned out the girls were taking photos of each other with their own camera and asked him to take one of them together. I feel sad that my reaction, before I knew the situation, was to immediately think that his taking a photo could be considered negatively (which it probably would have if it had been his camera) when in reality he was simply doing the girls a favour. :( :confused:

MissionMan

01-11-2015, 9:23pm

It is interesting that I saw this thread opened again today as my partner and I actually went to the beach today. He is quite ill and uses home and portable oxygen 24/7. He also uses a mobility scooter and decided to go to the end of the pier by himself to check if people were catching anything. When he returned he said he had taken some photos of some young girls and immediately my reaction was he needed to be careful taking photos of young girls due to him being a male.

It turned out the girls were taking photos of each other with their own camera and asked him to take one of them together. I feel sad that my reaction, before I knew the situation, was to immediately think that his taking a photo could be considered negatively (which it probably would have if it had been his camera) when in reality he was simply doing the girls a favour. :( :confused:

I think it's a sad indication of a sick portion of society and our reaction to it rather than anything wrong. I don't think its necessarily new in society, I think we just have more visibility of it where in the past, someone would have got away with it and no one would have known.

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