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02-28-2016, 08:48 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Hostility toward Photographers

I'll spare the latest stories but what is with the open hostility toward photographers in general? I'm not even talking about street or candid stuff but the number of bad encounters I've had has been steadily increasing in density.

Public parks now require permits to take photographs of people you brought with you (not candid!). At event conventions, where there's thousands of people taking photos of each other, the surrounding areas that benefit from having full parking lots and entirely booked hotel rooms shuffle people taking photos out. And it seems to be all about the SLR, which apparently security believes no one but pros own. It feels like if you're not using your phone to take photos, you must be up to no good. Security is always rude, hostile, and power tripping. I haven't yet had a positive encounter with private security, which usually just come up and say "You can't do that" without telling me what "that" is. Is it that location? The use of flash? Photos at all?

Was it always this way or is it recent? It's like all these places are terrified of someone making a few bucks (which I don't) or ending up on social media.

02-28-2016, 09:06 AM   #2
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Public Parks

I am not aware of any "public parks" that require permission to take photographs?? We do after all have our 1st amendment rights!
02-28-2016, 09:11 AM   #3
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I haven't had any issues anywhere yet.
02-28-2016, 09:13 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by MadMathMind Quote
Was it always this way or is it recent? It's like all these places are terrified of someone making a few bucks (which I don't) or ending up on social media.
Mostly pretty recent.

QuoteOriginally posted by mgm2 Quote
I am not aware of any "public parks" that require permission to take photographs?? We do after all have our 1st amendment rights!
Google around. Not intending to be political, but state and fed gov't interpret lesser-known rules differently these days, it seems, in order to make money/protect the interests of photographers with whom they have relationships.

02-28-2016, 09:15 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by mgm2 Quote
I am not aware of any "public parks" that require permission to take photographs?? We do after all have our 1st amendment rights!
Just the NPS for starters...

Permits for Filming and Photography - Independence National Historical Park (U.S. National Park Service)
02-28-2016, 09:16 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by mgm2 Quote
I am not aware of any "public parks" that require permission to take photographs?? We do after all have our 1st amendment rights!
A lot of these parks hire private companies to manage them. They make these rules and keep the cash. But I don't think it matters because it's a government property and therefore by backing the rules are complicit them. In fact, even if it's partly government owned, I think the 1st amendment still rules.

Yesterday, a group of people were escorted from the city park "for taking up too much space and being too large." I'm pretty sure that was straight up illegal, a gross violation of the 1st Amendment.
02-28-2016, 09:18 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by mgm2 Quote
I am not aware of any "public parks" that require permission to take photographs?? We do after all have our 1st amendment rights!
Many public parks now require a permit and fee before commercial photographers (read wedding) may use them for paid shoots. It is Conditional Use Permit. The Parks Departments have two points of logic:
  1. As a public space, private, commercial use infringes on the 'ability' of the public to enjoy the space
    1. Some locations in some parks here are overrun with wedding and portrait shoots and 'togs can become actively hostile when regular people try to use the space
  2. We want a cut of your action
OTOH, my son and d-i-l had their candid wedding shots in a public park. Their Tog had a C.U.P. An obnoxious older couple followed the wedding party around and intentionally photobombed their shots, claiming their right to be there. This went on for half an hour, until the largest three groomsmen, college lacrosse defenders, spoke to the couple. They left, but came back angry, accompanied by Park Rangers. The Park Rangers checked the permit and had to intervene and shoo the couple away.

Parks in some cases consider regulation a Public Safety obligation.

Last edited by monochrome; 02-28-2016 at 09:31 AM.
02-28-2016, 09:19 AM   #8
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In Algonquin Park here, it would seem the issue of baiting animals has directed a huge amount of hostility from park staff and the public. It's just bizarre, the current practice of having hundreds of thousands of visitors stay in fairly small campgrounds means animals are wandering through the campgrounds all summer looking for food. IN the winter, all the campers go home and there are some seriously habituated animals left without a food supply. If a photographer hands them scrap of his granola bar or something, everyone take a conniption. It's bizarre, photographers don't cause the problem, at the worst photographer help out a few animals that have been previously conditioned by campers wo are now short of food,yet park staff and the public in general don't go around screaming at campers. They save that for anyone with a camera. Photographers are conspicuous because of their gear, especially long lens guys.

Welcome to being a part of a visible minority. This is how it works.

You get blamed for things other people do, just because you carry a long lens, and they carried a long lens. The things the majority do are accepted,(park staff gave up on the policing and enforcement of wildlife feeding regulations in the campgrounds long ago,) if you do the same thing, you're a criminal. Law enforcement targets you, because they see your long lens. And if they are in the mood, they'll get out of their vehicle, and stand there yelling at you, when clearly no one is currently committing a crime.

If they want to arrest offenders, no problem, if they want to confront people , just because they have long lenses, big problem.

02-28-2016, 09:19 AM - 1 Like   #9
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I'm not sure how this

QuoteQuote:
Filming and Photography permit applications will generally be approved provided that the requested activities:
  • are appropriate to the purpose for which the park was established; and
  • can be sustained without causing unacceptable impacts to park resources or values.
Unacceptable impacts are impacts that, individually or cumulatively, would:
  • be inconsistent with a park's purposes or values, or
  • impede the attainment of a park's desired future conditions for natural and cultural resources as identified through the park's planning process, or
  • create an unsafe or unhealthful environment for visitors or employees, or
  • diminish opportunities for current or future generations to enjoy, learn about, or be inspired by park resources or values, or
  • unreasonably interfere with:
    • park programs or activities, or
    • an appropriate use, or
    • other atmosphere of peace and tranquility, or the natural soundscape maintained in historic or commemorative locations within the park, or
    • NPS concessioner or contractor operations or services.
can be legal. The other stuff, sure, because that's not violating speech. But to say "We don't like this photography style" on federal land seems to be a clear violation of the 1st Amendment. My limited knowledge of case law says that they can require a permit but they cannot deny one because they don't like what you'll be saying. In fact, the permit *must* be granted. Obviously no one has challenged this law.


But whatever. After 9/11, liberty went in the toilet. And no one cared.

---------- Post added 02-28-16 at 10:20 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Many public parks now require a permit and fee before commercial photographers (read wedding) may use them for paid shoots.
I had to buy one as an amateur. Basically, anything other than cell phone counts as permit requiring.
02-28-2016, 09:31 AM - 1 Like   #10
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You have camera gear, you have money, we want it. Expect this to get worse. If you argue it will end up costing more.There are pensions to pay.
02-28-2016, 09:31 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by MadMathMind Quote
I'm not sure how this

can be legal. The other stuff, sure, because that's not violating speech. But to say "We don't like this photography style" on federal land seems to be a clear violation of the 1st Amendment. My limited knowledge of case law says that they can require a permit but they cannot deny one because they don't like what you'll be saying. In fact, the permit *must* be granted. Obviously no one has challenged this law.


But whatever. After 9/11, liberty went in the toilet. And no one cared.

---------- Post added 02-28-16 at 10:20 AM ----------



I had to buy one as an amateur. Basically, anything other than cell phone counts as permit requiring.
I guess I have been lucky. I have taken pictures in countless national parks and monuments and have never been required to secure a permit. My guess is if you are disrupting activities at these sites you will probably have an issue.
02-28-2016, 09:36 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by MadMathMind Quote
I had to buy one as an amateur. Basically, anything other than cell phone counts as permit requiring.
Where was this? Was it perhaps overly close interpretation of the Park regulation?

If they're making it that hard to enjoy the park (as I define enjoy) then I'll just buy a book and look at someone else's pictures. And not pay the Park entry fee, patronize the restaurants and hotels in the area nor vote for the next Parks tax increase.

AFA violating park standards and values, they're probably trying to control nudes. They probably know it is a violation, but they just don't want to take the flack from the visitors.
02-28-2016, 09:38 AM   #13
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Public Parks

QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
In Algonquin Park here, it would seem the issue of baiting animals has directed a huge amount of hostility from park staff and the public. It's just bizarre, the current practice of having hundreds of thousands of visitors stay in fairly small campgrounds means animals are wandering through the campgrounds all summer looking for food. IN the winter, all the campers go home and there are some seriously habituated animals left without a food supply. If a photographer hands them scrap of his granola bar or something, everyone take a conniption. It's bizarre, photographers don't cause the problem, at the worst photographer help out a few animals that have been previously conditioned by campers wo are now short of food,yet park staff and the public in general don't go around screaming at campers. They save that for anyone with a camera. Photographers are conspicuous because of their gear, especially long lens guys.

Welcome to being a part of a visible minority. This is how it works.

You get blamed for things other people do, just because you carry a long lens, and they carried a long lens. The things the majority do are accepted,(park staff gave up on the policing and enforcement of wildlife feeding regulations in the campgrounds long ago,) if you do the same thing, you're a criminal. Law enforcement targets you, because they see your long lens. And if they are in the mood, they'll get out of their vehicle, and stand there yelling at you, when clearly no one is currently committing a crime.

If they want to arrest offenders, no problem, if they want to confront people , just because they have long lenses, big problem.
This is a touchy topic. Many folks don't think its proper to bait wild animals for the purpose of taking photographs. In fact, many states in the US make it illegal to feed any wild game animals regardless of the purpose.
02-28-2016, 09:42 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by MadMathMind Quote
NPS concessioner or contractor operations or services.
If a commercial photographer had paid a blanket fee and obtained a license to take and sell photos of the Park that's probably their justification for a private-use fee.
02-28-2016, 09:48 AM   #15
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Guidelines for Photography and Filming -Discovery Green, Houston, Texas

QuoteQuote:
The park is a gorgeous setting and backdrop for amateur and professional photographers alike. Photographs and video at the park for personal use are welcome provided their activity does not restrict public use of an area of the park. Check out Discovery Greenís Flickr Pool where you can share your photos of Discovery Green!
QuoteQuote:
Single photographer $10 per hour (price may increase depending on the details, time and location of the shoot)
Read their Guidelines for Photography and Filming.

What a load of crap. I'm not paying them $10. Just trying to park around there is horrible and costly enough. When did this start? I was there in 2010 with a camera for about 2 hours and nobody said a word to me.
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