Photography in public places


davidrobinson

Link Posted 18/11/2011 - 08:13
Last weekend I had a City council multi story car park attendant ask me if I had permission to take photos from the car park we were in. I told him I didnít need permission to to take photos of the city from the car park. He said I did and in any case I could be taking photos of the cars in the car park to assist in a theft of a vehicle etc. What rubbish I thought but didnít say it.
I said I was obviously not taking pictures of the cars, he could see I was leaning on the wall looking outwards to take city photos. He then went on to say the city council had already prosecuted someone for photographing the city from a public building. I said I doubted it, he then became very heated so I packed up my camera and sat in the car till I calmed down.
What do think I should do or have done?

milamber

Link Posted 18/11/2011 - 08:21
This is getting to be a more common problem. There was quite a spat about some poor chap taking photos in a shopping centre a few weeks back.

To be honest I think you did the sensible thing. You were right and he was wrong, but sadly people in mundane jobs sometimes over-inflate their own importance to compensate.

Life is too short and their are plenty of other things to take photos of

I admire your restraint.....

tyronet2000

Link Posted 18/11/2011 - 08:35
Was he in full dress uniform with all the trimmings. You should have complimented him on how smart he looked all dressed up like a japanese admiral and asked him if he would like his photograph taken to appear on the front cover of Stuffed Shirt of the Week or is that u-tube
Regards
Stan

PPG

Blaze

Link Posted 18/11/2011 - 08:37
I reckon he was bluffing. I would go directly to the City council and ask them.
I would also note the date and time of the incident and a description of the car park attendant. If you can find out his name, even better.

In France there is a law forbidding you to take photographs of people without their permission. It is rarely applied and is not of concern if the faces are not easily identifiable. It can make street photography a little more precarious.

It may be that the owners of the car park do have the right to forbid the taking photographs from the car park - even if you are taking photos of public places.

I'd be interested to know th outcome if you do approach the council.

davidrobinson

Link Posted 18/11/2011 - 09:21
Blaze wrote:
I reckon he was bluffing. I would go directly to the City council and ask them.
I would also note the date and time of the incident and a description of the car park attendant. If you can find out his name, even better.

In France there is a law forbidding you to take photographs of people without their permission. It is rarely applied and is not of concern if the faces are not easily identifiable. It can make street photography a little more precarious.

It may be that the owners of the car park do have the right to forbid the taking photographs from the car park - even if you are taking photos of public places.

I'd be interested to know th outcome if you do approach the council.

Hi Blaze
Have taken your advice and emailed them as I feel very strongly about this.
Regards David

johnriley

Link Posted 18/11/2011 - 09:23
My English Heritage manual giving guidelines for Images of England photographers indicates that permission should be sought to take images whilst on private ground.

No permission is needed if the photographer is on publicly accessible land.

In practice, being nice to people is the best approach, explaining what you're doing even if you don't have to, and I would offer a business card as well, just in case their family has a wedding coming up.
Best regards, John

fatspider

Link Posted 18/11/2011 - 09:29
I agree with John, a council car park is still private property and you were still photographing from it, but I would have asked the chap for some ID and told him "for all I know you just want to get rid of me so you can case the place for stealing cars yourself"
My Names Alan, and I'm a lensaholic.
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cabstar

Link Posted 18/11/2011 - 09:55
Absolutely car park belongs to the council so is therefore private property. Always when in situations like this think what would you think if someone came in your garden & did this????

Being polite & tactful always goes along way as John said...
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Algernon

Link Posted 18/11/2011 - 10:27
It's possible that the Car Park hadn't been designed for
taking pictures from and he stopped you for your own safety

Think I'm joking?????.... The loading of cars is much
lighter than a lot of spectators so it is correct to make
sure that it is only used for what it was designed for
i.e.as a Car Park

A few years ago Liverpool Council realized that if say the
Queen came to a certain part of Liverpool, spectators would
stand in a multi-storey car park so they blanked it off with
hoardings
Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff

Algi

tyronet2000

Link Posted 18/11/2011 - 10:46
Algernon wrote:


A few years ago Liverpool Council realized that if say the
Queen came to a certain part of Liverpool, spectators would
stand in a multi-storey car park so they blanked it off with
hoardings

Did they remember to open it again after the event?
Regards
Stan

PPG

Algernon

Link Posted 18/11/2011 - 11:16
It was just the narrow side of the car park, so it was
permanently blocked off! Can't be done on every
car park due to wind forces.
Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff

Algi

RayB

Link Posted 18/11/2011 - 12:17
Of course, one could also argue that as a resident of the town (presumably), the OP's council tax pays for the upkeep of the facility and that he'd also paid to park therein...

It sounds as though the attendant didn't have enough to do.

cabstar

Link Posted 18/11/2011 - 13:38
just because land belongs to the council does not immediately make it a public right of way. It could be argued that maintenance of the carpark comes from issuing parking tickets. I don't think a judge would upheld that as a council tax payer would give you unlimited access to the council carpark...

IANAL by the way, just a sad geeky law students...
PPG Wedding photography Flickr
Concert photography

Currently on a Pentax hiatus until an FF Pentax is released

RayB

Link Posted 18/11/2011 - 14:16
My point is that discretion would be the better part of valor in this situation - if the OP was not posing a risk to others the attendant should have left him alone; if he was posing a risk to himself, well, so be it. To say that the OP might have been taking pictures to aid in theft is, quite honestly, bordering on slander.

I'd wager that had the OP been part of a group of oiks on those stupid mini-bikes that seem to infest car parks these days, the attendant would have stayed put in his cabin.

A bit too much of the nanny state and not enough common sense here.

Blaze

Link Posted 18/11/2011 - 14:28
RayB wrote:

I'd wager that had the OP been part of a group of oiks on those stupid mini-bikes that seem to infest car parks these days, the attendant would have stayed put in his cabin.

Equally so had the OP been dressed as a little old granny !
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