Some advice regarding photographing neighbours garden


Link Posted 10/04/2012 - 16:09
Hello all! Havent been on here for a while, what with making babies and doing the 'traditional housewife' thing!

Who would have thunk it!

You'll be pleased to know i let him watch sport at the weekend, have his tea cooked when he gets home from work and all he has to do is sort the recycling!

I dont wear yellow dresses though, i draw the line at that

Anyhoo! I wondered if you lovely fine people would help me, we have recently moved into a new house, its lovely but our very dim neighbours do not seem to understand the issues that arise from burning rubbish. I have spoken to them about it, given them leaflets and what not but they have continued to burn plastic, metal and so on on the bonfire.

I spoke to Environmental Health this morning who seem to think the best thing for me to do would be to take a log of each time they burn and what they burn. Thats fine.

I have been taking photos of their bonfire and only their bonfire, i wondered if this could get me in any trouble and, if it does, if there is a way around that? Can i say, take a photo of my whole garden that happens to include their bonfire (this would not be hard) or am i okay to collect evidence in this manner?

I would not take photos of people only mattresses ready to burn etc

Any advice greatly appreciated xx
Dont complain about the darkness, Light a candle......


Link Posted 10/04/2012 - 16:12
You can take photos of pretty much anything you like from your own property or from publicly accessible property, such as the street. I don't see any problem apart from the neighbours' behaviour.
Best regards, John


Link Posted 10/04/2012 - 18:05
This is one of my pet hate's, as soon as there is a nice day, out comes the bonfire and everyone with window's open and freshly done laundry on the line suffers. To me it's sticking a finger up at everyone and really bugs me. I would video them lighting the fire, that way the time and date is on the footage, also include yourself asking them not to do it. As far as I am aware there are certain times of the day that is permitted to light fires, isn't it after 18.30? but you carry on what your doing, nothing wrong with taking shot's of neighbours.
My piccies.


Link Posted 10/04/2012 - 20:50
thnaks guys, i have no problem with them having bonfires, its always after 6pm so no worries about washing or what not. Its the fact that they think a mattress is good 'burning' material and feel that a healthy alternative to recycling is to burn plastic!

I will continue to take photos of them burning plastic, i have informed the Environmental Health and i hope something is done quickly.

Grrr some people just have no respect for the planet, i have gone a bit 'lioness' about my childrens health too. not what want to envoke in a heavily pregnant woman with a toddler

thanks guys xx
Dont complain about the darkness, Light a candle......


Link Posted 10/04/2012 - 22:58
You could get into trouble photographing their garden if there were sunbathing semi-naked or there were small children running about, but in this case, being in 'The Public Interest' you will be fine.
My Photobucket


Link Posted 10/04/2012 - 23:05
I had a similar thing with my neighbour's building work causing me issues. I took pictures and kept notes etc. for a dossier just in case I needed to go to the small claims court and what not.

If your photography is purely for assembling a dossier of evidence for the relevant authority/court use and just shows the offending activity then you will be fine. No need to worry.
K-5, DA 1:3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL WR, M 1:2.8 28mm, M 1:1.7 50mm, M 1:3.5 135mm.


Link Posted 11/04/2012 - 01:11
greynolds999 wrote:
You could get into trouble photographing their garden if there were sunbathing semi-naked or there were small children running about, .

Not if there is no fence or nothing to block the view. If you can see it from your property or from a public space without obstruction, then you can photograph it. Publishing it would be a completely different story...
Yves (another one of those crazy Canucks)


Link Posted 11/04/2012 - 09:18
As far as I know, there would be no problem in doing what you just explained. I would definitely take care not to be seen by the neighbour (to avoid trouble) and not including them in the photo.

Keep the pictures to yourself and do not display them in public.
Because the purpose is as evidence for potential legal action, it is ok if the council would eventually make them public.

AFAIK, when in your own property, in public property and in private property (under permission) you can take pictures of anything, it does not mean you can reproduce and display those pictures.


Link Posted 11/04/2012 - 10:17
If your collecting evidence I would check if digital photos are acceptable. It might be that you have to use film. You should be able to buy a decent Pentax film camera and lens for about £20. Say an SFX, SF-10 etc.
Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

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



Link Posted 11/04/2012 - 10:27
I would just speak to someone at the council who will put you through to someone who deals with problem neighbours.

As for picture taking, a digital camera will be fine, shots from your property into someone else garden is also fine. I would advise against publishing the photos anywhere, just put them in a log with times & dates for evidence to show the person from the council.
PPG Wedding photography Flickr
Concert photography

Currently on a Pentax hiatus until an FF Pentax is released


Link Posted 11/04/2012 - 11:15
Our neighbours installed a wood burning stove (in a smokeless zone) with the chimney opposite our kitchen window. The first we knew of it was when our smoke detectors went off. I photographed the clouds of smoke and emailed them to the council. Within an hour two men from the pollution control department were round and served an enforcement notice. The neighbours now have a large cast iron ornament in their living room. Good luck!
“We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson -


Link Posted 11/04/2012 - 13:38
Ken, how i WISH my council were as on-the-ball as that.

I phoned them yesterday and they said they would 'go and have a word'

Wether they have or not i am not sure, what i do know is that the neighbours son went out there (in the rain heheh) and dismantled the bonfire, removed a ridiculous amount of wire, metal, melted plastic and what not from the pile, he has spread the ash, laid some soil and put a few ornaments down! No More Bonfire!!!!

I am going to phone the council today and let them know but i am so pleased. I took photos of him removing the bonfire, complete with mattress springs/bedsprings coming out of the ashes and no less than three bin-bags of metal and cr@p being removed.

I will keep the photos and keep the log, just in case anything of the sort happens again.

Really it would have been nice to see them recycling the metal and stuff but ah well, better than them burning more

Thanks for the advice guys, I am just chuffed with the outcome
Dont complain about the darkness, Light a candle......

George Lazarette

Link Posted 11/04/2012 - 14:20
It sounds as though they ARE on the ball, Feeb.

They appear to have achieved the same result at the cost of a phone call as Ken's people did by sending round the heavies.

If a quiet word in the ear is as effective as a clip round the ear, then it is likely to leave less resentment.

Anyway, a happy outcome.

Keywords: Charming, polite, and generally agreeable.


Link Posted 11/04/2012 - 14:34
Really it would have been nice to see them recycling the metal and stuff but ah well, better than them burning more

Having burnt off the rubbish they may well recycle the metal.
Mattresses would, as likely as not, finish up in land fill - check out your local tip for which skip to put matresses into.



Link Posted 11/04/2012 - 14:53
Sounds like a result Feeb.

As long as they haven't fly-tipped the remains that is .
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