Forums > Photography Talk > OCF in NYC?

Photographer

sunshine7913

Posts: 86

KEW GARDENS, New York, US

I wish to try OCF with AD200 if I get one but I heard that it is illegal to put a light stand with a strobe or studio light without a permit. Is there any other way to avoid this?

Jun 05 17 10:55 pm Link

Photographer

LightDreams

Posts: 1085

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Check the bylaws / permit requirements for your particular area and ask for a copy.  That way you can check EXACTLY how they specify when you cross the line and need a permit.  It's also useful to keep a copy with you should there be a dispute over what the specific permit requirements are or are not, especially when you're barely getting around the requirements(!).

Some areas specify light stands or tripods when they "draw the line" as to what requires a permit.  In many cases monopods, light poles or assistants holding lighting equipment can get around the restrictions.  Or the permits may apply to "commercial" shoots, etc.  So check for any rules that may apply for both the specific location / type of location (park, beach, or specific attraction) and the general jurisdiction that you want to shoot in / at. The rules can vary significantly, so...

Anyway, good luck!

Jun 05 17 11:13 pm Link

Photographer

FFantastique

Posts: 2088

Orlando, Florida, US

Side note with regard to maintaining compliance and keeping copies of rules--CFR allowing passengers to have hand inspections of film and cameras with film, regardless of ASA. [I don't have the CFR numbers handy but I may have posted about this a decade ago. May be not.]

This applies to fewer and fewer folk but it applies to some so I mention it as a sidebar, and not to divert the thread.

If you still shoot film and still want to have hand inspection, even below ASA 800, keep a copy of the Code of Federal Regulation that allows passengers on domestic carriers, regardless of point of embarkation, to request and receive, hand inspection of film. This was also on the TSA's website at one time. haven't checked lately.

The reason for keeping such regulation with camera bad, etc. is that while it may be common knowledge among photographers, it's not among the TSA inspectors that I managed to encounter. The disputes were not what I would characterize as filled with cordiality and Christmas cheer. Documentation to bolster my position would have been appreciated but was not available because I naively expected that since I knew, they would know their role.

https://vimeo.com/220393249 [5:46]--I think Charlie still uses film! ;-)

So keep a copy of the script so that the roles we all have can be played out properly.

So I fully support the previous suggestion to keep documentation handy!

Jun 06 17 03:34 am Link

Photographer

Dan Howell

Posts: 3014

New York, New York, US

sunshine7913 wrote:
I wish to try OCF with AD200 if I get one but I heard that it is illegal to put a light stand with a strobe or studio light without a permit. Is there any other way to avoid this?

Human light stand i.e. an assistant.

Jun 06 17 05:02 am Link

Photographer

Robert Feliciano

Posts: 536

New York, New York, US

Correct, you can't have a lightstand touch the ground on public property without a permit in the city.
An easy workaround is an assistant; s/he can hold a closed lightstand on her/his foot and it isn't actually touching the ground.
Another workaround is attaching a super clamp to private property. I've clamped lights to gates/poles/scaffolding.
I clamped a 7' umbrella to a fence in the park, when I told the Parks employee that it was personal, not commercial uses, she said fine. I'm not sure if a cop would have said the same thing.

Jun 06 17 09:07 am Link

Photographer

Roy Hubbard

Posts: 3127

East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, US

On paper, everyone saying you need a permit while using a lightstand is correct.

In practice, I shot for 10 years in NY using speedlights and only got asked to leave (in 10 minutes, sorry to bother you) once. One time, I was shooting at night using my monolights and Vagabond. The police rolled up, determined the flashing lights weren't gunfire, chatted the model and myself up for a few minutes, and left. They did ask whether I was a professional or not, I truthfully told them no and there was no issue.
I did get messed with a few times just for shooting with a tripod. I thought it was BS at first, but turns out a few of the spaces I frequented had rules against it. This includes at least The South Street Seaport, Battery Park, Gantry Park, and a stretch of The Hudson River between Christopher St and Canal iirc. Still, they were all like one time out of a dozen.

This is obviously anecdotal and YMMV, but that's how it's been for me.  I knew the rules and was always prepared for a ticket, but never got one.

Jun 06 17 12:42 pm Link

Photographer

sunshine7913

Posts: 86

KEW GARDENS, New York, US

Thx everyone. Although I shoot by myself, for OCF, I guess I need to find an assistant then.

Jun 06 17 06:03 pm Link

Photographer

Connor Photography

Posts: 8539

Newark, Delaware, US

Roy Hubbard wrote:
On paper, everyone saying you need a permit while using a lightstand is correct.

In practice, I shot for 10 years in NY using speedlights and only got asked to leave (in 10 minutes, sorry to bother you) once. One time, I was shooting at night using my monolights and Vagabond. The police rolled up, determined the flashing lights weren't gunfire, chatted the model and myself up for a few minutes, and left. They did ask whether I was a professional or not, I truthfully told them no and there was no issue.
I did get messed with a few times just for shooting with a tripod. I thought it was BS at first, but turns out a few of the spaces I frequented had rules against it. This includes at least The South Street Seaport, Battery Park, Gantry Park, and a stretch of The Hudson River between Christopher St and Canal iirc. Still, they were all like one time out of a dozen.

This is obviously anecdotal and YMMV, but that's how it's been for me.  I knew the rules and was always prepared for a ticket, but never got one.

Agreed ........x1000 smile
Unlike the small town cops and the people who live in a small town, the NYC cops and New Yorkers have seen it all.  Nothing surprises them, they don't bother you unless you are creating a scene in the middle of 5th Ave and where public safety is at risk.  Yes, I have used light stand, Yes, you just need to shoot fast and move on to another spot, lay low, polite, and non confrontational,  New York City cops are cool, talk to them as they are your buddy and you are with them.  smile     

I also use this
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61lWH4gYU3L._SL1001_.jpg

They make one with a strong suction cup also.  It is great to mount the flash on the marble wall of the building or glass window display. 

I shot this on 5th Ave with my light stand in the evening at around 9 pm.  We were there for more than 30 min, No one even cared what we were doing......  hahaa.  This is New York for you.
http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/140108/16/52cdef5007d4a.jpg

Learn the rules, and break the rules and get things done.  I don't listen to the fear mongers on the forum.  They are not exactly the movers and shakers that you need to pay attention to tongue

Jun 07 17 07:11 am Link

Photographer

Connor Photography

Posts: 8539

Newark, Delaware, US

sunshine7913 wrote:
Thx everyone. Although I shoot by myself, for OCF, I guess I need to find an assistant then.

Having an assistant is nice, but it is not always an option especially if it is not a paid commercial gig.   I use something like this to haul my gear.  I attach a collapsible pole (I don't use light stand, too big)  vertically on the handle of the cart and mount my flash there.   

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/416%2BG%2Byy%2B%2BL.jpg

With my camera gear on the cart, it creates a stable stationary place to mount the flash.  I don't use an umbrella, just a small reflector to bounce off the light. 

Good luck.

Jun 07 17 07:24 am Link

Photographer

Tom Weis

Posts: 37

Forest Hills, New York, US

Jun 18 17 08:40 pm Link

Photographer

00siris

Posts: 19181

New York, New York, US

sunshine7913 wrote:
I wish to try OCF with AD200 if I get one but I heard that it is illegal to put a light stand with a strobe or studio light without a permit. Is there any other way to avoid this?

The rules have actually relaxed over there past few years. Most times there is no issue if you're not using a tripod but I guess it depends on the exact location. For examples, beaches are usually more of a hassle than bigger parks like Flushing Meadow (where I NEVER have a problem shooting). Most locations are more concerned with equipment making others inconvenienced.
but here is a link for ACCURATE and up to date information on the specifics

http://www1.nyc.gov/site/mome/permits/permits.page

Jun 25 17 03:45 pm Link