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Forums > General Industry > England: Shooting Nudes at Stonehenge?? Search   Reply
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Photographer
Stephen Dawson
Posts: 29,246
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


OK, I have checked out access to Stonehenge and find that I can purchase tickets for access to the "inner circle" for an hour, and there are a maximum of 26 sold for the hour.

You have to fill out a questionnaire and there are many about photographs. Mainly seeking to identify commercial use. There are no specific questions about are you going to shoot a nude model.

In a perfect world, I would be open and inquire about this with the English Heritage people, but I don't want to attract attention to myself if it would be inconvenient.

Besides, it is a lot harder to beg forgiveness if permission has previously been denied.

So I have a general question about shooting public nudes in England. Would a typical reaction just be a directive to stop it? Given the one hour duration, I can't imagine a police officer arriving in the act, and given the surrounding open fields it would not be easy. Are we risking a criminal charge?

Any and all thoughts and information are welcome.

Note that I am only interested in things very artistic and respectful. A bikini might be perfectly legal, but nothing like what I want to do.

Thanks
Dec 14 08 02:45 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
west172
Posts: 73
Bristol, England, United Kingdom


sounds like a great concept for a shoot, but quiet frankly given how incredibly over zealous security officers & the police have become, I wouldn't mind betting that within seconds the security officers would kick you off site and with the potential prosecution of your model.

Don't want to appear negative... but us Brits have laws going back to Dickensian times and we are considered such prudes that the mere thought of a nude would drive the country to morale breakdown!! lol...
Dec 14 08 02:54 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
jesse paulk
Posts: 3,712
Phoenix, Arizona, US


do it anyway!
Dec 14 08 03:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ray Holyer
Posts: 2,000


Stonehenge is one of the major tourist sites in the UK.  The place is crawling with people, even if access to the inner circle is restricted.  You won't last five minutes.
Dec 14 08 03:04 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
H5D PHOTOGRAPHER
Posts: 3,837
Gig Harbor, Washington, US


The charge is called public indecency in the UK.

Its one thing if you have the site to yourself & have agreed this with the Heritage dept... but if you try to go guerilla all it takes is one of the other 24 ticket holders to call on a cell phone.. even taking a picture on the cell as evidence & you'll get a world of agro!!
Dec 14 08 03:05 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AcmeStudios
Posts: 4,528


west172 wrote:
sounds like a great concept for a shoot, but quiet frankly given how incredibly over zealous security officers & the police have become, I wouldn't mind betting that within seconds the security officers would kick you off site and with the potential prosecution of your model.

Don't want to appear negative... but us Brits have laws going back to Dickensian times and we are considered such prudes that the mere thought of a nude would drive the country to morale breakdown!! lol...

Isn't there a Pagan Holiday where they run around with torches naked for one reason or another?

Just shoot that day? LOL

Best wishes.

Dec 14 08 03:06 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Paul Bryson Photography
Posts: 48,035
Hollywood, Florida, US


I don't know the laws over there; but just as a precaution, have your camera connected to an ftp upload via satellite so your pics are stored off-site...ya know...just in case. wink
Dec 14 08 03:08 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
shotbykevin
Posts: 74
Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada


Shoot Quickly.

Were you going to buy all 26 tickets for the hour?
Dec 14 08 03:09 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
B R U N E S C I
Posts: 25,319
Bath, England, United Kingdom


Good luck with that smile

Just my $0.02

Ciao
Stefano
Dec 14 08 03:09 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
e-string
Posts: 24,002
Kansas City, Missouri, US


CCTV.
Dec 14 08 03:10 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
shotbykevin
Posts: 74
Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada


Just did a google search....Naked at Stonehenge, already been done.

http://www.jpgmag.com/photos/1153159

-K
Dec 14 08 03:10 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Austin IMagemaker
Posts: 7,779
Austin, Texas, US


Do it or you will be branded a coward.
Dec 14 08 03:11 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
F4 Photography
Posts: 58
Abbeville, Alabama, US


nvm
Dec 14 08 03:12 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
B R U N E S C I
Posts: 25,319
Bath, England, United Kingdom


Paul Bryson Photography wrote:
I don't know the laws over there

It's not an offence for a female to be naked in public in the UK.... as long as nobody makes an official complaint and uses the words "I was offended". If they say they thought it was inappropriate there's nothing the police can do as the charge is something like "Causing public offence" so they have to use the word "offended" in the complaint. If you were thinking of photographing a male model though the situation would be different as the mere act of exposing one's "person" (for a male) is considered a deliberate attempt to shock or offend.

However, Stonehenge is effectively a privately owned tourist resort these days, so I imagine the security guards would be on the scene pretty quickly regardless of public reaction.

Just my $0.02

Ciao
Stefano

Dec 14 08 03:12 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
EL Perdido
Posts: 9,401
TERLINGUA, Texas, US


Why don't you be totally up front with the people at Stonehenge?
Dec 14 08 03:13 pm  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
studio36uk
Posts: 21,713
Tavai, Sigave, Wallis and Futuna


More in general observation Stephen. There is no explicit law prohibiting nudity in a public place in the UK - - - but there are usually some reserve charges that can be brought if you are asked to stop and do not comply. Including "exposure"** if the exhibition is thought to be, but not necessarily is, of a sexual nature sufficient to give rise to a claim of inducing "alarm or distress", in the complaining party. Even the Sexual Offences Act [2003], that for the first time ever in English law established the "exposure" offence while at the same time replacing a lot of related old law, does not outlaw public nudity absolutely or even sex acts in public places [e.g. at a beach, or in a forest area] PROVIDED that one seeks out and takes advantage of a minimum effort at seclusion from wide open, but not necessarily all, public view of the activity. Intent is an element of the s:66 "exposure" offence.[see below]

You will also note that "exposure" is contingent on the exposure of the genitals and does not include female or male breasts or buttocks, which arguably are not a person's genitals.

As to English Heritage and the National Trust [NT], in particular, they have and do exercise certain rights as the "[pseudo] property owner" at properties under their care and control even where they may not be the "legal" owner but merely manage the property [hold it in trust]. In their scheme of things they may permit all or some, or only commercially directed, photography at, say, a historic manor house and the associated grounds selectively. That is, they may prohibit or limit photography in or of the structures, by some visitors or all of them, while at the same time permit [or prohibit] it on the grounds generally. Each property is managed individually and there is no general rule or yardstick that can be anticipated for any one of them in advance of asking.

Studio36

** Sexual offences Act 2003
66
Exposure
(1)A person commits an offence if—
(a)he intentionally exposes his genitals, and
(b)he intends that someone will see them and be caused alarm or distress
Dec 14 08 03:15 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Andrew Thomas Evans
Posts: 24,078
Toulon, Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur, France


What would adding a naked model (I'm assuming it's a guy since it's art) in front of this place do to add to the picture?

What would adding this background do to the picture of the naked model?



I must be a prude, but I can't find any good reason what so ever to try this other than to say "I did this" and sell some erotic work. I really do feel that the nude figure can stand on it's own, rather than needing to add backgrounds to it.
Dec 14 08 03:16 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ray Holyer
Posts: 2,000


Is anyone prepared to go through the English Heritage byelaws that are bound to govern what people can and can't do on the site?

And the 'curators' are there to stop people damaging the stones, so they tend to spot anything untoward quite quickly.
Dec 14 08 03:17 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ryuuzaki
Posts: 403
San Jose, California, US


You know you want it!, Go for it, you will have lots of support lol, waiting hard for those images
Dec 14 08 03:19 pm  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
studio36uk
Posts: 21,713
Tavai, Sigave, Wallis and Futuna


MarcFotoGrafiK wrote:
The charge is called public indecency in the UK.

No. In fact the offence is called simply "exposure" there is no offence called "public indecency"

Studio36

Dec 14 08 03:29 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
B R U N E S C I
Posts: 25,319
Bath, England, United Kingdom


studio36uk wrote:
No. In fact the offence is called simply "exposure" there is no offence called "public indecency"

And this applies to males only, yes? The situation with females being nude in public in the UK is even less clear cut AFAIK.

Dec 14 08 03:36 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Why Dangle
Posts: 2,791
Manchester, England, United Kingdom


Would....... "she/he was a streaker and I just happened to be there with my camera guv." be a defence ?
Dec 14 08 03:42 pm  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
studio36uk
Posts: 21,713
Tavai, Sigave, Wallis and Futuna


Stefano Brunesci wrote:
And this applies to males only, yes? The situation with females being nude in public in the UK is even less clear cut AFAIK.

Less clear? That may be true. There is an interesting case that was heard in US law where the defence was advanced and accepted by the court to the effect that one can not simply "see" a female's genitals because they are not external. I don't know if that has ever been tried in the UK as a defence to a charge of exposure under the SOA[2003] One might argue it on it's merits in the case of a female, but the s:66 offence would most certainly be easier for the prosecution to prove in the case of a male.

The police, generally, are a pretty tolerant bunch unless the exposure is very intentional, very blatant, and very public.

AFAIK even in Scotland where Breach of the Peace is still on the books Steve Gough [the "Naked Rambler"] was charged more than once for such things as obstructing traffic while walking on roads; once for carrying an offensive weapon because he had a knife in his backpack [kind of a bogus charge I think]; and more recently for breaching bail conditions... Just about anything except "exposure"

Studio36

Dec 14 08 03:44 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
J O N A T H A N
Posts: 2,149
Chicago, Illinois, US


IF its truly worth it to you, you would risk a criminal charge for your art as many artists have done before you
Dec 14 08 04:15 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
HerbP
Posts: 545
Winter Springs, Florida, US


Some five or six decades ago, before thousands of adventure-seeking tourists crossed the Atlantic and Channel every day and Stonehenge was an obscure relic of interest only to those deep into arcane historical items, some of the famous nude photographers of the day took pictures of nudes at Stonehenge with apparently with either no problem at all or perhaps a few dollars in some pockets to pave the way. I can remember seeing some of those pictures in the publications of the day. Perhaps the shoots were in the early morning or late afternoon light.
Dec 20 08 01:31 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Skydancer Photos
Posts: 21,906
Santa Cruz, California, US


Stefano Brunesci wrote:
Good luck with that smile

Just my $0.02

Ciao
Stefano

lol

Dec 20 08 01:32 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Justin Foto
Posts: 3,613
Sankt Margrethen, Saint Gall, Switzerland


I think if you buy all 26 tickets you should be ok.
Dec 20 08 01:36 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
c_d_s
Posts: 7,771
Lubbock, Texas, US


1. Shoot Stonehenge.
2. Go a few hundred feet away and shoot the nude.
3. Photoshop.
4. Enjoy.
Dec 20 08 01:36 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jouissance Images
Posts: 744
Bloomington, Minnesota, US


I was just there recently, and I can't imagine how you can get away with it.  Perhaps it will help being Canadian.  If you were a U.S. citizen, you'd likely need the American embassy to bail you out, and then your problems would really begin.
Dec 20 08 01:36 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Flick
Posts: 1,577
London, England, United Kingdom


Stonehenge is very disappointing and far smaller than you would think.

Haven't you ever seen Spinal Tap?
Dec 20 08 01:43 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kincaid Blackwood
Posts: 23,348
Atlanta, Georgia, US


Ray Holyer wrote:
Stonehenge is one of the major tourist sites in the UK.  The place is crawling with people, even if access to the inner circle is restricted.  You won't last five minutes.

Pretty much.  Considering its historical significance, more than crawling with just people I'd assume the place is crawling with cops...

Dec 20 08 01:44 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
John McIntire
Posts: 63
Barnsley, England, United Kingdom


Have you been to Stonehenge?

I have twice.

The whole site is no more than a few hundred square meters and jam packed full of tourists at all times and completely visible from two major roads.

In my opinion, the model would not even have time to become nude in the first place before you were stopped.

If you wanted to proceed with this, I would make direct enquiries to English Heritage and only proceed with explicit written permission.

But that is only my opinion.
Dec 20 08 01:46 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
RickMartin
Posts: 772
Aldershot, England, United Kingdom


Stefano Brunesci wrote:

And this applies to males only, yes? The situation with females being nude in public in the UK is even less clear cut AFAIK.

No.

The old law (memory says something like the 1824 Vagrancy Act, but that's almost certainly not exactly right) said about exposing one's "person", which was deemed to be a penis. However, the 2003 act changed the wording such that a woman can, theoretically, also be found guilty if she exposes her genitals with the intent to offend someone.

Dec 20 08 01:46 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ken Marcus Studios
Posts: 8,456
Los Angeles, California, US


Take the photos of Stonehenge that would make good backgrounds for your nudes. Then photoshop in the bodys that you have shot in a studio, making sure you replicate the lighting.

Nobody will know the difference and you won't spend the night in jail

KM
Dec 20 08 01:47 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
RickMartin
Posts: 772
Aldershot, England, United Kingdom


John McIntire wrote:
If you wanted to proceed with this, I would make direct enquiries to English Heritage and only proceed with explicit written permission.

Agreed.

If you try to do it without permission you'll very quickly be stopped. Therefore there is nothing to lose by asking, and potentially a lot to be gained.

Dec 20 08 01:47 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Skydancer Photos
Posts: 21,906
Santa Cruz, California, US


Consider this... How many photos of nude models at stonehenge have you ever seen?

Aside from laws, security guards, and cameras... there are hundreds (sometimes thousands) of people standing around at any given moment.

This is the "outer circle" on a typical day:
http://picasaweb.google.com/KathrynV.OL … 4463942866

The "inner circle" (you're not allowed inside the stones, if I recall correctly)
http://www.the40yearplan.com/img/071507 … urists.jpg
Dec 20 08 01:51 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
StromePhoto
Posts: 860
Kalamazoo, Michigan, US


Flick wrote:
Stonehenge is very disappointing and far smaller than you would think.

Haven't you ever seen Spinal Tap?

Beat me to the Spinal Tap reference!  Curses...

Dec 20 08 01:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Katy_T
Posts: 567
Phoenix, Arizona, US


I'm English. Generally, people are not very accepting of nudity in public, so you have to be very careful. If you were to head out to Germany, however, you could walk down the road nude, and none would batter an eyelid.

I was hoping to fit in a quick shoot to Stone Henge recently while in Europe. I am known to shoot on location in risky places and honestly - this is not the place for it. Not sure if you've been to Stone Henge before, but it is a lot different to what you might expect. The grounds are very small, sectioned off with a fence. It's packed with tourists every second.

I think paying for tickets is a waste of money. Everyone I spoke to said that they wasted their money, as you can see all you need to see from the fence, lol.

I wouldn't risk a nude shoot there. It's too risky.
Dec 20 08 02:02 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
B Browder Photo
Posts: 14,635
Charleston, South Carolina, US


I shot at Biltmore Estate in North Carolina which they have a very strict photography restriction years ago I just went there with a model and shot had no problems.  This year I wanted to shoot there but this time I thought I would do it right and request permission to shoot so is not to risk having any problems.  They sent me an email back saying I would have to purchase a permit for $5000. LOL

Moral of the story if you want to shoot somewhere just take a chance and go shoot.  If you get in under normal circumstances.
Dec 20 08 02:05 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gareth Dix
Posts: 330
Witham, England, United Kingdom


i think you'll get your ahem handed to you on a plate very quickly
Dec 20 08 02:12 pm  Link  Quote 
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