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Photographer
cameraman K
Posts: 233
Brooklyn, New York, US


12/27/amtrak- police-arrest- photographer- participating- in-amtrak- photo-contest/ >
[Excerpt]

Armed with his Canon 5D and his new Lensbaby lens, photographer Duane Kerzic was out to win Amtrak's annual photo contest this week, hoping to win $1,000 in travel vouchers and have his photo published in Amtrak's annual calendar.

He ended up getting arrested by Amtrak police; handcuffed to wall in a holding cell inside New York City’s Penn Station, accused of criminal trespass.

Kerciz says he was hardly trespassing because he was taking photos from the train platform; the same one used by thousands of commuters everyday to step on and off the train.

"The only reason they arrested me was because I refused to delete my images," Kerzic said in a phone interview with Photography is Not a Crime on Friday.

"They never asked me to leave, they never mentioned anything about trespassing until after I was handcuffed in the holding cell."

In fact, he said, the only thing they told him before handcuffing him was that "it was illegal to take photos of the trains."

Obviously, there is a lack of communication between Amtrak's marketing department, which promotes the annual contest, called Picture Our Trains, and its police department, which has a history of harassing photographers for photographing these same trains.

Now he has sent out letters complaining of the incident to everybody from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to New York Senator Hillary Clinton to everybody in between and above, including Amtrak officials, New Jersey Transit officials and even President Bush himself, in case he feels the urge to do some work before he leaves office next month.

He has also contacted a New York City lawyer who specializes in First Amendment cases and the National Press Photographers Association has also been in contact with him.

And he has been documenting his case on his website,

including photos of his injured wrist and the various
train platforms as well as the letters he has sent out.

Now he plans to return to Penn Station and photograph the cops who arrested him as well as continue taking photos for the Amtrak contest.

“If I win that contest, I would travel all over the country taking photos,” he said.

And if he wins the lawsuit, he may end up traveling all over the world.
Dec 31 08 11:13 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Tom Linkens
Posts: 6,409
Lititz, Pennsylvania, US


That nasty, nasty, evil photography again. But I've also read about Subway Cops aresting someone for eating fries in a subway station.
Dec 31 08 11:16 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Fernando L Pacheco
Posts: 936
New York, New York, US


THANK FUCKING CHRIST SOMEBODY HAS BALLS IN THIS COUNTRY


I have to find this guy. I have to go buy him a drink RIGHT NOW.
Dec 31 08 11:18 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
HoIR Photogtaphy
Posts: 85
Longwood, Florida, US


Good for him,I cant stand it when a person with a little bit of authority feel the need to be a dick.

When I was in the Academy,it was a populat quote to say" if you can't substantiate,fabricate". Some cops are just as crooked as those they govern.
Dec 31 08 11:21 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Corey Ward
Posts: 2,479
Austin, Texas, US


I'm glad he's not sitting back. I wish more photographers would react so defensively like this and actually get something done. I know I would, but I never end up getting harassed...
Dec 31 08 11:22 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Wet Ltd
Posts: 1,936
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


Another cases of 2 parts of the government not talking.  TSA regulations do imply that they act could be see as a terrorist act (pre-planning for an attack) and so shooting at the train, or the facility is an ugly gray area.  Shooting folks like your family is fine.  Same problem at airports and shipyards. 

I can understand the Amtrak police believing they are doing the right thing, following TSA guidelines to secure their facility. 

When I saw the contest I guess I didn't think someone would shoot in a place like Penn Station...I was thinking (and they probably were also) of a great glacier national park shot of the train blasting through the snow.  I wish the photographer the best in his defense (though I think the idea of going back and shooting images of the officers is not going to end well).
Dec 31 08 11:22 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Fernando L Pacheco
Posts: 936
New York, New York, US


DONT' TALK TO POLICE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc


save yourselves the agony and watch this video. PLEASE.
Dec 31 08 11:24 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Frank McAdam
Posts: 2,213
New York, New York, US


I've been hassled and threatened by transit cops the same way taking pics on the subway even though the law clearly states I'm allowed.
Dec 31 08 11:25 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ascendant Imaging
Posts: 598
Greenville, South Carolina, US


it's all the same situation. the "jocks" and the "art geeks". everything remains constant.
at least now he has material for a script for a movie of the week.
Dec 31 08 11:28 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Howard Garcia
Posts: 2,210
New York, New York, US


Frank McAdam wrote:
I've been hassled and threatened by transit cops the same way taking pics on the subway even though the law clearly states I'm allowed.

What law?
Quote the particular law that says so.
Sho that particular article of law that says you're allowed to take pictures anywhere you want?

Dec 31 08 11:29 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Steven Barrett
Posts: 561
LONG ISLAND CITY, New York, US


For Amtrak, that is a good customer service story.
Dec 31 08 11:32 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Farenell Photography
Posts: 17,587
Albany, New York, US


Another reason why I kinda don't have a high opinion of law enforcement (I have plenty of my own outside the realm of photography).

Though I understand they have a tough job to do, there are to many ignornant Barney Fifes that have no idea what they are & are not allowed to do, which is saying nothing about those that abuse their power granted to them.
Dec 31 08 11:33 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Marc Turnley
Posts: 514
Atlanta, Georgia, US


Howard Garcia wrote:

What law?
Quote the particular law that says so.
Sho that particular article of law that says you're allowed to take pictures anywhere you want?

There isn't a law that says you shouldn't:

http://www.nppa.org/news_and_events/new … ubway.html

Dec 31 08 11:33 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Howard Garcia
Posts: 2,210
New York, New York, US


Marc Turnley wrote:

There isn't a law that says you shouldn't:

http://www.nppa.org/news_and_events/new … ubway.html

I don't care about articles, I want to see the law that says you can shoot anywhere you want.

Dec 31 08 11:38 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jtosch
Posts: 528
Seattle, Washington, US


Well, couldn't you just delete them and run am image recovery later?

Seems pretty stupid to me.
Dec 31 08 11:40 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
JD Swoger
Posts: 709
Jackson, Mississippi, US


Funny how I can not use ignorance of the law as an excuse for not being arrested, but at the same time, people empowered to protect the laws don't even know them.
Dec 31 08 11:42 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
glenn my name today
Posts: 1,025
Lancaster, California, US


Howard you and i rarely disagree, and I know you know quite a bit more than the average joe about laws, but the Constitution and its interpretations by multiple state and federal courts is pretty clear on this.

the mere absence of a statue or law specifically allowing something is not evidence that it is prohibited or unlawful.

There clearly are places where photography is NOT allowed, such as the entrances to bridges and tunnels.

there is no law that allows you to go to relieve yourself. so i cant show you a law that allows it.

but its very legal.

there are all kinds of laws and statutes about where and when you can't relieve yourself, but you can't find a law that does allow you to do so.
Dec 31 08 11:44 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Monito -- Alan
Posts: 16,524
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada


Frank McAdam wrote:
I've been hassled and threatened by transit cops the same way taking pics on the subway even though the law clearly states I'm allowed.
Howard Garcia wrote:
What law? Quote the particular law that says so. Sho that particular article of law that says you're allowed to take pictures anywhere you want?

I understand your point that there is no law specificly allowing subway photography.  However, the following law is the starting point.  Laws need to specifically disallow photography, and some do, usually with reference to national security, or they grant rule making power to the President or agencies in the executive branch.  (Note to detail oriented people: the quoted law below is about publication of images, not the actual taking thereof.)

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

I too salute Duane Kerzic for standing up to defend photographers' rights.

Dec 31 08 11:45 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Caradoc
Posts: 19,314
Scottsdale, Arizona, US


Howard Garcia wrote:
I want to see the law that says you can shoot anywhere you want.

First you have to show us the law that says you're allowed to post on Model Mayhem.

Dec 31 08 11:46 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Marc Turnley
Posts: 514
Atlanta, Georgia, US


Howard Garcia wrote:

I don't care about articles, I want to see the law that says you can shoot anywhere you want.

Generally laws don't tell you what to do, just what you can't.

Here for your perusal are the guidelines from Mayor's Office of Film:  http://www.nyc.gov/html/film/html/permi … ty01.shtml

Dec 31 08 11:49 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Wet Ltd
Posts: 1,936
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


The Department of Homeland Security has enacted the rules that tripped this photographer up.  The rules are contained in the "Rail Transportation Security" act as part of 49 CFR 1520 and 1580.  The act and background is downloadable from the TSA website.
Dec 31 08 11:56 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Howard Garcia
Posts: 2,210
New York, New York, US


glenn my name today wrote:
Howard you and i rarely disagree, and I know you know quite a bit more than the average joe about laws, but the Constitution and its interpretations by multiple state and federal courts is pretty clear on this.

the mere absence of a statue or law specifically allowing something is not evidence that it is prohibited or unlawful.

There clearly are places where photography is NOT allowed, such as the entrances to bridges and tunnels.

there is no law that allows you to go to relieve yourself. so i cant show you a law that allows it.

but its very legal.

there are all kinds of laws and statutes about where and when you can't relieve yourself, but you can't find a law that does allow you to do so.

Glen it's not a mater of agreeing or disagreeing.
Someone stated " the law clearly allows me to".
Fine, prove it.
If it's so clear, I want to see where it is so specified.
Now, by the same token, all those wanna be cops (a.k.a. mall security guards) that come and quote that it is illegal to shoot trains, or shoot in a public beach and so on, I would get in their face and demand that they show me the article of law where it says it is illegal of just STFU. The problem with that is the same problem with all law enforcement matters.  At that moment, you will lose.  On the field, the "cop" is always right.  The burden of proof that he/she/they are wrong is on you.
Is it worth going through all that trouble, aggravation and expense for one photo?

In NYC there is one simple way to avoid all that....get a permit from the CITY or the Port Authority to do a shoot on that particular area.

Dec 31 08 11:57 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Rowen
Posts: 614
Gibsonia, Pennsylvania, US


What we need to do is find a really good artist, have him set up his easel and paints in Penn Station, and begin painting the same relative picture that this photographer was trying to photograph.

It would be interesting to see what the cops would say about an artist painting a picture as opposed to a photographer taking an image of the same *scene*. 

Just a thought.....

We can thank the fear mongering and scare tactics of the past 8 years for this kind of shit.  While it is true that any place could be victim of a terrorist attack, I think we've really gone over the edge on all this shit.  Personal opinion only.

-R
Dec 31 08 11:58 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Howard Garcia
Posts: 2,210
New York, New York, US


Caradoc wrote:

First you have to show us the law that says you're allowed to post on Model Mayhem.

Come get me!
big_smile

Dec 31 08 11:59 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Austin IMagemaker
Posts: 7,774
Austin, Texas, US


cameraman K wrote:
12/27/amtrak- police-arrest- photographer- participating- in-amtrak- photo-contest/ >
[Excerpt]

Armed with his Canon 5D and his new Lensbaby lens, photographer Duane Kerzic was out to win Amtrak's annual photo contest this week, hoping to win $1,000 in travel vouchers and have his photo published in Amtrak's annual calendar.

He ended up getting arrested by Amtrak police; handcuffed to wall in a holding cell inside New York City’s Penn Station, accused of criminal trespass.

Kerciz says he was hardly trespassing because he was taking photos from the train platform; the same one used by thousands of commuters everyday to step on and off the train.

"The only reason they arrested me was because I refused to delete my images," Kerzic said in a phone interview with Photography is Not a Crime on Friday.

"They never asked me to leave, they never mentioned anything about trespassing until after I was handcuffed in the holding cell."

In fact, he said, the only thing they told him before handcuffing him was that "it was illegal to take photos of the trains."

Obviously, there is a lack of communication between Amtrak's marketing department, which promotes the annual contest, called Picture Our Trains, and its police department, which has a history of harassing photographers for photographing these same trains.

Now he has sent out letters complaining of the incident to everybody from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to New York Senator Hillary Clinton to everybody in between and above, including Amtrak officials, New Jersey Transit officials and even President Bush himself, in case he feels the urge to do some work before he leaves office next month.

He has also contacted a New York City lawyer who specializes in First Amendment cases and the National Press Photographers Association has also been in contact with him.

And he has been documenting his case on his website,

including photos of his injured wrist and the various
train platforms as well as the letters he has sent out.

Now he plans to return to Penn Station and photograph the cops who arrested him as well as continue taking photos for the Amtrak contest.

“If I win that contest, I would travel all over the country taking photos,” he said.

And if he wins the lawsuit, he may end up traveling all over the world.

We have become paranoid in the United States.

Dec 31 08 12:01 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
glamour pics
Posts: 6,095
Los Angeles, California, US


Maybe the Amtrak suits shouldn't run a contest which anyone could see would lead to incidents like this.
Dec 31 08 12:02 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Rob Domaschuk
Posts: 5,715
Naperville, Illinois, US


Wet Ltd wrote:


When I saw the contest I guess I didn't think someone would shoot in a place like Penn Station...I was thinking (and they probably were also) of a great glacier national park shot of the train blasting through the snow.

But, in all honesty, what's the difference? He'd be shooting trains.

Dec 31 08 12:03 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Wet Ltd
Posts: 1,936
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


Rob Domaschuk wrote:
But, in all honesty, what's the difference? He'd be shooting trains.

True, but in large part with passenger trains the greater concern is terrorist action to the facility to inflect the maximum possible damage/harm.  And based on worldwide attacks that's what DHS and TSA are acting on.

edit:  The suggestion above to go to the NYC permit office would be an excellent way to not get in trouble as folks will know your coming and what exactly your stated intent is.....and it's cheaper than having to post bail or pay a fine.

Dec 31 08 12:07 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Rebel Photo
Posts: 11,446
Florence, South Carolina, US


the contest:
http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentSe … y&ssid=180

Most likely, the local Police are telling what the security guards are to do. Somehow, the security guards forget just who signs the checks.
Dec 31 08 12:10 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Russell Coleman
Posts: 196
Wellington, England, United Kingdom


Howard Garcia wrote:
Is it worth going through all that trouble, aggravation and expense for one photo?

Fuck yes! and if you don't understand why then you are not a photographer. Stick to doing the GWC thing shooting topless chicks in your studio.

Dec 31 08 12:12 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SPierce Photography
Posts: 19,341
Amherst, Massachusetts, US


That's insane! In downtown San Diego, I used to hang around the train station and take photos all the time. Even stood around and talked with the employees outside. Was right up beside the train taking photos, too. Crazy!
Dec 31 08 12:15 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Howard Garcia
Posts: 2,210
New York, New York, US


rootofsilence wrote:
Fuck yes! and if you don't understand why then you are not a photographer. Stick to doing the GWC thing shooting topless chicks in your studio.

Why thank you.
I'm so GWC.
I'm honored!

Dec 31 08 12:17 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Frank Lewis Photography
Posts: 12,089
Winter Park, Florida, US


Farenell Photography wrote:
Another reason why I kinda don't have a high opinion of law enforcement (I have plenty of my own outside the realm of photography).

Though I understand they have a tough job to do, there are to many ignornant Barney Fifes that have no idea what they are & are not allowed to do, which is saying nothing about those that abuse their power granted to them.

Barney Fife was usually correct, albeit too earnest.

Dec 31 08 12:21 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Russell Coleman
Posts: 196
Wellington, England, United Kingdom


Howard Garcia wrote:
Is it worth going through all that trouble, aggravation and expense for one photo?
rootofsilence wrote:
Fuck yes! and if you don't understand why then you are not a photographer. Stick to doing the GWC thing shooting topless chicks in your studio.
Howard Garcia wrote:
Why thank you.
I'm so GWC.
I'm honored!

Hey don't go feeling all honoured and stuff - I never said you were a GWC.

You know perfectly well what I mean though, for the right photo it's always going to be worth the trouble and aggravation.

Dec 31 08 12:27 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Frank Lewis Photography
Posts: 12,089
Winter Park, Florida, US


One thing we all need to remember: Government is not, I repeat not, in the business of granting rights. They are in the business of removing rights. That's the job of government, hence the root "govern" or control. A law does not permit you to do anything, but a law does keep you from doing something.

Fredom is not free. Unless people speak out, freedom will be restricted a little more each day.
Dec 31 08 12:28 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
stan wigmore photograph
Posts: 2,397
Long Beach, California, US


The op may have worse problems ahead yet.If he publishes any of the shots he took of trains going into tunnels and forgets to comply with 2257 he may get a visit from the FBI, afterall we all know what a train going into a tunnel stands for.
Dec 31 08 12:31 pm  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
Robb Mann
Posts: 9,513
Baltimore, Maryland, US


Wow. I took photos in the NYC subway and Path trains over Thanksgiving. I had no idea I was risking arrest. Last I heard the laws against photography in NYC trains had been deemed unconstitutional... Geesh.
Dec 31 08 12:32 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
PK Brazil
Posts: 4,227
Baltimore, Maryland, US


Give a nobody a little bit of authority and they are sure to abuse it...
Dec 31 08 12:33 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Wet Ltd
Posts: 1,936
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


stan wigmore photograph wrote:
The op may have worse problems ahead yet.If he publishes any of the shots he took of trains going into tunnels and forgets to comply with 2257 he may get a visit from the FBI, afterall we all know what a train going into a tunnel stands for.

OOOOhh Jesus your right!!

He'll never get anyone to take his case at this rate!

Dec 31 08 12:35 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SI Photography
Posts: 1,894
NORTH HOLLYWOOD, California, US


cameraman K wrote:
12/27/amtrak- police-arrest- photographer- participating- in-amtrak- photo-contest/ >
[Excerpt]

Armed with his Canon 5D and his new Lensbaby lens, photographer Duane Kerzic was out to win Amtrak's annual photo contest this week, hoping to win $1,000 in travel vouchers and have his photo published in Amtrak's annual calendar.

He ended up getting arrested by Amtrak police; handcuffed to wall in a holding cell inside New York City’s Penn Station, accused of criminal trespass.

Kerciz says he was hardly trespassing because he was taking photos from the train platform; the same one used by thousands of commuters everyday to step on and off the train.

"The only reason they arrested me was because I refused to delete my images," Kerzic said in a phone interview with Photography is Not a Crime on Friday.

"They never asked me to leave, they never mentioned anything about trespassing until after I was handcuffed in the holding cell."

In fact, he said, the only thing they told him before handcuffing him was that "it was illegal to take photos of the trains."

Obviously, there is a lack of communication between Amtrak's marketing department, which promotes the annual contest, called Picture Our Trains, and its police department, which has a history of harassing photographers for photographing these same trains.

Now he has sent out letters complaining of the incident to everybody from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to New York Senator Hillary Clinton to everybody in between and above, including Amtrak officials, New Jersey Transit officials and even President Bush himself, in case he feels the urge to do some work before he leaves office next month.

He has also contacted a New York City lawyer who specializes in First Amendment cases and the National Press Photographers Association has also been in contact with him.

And he has been documenting his case on his website,

including photos of his injured wrist and the various
train platforms as well as the letters he has sent out.

Now he plans to return to Penn Station and photograph the cops who arrested him as well as continue taking photos for the Amtrak contest.

“If I win that contest, I would travel all over the country taking photos,” he said.

And if he wins the lawsuit, he may end up traveling all over the world.

That's weird..I take HD video all the time from the stations and trains and platforms and never had a problem.

Dec 31 08 12:35 pm  Link  Quote 
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