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Photographer
Boho Hobo
Posts: 25,351
Portland, Oregon, US


Dec 31 08 12:38 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Luminos
Posts: 6,057
Columbia, Maryland, US


Rob Domaschuk wrote:

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

I'm still waiting for someone to show what law he violated, specifically, in taking pictures in a public place from a public platform of a public train.

I have three times been stopped while shooting in downtown DC and told it was against the law for professional photographers to take pictures without a permit in a public place.   Only when I showed government ID to indicate that I was attached to government offices, and declared that photography was my hobby, did they leave me alone.   I was taking pictures snapshot style, no lighting, and no one else but my daughter.   We were doing family snapshots out on holiday.

9/11 created a nationwide policeforce of Nazis.  It gave them an excuse. They won't protect us from terrorists, but they will surely abuse their powers for their own amusement.

Dec 31 08 12:38 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gil Rivera
Posts: 551
New York, New York, US


We should all (photographers) organise a protest. Lets go to that platform with our cameras and snap away at the same time.
Dec 31 08 12:40 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Magnus Hedemark
Posts: 4,281
Raleigh, North Carolina, US


Am I the only person bristling at the term "Amtrak police"?!?
Dec 31 08 12:47 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
10X Images
Posts: 51
Union City, California, US


I have unique perspective on this and I am really interested in finding out the outcome of the case.  Anyone know where to follow up on the outcome?  I'm in California.

Thanks!

Happy NewYear by the way!
Dec 31 08 12:52 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Time to Shoot
Posts: 4,724
Arlington, Virginia, US


Some of the discussion here is about what law he broke by photographing. He technically was not charged with violation of a law prohibiting photography. They rightfully or wrongly charged him with criminal trespass. Different can of worms. Albeit it may have been the only charge the pseudo-cops could think of AFTER they arrested him. Depends on what the prosecutor decides but it may never make it to trial. The guy still will be out lots of $s for legal advice and counsel unless ACLU or someone else steps up probono.

I once was rousted on a public sidewalk trying to take a photo of an FDIC office. This was pre-911 by the way. Packed up my 4x5, tripod and gear and went on my way. Of course the boys in gray pants and blue sportcoats did copy down my ID information.
Dec 31 08 12:53 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Time to Shoot
Posts: 4,724
Arlington, Virginia, US


Magnus Hedemark wrote:
Am I the only person bristling at the term "Amtrak police"?!?

oxymoron

Dec 31 08 12:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Wet Ltd
Posts: 1,936
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


10X Images wrote:
I have unique perspective on this and I am really interested in finding out the outcome of the case.  Anyone know where to follow up on the outcome?  I'm in California.

Thanks!

Happy NewYear by the way!

I do not think that it has worked it's way through the system yet...these can take as much as a year if they are in the federal system.

Dec 31 08 12:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
10X Images
Posts: 51
Union City, California, US


Wet Ltd wrote:

I do not think that it has worked it's way through the system yet...these can take as much as a year if they are in the federal system.

Dec 31 08 12:58 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
10X Images
Posts: 51
Union City, California, US


Yeah, figured as much!

Thanks anyways.
Dec 31 08 12:58 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Halcyon 7174 NYC
Posts: 20,109
New York, New York, US


Howard Garcia wrote:

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

Amendment I

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.

Dec 31 08 01:12 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
biwa
Posts: 2,593
Pinole, California, US


Dec 31 08 01:13 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Howard Garcia
Posts: 2,210
New York, New York, US


Ched wrote:

Amendment I

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'm sorry, please point out where in this quotation does it clearly says that we are allowded to take pictures anywhere we want.

Ok, let me save you the trouble....it doesn't exist.
People take for granted (and love to throw this on our faces) that anything is allowed by law. "I'm an American" or "I'm a US CItized therefore I'm allowed by law..."

Now, on the other hand, there are such things as The Patriot Act that restricts the use of photography in certain areas in the name of National Security.
Sadly its enforcement is often abused and misquoted.
Ranting and posting bullshit on forums like these, while it makes us feel better by venting, does nothing to solve the problem.

It's probably going to take some cojones, a load of $$ and a battery of fearless lawyers and organizations like PPA and ASMP to do some type of Class Action Lawsuit and go to the Supreme Court to have said laws repealed (and I'm not even sure that can be done either).
But individually trying to take on the Big Dog...you will always loose.  Maybe after a long drawn court case you may.....maybe, possibly win but at what cost?

And for those who stand up, pounding your chest and saying "fuck yeah it's worth it" blah blah blah...hey, go ahead, knock yourself out.  Spend all your money and you do time in jail while your lawyer sorts it out.  Challenge the Big Dog.  Go fight "the Good Fight".
I thank you for it.
Oh what happened, oh, they said they're sorry and gave you your camera back?
But the law still stands.

Dec 31 08 01:34 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Bobs Fine Art
Posts: 1,365
Annandale, Virginia, US


penn station NY is a restricted military zone, it is not a public street or sidewalk, their is no right to shoot pictures there, unless you got a permit, or military escort!
Dec 31 08 02:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Bobs Fine Art
Posts: 1,365
Annandale, Virginia, US


NJTtransit police were evidently arresting people who where taking pictures of trains from the publicly owned land near the train tracks. I heard they changed their procedures, so they will only arrest ya if your taking pictures from njt owned land
Dec 31 08 03:02 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
c_d_s
Posts: 7,771
Lubbock, Texas, US


Rebel Photo wrote:
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.

Maybe the guy should have read the rules posted on that site:

Amtrak reminds the public and especially those who may photograph a train to stay out of danger. It is very important to stay away from tracks, moving trains, yards, railroad structures (such as bridges, trestles, towers and wires) and the railroad right-of-way. Photographers must not trespass on railroad property or on private property adjacent to the railroad. Instead, stay in public access areas, such as stations, sidewalks or parking lots. All participants agree to assume the risk of harm and release Amtrak from all liability for personal injury and loss of property. Photographers are reminded that railroad tracks, trestles, yards and equipment are private property and that trespassers are subject to arrest and fines. Some stations served by Amtrak trains require advance permission for photography. Always obey all local rules and laws.

Dec 31 08 03:09 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Wet Ltd
Posts: 1,936
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


c_d_s wrote:
Some stations served by Amtrak trains require advance permission for photography. Always obey all local rules and laws.

Damn it, it's that silly reading stuff again problem!  isn;t there someplace that could teach folks the importance of read??

Dec 31 08 03:19 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ryan L Holbrook
Posts: 631
Raleigh, North Carolina, US


Fernando Pacheco wrote:
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.

You and me both.

This has been a huge problem since 9/11.  We also need to remember our rights as photographers as well.  It is why I have my lawyer on speed dial.

Dec 31 08 04:01 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
STUDIO 236
Posts: 936
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


Wet Ltd wrote:
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).

at all underground stations in melbourne there are signs everywhere that bans having a camera out taking photos...

Dec 31 08 04:09 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SAG Photography
Posts: 2,797
Valencia, California, US


I was taking all the pictures I wanted in Tokyo in Sep, 08 in the subway system stations, I even have shots with the crew waving.
Dec 31 08 04:16 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
CanonGuy
Posts: 623
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, US


Professional Photographers of America website has links to all the important issues about this. They deal in copyright as well as photographing in public  www.ppa.com
Dec 31 08 04:31 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Wet Ltd
Posts: 1,936
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


peter leverett wrote:
at all underground stations in melbourne there are signs everywhere that bans having a camera out taking photos...

Leave it to the Aussie's to know how to alert folks to restricted activities.  Maybe I need to move in with my cousin down there.

Dec 31 08 04:48 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
LarsLarsen
Posts: 680
Charlottesville, Virginia, US


Its fun when you're telling a cop that what he thinks is a crime is not even close to any law on the books.  And that he can only stick you with a bogus charge that will get thrown out.  I.E. Harass you.  They either realize you're right,  or start repeating that its a crime in a LOUDER TONE OF VOICE,  as if they talk louder they're going to be more "right".

If you social engineer them and stroke their cop-ego, usually you don't get arrested.  If you don't,  he does what you say he can do.  smile  Either way you have to stop what you're doing or they'll just keep bugging you.

When cops talk to me about "confiscating" things,  I say "oh, you mean THEFT?  Thats a law isn't it?  You just said you're going to steal my property?".  Works EVERY time. 

I'm glad this guy stood up for his rights.  I don't know if he was rude with the cop,  or if he just ran into "that one" asshole cop out there that day.  Neither cops nor private individuals or companies can make you delete pictures or film.  You may get a tresspassing charge,  although generally if asked to leave and you refuse you get a charge.  If you just go you're not charged because you're not there when you "know you shouldnt be there".  At least in my state thats how it is legally and practically.

NYC has too many laws.  I don't like going there because you never know when you'll be sitting in the park relaxing and all of a sudden you see a 40 foot wide wall of cops in riot gear with M-14s.  Great photo... but damn,  wtf?  You get busted for taking it!  sad
Dec 31 08 04:56 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
LarsLarsen
Posts: 680
Charlottesville, Virginia, US


peter leverett wrote:
at all underground stations in melbourne there are signs everywhere that bans having a camera out taking photos...

I heard it was the same in England.

Then after the train bombings they asked everyone to send in their photos so they could use them as evidence.

Well make up your minds!  Do you want us to take photos or not?

Took this in DC metro.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2021/1642036113_33b618afa5.jpg?v=0

Dec 31 08 05:02 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Fiddlers Green Photo
Posts: 1,350
Edmonds, Washington, US


I didn't read most of this but if you can see it you can take a photo of it. There is no law saying you can take a picture of anything you want: your law enforcers have to show you a law that says you can't.
The truely stupid side of this is that the terrorist people have already photographed it and if they need new ones they would just go take some more.
Cops will now buy this guy a whole bunch of new cameras!
I am a law enforcer myself, I don't make up laws and I have had to tell a number of my fellow law enforcers time and again: you don't make up laws and if you do you are gonna have trouble.
Dec 31 08 09:38 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Fiddlers Green Photo
Posts: 1,350
Edmonds, Washington, US


better add to this that if they want photos they will take them right under the nose of LE using things that don't even look like cameras.
Dec 31 08 09:39 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
No One of Consequence
Posts: 2,980
Winchester, Virginia, US


Howard Garcia wrote:

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

Ask, and ye shall receive:

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.

Dec 31 08 09:59 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
No One of Consequence
Posts: 2,980
Winchester, Virginia, US


Dave Nicholson wrote:
Of course the boys in gray pants and blue sportcoats did copy down my ID information.

You should have returned the favor.   IIRC, Law Enforcement officers must provide their photo id and/or badge number on demand.

Dec 31 08 10:03 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Paul Bryson Photography
Posts: 48,035
Hollywood, Florida, US


cameraman K wrote:
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.

...sounds like a conspiracy to me...

Dec 31 08 10:06 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Vanishing Point Ent
Posts: 1,688
Los Angeles, California, US


So it seems, that the marketing dept is guilty of violating Homeland

Security laws.  Get them arrested.  Have a name from

marketing ready to throw at the cops.

Second, in the " old days of film ", photojournalists kept an extra roll of

blank film, ready to hand over to authorities, by using a

simple sleight-of-hand, ( well practiced ) so they can get away with it.

Also, at the first sign of trouble, pull the good film card, from the camera,

hide it in your sock & have the blank one, in place in the camera, then

when they ask you to delete the images, just give them the empty card.

Sometimes, the OLD tricks can work just as well now.
Dec 31 08 10:11 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
myfotographer
Posts: 3,387
Fresno, California, US


Well, I guess, I've just been lucky. I shoot at the local train stations ALL the time as it has some fabulous architecture and it gets the most gorgous evening light.

hmmmmmmm.
Dec 31 08 10:13 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
digital Artform
Posts: 49,326
Los Angeles, California, US


Amazing story - especially the fact that the photos were Amtrak's idea!
Dec 31 08 10:16 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Natures Spirit Photo
Posts: 46
Hazleton, Indiana, US


I know the feeling, my wife and I were out for our anniversary and driving across a bridge with a public walkway we saw some beautiful light's, so we stopped and walked out on the bridge and the next thing we knew we were surrounded by 6 cops and getting frisked and held till they completed a check on both of us, I didn't know the lights were a refinery, and then another time in VA at a state park I was taking some shots of the wifes cousin, again stopped and checked and told I needed a permit to shoot on the state lands.... so where can you take a dam picture anymore.....????
Dec 31 08 10:25 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Paul Bryson Photography
Posts: 48,035
Hollywood, Florida, US


digital Artform wrote:
Amazing story - especially the fact that the photos were Amtrak's idea!

Like I said above...I think it's a conspiracy: They put out a "contest" - but the whole idea is to make money from arresting amateurs who don't know the law.

Maybe they'll get their fucking ass busted this time. big_smile

Dec 31 08 10:35 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jon Warren Photography
Posts: 31
Chicago, Illinois, US


Joe Lisa wrote:
so where can you take a dam picture anymore.....????

And people (by that I mean photographers and models I know) wonder why I want to ONLY shoot in my own studio.  Heck, I don't really even like stepping outside to take a shot -- I do, but I don't really like it.  It's just safer to stay in your own space -- if it isn't any safer, don't burst my bubble.  lol

Dec 31 08 10:48 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Paul Bryson Photography
Posts: 48,035
Hollywood, Florida, US


Jon Warren Photography wrote:

And people (by that I mean photographers and models I know) wonder why I want to ONLY shoot in my own studio.  Heck, I don't really even like stepping outside to take a shot -- I do, but I don't really like it.  It's just safer to stay in your own space -- if it isn't any safer, don't burst my bubble.  lol

Your bubble has been officially bursted. big_smile

*hides 'on location' portfolio*

Dec 31 08 10:54 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Curt McClain
Posts: 179
New Orleans, Louisiana, US


Question authority, or the authorities will be questioning you.

I think we are getting to a point in this country where the only way you can protect your rights is to demand them.
Dec 31 08 11:02 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
C and J Photography
Posts: 1,986
Hauula, Hawaii, US


Roger Barnstead wrote:
better add to this that if they want photos they will take them right under the nose of LE using things that don't even look like cameras.

There have to be more than a few camera phones capable or recording 4 to 16gb of video (or even being programed to shoot 2mp or better stills every few seconds) while sitting in a belt holster and the "Photographer" is just walking around enjoying the archetecture.

Add that to recent technology that can compile infinite composite image files and it is not unreasonable to believe a file of penn station with enough detail for any plausable engineering purpose could be generated on the fly on the sly in a few days.

What all this "enforcement" really does is placebo effect.

Dec 31 08 11:03 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Fiddlers Green Photo
Posts: 1,350
Edmonds, Washington, US


every minute spent messing with people who are not doing anything is time given to the people who are going to have them for lunch. They are dummies and yes it is all lookie see pigin
Dec 31 08 11:09 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
J C ModeFotografie
Posts: 14,718
Los Angeles, California, US


Fernando Pacheco wrote:
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.

Amen brother!  And then maybe we can get something done about this 2257 $hit . . .

Dec 31 08 11:16 pm  Link  Quote 
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