Ok well maybe the title is a bit misleading. There are many, many places that you can set up a tripod in New York City and no authority will bother you. However these places rarely offer good vantage points. Pretty much every worthwhile landmark has tight security and the no-tripod rule is in strict enforcement. Tripods are not allowed in Times Square, Rockefeller Center, financial district, etc. The other day while trying to photograph the Brooklyn Bridge from what I thought was an inconspicuous location, I was stopped by a police officer and threatened with a ticket. Here is a PDF from the Municipal Government explaining some laws regarding filming and photography on NYC streets: permits regarding tripods The reasons are simple, tripods cause congestion on narrow sidewalks and streets. But as a photographer, how is one suppose to get a good photo in the city during darker hours?
Be sneaky, of course. The best time of day is early morning and late evening. I personally always carry my tripod retracted into a monopod, because monopods are generally accepted. Be casual, but be aware of who is around you. Police officers? Security guards? Don't spread that tripod. Mostly empty early morning streets with an occasional passerby? Then set up your tripod quickly and discreetly. Use your time within reason.
Being stopped by a police officer for something as innocuous as a tripod can be frustrating, but always be cooperative. Being difficult is a sure way to be slapped with a ticket.
Here are some shots I was lucky enough to capture with a tripod in no-tripod-zones.
ETA: One last thing... Brooklyn and Jersey's coast are generally very favorable and you can get all those classic shots of the cityscape from there at night. It's mostly Manhattan with such strict enforcement.
I'm amazed at the clarity of these night shots, tripod and low ISO notwithstanding. I note that you're shooting with a Nikon D3000. I hadn't thought that the image quality could be that good. Congratulations!
I used a tripod today in Times Square and plenty of police saw me, but no problem. However it was about 5:30 am on a sunday. I think if you choose your times wisely they won't bother. if it's 5:30 p.m. on a friday afternoon, they'll likely ask you to fold it up.
Yeah it's a gamble but I too have gotten away with it for days at a time. Then for whatever reason they come down on it hard. After the latest attempted terrorist attack in Times Square, they escalated enforcement.
the "no tripod" rule seems to be spreading ... i had similar problems visiting Europe, inside some landmarks, where the lighting was not very giving ... but i managed to steal some shots using my tripod without the interference of the security men. example
Hey good comments and advice everyone. Yeah you can definitely get away with it, even right in front of some police officers. However you'll also come across an officer who will stop you. It's hard not to take up a large part of the sidewalk at times since many are narrow.
The following activities do not require that a permit be obtained pursuant to this chapter: (i) Filming or photography occurring on City property, as described in subdivision (a) of this section, involving the use of a hand-held device as defined in paragraph three of subdivision (a) of § 9-02, provided that such activity does not involve an interaction among two or more people at a single site for thirty or more minutes, including all set-up and breakdown time in connection with such activities. (ii) Filming or photography occurring on City property, as described in subdivision (a) of this section, involving the use of a single tripod, provided that such activity does not involve an interaction among five or more people at a single site and the use of a single tripod for ten or more minutes, including all set-up and breakdown time in connection with such activities. (iii) Filming or photography of a parade, rally, protest, or demonstration except when using vehicles or equipment...(More)
Interesting, I went to New York city on May 11 and have used tripod for night scene shooting on Times Square, I even used tripod to take photos of police car in stand by mode at side street. So far, no police officers give me any warning. I must be lucky then.
Thanks guys. Yeah asking and knowing is better for sure if an officer is around. However sometimes I find even the officers are confused about were it's permitted and were it's banned. Some will stop you, some won't. If you have 5 or more people (models etc), then a permit is pretty much necessary.
Interact, make friends, share tips and techniques, have fun. Dreamstime wants your ideas and thoughts whether you are a photographer, designer or regular user. Create a blog to tell your story, promote favorite images and photographers, post tutorials or simply exchange opinions with your with fellow dreamstimers.
Don't forget words and pictures go great together so make sure you choose some Dreamstime favorite pics to brighten your article. For inspiration, check out the hottest or the most useful blogs on the left.
Create a blog to tell your story, promote favorite stock images and photographers