I have read many articles & posting on the internet, the latest being another article in DT ~ "Risky shot...", on being forbidden to use tripods in certain areas. I have always thought, how can that be? How can anyone disallow the setting up of tripod for a photo shoot, If photography is not forbidden? If photography is allowed, then why should tripod be disallowed?
I found out sooner then later, one of the many reasons, and to my bemused on my first & only encounter with the authority during one of my photo shoot session. This happen at a horse race track.
I bought an entry ticket and specifically checked to see whether photography is forbidden, no such thing. Then when I pass through the gate, I asked the ticketing officer, whether photography is forbidden. The answer is no. As I passed through a the stand, a security guard question me about the load of equipment I am carrying, and I politely told them that they were my camera. So everyone when about minding their own business as I moved to the upper tier of the stand which is quieter to set up my tripod & camera.
In a flash, three security officer surround me and asked me to remove the equipment or leave. I told them that I have an entry ticket and have done nothing wrong. A small argument broke out and I told them that I have asked the ticketing officer and no one said that photography is not allowed. By this time, the security officer lost his cool and snatch my tripod and attempt to snap it in two. A struggle ensued, I got hit on the head twice and ended up in the security office.
There I met the Security chief, which appears to be more sensible, until he told me that by setting up my camera tripod, I may be a security threat, as I could be setting up a laser equipment to blind the racing horse.
So you see, photographers, do get to experience some of the most strangest things in the world, usually with their tripod.
Sadly, I got no shots of the race, the guards or the episode. But its alright, I believe it would be rejected anyway for "Lack of composition, this is not what we are looking for". :)
The Basilica cistern in Istanbul is one of the most important tourist hot spots after the Hagia Sophia and the blue mosque. It was full of tourists and I even didn't dare to take a tripod inside. So I put the camera on the ground fixed it with very unprofessional tools (Turkish + Euro coins, straps of my rucksack and other stuff). Additionally I had to switch off the auto focus because the rotating lens did push away that unprofessional stuff.
It took me plenty of attempts (flashes from the P&S tourists cameras, tourists who didn't move during the exposure time - 30 seconds!, etc.) but it worked!
It must have been very funny to see a Germany business man crawling at the ground to fix
his camera. Nevertheless it was worth the effort.
Though it's hard time, we photographers will & shall always be the people with conscience & respect for our environment, as we are the people that only take photographs away from any place we visit! And leave nothing behind but the three prints of our tripods stand!! :)
Once I was forbidden to use a tripod in a natural cavern with stallatites. I suppose because I could damnage the natural site... It has been a really pity: I couldn't take any picture in the darkness without my tripod!!!
I always assumed & believe that when Photography is allowed, it means all its associated ancillary equipment is also allowed! But then again, rules are rules and photographers are law abiding citizens.
I started my photography adventure only lately, so I assumed that there will be much more "adventure" with my tripod to come.... But just in case, I have got myself a monopod! HAH!
Same in a museum. You can go and fire away your phone camera or hand held point and shoot. It is guaranteed the outcome will be blurred. Tripods are not allowed because they "block the traffic" which in a way it's true. But the real reason is that the museums wants to sell their own pictures or albums. In such cases I am trying to find a column or a wall where I can hold the camera pressed against. It works, and by the time anybody can protest I am done.
Ok, the thing about blinding the horses on the race....Ok, much as I find it a little bit "overexposed", but I´ve heard about prohibitions also in churches etc, I don´t know if it means a tripod can molest people as they crowd? In some nature reserves (not NP where it would be correct) the guards also sometimes tell you that it is not allowed to take pictures while it is not true as other rangers told me only comercial work is not alloved, meaning we can not use a good telezoom lens as it looks too professional, so we have to shoot a Red Kite with a point and shoot?!
In many places photography is allowed unless it's professional. When you bring tripod or huge lense or flash, security can get worried, because they estimate your equipment by size. With small camera they would probably not mind. In my city, for ex. professional photography is forbidden in metro, Red square, bridges and many other good places unless you have special permission for this. I think it's more or less the same everywhere. Once I was asked to shoot just a bit less on a showprogram where inicially they allowed to shoot. They didn't ask me to go, but asked not to make a picture of each moment - they probably didn't want to give away too many details of their show to prevent corying. They had the right to do so, to me it's ok, I'd probably ask about the same in their shoes. Sometimes you can also be stopped from taking pictures of a private building, or some bank, or office. Normal stuff, I think. And tripods definetly make you more visible.
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