Archive | 10:16 am

A Photographer’s Rights

29 Jan

Here’s a sign that I really HATE to see:

“No Smoking.”

I get that.

Cancer, second-hand smoke, etc. Okay – I get that.

“No Photography.”

Not so much…

“No Flash During Performance” – yes, I get that. “No Disruptions During Performance” – check.

But, this sign makes it look that that’s a “Bad Camera“. Sigh.

Here’s another sign that I despise:

“No Photos Of Photos.”

What the heck?!

Post this sign – and then you just try to stop me!

I’ll take the photo – if you ask me I’ll answer:

“I’m taking a picture of your stupid sign – not your precious photos.”

Oh, I’m on a roll.

The other day I was walking past a fabric store, and I had to stop and gaze admiringly at this bolt of fabric which was in the window:

I mean, it’s so GREAT on so many levels!

It’s dangerously cheesy.

How would you utilize this fabric? Would you make curtains? Sheets? A table cloth? A shirt?

I HAD to take a photo of this great fabric!

I pulled out my trusty camera and snapped a quick shot. Then, through the window I saw the shop owner coming towards me through the door.

As he opened the door and came towards me telling me “No Photos!” I turned my back and kept on walking.

One day I’ll get into an altercation, if I don’t watch myself.

I used to be sweet.

Not so much, anymore.

Here’s an interesting, informative article about Photographers’ Rights. From USA Today, in part it reads:

Last week I received a note from a reader:

“Today I was stopped by a security guard with the North County Transit District in Solana Beach, California, and prevented from taking photos of a great new train station they have,” he wrote. “The guard said they don’t allow it since 9/11.”

Note to security guard: Just because you or your boss “don’t allow” something doesn’t mean it’s not legal. I can post a sign on my lawn, “Hopping on one foot in front of this house is prohibited,” but I’ll have a tough time enforcing it.

The law in the United States of America is pretty simple. You are allowed to photograph anything with the following exceptions:

• Certain military installations or operations.

• People who have a reasonable expectation of privacy. That is, people who are some place that’s not easily visible to the general public, e.g., if you shoot through someone’s window with a telephoto lens.

That’s it.

There are a few more restrictions on publishing photos or video, though.

You can’t show private facts — things a reasonable person wouldn’t want made public — unless those facts were revealed publicly. So no long-lens shots of your neighbors’ odd habits.

You also can’t show someone in a negative false light by, for example, using Photoshop tricks or a nasty, untrue caption.

And you can’t put someone else’s likeness to commercial use without their permission. This is usually mentioned in terms of celebrities, but it applies to making money from anyone’s likeness.”

SO THERE, YOU STORE OWNER!

What is in your window is apt to be photographed when an admiring photographer is outside on the sidewalk.

And that’s legal.

If you don’t want your fabulous fabric to be photographed, then don’t display it in your window.

Photographers – go to this site and read about your rights here in the United States. The author suggests that you download the PDF – print it out and keep it with you. The author is an attorney; here is the “about him” from his site:

Bert Krages is an attorney who concentrates on intellectual property and environmental law. He is recognized nationally as an advocate of the right to take photographs in public places, having appeared in media such as National Public Radio’s Morning Edition, Popular Photography, Shutterbug, and Wired.”

The beginning of the article says: “The general rule in the United States is that anyone may take photographs of whatever they want when they are in a public place… Examples of places that are traditionally considered public are streets, sidewalks, and public parks.”

Okay. I feel better now.

: )

xoxo,

SAllan

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