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Dec 13, 2016 07:47:16   #
Canonman333
 
MtnMan wrote:
I once had a State Trooper ask me what I was doing as I stopped to take a picture of a tow truck pulling a vehicle out of a ditch back up on the road. I asked her if she thought I was in the way. She said no. So I told her, "Then it is none of your business." She went away.

A few minutes later the State Trooper photographer showed up. He came over to look at my camera. I was testing a new lens is why I stopped and he was admiring it. I told him about the other trooper. He said, "Yeah, a lot of them don't get that you can photograph whatever you want." We had a nice chat while the first trooper glowered our way.
I once had a State Trooper ask me what I was doing... (show quote)


With all due respect, your response to the initial officer's question could have been phrased a bit differently. Such as "I'm just taking some photographs, officer". Why throw down the gauntlet unnecessarily regardless of being right or wrong?

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Dec 13, 2016 07:56:58   #
Canonman333
 
The operative phrase in the article you referenced is "..for sexual gratification". Inadvertently walking past a window in your house after just getting out of the shower is not a crime. Standing nude in front of a window facing the street and engaged in some kind of overt act that indicates that it was being done for sexual gratification is an entirely different matter. If the mayor was engaged in the latter, then I could understand why he might lose his job.

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Dec 13, 2016 08:41:31   #
leftj
 
TheStarvingArtist wrote:
A mayor in Florida lost his job because someone took a nude shot of him thru the curtains of his house. The ruling was that the person who took the photo could see so it was okay to photograph him. No peeping Tom charges or anything. This was a few years back.


What did this question have to do with shooting nudes? You can always count on someone turning a question in a completely unrelated direction.

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Dec 13, 2016 09:08:42   #
dcampbell52
 
oceanarrow wrote:
Hi to all.new to this site.really like the give and take.very informative and real.shooting over 45 years,this never happened before.Live in Lancaster,PA.I pulled way over to side of road,put my flashers on.there was a old farmhouse I wanted to photograph,Christmas lights,nice setting etc.I was not close to the house,used a small telephoto lens.So engrossed in the shoot and did not realize there was a Police officer behind me.he wanted to know if everything was alright.it was,then asked me what I was doing.told him I was a photographer,he said he can see that,then asked if I had permission to take those pictures.I said no,he kind of backed off after that.did I do anything wrong here?been doing this for years,now not so sure anymore.it took all the fun out of it.sorry I took so long,would appreciate some input.thanks for your time
Hi to all.new to this site.really like the give an... (show quote)


Welcome to the Hog. First of all, by the homeowner using holiday decorations and lighting, they in essence, invited people to photograph and share their decorations (the ONLY disclaimer here is if they posted signs stating "No Photography" which MIGHT give them some legal options). If you did NOT cross physically onto their property, climb fences, or intentionally shoot into their windows, there is no expectation of privacy. The police officer may have been "observing" but other than that, if you didn't cross property lines and remember that in MOST locations in most cities in the United States, the first 10 feet from the curb into the property is owned by the city and not the homeowner (this is for utilities and also includes 10 feet in the back yards where many utility poles run (but was originally an alleyway). This is not always true so you might want to get the accurate info from your city zoning or planning commission. The answer would probably be free and nothing more than a phone call.

Short answer (too late I know) is no, you did nothing wrong and had the officer detained you, he and the local police could have been sued for false arrest or detainment.

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Dec 13, 2016 09:10:46   #
aardq
 
One of the first things taught in college photo classes. It's called the canon35 rule. Under federal statue you can photograph anything you can see from the right of way, like the shoulder of the road, or from a sidewalk, or a public parking place. Not including previously mentioned places that are post "no photography." If shooting a house or building with windows from a sidewalk you may only use a "normal" length lens, ie 50mm or wider, which is the normal field of view of human eye. Any telephoto crosses the line between observing and peeping.

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Dec 13, 2016 09:56:43   #
Cykdelic (a regular here)
 
oceanarrow wrote:
Hi to all.new to this site.really like the give and take.very informative and real.shooting over 45 years,this never happened before.Live in Lancaster,PA.I pulled way over to side of road,put my flashers on.there was a old farmhouse I wanted to photograph,Christmas lights,nice setting etc.I was not close to the house,used a small telephoto lens.So engrossed in the shoot and did not realize there was a Police officer behind me.he wanted to know if everything was alright.it was,then asked me what I was doing.told him I was a photographer,he said he can see that,then asked if I had permission to take those pictures.I said no,he kind of backed off after that.did I do anything wrong here?been doing this for years,now not so sure anymore.it took all the fun out of it.sorry I took so long,would appreciate some input.thanks for your time
Hi to all.new to this site.really like the give an... (show quote)




All law enforcement is sensitive to this since 9-11. You were kinda "stopped and frisked"!

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Dec 13, 2016 10:08:51   #
Ductor
 
As has clearly been established, you have a perfect right to photograph most things from the public highway. However, the officer was quite right to investigate your activity. You could have been in need of assistance. Your vehicle could have been causing an obstruction. You could have been observing the building with the intent to commit a crime. Give the officer a break - and be grateful that he/she is doing their job.

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Dec 13, 2016 10:16:21   #
Ductor
 
An excellent replay and absolutely accurate. The officer has a job to do while you are having fun.

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Dec 13, 2016 11:13:27   #
Oklahoma 46
 
My wife and I accompanied our children - our son-in-law is a Blackhawk pilot - to Fort Wainwright by Fairbanks, Alaska last summer. While waiting for on-post housing to open we spent a couple weeks staying at nearby Eielson AFB. There are a couple 'no photography' signs along the highway going past Eielson but those signs would be easy to miss. They do not want any pictures taken of the flightline or any aircraft currently in use. I was provided with information of where on base I could go to take pictures of the Alaska Range - 'But no pictures of the flightline or any aircraft, except for those on static display at the memorial park'. Last year while taking a military hop to Korea, my grandson - using his phone - started to take a picture of the airplane and was quickly stopped. The dressing down he received left no questions unanswered; there would be no photography of any military area or equipment. A few years ago my son-in-law took me to the field on Ft Rucker where he served as a flight instructor and suggested I set up near the gate to get some good photographs. All the helicopters there were used for training and had no weapons systems or other sensitive equipment. In fact they fly these choppers by the house routinely where I've taken photos before. I was close to and in full view of the gate and MP Guard shack. I was there for awhile having a great time but eventually one of the MP's came over and told me I'd have to stop because someone complained. He apologized and seemed to be a little embarrassed. He didn't ask to look at the photographs I had already taken and suggested that the unit commander would give me permission to continue if I asked. This is dealing with photography on military property which is of course not public right-of-way. However I know of public rights-of-way where the public can get photographs of military equipment, installations or personnel that the military would not want taken. These 'rules' can change depending on the threat level and/or intelligence information that the public knows nothing about. Actually the rules don't change but security levels do so be careful when near military installations. If you want to photograph military hardware and you are on the way to an airshow to do just that and you happen to see the aircraft taking off from their home base to go to the airshow you may want to wait and photograph them at the show. It seems kind of silly but there are reasons.

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Dec 13, 2016 11:31:27   #
PhotosBySteve
 
I would assume the only reason he stopped was because you had your emergency flashers on. It's his duty to help someone in distress, which is what your flashers conveyed.
A while back I had pulled over to take pictures of the Tacoma ship terminals. A police officer pulled up and queried me. I told her what I was doing. She said she just wanted to make sure I was ok.she than offered some suggestions of other photo opportunities at the terminals. One of which I would not have considered was ok, if it hasn't been for her suggestion. I was eternally grateful,and her suggestions paid off.
That was only one time out of dozens that the police had stopped and queried me about my intentions and they have always been on my side and very helpful.
Most police are wonderful and do a great job!

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Dec 13, 2016 13:08:49   #
jimmya
 
oceanarrow wrote:
Hi to all.new to this site.really like the give and take.very informative and real.shooting over 45 years,this never happened before.Live in Lancaster,PA.I pulled way over to side of road,put my flashers on.there was a old farmhouse I wanted to photograph,Christmas lights,nice setting etc.I was not close to the house,used a small telephoto lens.So engrossed in the shoot and did not realize there was a Police officer behind me.he wanted to know if everything was alright.it was,then asked me what I was doing.told him I was a photographer,he said he can see that,then asked if I had permission to take those pictures.I said no,he kind of backed off after that.did I do anything wrong here?been doing this for years,now not so sure anymore.it took all the fun out of it.sorry I took so long,would appreciate some input.thanks for your time
Hi to all.new to this site.really like the give an... (show quote)


If what ever you are shooting is visible from a public road, as in anyone passing by can see the house then no, nothing wrong. Just don't wonder onto the owner's property - that is illegal.

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Dec 13, 2016 13:33:12   #
whitewolfowner
 
oceanarrow wrote:
Hi to all.new to this site.really like the give and take.very informative and real.shooting over 45 years,this never happened before.Live in Lancaster,PA.I pulled way over to side of road,put my flashers on.there was a old farmhouse I wanted to photograph,Christmas lights,nice setting etc.I was not close to the house,used a small telephoto lens.So engrossed in the shoot and did not realize there was a Police officer behind me.he wanted to know if everything was alright.it was,then asked me what I was doing.told him I was a photographer,he said he can see that,then asked if I had permission to take those pictures.I said no,he kind of backed off after that.did I do anything wrong here?been doing this for years,now not so sure anymore.it took all the fun out of it.sorry I took so long,would appreciate some input.thanks for your time
Hi to all.new to this site.really like the give an... (show quote)




Sounds like he was just making sure you were all right, be glad he stopped by if you were broken down.

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Dec 13, 2016 13:38:26   #
Reinaldokool
 
oceanarrow wrote:
Hi to all.new to this site.really like the give and take.very informative and real.shooting over 45 years,this never happened before.Live in Lancaster,PA.I pulled way over to side of road,put my flashers on.there was a old farmhouse I wanted to photograph,Christmas lights,nice setting etc.I was not close to the house,used a small telephoto lens.So engrossed in the shoot and did not realize there was a Police officer behind me.he wanted to know if everything was alright.it was,then asked me what I was doing.told him I was a photographer,he said he can see that,then asked if I had permission to take those pictures.I said no,he kind of backed off after that.did I do anything wrong here?been doing this for years,now not so sure anymore.it took all the fun out of it.sorry I took so long,would appreciate some input.thanks for your time
Hi to all.new to this site.really like the give an... (show quote)


Hell no. The LEO has a right to ask questions, just as I might have pulled up and asked. But he is asking as a person, not for legal reasons. You don't need permission to photograph anything that is in open sight. Cops should know this and most do, but they still ask questions just to see if you get squirrely, suggesting that something else is going on.

As long as you are not on someone elses property, take any photograph you wish.

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Dec 13, 2016 13:40:56   #
Reinaldokool
 
PhotosBySteve wrote:
I would assume the only reason he stopped was because you had your emergency flashers on. It's his duty to help someone in distress, which is what your flashers conveyed.


Thanks Steve. In my answer I did not mention this, but it is a good point.

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Dec 13, 2016 16:42:53   #
FL Pics
 
I believe I mentioned this in another thread, perhaps on this site, recently. Be aware that farmers and ranchers can get touchy about photographing their crops and livestock. Think Government restrictions on yield, and PETA’s concerns. While it may be legal to take the pictures, you can get into more trouble - and not from the law - than you want if a property owner suspects your motives.

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