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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 10 May 2011 (Tuesday) 12:13
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I almost got arrested last night!

 
Stump
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May 10, 2011 14:48 |  #31

jeppoy wrote in post #12383621 (external link)
ok, let say he did took some photos of the crime scene? what would you do with it? sell to the newspaper and benefit on someone elses grief? I could understand if you're a journalist but if you are just a regular jo schmuck wanna be phtographer then I would even laugh if they beat you with the camera you carrying that day.

It doesn't matter what he does with photos that he takes. They are his. He had every right to be out there shooting. You can argue that all you want to, but just because some of you see it morally incorrect doesn't mean he don't have the right. That's your opinion, and thats all it is. When it comes down to it, what he was doing was perfectly legal and not hurting anyone.

Almost every time theres a tragedy, or national disaster or what it may be, someone is making money off of it. That's just how the world works.

atlrus wrote in post #12383645 (external link)
I am pretty sure that crime scenes are offlimits...Tampering or something like that...

How is it tampering if you are at a distance taking pictures?

tampering - the act of altering something secretly or improperly


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atlrus
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May 10, 2011 15:00 |  #32

How is it tampering if you are at a distance taking pictures?

See post #28.

I don't think you will find much support just because of the moral issue, not because you did something illegal. A lot of us go by our own internal codex, which sometimes is way more restrictive than the law.


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rral22
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May 10, 2011 15:08 as a reply to  @ atlrus's post |  #33

The fact that it may have been legal does not make it right. There is a measure (at least for me) in such circumstances that requires respect and decency. I cannot tell if those standards were violated from the post. I do object to the attitude of "if it is legal, no one can object" that some are suggesting here.

The paparazzi are well known for violating the principles of respect and decency. Why was it so important that you get shots of someone's tragedy? If money is the motive, I don't see any improvement in the ethical position. Most reputable newspapers recognize the difference between news and sensational garbage, and even Obama knows that some photos do no one any good if they are published.




  
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moose10101
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May 10, 2011 15:13 |  #34

rral22 wrote in post #12384432 (external link)
The fact that it may have been legal does not make it right. There is a measure (at least for me) in such circumstances that requires respect and decency. I cannot tell if those standards were violated from the post. I do object to the attitude of "if it is legal, no one can object" that some are suggesting here.

The "attitude" here is "if it is legal, no one in a position of authority can abuse that authority by trying to stop it". I think quite a few of us, me included, wouldn't have taken the photos. Some of us might have asked the OP not to do it if we were at the scene. But few of us would have called a cop.




  
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TattooedAffliction
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May 10, 2011 15:17 as a reply to  @ rral22's post |  #35

I feel I need to set the record straight here. I agree with many of you on the moral/ethical argument. When I decided to go to the scene to take photos, I did not know she had been killed, no one did. At that point it was simply a missing person, and my intention was to take a few photos of the search efforts to report on the quick action and hard work of everyone involved to show in a positive light. I figured this was going to be the typical situation where the child runs off to a friends house and lost track of time and winds up being found safe and sound because things like this just don't happen around here.

By the time I heard that this was a murder, I had pretty much already taken all of my photos and was ready to go home. Had I known before hand that this was a murder, I doubt I would have even considered going because of that very moral/ethical issue. I do have a heart, and I hope no one here thinks of me as a photographer who doesn't care about what I photograph because that couldn't be farther from the truth.

As I said in an earlier post, the news organization asked if I wanted payment for my photos, and I declined. I would never want to make a dime from a tragedy like this.


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May 10, 2011 15:22 |  #36

OP, you were completely and without question within your legal right to take the photos. People need to stop arguing this as it is pretty black and white.

Likewise I am completely within my rights to call you a douchebag for the way you handled it. Not so much that you actually took the photographs but how you described handling objections from other people.


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hawkeye60
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May 10, 2011 15:24 |  #37

The point of this thread was that someone was in danger of being arrested for doing something which is not against the law. Everyone, not just photographers, should be outraged that this should happen.


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Eiro
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May 10, 2011 15:49 |  #38

oh here we go.........WHO T-F CARES whether he is a licensed Journalist or not ??????? When the news organization has a hot story in progress and you're the only one on the scene to document the event, they usually don't ask whether you are licensed or not!!!! They ask you for your rate on the documentation and ask if you're already affiliated with someone or not. In NYC you have every right to have a personal police scanner and to follow anything that is taking place. If it's a big story you can be on the scene documenting as long as you are not interfering. Sure, its the most smartest Idea to be affiliated to a particular news agency or channel, but there are thousands of freelancers who make a living this way without a solid affiliation and sell their work to news agencies that want to buy/purchase. You get the info from PIO if they are on the scene or wait for them to arrive before proceeding on.

Back on topic.There have been many cases LOST IN COURT!!!! because cops arrested and hassled up people who were taking pictures of them doing wrong things (misconduct mostly) and because people were photo-documenting for whatever reasons they wanted of the occurrences at hand. Federal Court ruled you can take photos of cops and there is nothing wrong with being on Public Property and taking pics or making video of Public Officials. Furthermore, if you are not in any way, shape, or form contaminating a crime scene and you are within reasonable distance where you are not interfering with an ongoing investigation, then you are solid. Sure it's not very nice on both ends at times due to the exchange of words. Perhaps certain officers feel that its disrespectful to the families and to the department of what you may be doing if you are not an news agent or a person of power, you have to see things from their point of view and the crap they have to deal with regularly. However, there should be no physical or mental intimidation when you have every right to photo-document whatever you are after. It's a matter of courtesy on how you proceed about it. If you are not endangering anyones life, you are good. If a law enforcement officers life or someone else's life is endangered as a cause of what you are doing,then you exercise common sense and>>>>stop.

OP,I've put a small retainer with my attorney in regards on this particular matter to ensure if I ever did get arrested by one of these individuals who think they can muscle you up with a badge and they are in the wrong. He would take that case on without hesitation. A few bucks can guarantee an attorney on standby for you no matter what the issue is. Being smart about is just the best way to handle it.


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tkerr
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May 10, 2011 16:01 |  #39

TattooedAffliction wrote in post #12383648 (external link)
Excuse me, where in my post did I say I wasn't a photojournalist?.

And where in your post did you say that you are a Photojournalist?
Nowhere did you mention that you were working in the capacity as a photojournalist.
When confronted by the Firefighters who yelled over and said no pictures, then when confronted face to face by the firefighters and police who asked who you were affiliated with, according to your own words you more or less just pushed the photographers rights in their face without identifying yourself as a photojournalist. It legally doesn't matter if you're a photojournalist or a photography hobbyist. But is that the real issue here anyways?

Sure you don't have to legally identify yourself as a photojournalist. You can stick by the Photographers Rights all you want for any situation you please and not say anything else. But what does that really make you out to be as a person.

TattooedAffliction wrote in post #12383648 (external link)
I got there with my camera equipment and was outside of the taped off area taking photos without issue until I decided to walk around the area to a street that was closer to get a better vantage point which was still outside of the taped off area. Well, before I could even get one shot taken I hear one of the fire police yell, "NO PHOTOS!". I immediately yelled back, "PUBLIC PROPERTY", and at that point about 10 fire police come walking towards me almost to the point of getting in my face asking me if I want them to get the police to come over if I don't leave and I said, "sure, go for it".

One of them proceeds to get a police officer to come over and the officer also starts telling me that I can't take photos after asking me who I'm affiliated with, and I continue to say that I'm standing on the sidewalk which is public property and I have every right to take photos in public. This back and forth exchange happens for a few minutes until I decide it's not worth the hassles of getting arrested, and walk back to my original vantage point.

IMHO, after reading your post it sounds to me like you have personal issues with the fire department as you already admitted, and a problem with public authorities.

Yes you have the right to take photos on public property, but with those rights a person should exercise a little of common sense, courtesy and a little respect for the victims.

The photographers rights aside, perhaps a little more tact on your part could have defused the situation and maybe you would have been allowed to stay at that better vantage point without any hassle. But instead, any troubles you had were brought on by yourself by pushing a Photographers right, PUBLIC PROPERTY, Issue in the face of the emergency responders.
Newtons Laws of Physics: To ever action will be an equal and opposite reaction. How you act will determine how others react!

It is that kind of holier-than-thou, Paparazzi attitude that will eventually lead to legislation to put laws in the books that will make life more difficult to enjoy Photography.

Having said that, you may not have had an attitude anything like that, and you're probably the kindest gentleman around. However, reading your first post in this thread, Does indicate otherwise.

Does that local news paper have a link to the story with your pictures.


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Eiro
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May 10, 2011 16:15 |  #40

tkerr wrote in post #12384796 (external link)
And where in your post did you say that you are a Photojournalist?
Nowhere did you mention that you were working in the capacity as a photojournalist.
When confronted by the Firefighters who yelled over and said no pictures, then when confronted face to face by the firefighters and police who asked who you were affiliated with, according to your own words you more or less just pushed the photographers rights in their face without identifying yourself as a photojournalist. It legally doesn't matter if you're a photojournalist or a photography hobbyist. But is that the real issue here anyways?

Sure you don't have to legally identify yourself as a photojournalist. You can stick by the Photographers Rights all you want for any situation you please and not say anything else. But what does that really make you out to be as a person.

IMHO, after reading your post it sounds to me like you have personal issues with the fire department as you already admitted, and a problem with public authorities.

Yes you have the right to take photos on public property, but with those rights a person should exercise a little of common sense, courtesy and a little respect for the victims.

The photographers rights aside, perhaps a little more tact on your part could have defused the situation and maybe you would have been allowed to stay at that better vantage point without any hassle. But instead, any troubles you had were brought on by yourself by pushing a Photographers right, PUBLIC PROPERTY, Issue in the face of the emergency responders.
Newtons Laws of Physics: To ever action will be an equal and opposite reaction. How you act will determine how others react!

It is that kind of holier-than-thou, Paparazzi attitude that will eventually lead to legislation to put laws in the books that will make life more difficult to enjoy Photography.

Having said that, you may not have had an attitude anything like that, and you're probably the kindest gentleman around. However, reading your first post in this thread, Does indicate otherwise.

Does that local news paper have a link to the story with your pictures.

I'm with you on this one. Having issues with former co-workers possibly may have had an outcome of how things turned out.


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JoYork
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May 10, 2011 16:17 |  #41

hawkeye60 wrote in post #12384544 (external link)
The point of this thread was that someone was in danger of being arrested for doing something which is not against the law. Everyone, not just photographers, should be outraged that this should happen.

^ This.


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sixsixfour
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May 10, 2011 16:27 |  #42

I think the situation could have been handled differently without having to resort to invoking photographer's rights and such.

A little discretion and cooler heads goes a long way.


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May 10, 2011 16:53 |  #43

I can't help but think that this thread would have had different responses if the situation was a bit different. Let's say he was not allowed to take photos of a construction site that had certain areas roped off. Assume that he chose the same words and same responses he gave to the officers.


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TattooedAffliction
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May 10, 2011 16:57 as a reply to  @ sixsixfour's post |  #44

tkerr wrote in post #12384796 (external link)
And where in your post did you say that you are a Photojournalist?
Nowhere did you mention that you were working in the capacity as a photojournalist.
When confronted by the Firefighters who yelled over and said no pictures, then when confronted face to face by the firefighters and police who asked who you were affiliated with, according to your own words you more or less just pushed the photographers rights in their face without identifying yourself as a photojournalist. It legally doesn't matter if you're a photojournalist or a photography hobbyist. But is that the real issue here anyways?

Sure you don't have to legally identify yourself as a photojournalist. You can stick by the Photographers Rights all you want for any situation you please and not say anything else. But what does that really make you out to be as a person.

IMHO, after reading your post it sounds to me like you have personal issues with the fire department as you already admitted, and a problem with public authorities.

Yes you have the right to take photos on public property, but with those rights a person should exercise a little of common sense, courtesy and a little respect for the victims.

The photographers rights aside, perhaps a little more tact on your part could have defused the situation and maybe you would have been allowed to stay at that better vantage point without any hassle. But instead, any troubles you had were brought on by yourself by pushing a Photographers right, PUBLIC PROPERTY, Issue in the face of the emergency responders.

It is that kind of holier-than-thou, Paparazzi attitude that will eventually lead to legislation to put laws in the books that will make life more difficult to enjoy Photography.

Having said that, you may not have had an attitude anything like that, and you're probably the kindest gentleman around. However, reading your first post in this thread, Does indicate otherwise.

Does that local news paper have a link to the story with your pictures.

Perhaps I could have worded my OP a bit differently. It did come across a bit extreme. Sometimes it's hard to translate the emotions and exchanges that take place into text on a forum, and I'm not the best with words. It really didn't play out as extreme as it sounds. The one and only time I raised my voice was during the initial exchange, and that was only because there was about 30 feet separating us, so I had to so he could hear me. Other than that I was calm, collected and polite throughout the whole ordeal even though they were treating me very rude. I tried to be as professional as I could be while asserting my rights. I also did identify myself as a freelance photographer when the police officer asked (he was the only one do to so). I forgot to include that in my OP.

I think I'm done replying to this thread after this post, it's starting to get out of hand. I thought I'd have at least some level of support from other photographers, but the majority seems to be only interested in bashing me. Thank you to those who aren't among that group.


Tom
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May 10, 2011 17:01 |  #45

TattooedAffliction wrote in post #12385171 (external link)
I thought I'd have at least some level of support from other photographers, but the majority seems to be only interested in bashing me. Thank you to those who aren't among that group.

I hate seeing members being forced to be put on the defensive.


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I almost got arrested last night!
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