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Aussieinuk

Taking Photo's,video in NYC

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As some of you may have read I will be visiting New York next March and hopefully will be taking lot's of photo's and video of the transit networks there.

 

Will I encounter any problems from officials, cops, etc. I know that since 9/11 everyone is understandably sensitive about photo taking.

 

Even here in the UK you can be questioned, but usually when you explain what you are doing, they will let you get on with it.

 

I would like to hear any advice and suggestions regarding this. Thanks.

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Generally, you can take photos and videos in the subway and bus as long as flash isn't used, even though sometimes some employees and cops may try to harass you (either they don't know that you can take photos/videos, or are camera shy, or other reasons).

 

On the PATH, photography and video are prohibited without a permit.

  • Upvote 1

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Rule #1 of photography in the subway, do NOT flash your camera in the eyes of the crew. Not only does it NOT alert us that somebody is on the tracks, but it is going to have us reaching for our radios the moment our eyesight comes back. Once we call it in you WILL be getting someone to come looking for you.

 

Rule #2. Don't be taking photos of infrastructure. Taking a picture of the train or a sign in the station is fine. Walking into the tunnel and taking photos is NOT.

 

Rule #3. If you do get questioned by a police officer. cooperate and don't start screaming rule indexes to them. Their job is to determine if you are a threat or not, so just let him know who you are and what you are doing.

Edited by Snowblock
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Thanks for your replies. I have been taking photo's and video for a number of years, your comments pretty much reflects the attitude that prevails here. I am responsible and sensitive when I use my camera.

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To expand on ct's point, if a cop/employee starts to ask you questions, it's best to be nice and never escalate the tension. If they give you a hard time regardless, it's probably best to move to another station or area. generally do not stay in one area for too long unless there's a long gap between trains.

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Its completely legal to take non-commercial photography of subways and buses run by the MTA as long as you are doing so safely and inside a public area.

 

However, flash and tripods are illegal to use (I've seen people circumvent the tripod rule by bringing monopods, not sure about the legality of this though)

 

If a cop or transit employee starts harassing you, it's best to just leave than to argue with them (even though you would be right). It's not worth the stress and time to try to deal with these ignorant people.

Edited by Dj Hammers

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I have dealt with railway officials and police here in the UK, and have always found them to be polite and helpful, after I have explained my motive for being there. In fact one time I was photographing the Stansted Express train when one of the railway staff invited me to ride in the cab from my local station into London and back.

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While most workers are nice, there are always a few bad apples. I've been approached by countless transit officials (And I assure you, I look as non-threatening as one can get), and I've only had one relatively bad encounter.

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