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Fan Railer

Railfan Harassment at Northport Station on LIRR

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See, this is the thing that you don't understand.  At face value it doesn't harm anyone.  Having a camera set up on a train platform causes obstructions to both people entering and exiting the train and for the train crew who are trying to safely load the train.  I don't know how many times I've seen individuals with tripods and cameras taking "innocent" pictures where it's a distraction to the crew of the train.  With that said, try to see the situation from an operational perspective.

 

I know, it's a "public place" and you can do what every you want.  Try setting up a tent and having a barbeque on the platform and let me know where that gets you.  The reality is it's not a public place but it's public access for a specific purpose.

 

So what did this whole situation cause? 

 

1)  Discomfort with a passenger that got off the train who wasn't afraid to give his two cents to the offending photographer / rail fan. 

 

2) The rail fan whining about the situation because his little feelings were hurt. 

 

3)  The distraction to the train crew that first off there is the visual obstruction of the individual taking pictures/video and the discussion that ensues as a result of the rail fan not making the wisest of choices.

HAH! Reading this makes me laugh because none of your points even make sense to bring up in context to this situation.

 

1) Where do you get the impression I was using a tripod anywhere in the video, or my other content for that matter? I fact, for the express reason that you're not permitted to use a tripod is why I don't use one. Not to mention they are bulky and cumbersome to handle at times.

 

2) As already mentioned, railroad buffs aren't exactly rare per se. We may not be the majority, but I'm pretty sure there are enough people who enjoy taking pictures / videos of trains that crews are accustomed to seeing them around the system, with some crew being relatively friendly to railfans. It's what the individual person decides to do while taking pictures that may or may not distract the crew, and I would like to think I'm better than people who run into the middle of the tracks and place their camera's within the gauge to get shots of trains running over their cameras, or trespass in general to get "exclusive" shots. That is what I would consider distracting to the crew.

 

3) Again, we've been over MTA regulation over photography and the rules governing it. I definitely try not to stand in a location that impedes the flow of customer traffic, as [A] doing so makes it impossible to film anyway with everyone trying to walk past you and is just plain stupid if you think about it. Likewise, your tent and BBQ analogy is a hyperbole, and is completely irrelevant here.

 

4) What did this whole situation cause? Discomfort? Perhaps. Distraction to the crew? Highly UNLIKELY, as I did not go about filming in a way that was different from the way I film any other time I fan. Me whining about my feelings hurt? LOL the way you choose to word that is asinine. Again, why don't you go through the experience of having someone call you a "F**king terrorist" straight to your face over something that 30 years ago would be seemingly innocuous. Was I offended? Sure, and I'm sure you would be too if you were put on the same level as someone who was responsible for the deaths of thousands of people in cold blood JUST FOR TAKING PICTURES / FILMING. Did I think much of it? I try not to, considering who it was coming from and the general ignorance of that type of person. Again, this is nothing new. It happens all the time to others, I would daresay. It just so happened that I was recording when it happened to me.

Edited by Fan Railer
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That's what I didnt get either. If a person is not using a tripod, how can the person be considered as causing an 'obstruction'? The NYPD for example rarely gave me problems. The MTA Rules Of Conduct makes it clear what constitutes legal activity where it comes to photography. No trespassing into unauthorized areas, no tripods, no flash. Otherwise you are not breaking the law.

Edited by realizm
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This is an interesting rule though:

 

I didn't even know about the (MTA) rules. It's rather funny that they have so many of them.

 

This is what the Rules Of Conduct states on photography:

 

"Section 1050.9

 

Restricted areas and activities.

 

No person, except as specifically authorized by the Authority, shall enter or attempt to enter into any area not open to the public, including but not limited to train operator's cabs, conductor's cabs, bus operator's seat location, station booths, closed-off areas, mechanical or equipment rooms, concession stands, storage areas, interior rooms, catwalks, emergency stairways (except in cases of an emergency), tracks, roadbeds, tunnels, plants, shops, barns, train yards, garages, depots or any area marked with a sign restricting access or indicating a dangerous environment.

 

No vehicle, except as specifically authorized, may be parked on Authority property.

 

Photography, filming or video recording in any facility or conveyance is permitted except that ancillary equipment such as lights, reflectors or tripods may not be used. Members of the press holding valid identification issued by the New York City Police Department are hereby authorized to use necessary ancillary equipment. All photographic activity must be conducted in accordance with the provisions of this Part.""

 

So really what is there to argue about? It states plainly that use of cameras in the system is legal. No tripods or flash. 

Edited by realizm
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There's nothing to argue and no one's arguing about the MTA rules, bro. What you just posted is exactly what the law of the land is, but VG8 also quoted another regulation that does apply to photography activities as well; that being that any action, including photography, must not in any way disrupt the expedient conduction of transit activities, namely passenger flow. No one's arguing about anything. At this point, we're just bringing up points about regulation, which are all valid. There's been enough back and forth here already; let's not create something to argue about out of nothing haha.

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Aside from what you've mentioned, isn't that (MTA) property?

 

Yes, MTA property.  Being it's funded by taxpayers some are under the impression that it's public property and can do what ever they want.

 

This is only true if the photographer is using a tripod (which is forbidden anyway.) A non tripod equipped photographer takes up as much room as any other passenger standing on the platform.

 

Does that mean that railfans should give up their hobby for the comfort of these people?

 

No offense, but with your usage of the word "little" you sound like a 5 year old taunting another 5 year old in the school playground.

 

 

Most passengers stand out of the way, people taking pictures standing close to the edge of the platform do not.

 

I never said rail fans should give up their hobby.  But because their hobby can involve others that have no interest, a little courtesy goes a long way.  All the majority of the passengers want to do is to get off the train and get on their way.

 

Yeah, your right, I shouldn't have stooped to the level of a 5 year old.

 

HAH! Reading this makes me laugh because none of your points even make sense to bring up in context to this situation.

 

If you look at the bigger picture they are all relevant.

 

That's what I didnt get either. If a person is not using a tripod, how can the person be considered as causing an 'obstruction'?

 

More times I can count, there are people with cameras in positioned in a way they have no business being in.  I've seen during rush hour a few hundred people getting off the train at one stop,  Prior to opening the doors there is one lone individual with camera in hand not giving a damn about anyone else.  After I close the doors and start moving, the lone person is at the near edge of the platform.  As the train is leaving the conductor is supposed to observe the platform until the train clears it.  If I didn't bring my head back in the window, I probably would have knocked the camera out of his hand.

 

Another instance was at Appalachian Trail where there's a low level platform.  One day we were traveling south at MAS (70MPH) and there were 4 or 5 knuckle heads (unfortunately not the motorcycle kind) laying on the platform with their heads and cameras hanging over the rail bed.  I'm sure they didn't think they were doing anything wrong either.

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Yes, MTA property.  Being it's funded by taxpayers some are under the impression that it's public property and can do what ever they want.

 

More times I can count, there are people with cameras in positioned in a way they have no business being in.  I've seen during rush hour a few hundred people getting off the train at one stop,  Prior to opening the doors there is one lone individual with camera in hand not giving a damn about anyone else.  After I close the doors and start moving, the lone person is at the near edge of the platform.  As the train is leaving the conductor is supposed to observe the platform until the train clears it.  If I didn't bring my head back in the window, I probably would have knocked the camera out of his hand.

 

Another instance was at Appalachian Trail where there's a low level platform.  One day we were traveling south at MAS (70MPH) and there were 4 or 5 knuckle heads (unfortunately not the motorcycle kind) laying on the platform with their heads and cameras hanging over the rail bed.  I'm sure they didn't think they were doing anything wrong either.

I think the sort of incidents that you've raised are examples of how some rail fans become too involved in getting photos and not paying attention to their surroundings, and that's obviously where the problems can start. 

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I think the sort of incidents that you've raised are examples of how some rail fans become too involved in getting photos and not paying attention to their surroundings, and that's obviously where the problems can start.

Agreed VG8. Similar to the example Truckie gave about the Appalachian Trail "incident", you actually have people do the craziest things from extreme Railfans getting on the tracks taking pics to non Railfans doing things for example outside of the New York area like taking trackside wedding photos, walking on the tracks, etc. There have been a rash of people (heck, let's call them trespassers) being mowed down by NJ Transit trains, so that's another reason to keep railroaders on edge. Not a good feeling to kill people due to "victim" stupidity

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When I was a railfan as a kid (I still am a railfan actually) I used to film whenever I got the chance, and I was never harassed. Normally because I filmed at the end of the platform sometimes.

 

But as I saw how rail fans were getting harassed by police and other people, I kinda stopped photographing the trains from the outside. The closest thing to railfanning I've done this past year was snapping a photo of an Amtrak ACS-64 at Metropark from my NJ Transit train with my phone.

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Most passengers stand out of the way, people taking pictures standing close to the edge of the platform do not.

 

 

I never said rail fans should give up their hobby.  But because their hobby can involve others that have no interest, a little courtesy goes a long way.  All the majority of the passengers want to do is to get off the train and get on their way.

 

That it does. I've seen some rail fans film at the areas where the doors open on the trains, not wanting to move at all. It causes an inconvenience to those that want to get on or off the train along with the crews themselves that have to deal with it. I've actually had some of the conductor crews respect  and like where I'm at considering that I'm not causing any kind of disturbance in passenger flow in and out of the train along the platform, which is why I choose to be smart with how I do things when I rail fan on my spare time.

 

As for those that like to stick their body out on the edge of the platform, I don't know why a majority of them do that to get a picture, but my logic has always been that if you miss one, there's always another, it's clearly not the end of the world.

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Yes, MTA property.  Being it's funded by taxpayers some are under the impression that it's public property and can do what ever they want.

 

 

Most passengers stand out of the way, people taking pictures standing close to the edge of the platform do not.

 

I never said rail fans should give up their hobby.  But because their hobby can involve others that have no interest, a little courtesy goes a long way.  All the majority of the passengers want to do is to get off the train and get on their way.

 

Yeah, your right, I shouldn't have stooped to the level of a 5 year old.

 

 

If you look at the bigger picture they are all relevant.

 

 

More times I can count, there are people with cameras in positioned in a way they have no business being in.  I've seen during rush hour a few hundred people getting off the train at one stop,  Prior to opening the doors there is one lone individual with camera in hand not giving a damn about anyone else.  After I close the doors and start moving, the lone person is at the near edge of the platform.  As the train is leaving the conductor is supposed to observe the platform until the train clears it.  If I didn't bring my head back in the window, I probably would have knocked the camera out of his hand.

 

Another instance was at Appalachian Trail where there's a low level platform.  One day we were traveling south at MAS (70MPH) and there were 4 or 5 knuckle heads (unfortunately not the motorcycle kind) laying on the platform with their heads and cameras hanging over the rail bed.  I'm sure they didn't think they were doing anything wrong either.

 

One thing though that I can't understand is the idea that people taking photos at the end of the platform are blocking passengers, how do you figure this? Unless if they're standing right at the foot of the steps (at a station where there are none at the ends of the platforms this is irrelevant anyway) surely someone taping right by the doors (as Cait Sith mentioned above) must be more of an obstruction? I get it if they are pointing their camera over the edge of the platform, which, aside from inconveniencing the train crew is also an incredibly stupid thing to do and is not something everyone does, but how does inconveniencing passengers tie into all this?

 

The rest of your post, however, I can agree with. I'm glad we're all finally understanding each other in this thread.

Edited by ttcsubwayfan

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This makes me want to go rail fanning much more often. I wouldn't mind putting on a bit of make up to look great for this a**hole's cellphone camera either.

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Aside from what you've mentioned, isn't that (MTA) property?

 

Also, what is the (MTA) 's policy on filming/taking photos on the LIRR/Metro-North platforms?

While photography is allowed, ALL MTA employees technically MUST report anything suspicious (including unknown people with cameras) to control. Now there's a good majority of the employees that either A. know what railfans are B. don't wanna take the time to report it or both or all of us would've had police confrontations by now. 

 

So, technically when a railfan is seen by a crew it must be reported to control and the MTAPD will respond to question the railfans.

 

With that in mind when I go out railfanning I expect to be confronted or reported to the police by the crew or a "concerned citizen", especially in the suburbs. Matter of fact I've had a couple of NJT bus operators out of Howell take my picture while stopped at red lights and I'm pointing my big a$$ DSLR at their bus. This is why I usually use my iPhone when railfanning so none of this happens. I'm not doing anything illegal (unless of course I'm on Port Authority property  :ph34r: ) but dealing with the police, especially transit or suburban cops (like MTAPD or Nassau County PD) that probably have nothing better to do and might give me a hard time or try to take me to the precinct or some other BS. I don't go out railfanning to get dragged to the precinct and interrogated like a terrorist by detectives when I'm doing nothing wrong. Now if someone like the paranoid guy in the video asks me on the spot what I'm doing I explain it nicely and tell them I'm not breaking the law, if that's not good enough for them and they start to harass me or call the cops I'm not sticking around (I will smile/wave at/flip off their phone camera though lol). The cops probably won't try to hunt you down after the fact since I'm sure they'll figure out what it is, but they will make a big deal out of it if they can catch you at the scene.

Edited by Orion VII 4 Life

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While photography is allowed, ALL MTA employees technically MUST report anything suspicious (including unknown people with cameras) to control. Now there's a good majority of the employees that either A. know what railfans are B. don't wanna take the time to report it or both or all of us would've had police confrontations by now. 

 

So, technically when a railfan is seen by a crew it must be reported to control and the MTAPD will respond to question the railfans.

 

With that in mind when I go out railfanning I expect to be confronted or reported to the police by the crew or a "concerned citizen", especially in the suburbs. Matter of fact I've had a couple of NJT bus operators out of Howell take my picture while stopped at red lights and I'm pointing my big a$$ DSLR at their bus. This is why I usually use my iPhone when railfanning so none of this happens. I'm not doing anything illegal (unless of course I'm on Port Authority property  :ph34r: ) but dealing with the police, especially transit or suburban cops (like MTAPD or Nassau County PD) that probably have nothing better to do and might give me a hard time or try to take me to the precinct or some other BS. I don't go out railfanning to get dragged to the precinct and interrogated like a terrorist by detectives when I'm doing nothing wrong. Now if someone like the paranoid guy in the video asks me on the spot what I'm doing I explain it nicely and tell them I'm not breaking the law, if that's not good enough for them and they start to harass me or call the cops I'm not sticking around (I will smile/wave at/flip off their phone camera though lol). The cops probably won't try to hunt you down after the fact since I'm sure they'll figure out what it is, but they will make a big deal out of it if they can catch you at the scene.

Well like I said before, in this day and age in the post 9/11 world, especially here in New York, which is basically the #1 terrorist target, you can't assume anything.  You rail fans need to understand that there are Americans risking their lives so that you can go around and take photos.  My father was in the armed forces, and I currently have friends serving as well.  Hell I was close to joining myself, but my mom was against it particularly because I don't have any siblings, so I didn't join for that reason.  The concerned citizens as so you nicely quoted are simply looking out for the good of this country.  Your frustration is misguided.  You should be frustrated with the terrorists and not with Americans.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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Well like I said before, in this day and age in the post 9/11 world, especially here in New York, which is basically the #1 terrorist target, you can't assume anything.  You rail fans need to understand that there are Americans risking their lives so that you can go around and take photos.  My father was in the armed forces, and I currently have friends serving as well.  

 

You need to understand that railfanners don't need to be treated like terrorists. Its not rocket science.

 

You really need to leave that islamaphobic thinking alone...

 

Its not funny anymore..

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Well like I said before, in this day and age in the post 9/11 world, especially here in New York, which is basically the #1 terrorist target, you can't assume anything.  You rail fans need to understand that there are Americans risking their lives so that you can go around and take photos.  My father was in the armed forces, and I currently have friends serving as well.  Hell I was close to joining myself, but my mom was against it particularly because I don't have any siblings, so I didn't join for that reason.  The concerned citizens as so you nicely quoted are simply looking out for the good of this country.  Your frustration is misguided.  You should be frustrated with the terrorists and not with Americans.

You need to understand that railfanners don't need to be treated like terrorists. It's not rocket science.

Agreed. You can blame terrorists all you want; and believe me, I think we all know to blame the terrorists, BUT, and this is a big "but", you can't shift 100% blame away to terrorists either. That is dangerous thinking. Basically, by doing that, you absolve any blame from "concerned citizens" over-reacting to minor situations, which can, and has, mind you, lead to innocent people getting wrapped up in ugly situations that could have been avoided if said "concerned citizens" reacted in a more appropriate manner.

 

Take the Treyvon Martin / George Zimmerman situation as a prime example. I feel like I shouldn't need to explain the obvious, but Zimmerman wasn't a cop, and by no right should he have been patrolling the streets like it was his life long duty to pretend to be a cop. He wasn't professionally trained to assess dangerous situations, and yet took it upon himself to do what should have been a professional's job. Perhaps his motives were out of good intentions, but the end result was still undesirable. He still made the assumption that just because Martin was black and walking around "suspiciously" that there was something wrong and that he HAD to take action. Looking at that situation and using VG8's logic here, should we then shift 100% of the blame to the stereotype that all black people are gangsters who are up to no good? Should we say that Zimmerman is completely free of blame in this situation? Any rational person would know that that assumption is completely ridiculous, and that in any situation, both parties share blame (proportions aside).

 

All in all, there is definitely a proper way to look out for your country, yet still respect the rights of your fellow citizens. We should always approach any situations with some level of benefit of the doubt. It makes for much more pleasant interaction, with both parties more likely to come out of it with a mutual understanding.

 

And then, there is the other way, which was demonstrated by this guy: see something suspicious (in your eyes), automatically assume the worst, and take it into your own narcissistic hands to "correct" the situation, as if you could actually make a difference going about it in that manner.

Edited by Fan Railer
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Well like I said before, in this day and age in the post 9/11 world, especially here in New York, which is basically the #1 terrorist target, you can't assume anything.  You rail fans need to understand that there are Americans risking their lives so that you can go around and take photos.  My father was in the armed forces, and I currently have friends serving as well.  Hell I was close to joining myself, but my mom was against it particularly because I don't have any siblings, so I didn't join for that reason.  The concerned citizens as so you nicely quoted are simply looking out for the good of this country.  Your frustration is misguided.  You should be frustrated with the terrorists and not with Americans.

So, you're saying:

  1. Americans are risking their lives to fight a war for rights which we should not exercise.
  2. Given the opportunity to approach a problem in a nice way and in an a**holeish way, it's perfectly acceptable to go with the latter right off the bat.
  3. If someone's picture is being taken, and they do not want their picture taken, the photographer is likely a terrorist and should be treated as suspicious.

That takes quite a feat of mental acrobatics to believe.

Agreed. You can blame terrorists all you want; and believe me, I think we all know to blame the terrorists, BUT, and this is a big "but", you can't shift 100% blame away to terrorists either. That is dangerous thinking. Basically, by doing that, you absolve any blame from "concerned citizens" over-reacting to minor situations, which can, and has, mind you, lead to innocent people getting wrapped up in ugly situations that could have been avoided if said "concerned citizens" reacted in a more appropriate manner.

 

Take the Treyvon Martin / George Zimmerman situation as a prime example. I feel like I shouldn't need to explain the obvious, but Zimmerman wasn't a cop, and by no right should he have been patrolling the streets like it was his life long duty to pretend to be a cop. He wasn't professionally trained to assess dangerous situations, and yet took it upon himself to do what should have been a professional's job. Perhaps his motives were out of good intentions, but the end result was still undesirable. He still made the assumption that just because Martin was black and walking around "suspiciously" that there was something wrong and that he HAD to take action. Looking at that situation and using VG8's logic here, should we then shift 100% of the blame to the stereotype that all black people are gangsters who are up to no good? Should we say that Zimmerman is completely free of blame in this situation? Any rational person would know that that assumption is completely ridiculous, and that in any situation, both parties share blame (proportions aside).

 

All in all, there is definitely a proper way to look out for your country, yet still respect the rights of your fellow citizens. We should always approach any situations with some level of benefit of the doubt. It makes for much more pleasant interaction, with both parties more likely to come out of it with a mutual understanding.

 

And then, there is the other way, which was demonstrated by this guy: see something suspicious (in your eyes), automatically assume the worst, and take it into your own narcissistic hands to "correct" the situation, as if you could actually make a difference going about it in that manner.

Perfetto!

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Probably would've been best to ignore him and not responded. But if this was this past Thursday, I was on that train waiting in the siding (6:49pm from Stony)!

Saw someone else filming from my connection electric at Huntington, fortunately no one bothered him.

But you are right, people do have an elitist attitude out here, and that guy was the classic LI DB.

Same kind of ppl try and run me over when I'm crossing the street even though I have the right of way. 

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Probably would've been best to ignore him and not responded. But if this was this past Thursday, I was on that train waiting in the siding (6:49pm from Stony)!

Saw someone else filming from my connection electric at Huntington, fortunately no one bothered him.

But you are right, people do have an elitist attitude out here, and that guy was the classic LI DB.

Same kind of ppl try and run me over when I'm crossing the street even though I have the right of way.

Yea that was me lol. Also, if the guy at Huntington was near the front of the platform (or walking towards the front when you saw him), then that was probably me also. You definitely don't get many fans out THAT deep into LI territory, probably because of general cost of going that far out, and also for the reason you mentioned.

 

Also, I failed to mention this earlier, but if your train had been just 5-10 minutes earlier, there could have been another incident:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/120115439@N03/14919417261/sizes/l

Check out this idiot walking in the gauge not 5 minutes before the video in the original post. You can see the headlights of the train you were on in the distance too.

Edited by Fan Railer

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You need to understand that railfanners don't need to be treated like terrorists. Its not rocket science.

 

You really need to leave that islamaphobic thinking alone...

 

Its not funny anymore..

Actually I'm not the one that needs to understand anything, especially since I have never been in a confrontation with anyone taking photos or filming.  All I'm saying is that you guys have a right to take photos and film, BUT people also have a right to feel concerned and to question what your motives are.  You may not like it but that's their right, and so unfortunately for you, you're going to have to deal with that when you take photos or film.  Just the way it is.

 

Agreed. You can blame terrorists all you want; and believe me, I think we all know to blame the terrorists, BUT, and this is a big "but", you can't shift 100% blame away to terrorists either. That is dangerous thinking. Basically, by doing that, you absolve any blame from "concerned citizens" over-reacting to minor situations, which can, and has, mind you, lead to innocent people getting wrapped up in ugly situations that could have been avoided if said "concerned citizens" reacted in a more appropriate manner.

 

Take the Treyvon Martin / George Zimmerman situation as a prime example. I feel like I shouldn't need to explain the obvious, but Zimmerman wasn't a cop, and by no right should he have been patrolling the streets like it was his life long duty to pretend to be a cop. He wasn't professionally trained to assess dangerous situations, and yet took it upon himself to do what should have been a professional's job. Perhaps his motives were out of good intentions, but the end result was still undesirable. He still made the assumption that just because Martin was black and walking around "suspiciously" that there was something wrong and that he HAD to take action. Looking at that situation and using VG8's logic here, should we then shift 100% of the blame to the stereotype that all black people are gangsters who are up to no good? Should we say that Zimmerman is completely free of blame in this situation? Any rational person would know that that assumption is completely ridiculous, and that in any situation, both parties share blame (proportions aside).

 

All in all, there is definitely a proper way to look out for your country, yet still respect the rights of your fellow citizens. We should always approach any situations with some level of benefit of the doubt. It makes for much more pleasant interaction, with both parties more likely to come out of it with a mutual understanding.

 

And then, there is the other way, which was demonstrated by this guy: see something suspicious (in your eyes), automatically assume the worst, and take it into your own narcissistic hands to "correct" the situation, as if you could actually make a difference going about it in that manner.

Are you kidding me with this comparison?  That's ridiculous.  There is a big difference between a concerned citizen and someone who goes and takes the law into their own hands.  All that guy did was take a photo of you.  Maybe you were verbally assaulted, but there is something called freedom of speech, which apparently you didn't like, but meanwhile it was okay for you to film him (whether intentional or not) and verbally assault him back.  You can't have it both ways, but clearly you want to.

 

So, you're saying:

  1. Americans are risking their lives to fight a war for rights which we should not exercise.
  2. Given the opportunity to approach a problem in a nice way and in an a**holeish way, it's perfectly acceptable to go with the latter right off the bat.
  3. If someone's picture is being taken, and they do not want their picture taken, the photographer is likely a terrorist and should be treated as suspicious.

That takes quite a feat of mental acrobatics to believe.

 

Perfetto!

I'm saying that Americans are risking their lives so that other Americans can enjoy the rights that they have and they should appreciate and respect that.  If rail fans think their rights are being censored here, they should see how people's rights are being censored in other countries. Hell for that matter, they could also move to another country and see what rights they would have. lol

 

That last point you're making is complete crappola and you know it.  Someone is having their photo taken by some random stranger that they do not know and whose motives are not clear. I'd say it's only natural for the person to be upset and frustrated.  You're acting as if there are not weirdos out here that do those types of things... Not just terrorists, but other sickos as well, so let's not pretend like these people's concerns are somehow unfounded, which is clearly what you're trying to say.  Rail fanners want to be able to take photos of whatever and whomever whenever they want and not expect any repercussions, and the fact of the matter is there will always be some sort of repercussions and they have to learn how to accept them.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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Rail fanners want to be able to take photos of whatever and whomever whenever they want and not expect any repercussions, and the fact of the matter is there will always be some sort of repercussions and they have to learn how to accept them.

 

Why stop at railfanners? Why not apply this logic to anyone who has ever taken photos of anything, ever? If you're taking tourist snaps in a city then there's a good chance someone will appear in your photos at some point, and if you want to come up with some cock-and-bull conspiracy about how all these photographers are trying to violate your privacy, what is stopping you?

 

Oh yeah, I forgot, rail fanning is not common and therefore the only reason anyone could have for taking photos of trains is to stir up trouble. No one makes a peep if they're taking tourist snaps, or photos of cars, or anything that falls under the mainstream umbrella of hobbies.

 

I maintain that in the above video it is painfully obvious that the camera was aimed at the train and not any passengers, and from what I've seen in videos on Youtube the vast majority of transit videos are much the same. Therefore anyone who wants to make a stink about train photographers taking their photos is either stupid or looking for a reason to get into a confrontation. This is a tiring argument and if tourists are able to take photos completely unmolested then why shouldn't rail fanners be entitled to the same? Why should they be expected to make their peace with the "consequences" of taking photos of what they're interested in?

 

I found fanning in Europe last year to be very refreshing. You can take pictures of as many buses as you want and the most people will do is give you a dirty look, if that, especially in the city center where people expect others to take photos.

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Why stop at railfanners? Why not apply this logic to anyone who has ever taken photos of anything, ever? If you're taking tourist snaps in a city then there's a good chance someone will appear in your photos at some point, and if you want to come up with some cock-and-bull conspiracy about how all these photographers are trying to violate your privacy, what is stopping you?

 

Oh yeah, I forgot, rail fanning is not common and therefore the only reason anyone could have for taking photos of trains is to stir up trouble. No one makes a peep if they're taking tourist snaps, or photos of cars, or anything that falls under the mainstream umbrella of hobbies.

 

I maintain that in the above video it is painfully obvious that the camera was aimed at the train and not any passengers, and from what I've seen in videos on Youtube the vast majority of transit videos are much the same. Therefore anyone who wants to make a stink about train photographers taking their photos is either stupid or looking for a reason to get into a confrontation. This is a tiring argument and if tourists are able to take photos completely unmolested then why shouldn't rail fanners be entitled to the same? Why should they be expected to make their peace with the "consequences" of taking photos of what they're interested in?

 

I found fanning in Europe last year to be very refreshing. You can take pictures of as many buses as you want and the most people will do is give you a dirty look, if that, especially in the city center where people expect others to take photos.

People most certainly give dirty looks to others taking photos as well outside of rail fanners.  With rail fanners people may be more sensitive because of previous events.  You talk about being in Europe.  Well I was living in Europe during the terrorist attack in Spain. It certainly had many folks concerned, but when I was out taking photos, I never had anyone bother me.  Why? Because I was respectful of others.  In Milan, I remember getting into a conversation in Italian with a Milanese guy about the different types of cameras he preferred when I was taking some shots.  I even had a few folks let me take photos of them.  When taking photos I was always aware of who was around me and tried to avoid taking shots with people in them and if I did, I would edit those shots when I got back to my apartment accordingly.

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Are you kidding me with this comparison?  That's ridiculous.  There is a big difference between a concerned citizen and someone who goes and takes the law into their own hands.  All that guy did was take a photo of you.  Maybe you were verbally assaulted, but there is something called freedom of speech, which apparently you didn't like, but meanwhile it was okay for you to film him (whether intentional or not) and verbally assault him back.  You can't have it both ways, but clearly you want to.

 

I'm saying that Americans are risking their lives so that other Americans can enjoy the rights that they have and they should appreciate and respect that.  If rail fans think their rights are being censored here, they should see how people's rights are being censored in other countries. Hell for that matter, they could also move to another country and see what rights they would have. lol

 

That last point you're making is complete crappola and you know it.  Someone is having their photo taken by some random stranger that they do not know and whose motives are not clear. I'd say it's only natural for the person to be upset and frustrated.  You're acting as if there are not weirdos out here that do those types of things... Not just terrorists, but other sickos as well, so let's not pretend like these people's concerns are somehow unfounded, which is clearly what you're trying to say.  Rail fanners want to be able to take photos of whatever and whomever whenever they want and not expect any repercussions, and the fact of the matter is there will always be some sort of repercussions and they have to learn how to accept them.

Again, you miss the point / misinterpret the point being conveyed (as you almost always do, but of course).

 

The point here is that sure, we understand that people may not be comfortable with something they feel is out of the ordinary, and sure, it is their right to question it out of genuine concern. The issue is with HOW this is carried out. I need to ask, did you not even read my conclusion points in my last post? If you didn't, which I strongly suspect, here they are again:

 

 

 

All in all, there is definitely a proper way to look out for your country, yet still respect the rights of your fellow citizens. We should always approach any situations with some level of benefit of the doubt. It makes for much more pleasant interaction, with both parties more likely to come out of it with a mutual understanding.

 

And then, there is the other way, which was demonstrated by this guy: see something suspicious (in your eyes), automatically assume the worst, and take it into your own narcissistic hands to "correct" the situation, as if you could actually make a difference going about it in that manner. 

 

The Zimmerman example is NOT ridiculous, in fact, because you were SUPPOSED to look at it from a motive/sociological interaction standpoint; NOT a literal standpoint, which you clearly did. Maybe it's not clear because you don't want to see it, so here it is:

1) Zimmerman looked at the situation in front of him, and based on stereotypes, he reacted in a manner that he should not have. What he should have done was informed local law enforcement and simply kept his distance. If he had done that, then perhaps Martin would still have been alive.

 

2) The guy that I dealt with basically did the same thing: he saw a situation in front of him that he was uncomfortable with, and reacted in a manner that he should not have (took the situation into his personal hands, as did Zimmerman). What he should have done was (if he was genuinely concerned), not said anything to me, but instead, call local law enforcement and let them have a talk with me about what I was doing. If that had been the route the guy had taken, we would not be having this discussion.

 

I dont' know how much clearer I can make this. If you can't see the similarities after that, then you are simply short-sighted.

 

Also, I only pulled in the Zimmerman example because of the ridiculous notion you brought up earlier about this:

 

 

Your frustration is misguided.  You should be frustrated with the terrorists and not with Americans.

 

I will flat out say that you are WRONG. We as hobbyists are completely entitled to be frustrated with other Americans, now get this, when they react in a way that is inappropriate in proportion to the situation, which is what happened in this particular situation that is at the center of this thread. What do you not get about this point? Honestly, it is so simple to understand. Is it wrong for us to ask to be treated (or at least conversed to) in a manner that does not involve (right off the bat) profanity and dehumanization? Because that is all we are really asking for here.

 

Yes, we get that we need to respect other people when we are out enjoying our hobby, but let me ask you, should we really have to silently put up with people who go out of their way, like this guy did, to be complete dicks to us with what is really a minimal pretense?

 

Oh, also here's another thing you said:

 

 

Actually I'm not the one that needs to understand anything, especially since I have never been in a confrontation with anyone taking photos or filming.  All I'm saying is that you guys have a right to take photos and film, BUT people also have a right to feel concerned and to question what your motives are.  You may not like it but that's their right, and so unfortunately for you, you're going to have to deal with that when you take photos or film.  Just the way it is.

I don't even know where to begin with this, but what? Your first sentence here is so contradictory, I can't even wrap my head around this logic. The fact that you've never been in a confrontation over photos or filming is exactly the reason why you would need to understand what it's like to be in one, because until you do, you are really in no position to make any points or say ANYTHING about how we should react when confronted in such a vulgar and unnecessary manner.

 

I will say for the umpteenth time that, yes, it is the right of others to feel concerned and question our motives, but that does not give them free leave to be jerks and assume that everyone taking pictures is a f**king terrorist.

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People most certainly give dirty looks to others taking photos as well outside of rail fanners. 

 

If this does happen, then it is far rarer than it is to see someone giving a rail fanner a dirty look. People are used to the idea that tourists take photos, it's just unfathomable that you might take photos of things not everyone is interested in.

 

 

With rail fanners people may be more sensitive because of previous events.

 

 

If people were suspicious of a group because of previous events, you can be sure that everyone would be suspicious everyone. People from all walks of life do good things and bad things. I maintain that it's because they can't wrap their heads around the concept that rail photographers have different interests than them.

 

 

Because I was respectful of others.

 

 

What difference does it make if you are respectful or not? People are still going to form an initial opinion of you whether you are polite or not, and if they want to confront you, they will.

 

By the way, the insinuation that you are the only one who is polite when taking photos is insulting and absurd.

 

 

When taking photos I was always aware of who was around me and tried to avoid taking shots with people in them and if I did, I would edit those shots when I got back to my apartment accordingly.

 

 

This is a completely ridiculous and unnecessary thing to do. When you're taking photos, whether touristy or rail-fann-y, there's the possibility that you will take a lot of photos. Do you expect these people to pour over what in some cases may be 200+ photos just to avoid having anyone in the photo that did not agree to it before hand? Not only is that a huge waste of time and will ruin what could otherwise be perfectly good photos, you're not entitled to privacy when out in public and if you don't want to appear in the background of anyone's photo ever then don't leave your house.

 

And before you get started with the rhetoric again, taking photos of an object and with people in the background is massively different than purposefully walking up to someone and taking their photo.

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And before you get started with the rhetoric again, taking photos of an object and with people in the background is massively different than purposefully walking up to someone and taking their photo.

^this right here. Exactly. If this was not the case, then were does the buck stop? I recall some time ago, that somewhere in eastern europe, a law was passed that it was illegal to have photos that included the presence of other people in them. Of course, this law was probably passed specifically to stifle press activity, but there were no specifics, as far as I knew. So then theoretically, you could be a tourist taking pictures, and they could haul you into jail simply because there is no way to take pictures in public without including other people in them in some way shape or form.

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