Sign in to follow this  
jb4647

Proof of permit required to use a tripod at Williams Tower Waterwall?

Recommended Posts

jb4647    2

I think the city rule about needing a permit to use a tripod has been meantioned here before but I'm curious as to if anyone can point or link to the specific City Of Houston statute that states this?

Do we need a permit to use a tripod? Where is the proof?

This is what I like to carry with me in my photog bag:

http://www.krages.com/phoright.htm

Edited by jb4647

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sevfiv    1344

Hines' property site only puts this about the Waterwall:

The management office must be contacted at least 10 business days in advance for information and reservations to have a wedding ceremony OR photography at the Waterwall.

(http://www.property-website.com/pws/sites/4/live/propertyprofile/index.jsp)

I don't know anything about a city ordinance/regulation about it and can't find anything on the city web site or searchable municipal code..

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fringe    326

Yeah, I don't believe it's a city thing as much as a property management thing. It's the same at Rice University. No one will say anything when your just walking around snapping pictures but as soon as you drag out a tripod your going to be confronted.  Is a tripod to "professional" looking?  I don't know and I don't blame you for wanting to use one. That's just the way it is. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
marmer    68

It's been that way a long time. I got told I couldn't use a tripod to set up a group picture when we met up with some relatives at the Waterwall back in 1990 or so. Just wanted to do that so I could get in the picture too, with the self timer. The security guard was perfectly obliging and willing to take our picture, so apparently that comes up all the time. Wonder if they screen their security guards for photography skills? :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kylejack    846

To enter the building or shoot at the Water Wall, perhaps.

The sidewalk is a public sidewalk. Snap away. Next time he pesters you ask him to cite his source.

http://carlosmiller.com is a really cool blog about this issue.

Edited by kylejack

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mfastx    447

I just wish they would still let me up to the sky lobby/observation deck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
scrubba    2

In all the years I lived in Houston, I admired it over the LACK of heavy handedness I saw living in both Washington D C and of course Richmond Virginia just south of D C . I wish ya the best of luck . Texas was FOUNDED by renegades , prisioners , has beens , drunks and other assorted charicters that were demed to unworthy by the "Blue Bloods " Long live and God Bless Texas !!!!!!!!!!! Scrubba

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
editor    671

To enter the building or shoot at the Water Wall, perhaps.

The sidewalk is a public sidewalk. Snap away. Next time he pesters you ask him to cite his source.

http://carlosmiller.com is a really cool blog about this issue.

Actually, this is not always true. You are free to snap away without a tripod, but as soon as you set up equipment (even a Wal-Mart tripod counts) many cities (New York, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, Long Beach that I know of, likely others) you need a permit because you're obstructing the public way.

I thought a few years ago, Hines donated the Water Wall to the city for use as a public park. Or did I imagine that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kylejack    846

That's understandable, but I guess I meant in this particular case where there are very wide sidewalks and fairly light foot traffic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I don't believe it's a city thing as much as a property management thing. It's the same at Rice University. No one will say anything when your just walking around snapping pictures but as soon as you drag out a tripod your going to be confronted.  Is a tripod to "professional" looking?  I don't know and I don't blame you for wanting to use one. That's just the way it is. 

Yeah, I think it's because people started using it for official photos (weddings, portraits, quinceneras, etc.) ... I know I shot a singing group's portrait out there, but had to do it without the tripod (security stood there and made sure I didn't use it).

I guess they figure tripod = profession. No tripod means - amateur (or semi-professional).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gto250us    22

Yeah, I think it's because people started using it for official photos (weddings, portraits, quinceneras, etc.) ... I know I shot a singing group's portrait out there, but had to do it without the tripod (security stood there and made sure I didn't use it).

I guess they figure tripod = profession. No tripod means - amateur (or semi-professional).

Geeze, What would they do if you just continue using the Tripod? Taze you. Wrestle you to the ground and throw you in cuffs? If rent-a-cops touch you they can be open to lawsuit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Geeze, What would they do if you just continue using the Tripod? Taze you. Wrestle you to the ground and throw you in cuffs? If rent-a-cops touch you they can be open to lawsuit.

I really wasn't willing to find out. LOL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AtticaFlinch    706

What about those tiny tabletop tripods? Has anyone had any experience with one of these?

These are clearly meant for hobbiests and people who just want a steadier shot. I take one of these things with me whenever I take a trip. I get much better photos with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
laanba    6

The sidewalks at the Water Wall still may be on Hines property and not city property. It isn't a city sidewalk running along the street we are talking about, but a more interior sidewalk if I remember correctly. It is equivalent to the sidewalks in the quad of Rice University. You have rights from city sidewalks, but not from private property even if it is an area that people access regularly. Hines has the right to set their own rules.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kylejack    846
jb4647    2

I'm not much of a tripod user anyway. If I shoot any pictures of folks at the Waterwall I'm doing it with my hands.

Lately I've moved on to Discovery Green....lots of green vistas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
UrbaNerd    28

I'm hardly even an "amateur photographer", and I've been "escorted away" from various buildings and sites many times, and questioned by employees and bystanders countless times in the past couple of years. Yes, security and all that is important, but I don't get why they have to be so paranoid about a harmless architecture student with a crappy little point and click camera!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
editor    671

I'm hardly even an "amateur photographer", and I've been "escorted away" from various buildings and sites many times, and questioned by employees and bystanders countless times in the past couple of years. Yes, security and all that is important, but I don't get why they have to be so paranoid about a harmless architecture student with a crappy little point and click camera!

I've been hassled a number of times. In my experience, it seems the less "official" a person is, the more likely they are to cause problems for me. Rent-a-cops, and transit cops have been the worst. City cops have been better. Federal police have been no problem.

Off the top of my head:

  • Downtown Houston, a rent-a-cop threatened to take away my equipment at Enterprise Plaza. I told him that I'd be happy to call 911 so a police office could explain the law to him. He backed off.
  • Downtown Long Beach, California a transit cop demanded to see my permit. I explained the law to her, and she was happy. I preceded it with, "I've been doing this for 10 years -- it's my job to know what I can and cannot do."
  • Downtown Chicago (Printer's Row area) -- Chicago cops asked what I was taking pictures of and why, but didn't make any threats.
  • Downtown Hong Kong (Admiralty) - Chinese military police didn't give a crap about me shooting their barracks.
  • Downtown Hong Kong (ifc Center) - Rent-a-cops were curious about me, but being a white guy, they were afraid to approach. When it appeared to me they were getting concerned (a sudden burst of radio use), I walked over to them and asked them where they thought the best locations would be to take pictures. They loved this, and pulled out a map that they drew on and let me take with me.
  • Downtown Bellevue, Washington - Cops walking by stopped in their tracks and got out of my way so I could take a shot! Holy crap!
  • Downtown Washington, DC - Taking pictures of various government buildings at 3am - United States Park Police would cruise by me every couple of minutes on a scooter, but didn't interfere. I think he was just making sure I wasn't spray painting anything.

When I was working for a large media company, our photographers were threatened all the time. The lawyers at corporate had a set of guidelines for the photographers. Among the more interesting points

- Never give up your media. If a cop demands it, tell them they need a judge's order or a search warrant, and to submit it to the company's lawyers for consideration.

- Never erase pictures you've taken. If a police officer believes you've committed a crime by taking pictures, erasing the photos is destruction of evidence. A police office cannot compel you to commit a crime.

When I had my old Sony camera, it had two media bays. I always thought that if I ended up in a situation where a cop demanded my film, I'd just pop out and hand him the empty card. Sadly, I never got the chance. My new strategy is to shoot on MicroSD cards, and if I'm in a bad situation, I'll just swallow it.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kylejack    846

Anyway, the new battleground appears to be videographers being arrested and charged with illegal wiretapping for taking video of the police without their consent in 1-party consent states. It is really alarming to see this happening.

This guy has been charged with wiretapping because he videotaped the officer (who pulled his gun for a traffic stop).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this