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jb4647

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

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porTENT    33

The police intimidate me all the time, it's best to just avoid them at all costs. If you are detained, confronted, or arrested don't do anything that could make it worse. Eventually, if you are in the right, you'll have your day in court.

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editor    671

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).

Very interesting. Can't wait until a cop tries this with a TV station. Someone's going to lose his pension.

Illinois wiretap laws have never been updated for the video age, so you can carry hidden cameras anywhere. It's only the sound that requires consent. That's why when TV stations in Chicago do their undercover work there's no audio.

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kylejack    846

This guy got just a misdemeanor charge for the speed racer driving, but he's facing 16 years on the wiretapping charge.

Also, a Congressman from New York has introduced a bill to ban wiretapping charges against people who videotape the police in public. http://carlosmiller.com/2010/07/16/breaking-news-congressman-introduces-bill-to-protect-citizens-who-videotape-cops/

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musicman    178

The police intimidate me all the time, it's best to just avoid them at all costs. If you are detained, confronted, or arrested don't do anything that could make it worse. Eventually, if you are in the right, you'll have your day in court.

I was on a mass bike ride recently and unfortunately harassing the police seemed to be the norm. It disappointed me that the riders didn't know when to shut up but instead made the situation worse. The skaters have already addressed the identical situation in the 90's and have been before city council (as have i). It was unforutunate that the younger generation believes that the police were in the wrong when quite frankly, the cyclists in the group were in the wrong.

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TheNiche    969

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.

I'd have to agree about looking "official". Back when I did a lot of consulting in questionable neighborhoods (think Near Northside, 3rd Ward, South Union, Sunnyside, or 5th Ward) and needed to take photos of various apartments or retail centers, I'd go out alone and wear a dark suit and walk around briskly with a grimace and furrowed brow. I would not acknowledge a police presence, even with a furtive glance or slight nod. I was set upon completing a task that did not involve them. Confidence was key. I've never been hassled by law enforcement. Not once. (It might've been different if I were shooting highrises, though, like yourself.)

Apartment property management would sometimes get in my face, but I'd just give them my card, the name of my manager, and remind them quickly and in an unwavering monotone that I was taking photos from a public right-of-way--eyebrows furrowed the whole time--like one of those TV lawyers or Spock when he's 'fascinated'. I'd continue to get the angles I wanted, go back to my vehicle, and drive off, with or without them creating a scene.

In neighborhoods like these, there weren't very nearly any white people, and they would glance at me but move along. Hispanics tended to ignore me, often trying hard not to look (in the way that I try not to make eye contact with the homeless...or cops). And black people only ever asked if I needed help or assistance in any way on account of how dangerous they perceived their neighborhoods to be. These experiences were echoed during my work with the Census, too.

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editor    671

I'd have to agree about looking "official". Back when I did a lot of consulting in questionable neighborhoods (think Near Northside, 3rd Ward, South Union, Sunnyside, or 5th Ward) and needed to take photos of various apartments or retail centers, I'd go out alone and wear a dark suit and walk around briskly with a grimace and furrowed brow. I would not acknowledge a police presence, even with a furtive glance or slight nod. I was set upon completing a task that did not involve them. Confidence was key. I've never been hassled by law enforcement. Not once. (It might've been different if I were shooting highrises, though, like yourself.)

Apartment property management would sometimes get in my face, but I'd just give them my card, the name of my manager, and remind them quickly and in an unwavering monotone that I was taking photos from a public right-of-way--eyebrows furrowed the whole time--like one of those TV lawyers or Spock when he's 'fascinated'. I'd continue to get the angles I wanted, go back to my vehicle, and drive off, with or without them creating a scene.

In neighborhoods like these, there weren't very nearly any white people, and they would glance at me but move along. Hispanics tended to ignore me, often trying hard not to look (in the way that I try not to make eye contact with the homeless...or cops). And black people only ever asked if I needed help or assistance in any way on account of how dangerous they perceived their neighborhoods to be. These experiences were echoed during my work with the Census, too.

This mostly correlates with my experience, too. Especially the part about appearing confident. If you make it look like you're just doing a job, people for the most part leave you alone.

Even if you have permission from the property owner, things don't always go smoothly for all the same reasons as shooting from a public street. I was hired by Hines to shoot its RIverside Plaza towers in Richmond, VA and had to explain to a rent-a-cop that I was working for his boss.

And building on the "littler the man, the bigger the mouth" theme, when Hines hired me to shoot a tower in Chicago, I was doing some lobby shots (obviously professionally, with lights, and computers, and wires and crap everywhere), and some lawyer rushed up to me shouting, "Do you have permission to be here!? My clients don't want to be in your pictures!" My response was "I don't want your clients ruining my pictures, either." His yelling brought the security guards over, who told him to calm down and leave me alone. That was nice.

I've had a number of marginal people and vagrants "offer" to show me better places to take pictures from for a small fee. My standard response is, "I don't carry cash." Which is true -- it's not the 80's anymore. If it wasn't for the collection basket at church, I would probably go months without touching money.

Speaking of the Census -- do you guys get some kind of cherry bonus? I've had the Census guys knock on my door a few times (brand new building, so for some reason there's confusion and extra verification) and they are always the nicest, happiest people I've ever met.

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