Public picture taking & The Law

Started Aug 29, 2010 | Discussions thread
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onetrueboo
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Public picture taking & The Law
Aug 29, 2010

I live in the US and am wondering what law(s) and rules may prohibit taking pictures in public places?

I'm getting a dSLR and I've been told this is more likely to attract the attention of the authorities than using a small and unobtrusive P&S camera.

For example, about 10 years ago now, I took a bunch of 'night shots' using my small 2megapixel Canon S10. This involved wandering around the downtown and campus areas at night with a tripod and taking shots. This was before 9-11. I never got hassled.

(Here's a link to the gallery.. yeah the colors are all wrong)
http://jove.prohosting.com/theboo/

Was wondering what the 'pros' and seasoned people have to say? The law is one thing, but that still won't prevent 'the man' from bugging you.

For example, is it legal to

a) Take pictures of strangers in public places, even if they don't want you to? This includes paparazzi style with long zoom lenses.

b) Take pictures of peoples residences, as long as one remains one the road/sidewalk - including at night?
c) Take pictures in quasi public places like Campuses and Shopping malls?
(etc).

?

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