Photo Permits for London

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David Lowe Regular Member • Posts: 163
Photo Permits for London
2

Hi, I am planning on visiting London in September to take some long exposure photographs and therefore need to use a tripod. Does anyone know where to apply for tripod passes for these areas:

Ghurkin, South Bank, City Hall.

Many thanks.

David

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AlbertTheLazy
AlbertTheLazy Veteran Member • Posts: 7,972
Re: Photo Permits for London

David Lowe wrote:

Hi, I am planning on visiting London in September to take some long exposure photographs and therefore need to use a tripod. Does anyone know where to apply for tripod passes for these areas:

Ghurkin,

Gherkin

South Bank, City Hall.

Many thanks.

David

Will you be inside these places or just shooting from the street? Personally I have never applied for a 'tripod permit' anywhere in London. On one occasion I was shooting the South Bank with a 5x4 in the middle of the commuter rush. No-one asked me for my permit.

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MisterBG Veteran Member • Posts: 6,697
Re: Photo Permits for London

David Lowe wrote:

Hi, I am planning on visiting London in September to take some long exposure photographs and therefore need to use a tripod. Does anyone know where to apply for tripod passes for these areas:

Ghurkin, South Bank, City Hall.

Many thanks.

David

Generally speaking, if you are in a public place you do not need a permit. Obviously, at busy times there is always the danger of causing an obstruction but common sense should give you an idea of where you can set up in safety.
However, if the police decide you are causing an obstruction, they can ask you to move on without giving a reason.

The area around the South Bank and City Hall IS Private Property and they employ private security guards to enforce regulations. I've heard of photogs being hassled for using tripods, but again if you are sensible and don't cause an obstruction, then you should be OK. For commercial photography it is possible to buy a permit for the area, but for amateur use it is not necessary.

For general guidance about street photography in the UK the following article from "Amateur Photographer" magazine may be of help: https://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/technique/expert_advice/street-photography-and-the-law-96304

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RobzLondon New Member • Posts: 15
Re: Photo Permits for London
2

For Southbank there is some info here, notably "using a tripod without prior permission is forbidden in many areas of South Bank": https://southbanklondon.com/photography-film

It says "If you are planning to use a tripod for personal or amateur use, you must seek permission from the relevant landowner", which are listed here: http://oursouthbank.com/about-us/estate-map/

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Elena16 New Member • Posts: 23
Re: Photo Permits for London

Notice that I want to go in August to London and other cities such as Scotland, a rented vehicle and I do not think you need permission to do so. I think there is a lot of tourism for beech and I do not think it is necessary

FluidKnowledge Regular Member • Posts: 437
Re: Photo Permits for London

What kind of stupid rule that forbids you to use a tripod? That's insane. But they don't explicitly forbid monopods

Do they also have a rule banning high end cameras, too?

figatz Junior Member • Posts: 49
Re: Photo Permits for London

I'm going to London in August and I didn't applied for any permission, is it really needed?

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Thad E Ginathom
Thad E Ginathom Regular Member • Posts: 162
Re: Photo Permits for London
1

Elena16 wrote:

Notice that I want to go in August to London and other cities such as Scotland, a rented vehicle and I do not think you need permission to do so. I think there is a lot of tourism for beech and I do not think it is necessary

I think the problem is probably language. When you say London, do you mean the city of London? London is a city*, and whilst it is huge, it is a tiny part of England. England and Scotland are countries.

These confusions happen. I am English, and used to live in London. Now I live in India and I have sometimes heard things like "My son lives near London: his place is called Manchester."

London has no beaches. It has beeches: beech is a tree! I'm truly sorry about our language: it is bad enough for those of us grow up with it. I have spent a lifetime being confused by sweat and sweet, bear and beer.

It is a beautiful country. I hope will enjoy and take great photographs. I would recommend Cornwall for beaches. You will find everything from sand dunes to dramatic cliffs there.

Too many people visit England and do not get far out of the cities (Often London). Don't fall into the trap!

*Actually, it's even more complicated than that. Within London, there is a small area which is The City of London. What a headache!

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Elena16 New Member • Posts: 23
Re: Photo Permits for London
1

Thanks friend for those clarifications and suggestions, I hope to take many pictures in my next visit

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OP David Lowe Regular Member • Posts: 163
Re: Photo Permits for London
3

Perhaps I should have mentioned, I am British and I live here so I know the rules!

Many areas of Greater London may look like they are public land but they are not, eg the area around the London Eye is owned by Coca Cola and City Hall is More London.

Taking photographs is permitted in most places but not with the use of a tripod. But you can usually get a permit to use a tripod if you apply to the correct office, it was a list of the controlling offices that I was looking for.
I now have a list of all of the different offices that own/control the private areas of London should anyone be interested.

Thank you to all that have contributed to this thread.

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David

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J A C S
J A C S Forum Pro • Posts: 14,943
Re: Photo Permits for London

David Lowe wrote:

Perhaps I should have mentioned, I am British and I live here so I know the rules!

Many areas of Greater London may look like they are public land but they are not, eg the area around the London Eye is owned by Coca Cola and City Hall is More London.

Taking photographs is permitted in most places but not with the use of a tripod. But you can usually get a permit to use a tripod if you apply to the correct office, it was a list of the controlling offices that I was looking for.
I now have a list of all of the different offices that own/control the private areas of London should anyone be interested.

Thank you to all that have contributed to this thread.

I am so lucky to read this after I have visited London several times with my tripod! 

57even Forum Pro • Posts: 13,800
Re: Photo Permits for London

David Lowe wrote:

I now have a list of all of the different offices that own/control the private areas of London should anyone be interested.

I would be very interested if you could PM me. I live in in London, but have seldom had serious issues except when trying to do night shots of the London Eye.

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biza43 Forum Pro • Posts: 10,507
Re: Photo Permits for London

FluidKnowledge wrote:

What kind of stupid rule that forbids you to use a tripod? That's insane. But they don't explicitly forbid monopods

Do they also have a rule banning high end cameras, too?

Guess the owner of a private property should be able to set the rules he finds adequate. When I go some place not public, and I want to take pics, I ask for permission in advance. That is just common sense.

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Nigel S Contributing Member • Posts: 765
Re: Photo Permits for London

David Lowe wrote:

Perhaps I should have mentioned, I am British and I live here so I know the rules!

Many areas of Greater London may look like they are public land but they are not, eg the area around the London Eye is owned by Coca Cola and City Hall is More London.

Taking photographs is permitted in most places but not with the use of a tripod. But you can usually get a permit to use a tripod if you apply to the correct office, it was a list of the controlling offices that I was looking for.
I now have a list of all of the different offices that own/control the private areas of London should anyone be interested.

Thank you to all that have contributed to this thread.

The private landowners do not have the right to make laws over the use of tripods, so if they allow public access then you can use a tripod.  All they can do to stop you using a tripod is to ask you to leave, and as long as you are not causing any problems they are unlikely to do that.  There are a few organisations that can make bylaws, such as the national parks and national trust, but they don't have bylaws on tripods, and would find it very difficult to introduce any since the bylaws would have to be approved as reasonable by the government.  If you are carrying out your commercial business on their property then you should get permission, but for private purposes there should be no issue.

Thad E Ginathom
Thad E Ginathom Regular Member • Posts: 162
Re: Photo Permits for London

biza43 wrote:

FluidKnowledge wrote:

What kind of stupid rule that forbids you to use a tripod? That's insane. But they don't explicitly forbid monopods

Do they also have a rule banning high end cameras, too?

Guess the owner of a private property should be able to set the rules he finds adequate. When I go some place not public, and I want to take pics, I ask for permission in advance. That is just common sense.

Locations like London's South Bank ---at least, the walk way along the river, if not the open spaces associated with specific buildings and complexes--- are private land that is open to the public. Much more mixed-up than your simple example, which, yes, is true.

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figatz Junior Member • Posts: 49
Re: Photo Permits for London

David Lowe wrote:

Perhaps I should have mentioned, I am British and I live here so I know the rules!

Many areas of Greater London may look like they are public land but they are not, eg the area around the London Eye is owned by Coca Cola and City Hall is More London.

Taking photographs is permitted in most places but not with the use of a tripod. But you can usually get a permit to use a tripod if you apply to the correct office, it was a list of the controlling offices that I was looking for.
I now have a list of all of the different offices that own/control the private areas of London should anyone be interested.

Thank you to all that have contributed to this thread.

I would be glad if you send me the list. Do you think 2 weeks and a half is enough to get an authorization?

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OP David Lowe Regular Member • Posts: 163
Re: Photo Permits for London

Thank you for this.

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David

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OP David Lowe Regular Member • Posts: 163
Re: Photo Permits for London

Hi figatz,

I have sent you the list on a PM. I am lead to believe that many places do reply positively and within two weeks.

The only place so far that I have had a definite no is the Walki Talki building (Sky Garden), no explanation just NO! I have visited the building a few times and the security personnel are very vigilant and prevent you using your tripod before have the legs extended.

As many have said on this thread in many areas you may well not get asked to stop using your tripod but I have been told to "move on" a few times so I was hoping to prevent that from happening again.

Good luck and enjoy your visit.

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David

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Jestertheclown
Jestertheclown Senior Member • Posts: 2,426
Re: Photo Permits for London

David Lowe wrote:

The only place so far that I have had a definite no is the Walki Talki building (Sky Garden), no explanation just NO!

I've also been there; my guess is that tripods aren't allowed due to the number of people in what is a relatively small space.

A polite explanation wouldn't go amiss though.

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Alex Ridgway Regular Member • Posts: 474
Re: Photo Permits for London

David Lowe wrote:

Hi, I am planning on visiting London in September to take some long exposure photographs and therefore need to use a tripod. Does anyone know where to apply for tripod passes for these areas:

Ghurkin, South Bank, City Hall.

Many thanks.

David

You don't need one

If you plan to shoot inside or are shooting commercially then email the building direct (obviously not the south bank as it's not a building).

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