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Old March 10th, 2006, 10:54 PM   #1
deadmaker7
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MISC | Restrictions on taking pictures in transport

I will be in Europe this summer visiting Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Denmark. My question is, are you allowed to take photos of the national railway cars and stations and of the metro subways in the city? Will they confiscate you camera like some places here in the USA? Having some trouble gathering any information on this. Thanks.

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Old March 11th, 2006, 01:10 AM   #2
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^ Hi Deadmaker7.

Generally, you shouldn't have too many problems. But Europe is a big place, with many different country's and many different governments, they all may have differing opinions on what you can and cannot do.

However, you will not get your camera confiscated. I've heard of these things happening in the US, but they don't happen here.

If, on the odd occasion, a police officer does approach you and doesn't like you shooting, he will most likely simply point to the camera, and shake a finger. A knowing smile and putting your camera away there will usually respond with a smile back from the cop.

But in most cases, police will not bother you from shooting public transport. Only once have I been asked to put a camera away, and that was at Lisbon's central station.

On the London Underground, they ask photographers to please not use flash. This is a dead giveaway that they allow photography there. Although you are not going to London, the point is valid for all subway photography. Not only will the picture look a thousand times better without a flash (so long as you rest the camera on a steady surface) you won't run the risk of blinding the driver as he comes in from a dark tunnel. Besides, security watching on CCTV don't like to see "bright lights" erupting from a platform, not these days.

What type of camera do you use? An SLR is always more trouble than a point and shoot. Sometimes, there are copywrite issues (main stations, and trains contain copywrite logo's) and people with professional looking camera's look... well, professional. Station masters have often been asked to make sure they don't shoot in the station, without consent from the managers (they like to sell the rights to photographers who publish images of their buildings). But people with point and shoot camera's never get bothered by this.

I've never been bothered by it, but I have heard it is the case. Not only at stations, but many sporting events won't allow SLR's into the stadiums (they sell the rights for pro photographers to be there at a very high price).

Some stations actively encourage it. Will you be visiting Antwerp? The Central Station there is simply amazing. One of the most beautiful in the world. And anytime you arrive by train, you will see dozens of people pulling out their camera's (SLR's and P&S's) and shooting before their feet even touch the platform.

Are you planning to sell or publish your work? This is a very different story, and many structures have strict copywrite's. One way to get away with that when shooting trains is to photoshop any branding off the train. This is a worldwide issue though, not just Europe (e.g. Bondi Beach in Australia is copywrite (Yes, a damn beach). It is illegal to sell any photo's of the beach without purchasing a release form from the council, which last time I checked cost A$1000!, another example is the Eiffel Tower. The Tower is not copywrite, so you can freely sell photo's of it anywhere without trouble, but the lighting display on it is ;O)

I'm going on.... essentually. Just shoot. Us European's are a nice bunch these days (Well, Bavarians can be a bit dodgy, but let's leave it at that ;O), if you do cross someone when shooting, just say sorry and put the camera away... then come back when he's not looking You ain't gonna loose your camera or get inerrogated in any way.

Drink the beer while you're here, it's pretty damn good.
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Old March 11th, 2006, 01:10 AM   #3
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Old March 11th, 2006, 02:32 AM   #4
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Nope, not planning to sell, and my camera is a Nikon Cool Pix, nothing fancy just a point and shoot. I'm a very amateur photographer and it's not like I'm going to be snapping constantly. I really don't think I'll run into any problems. Thanks for the help.
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Old March 11th, 2006, 11:18 AM   #5
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In France it is not tolerated to take pictures of trains & stations.
There has been a new announcement about this and policemen could ask to delete your pictures.
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Old March 11th, 2006, 03:20 PM   #6
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There could also be problems in Italy and Belgium, but if stick to rules it won't be a problem. Don't trespass or stand to close to the tracks. You could also take a railway magazine with you, if security ask what you are doing you can show it to them to make clear that you're only a railway enthusiast.

Have a nice trip!
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Old March 11th, 2006, 09:50 PM   #7
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Netherlands

In the Netherlands you don't need to expect any problems unless you behave suspicious.
Be aware of the fact that you need a valid train ticket when you are on a railway platform even if you are not planning to board a train, the same for metro platforms.

Have a nice trip
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Old April 12th, 2006, 02:56 PM   #8
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Why r u not visitng Madrid

Hi I just saw that u r coming to Europe and not visiting Spain?????????? All the countries you mentioned are great but here we got the best night life and some of the best culture food and climate in Eruope (we r the first tourist destiantion) well if u need help i can tell u where to go and give u a detailed trip!!!!

and by the way Madrid subway it has been considered one the best 3 subways in the World!!!
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Old April 12th, 2006, 03:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by De Snor
In France it is not tolerated to take pictures of trains & stations.
There has been a new announcement about this and policemen could ask to delete your pictures.

i live in paris, and i have taken pics of some local metro stations...generally no problem.

Yes, once i was interrupted by a cop in the gare de lyon(TGV station), he just inquired for my identification(passport) and thats all.. didnt even asked me to delete the pics.

just for info, photography is not allowed in certains areas of musee de l'ouvre, especially the one with Mona Lisa, and u can run into trouble there.
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Old April 12th, 2006, 05:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by De Snor
In France it is not tolerated to take pictures of trains & stations.
There has been a new announcement about this and policemen could ask to delete your pictures.
its the same here but I take pics
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Old August 1st, 2006, 02:05 AM   #11
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In the Basque Country (Spain) there are different rules at different railway/metro companies:

Euskotren: There isn't any problem to take photos of trains or stations.
Euskotran: The same.
Metro Bilbao: There isn't any problem since march.
RENFE: It's forbidden to take photos of stations and trains.
FEVE: The same.
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Old August 1st, 2006, 03:31 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by De Snor
In France it is not tolerated to take pictures of trains & stations.
There has been a new announcement about this and policemen could ask to delete your pictures.
No you can take picture of trains & station.
No problem.
If it not allowed take picture with your cellular phone.
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Old August 1st, 2006, 10:09 AM   #13
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In Denmark the official rule is that you're not allowed to take any pictures at trainstations, metrostations and trains unless you have asked for permission. But as long as it is for private use, it's okay. As long as it is not for commercial use, no one will do anything about it. And even if someone does, they will only ask you polite to not take any pictures or get a permisssion. No one is confiscating cameras, deleting pictures or anything. And if you say it for for your own personal use only, then you shouldn't have any problems at all.
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Old August 1st, 2006, 12:37 PM   #14
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deadmaker7,
And since you're going to Denmark (and probably Copenhagen), I suggest you do a day trip over to Malmö as well. Then you can brag about that you've been to Sweden too!
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