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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
anyone want to do a buffalo rising article on why artistic photos = 911=security problems? Without fail tryin to take photos froma parking ramp always causes a problem. Always. I was on the one by M&T last night and the security guard obviously freaked out. Said it was privately owned. "who owns it?" The city does was the reply. So i immediately disregarded what he had to say at that point. I walked with him downstairs to talk to the police about it. 3 police officers came to talk to me about how i need my own insurance to be on there in case anything happens ($1,000,000 worth) and i need to talk to the owner to get permission. Couldn't produce a number for me to call the "owner" and since 911 they have been having problems with people taking photographs of the city from parking ramps. LIKE THAT IS A PROBLEM???? I wasn't making a scene, I wasn't suspicious, I wasn't taking terrorist shots. I am sick of people using 911 as an excuse for anything without a basis of anything. Anytakers on pointing out the problem? If they limit me it limits what you can see.






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Its interesting that there is an increased forbidance of taking urban photos yet at the same time Google seems to have photos of just about every street in Greater Buffalo easily acessible to anyone.
 

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It's a problem and it's getting worse all the time. Last summer I was escorted off the Peace Bridge and into the Customs office for taking pictures, even though I'd asked permission beforehand. I'm not out to cause trouble (mostly because I can't run as fast as I used to) and if there's a policy in place I'll abide by it. However, finding out what that policy is isn't always easy. I kept asking the Customs agents if photography is allowed or not, and all I got were vague answers like "when people take pictures we get nervous."

Also from last summer: I was walking along Main Street on a Tuesday evening after work. I was stopped by two Buffalo Place Rangers in front of the AM&A's building and they said I can't take pictures. I was polite, and asked by what authority they can prevent me from taking photos on Main Street. They then accused me of having given the finger (!) to a security guard at Main Place Tower. It was surreal. I wrote a letter to Buffalo Place to complain about this incident. What if I had been a tourist in town for a convention? Is this how the City of Good Neighbors treats people? I realize I'm not a rich or a fashion model but I'm a professional who has worked downtown for over a decade, and I've never been treated so poorly. Buffalo Place sent me a reply that said, in its entirety "we're looking into your complaint." I never heard from them again.

As I said earlier, I'm too old to push envelopes. If someone says "don't take pictures here" I'll say thank you and leave. But in this day of cell-phone cameras and miniature point and shoots, it doesn't make much sense focus only on people who happen to have a large camera. I've been turned away from Thursday in the Square because of my camera, while people in the crowd hold up their cell phones to take photos of the band.

Ok, I'm done ranting.
 

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Frustrated Male Model
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471 Posts
It's a problem and it's getting worse all the time. Last summer I was escorted off the Peace Bridge and into the Customs office for taking pictures, even though I'd asked permission beforehand. I'm not out to cause trouble (mostly because I can't run as fast as I used to) and if there's a policy in place I'll abide by it. However, finding out what that policy is isn't always easy. I kept asking the Customs agents if photography is allowed or not, and all I got were vague answers like "when people take pictures we get nervous."

Also from last summer: I was walking along Main Street on a Tuesday evening after work. I was stopped by two Buffalo Place Rangers in front of the AM&A's building and they said I can't take pictures. I was polite, and asked by what authority they can prevent me from taking photos on Main Street. They then accused me of having given the finger (!) to a security guard at Main Place Tower. It was surreal. I wrote a letter to Buffalo Place to complain about this incident. What if I had been a tourist in town for a convention? Is this how the City of Good Neighbors treats people? I realize I'm not a rich or a fashion model but I'm a professional who has worked downtown for over a decade, and I've never been treated so poorly. Buffalo Place sent me a reply that said, in its entirety "we're looking into your complaint." I never heard from them again.

As I said earlier, I'm too old to push envelopes. If someone says "don't take pictures here" I'll say thank you and leave. But in this day of cell-phone cameras and miniature point and shoots, it doesn't make much sense focus only on people who happen to have a large camera. I've been turned away from Thursday in the Square because of my camera, while people in the crowd hold up their cell phones to take photos of the band.

Ok, I'm done ranting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
yeah big camera = spy camera i guess. haha like if i was going to be doing secret undercover terror work i would walk over to the guy and say im taking photos of the city. with a big tripod and 8lbs of camera. They never gave me an answer on who to get a hold of or why i can't take pictures or who i am actually bothering. Glad i have a hobby that pisses people off so much. I bet i could sell drugs on a parking ramp. lol
 

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Sounds like the City of Buffalo has made a new law (though I know they haven't), no taking pictures at night from city-owned parking ramps unless you're insured for $1,000,000??? WTF? I don't think anybody who lives in Buffalo has that much money. It's a ridiculous law if you ask me. I didn't think the police would care, I'm sure they have more problems to deal with than that.

Sorry to hear about that, man.
 

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they can detain you at the peace bridge, yes...but knowing you are a citizen they would be smart to either charge you with whatever silly law (nothing exists) for taking photos. The only thing we have to look out for is trespassing, but on public property like sidewalks, parking ramps and city parks...thats impossible.

If they (police) want to look through your bags, cases or man-bags (lol) well they need a search warrant otherwise you can have their asses for failure to follow policy. Security guards have the same arrest power as You and I...they have no arrest rights and if they detain you against your will, tell them you will look into kidnapping.

The problem is, photographers are not typically educated in law, criminal justice and security...especially homeland security, until now. :)
 

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so long as you stick to public ways no one can stop you from taking pictures of anything... except maybe in a situation such as the peace bridge where its a public way under the control of a psuedo public/private authority which makes things difficult...

if i were on a public street such as main street and some security guards tried to get me to stop taking pictures i wouldn't even waste my time talking to them... the police on the other hand can be another problem... unfortunately they are not judges and it is not their responsibility to interpret the law...so they tend to take a very conservative or reactionary position to particular laws and overreact...

in these cases its best to go along with them until the issue can be clarified by someone who does know how to interpret the law, such as a lawyer or judge...

i'd also be careful about how you explain what you are doing... i have a sneaking suspicion that if you could somehow be characterized as a 'commercial photographer' taking pictures for financial gain then there are probably all kinds of little laws and ordinances they could pull out to use against you...
 

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so long as you stick to public ways no one can stop you from taking pictures of anything... except maybe in a situation such as the peace bridge where its a public way under the control of a psuedo public/private authority which makes things difficult...

if i were on a public street such as main street and some security guards tried to get me to stop taking pictures i wouldn't even waste my time talking to them... the police on the other hand can be another problem... unfortunately they are not judges and it is not their responsibility to interpret the law...so they tend to take a very conservative or reactionary position to particular laws and overreact...

in these cases its best to go along with them until the issue can be clarified by someone who does know how to interpret the law, such as a lawyer or judge...

i'd also be careful about how you explain what you are doing... i have a sneaking suspicion that if you could somehow be characterized as a 'commercial photographer' taking pictures for financial gain then there are probably all kinds of little laws and ordinances they could pull out to use against you...
good point on the last part.

just say you are a student...if they ask where...University of America or some dumb answer...it's none of their business.

basically, don't take photos of the jail, court house security cameras, military installations or specific transportation machinery ect ect. The biggest issue is the owners of the buildings being photographed, they fear you will gain from taking a picture of something they own...didn't work in Cleveland, won't work in Buffalo.

:)
 

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Last year I was stopped on Chippewa Street after taking pictures of 598 Main Street and Key Center by an undercover Buffalo cop. After proving who I was and where I lived, he told me I was acting suspiciously by taking pictures and quickly leaving (huh?). The Secret Service has offices at 598, Fed'l Reserve used to be in Key Center.
 

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OK guys. I am writing up a story on this for BRO tonight. Get me any more anecdotes on here today if possible. I assume I can snag some of your pictures to use. Should be a good story. I will use your screen names unless you tell me otherwise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
well either way. i just want the public to know what the photos they enjoy come at a price. feel free to snag any of my photos. i can give you a list of the ones that i actually took from parking ramps.? sorry i haven't been on in a few days my work schedule is crazy.
 

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a friend of mine got a personal tour of the 'italian white house' after he took a few pictures of it while passing by... of course he was kuwaiti and it was just after a group of italian soldiers died in iraq...

but now he can say he took a 6 hour personal tour of the palace...
 
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