This happened earlier this spring, but I didn’t have my blog going then, and I am just getting around to posting now.
So what constitutes public property? I was wandering around work looking for things to take pictures of near by. I saw a couple of motorcycles parked at the side of a building, so I walked down a sidewalk between the Law Enforcement Center (a county building) and a parking lot. I had just taken this picture :
when a police officer asked what I was doing. I said I was just taking pictures, and she said it was private property. I politely told her sorry, I thought that the land surrounding a county building would be public. She pointed at the one arm bandit gate on the parking lot and said this parking lot was private property and you had to have a parking pass to be here. I didn’t feel like arguing with the officer, but I didn’t follow the argument, so I left.
I am starting to hear of all sorts of stories about photographers getting hassled taking pictures. Don’t even think about using a tripod. See Scott Kelby’s story here.
I got directed to PhotoPermit.org that has lots of stories and info about getting and trying to avoid being hassled by security guards or police.
There is a great PDF on a photographers rights here. Just don’t expect to be left alone for waving this paper around.