View Full Version : Bayswater & the final outrage! All photographers must re

2006-04-11, 11:46 PM
This is a short and not sweet recap of what I learned this weekend spotting and shooting.

The group had 2 police incidences as many of you know..

Now the other story is I stayed to the last bit of light at Bayswater Park with Matt, Phil, Mel and Tommy.
When we approached the water the group of fishermen looked as us with a scowl and said:
NO NO Don't take pictures! You people bring the police and trouble, they come here on foot, boat and helicopter!

Tommy, already salty from the other police grillings, chimes in bold "its OK, WE do this" Also Tommy recently endured being scolded by an imbecile screaming at him saying "Hey you can't do that, everyone knows taking pictures of airplanes is illegal!"

They were NOT happy about our stand.
(Also I know some Spanish, yes all the "good stuff" They were letting us all REALLY have it!) Glad the others did not catch on, I was not in the mood for anything else but spotting and shooting.

Whats happening is:
9 out of 10 times the police were CALLED by civilians.

The PROBLEM is photographers have a MAJOR conflict with society! The fanaticism is unanimous, and that's scary yet very sad.

When and how were the mass majority: taught, trained and programmed to identify photographers as "part of the problem" is a good question.

However more importantly is what can we do about correcting this injustice!?

The only negative photographer events I can recall is the alleged connection to the death of Princess Diana. Some of us recall photographers getting harassed and/or detained for taking pics of fall foliage, the city, the skyline, landscapes, trains, boats...is there no end to this madness?!

I've asked around and yet to hear of a photographer being involved in any sort of foul play involving a jetliner, ever. But this is way beyond jets.

Could we get B&H involved in some sort of coalition or petition for the rights of photographers?

Its completely demented that any photographer has to endure this persecution for no reason.

2006-04-12, 02:31 AM
Well, Mike I will say that those people who didn't want you guys taking pix there were more concerned about their Illegal activities and GETTING CAUGHT. They have now equated out hobby with the park police showing up soon after (witch in itself is a troubling thought) You know how the park police do their rounds and always fine those people for breaking this law and that law. I have spoken to the people who enforce they parks and they have told me that they always have plenty fo violations to give out to those people who fish there. Usually the Fishemen are very kind to us. I hope it was an isolated incident.
I do agree that something has to be done. If this is left to continue its just a matter of time before something extremely unpleasant will happen to a photog or photographers. And I mean more than just what we have already experienced.


2006-04-12, 04:44 AM
I guess it's just not getting any easier and it's certainly not going away. I'm sorry to hear that the fishermen approached you and told you to leave. It's one thing to have the civilian laying in the background calling the cops and having them respond, it's a totally different thing to have them tell you that you're not wanted in some location.

It is amazing how the public has been programmed to recognize photography as a suspicous activity. Amazing and ridiculous. Unfortunately our government and its representatives have painted a portrait of us that way, and it's a problem for everyone. Just think, all those officers visiting and questioning us for an innocent activity while they should be providing much needed services protecting the public. What a stupid waste of our time and theirs.

And, I, for one, am getting really sick of the attitude the police display when they approach us. I have no problem being questioned and having my ID checked, as any law abiding citizen would. But I do have a problem when I am treated with less respect than I should be. I've lived my life within the limits of the law with the exception of the rare traffic violation, and I don't deserve to be talked to in the manner I am by some snot-nosed cop who thinks they are hot **** because they wear a badge. My respect for our police has deteriorated seriously over the last couple of years.


2006-04-12, 08:07 AM
This is why I am against being so civil toward law enforcement when they trample our rights like this. I am glad Art stood his ground at Howard Beach and the incident at Bayswater was typical, I was shooting with Chris Haack at the cargo area one day when some of the cabbies started giving us dirty looks and we had the PA called on us twice, I mean hell those cabbies probably have a rap sheet a mile long. It is getting worse and I think we should consider some action or shooting in NY is going to become unbearable. I have been at LAS so many times and never been so much as looked at funny except at the Janet Terminal. To be able to get in your car and drive somewhere and take photos of anything, be it planes, wildlife or whatever should not include this contant hassle.

2006-04-12, 09:32 AM
Going forward I think anytime we're in a group and a Police Office treats anyone of us in a disrespectful manner we need to take his name badge number and ask him where his precinct is. From there we need to pay a visit to his commanding officer and explain what we are doing and inform him or her of their officerís behavior. I would caution however that when spotting alone not to be as brash. You never know what these cops might do i.e. drop a little bag of weed in your car or something; I simply don't trust the lot of them. But in large groups like this weekend the power is in our hands to do something.

I think everyone should listen to this audio clip from NPR, itís not just us who get bothered, itís anyone with a camera in their hand. Take a listen.


2006-04-12, 12:39 PM
<<When we approached the water the group of fishermen looked as us with a scowl and said:
NO NO Don't take pictures! You people bring the police and trouble, they come here on foot, boat and helicopter! >>

Not that it really matters I suppose, but it sure seems as if some sort of "incident" occured recently. And, I wonder what exactly it was, and who exactly it involved. Its not as if there is an army of us in the area.

I know some folks don't have a computer and might not be here at NYCAviation, but by and large those folks happen to be *very* low profile in their actual shooting habits.

Even the problem(s) I had at Bayswater involved a Parks Administrator (not the State Park police who have seen me and don't have a problem with our activity) and on another occasion a platoon of Hasidic Youth patrol that were never to be found there before or after -- and in both instances the matters were ultimately resolved.

In the one instance I had trouble with the fishermen, that too passed quickly.

My experience with the NYPD Marine Unit have been nil - except for one instance when they powered up to come at me, then obviously saw what the deal was and continued on their way without any word, wave etc.

For all these fishermen to suddenly become difficult *something* must've happened. Would be nice to know what exactly.


2006-04-12, 02:35 PM
Going forward I think anytime we're in a group and a Police Office treats anyone of us in a disrespectful manner we need to take his name badge number and ask him where his precinct is

This is a great idea, you got to remember that these confrontations are based solely on intimidation, they want us to be so scared that we just do or believe anything they say. Showing them that we know our rights and are ready to stand up to them is a good first step.

2006-04-12, 07:57 PM
"Unfortunately our government and its representatives have painted a portrait of us that way, and it's a problem for everyone"



What papers, broadcast or public service announcement was this announced?! Stating photographers are all sickos with ill repute, they will not be tolerated.

Cops just saying "you guys can't bla bla bla." is not the purpose of this thread, lets not @itch about manhandling from them or sour grapes of fishermen here now, that's not the point!


2006-04-12, 10:40 PM
Mike -

I think it started sometime around Sept 12th 2001 or whenever the POTUS and his advisers decided (for practical and/or noble reasons) that Radical Muslim Fundamentalists - enjoying collosal support - in wanting to commit spectacular acts of mass murder of American Civilians, should henceforth be known as the "evil doers".

But you asked about photography specifically...

On my first google search, within less than a minute, I came across this fine bit of advice.. I am sure there are thousands of other instances...


You probably won't find any "outrageous" or "crazy" claims against photography or photographers per se, but clearly we are suspect.

I also note the mantra - "People are not suspicous but behavior is" or words to that effect. All well intentioned propoganda to prevent the peasants from grabbing pitch forks and torches and profiling and then lynching innocent people - and certainly I am not against those goals.

However when the Govmint can speak of "balancing" some good healthy commerce vs. national security -- as it has done in the (so far) failed Dubai Ports deal... yet, there can be no "balance" whatsoever - at all - absolutely verboten - of who the enemy may *likely* be - vs. any type of "unusual" behavior - its easy to see where photographers -when not photographing niagara falls, or weddings, or sunsets, are going to get a hard time.

Thats my 2 cents anyway.

2006-04-16, 04:24 PM

That's appears to be a privately owned site. Their theme seems to be grounded in paranoia. One needs to do a search to find that.

But yet this is not "broad casted information" meaning TV news, radio, E-news, billboards or newspapers.

Broad casted public information and its awarness from such is the key here.

Still wondering how the general public found this unanimous identification with "outdoor photographers are all doing wrong"