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Old 21st June 2010, 11:12 AM
paulc paulc is offline
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Default Risk assessment of photography in public areas

I was out shooting on Sunday at one of our stately near London homes with a 5x4 and tripod. Had checked their website and noted photography was not permitted inside the house and any commercial venture required a permit.. Satisfied that I was not a professional, nor would I be entering the buildings, I spent the day wandering around the estate with camera/tripod in hand.
Suffice to say, towards the end of the day, I was approached by a steward and informed that the use of a tripod was not generally permitted do to health and safety issues (no mention of this on their website) - Primary concern appeared to be a "trip hazard".

Looking around the immediate area, I could identify a number of areas that posed a greater risk - Low edging strips, unattended bags, bill boards, small children/dogs on leashes, etc... Got me thinking though.

Has anyone (with suitable HSE experience) drawn up a risk assessment of photography in public areas that I could print out and use in similar situations ?
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Old 21st June 2010, 11:32 AM
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Steve Smith Steve Smith is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulc View Post
Looking around the immediate area, I could identify a number of areas that posed a greater risk - Low edging strips, unattended bags, bill boards, small children/dogs on leashes, etc... Got me thinking though.

Has anyone (with suitable HSE experience) drawn up a risk assessment of photography in public areas that I could print out and use in similar situations ?
You have done it already. i.e. noticed many areas which are a much greater risk than your tripod.

A few years ago at work someone wanted to go to another company to have some laser cutting done. Our H&S person said he had to do a risk assessment on the company. The person involved stated that this was nonesense and produced some figures for the likelyhood of being involved in an accident on the way to the company and stated that this was a much greater risk than being in the company's premises. The H&S person accepted that as his risk assessment!

You can't really use an existing assessment as it will be different for each location. In reality the assessment has nothing to do with photography but more to do with you being there with something that someone could trip over. No different to someone being there with a large bag which they have left on the ground. The owners of the house should have done their own assessment for this type of thing as they have a duty of care to their visitors.


Steve.

Last edited by Steve Smith; 21st June 2010 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 21st June 2010, 03:33 PM
Mike O'Pray Mike O'Pray is offline
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While not wishing to be "political" about it there are hopefully some welcome signs that the rare commodity called commonsense might be making a comeback.

The problem with the "foot soldiers" at places like English Heritage and National Trust is that discretionary authority is not part of their job description or hasn't been so debating points with them is often futile.

However the NT has dropped its objection to photography indoors and if my experience at Calke Abbey in Derbyshire is anything to go by, it will even permit flash although it asks that you are sparing with it.

I can well see tripods being a problem indoors but I'd hope that the more relaxed approach will mean that monopods if retracted when on the move will be OK. Again it needs commonsense of both parties, photog and official to recognise when it isn't appropriate in a crowd situation.

While each place may be different I am hopeful that if a green light is being given to photography at the NT then tripods used sensibly in the grounds will not cause the stir that they once did.


Mike
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Old 21st June 2010, 07:22 PM
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photomi7ch photomi7ch is offline
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If some one is not looking where there going then a person standing still is a risk let alone a tripod.

What about lamp posts we all know there their but it does not stop people walking into them.

Keep your eyes open and you will not trip,fall or walk into something, common sence realy
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Old 22nd June 2010, 05:10 PM
JimW JimW is offline
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To try and make something (eg. situations or events) foolproof is a merely a vain attempt. All that happens is someone invents a better form of fool...
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Old 14th December 2011, 02:52 PM
SteveMorales SteveMorales is offline
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I hate it when people in public places claim that their privacy is being violated when you take shots of them. I guess it is to fair when it comes to taking shots as not a lot of people are exposed to the real law behind it.

The basic gist is, whatever is in a public place, should be free for capture. Unless of course it holds some intellectual property to it, that is not really allowed for publication.
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Old 21st May 2012, 08:44 PM
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Matt5791 Matt5791 is offline
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We have a customer who is an architectural photographer. He shoots everything on 5x4.

One day, whilst out in a public place with his 5x4, tripod, and usual kit bags etc. a lady accused him of trying to take covert photos of here children playing!!

So he now wears a high-visibility jacket. And he's become invisible!
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Old 21st May 2012, 08:52 PM
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Kaouthia Kaouthia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt5791 View Post
So he now wears a high-visibility jacket. And he's become invisible!
You know, somebody suggested that to me only a couple of days ago as a way to go completely unnoticed in the middle of a busy city centre doing street photography from a tripod.

He goes out with his Arax, throws it on some sticks wearing his high vis jacket and nobody looks at him twice.
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Old 21st May 2012, 09:25 PM
big paul big paul is offline
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blimey you was taking a chance not wearing your hard hat ,say one of them spy satellites fell out of the sky and hit you on the bonce ,I'm no doctor but I bet that would hurt.
I once heard that you have more chance of being hit by a falling satellite than winning the lottery, but they don't have any signs warning you about that do they.
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Old 21st May 2012, 09:32 PM
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Steve Smith Steve Smith is offline
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Originally Posted by Kaouthia View Post
You know, somebody suggested that to me only a couple of days ago as a way to go completely unnoticed in the middle of a busy city centre doing street photography from a tripod.
Use a bright yellow surveyor's tripod and you will be completely invisible.

If you look as though you are supposed to be there, you will be ignored.


Steve.
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