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Thread: Privacy

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    Privacy

    Hi,

    Can anyone tell me what are the requirements in Queensland when walking down a street and you wish to photograph a private building for no commercial gain.

    Regards,
    Gordon.

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    Member James T's Avatar
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    If you're stood in public I believe the only requirement is for you to press the shutter. Provided the part of the building you're photographing isn't through someone's bedroom window with a 600mm lens.

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Remembering that the forum rules prohibit giving legal advice --- [24] Requesting/Providing Financial, Medical or Legal Advice on Ausphotography:

    Australian Photography is a website with broad topic coverage. However, when it comes to medical, financial and legal advice, it's always recommended to seek advice from a qualified professional, rather than asking about it on Australian Photography. As such, Australian Photography takes no legal responsibility for posts seeking or providing Medical, Financial or Legal advice. Members use any advice provided via Ausphotography at their own risk. The site owner, moderators or members cannot be held liable for any Medical, Financial or Legal advice posted on the site. ---- you may be better off speaking with a legal eagle if you have specific concerns.

    Generally it seems to be accepted that if you are in a public place, making sure that the place where you are at the time is actually public and not private property or under a lease or control agreement, then photographing buildings on a non commercial basis should be OK.

    Do you have a specific issue?
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    who owns the street ?
    Darren
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    Hi Andrew,

    It is just that I was strolling around a suburb in Brisbane the other day and I took a photograph of a house that was being renovated. The owner came out and wanted to know what I was up to and wanted to basically know whose websight that it was going to end up on and why.
    I explained that it was only for my own interest for something to do.
    I was just concerned as to whether it was legal or not,
    I have asked our local state MP but I have yet to receive a reply. I will stir them up and let you know their reply.

    Regards,
    Gordon.

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gordon_l34 View Post
    Hi Andrew,

    It is just that I was strolling around a suburb in Brisbane the other day and I took a photograph of a house that was being renovated. The owner came out and wanted to know what I was up to and wanted to basically know whose websight that it was going to end up on and why.
    Gordon, maybe he was employing Dodgy Brothers Building Company.

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    Not offering legal advice but,

    I think Kiwi's question is a legit one.

    As a lay-person... Generally (standing in a public place), if you can look at it, you can photograph it. So, if you simply stood in the street and looked at a house, there is nothing the owner can do to you. If you set foot on his property, whilst he can't prevent you from taking a picture, he can ask you to get off his property - and if you don't - you may be trespassing.

    As for photographing through curtains etc, the same principle. You would be pushing your luck by simply looking through a crack in the curtains at someone changing (where they would have a reasonable expectation of privacy). Therefore, photographing the same thing may cause you problems.

    Then, again, if your neighbour decided to change clothes on the front lawn, I think that they may have given up their reasonable expectation of privacy so, looking at or photographing may be un-problematic.

    However, they can ask you to leave their land - but, on a public street, they can not compel you do do (or not do) anything.

    Scotty
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    Scotty's got it in one.

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    I'm on the Gold Coast, QLD.
    My neighbours have had the police around for me taking pix in my street a couple of times (different neighbours, just photographing trees & clouds or the like, never people).
    The police said I can photograph what I like & into their yards as well including people shots.
    The police did ask me how I would feel if the neighbours were photographing me, & would I feel provoked ?
    My answer was NO, I have nothing to hide.
    But, I would probably shove a finger up my nose or start scratching my crouch or do a brown eye, what ever
    Col

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    I think you are perfectly entitled to do as you did and there's no need to look into it any further. You're on public land and you're not taking shots that are offensive and they are not a celebrity or on face value there's nothing exceptional about this matter at all

    Shoot away

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    OMG its WORK COVER! Quick hide all the dodgy bits!
    I get a classic reaction when photographing houses especially ones being built or renovated! You can hear the mobile phnes ring as they call each other up..........." lookout work covers here "......

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    Gordon has a legitimate question which I think is more about consent than law. We have a number of properties in Brisbane's west that have been targets of theft and damage and in many cases neighbours and police have advised that the property was photographed prior to the crime. Local police reports acknowledge that this type of surveillance is common, however, the camera of choice is usually a stolen iPhone rather than a decent camera. (It's hard to upload shots instantly from a regular DSLR).
    So when someone questions why you're taking a photo of their renovations, without prior consent (courtesy), you can understand their point of view.
    Some of you may remember many months ago when I was photographing the arrival of the new RAAF Hornets from a hill in the local suburb when I was approached by a number of property owners asking my intentions (thought I was casing the joint with a 400mm lens). As the planes went overhead their fears were allayed. Whether you do it commercially or not is not relevant. It's simply a matter of communicating your intentions according to circumstance.
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    I suppose, in summary, that if you want to, you might think it better to ask but, there is no obligation.

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    Good one! Sounds like Ronald Reagan when he coined the phrase "shoot first and ask questions later"

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    I always try and put myself in an owners position. I would indeed be very curious if someone was shooting my house. I'd simply want to know why.

    There is a difference between being courteous, and respectful, to being pedantic and quoting law. While I'm obviously a fan of the right to shoot when and where I like, within the law, I'm also bigger fan of being courteous and polite. That approach puts most at ease. Its again, common sense.
    William

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    Quote Originally Posted by Longshots View Post
    I always try and put myself in an owners position. I would indeed be very curious if someone was shooting my house. I'd simply want to know why.

    There is a difference between being courteous, and respectful, to being pedantic and quoting law. While I'm obviously a fan of the right to shoot when and where I like, within the law, I'm also bigger fan of being courteous and polite. That approach puts most at ease. Its again, common sense.
    The scenario the OP suggested was waltzing down the street and stumbling across an interesting building. In this case, I doubt the owner/tenant would be just hanging around to ask. If they are, they it prob doesn't hurt to ask.

    However, where we (read I) do like to get pedantic about my rights is when an owner/tenant charges out demanding to know what your doing or threatening.

    I assume the OP would only photograph a building if it were worth photographing (being renovated, an historic house or even if s/he wishes to gather evidence for a complaint).

    I know of people (neighbours down the street) who get agro when 2 or 3 people gather on the street outside the house (just neighours meeting for a chat on the street). He seems to think he owns the street next to his land.

    Anyway, if the home owner is standing on the lawn and a photographer sticks a camera in his face without asking (saying hi), I feel a bit of sympathy for the home owner: if a home owner charges out to be a pest / sticky-beak, it is he who has the issue, not the photographer.

    Scotty

  17. #17
    Ausphotography Regular Bercy's Avatar
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    I was building a new house. I was driving around looking for some ideas on doors and windows. I saw a house with the kind of windows and doors we liked. I hopped out of the car and knocked on the front door. I introduced myself and said I was building a new house and liked very much the design of his front windows and doors and would he mind if I took some pictures. He said not at all. I took some pictures.

    Every one was happy, no one was offended.

    Been mentioned above - a little bit of courtesy goes a long way and takes so little time!

    Cheers

    Berni
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    Wayne shoots while Di chats!
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    Gee, I can't believe people here in Aus are getting so suspicious. We have just returned from UK and Ireland and have hundreds of photo's of houses and other buildings. Sometimes we asked permission, and were told several times "it's a free country, take what you want", we were invited in for a cuppa and a look through the house on several occasions. We were never accosted for wearing a camera and taking photo's of anything and everything.
    I guess we will need to be a little more caurious in Australia, sadly.
    Di
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    Member James T's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tikira View Post
    Gee, I can't believe people here in Aus are getting so suspicious. We have just returned from UK and Ireland and have hundreds of photo's of houses and other buildings. Sometimes we asked permission, and were told several times "it's a free country, take what you want", we were invited in for a cuppa and a look through the house on several occasions. We were never accosted for wearing a camera and taking photo's of anything and everything.
    I guess we will need to be a little more caurious in Australia, sadly.
    Di
    Just goes to show that people are people wherever they are in the world.

    I grew up in England, moving to Melbourne 4 years ago (been back once in that time). In my experience the exact opposite is true, people are so suspicious of cameras / photographers in England. I find street photography a lot more difficult over there (maybe with the exception of London).

    I also know of far more people (photographers) being accosted by jumped up security/police/PCSOs in the UK as well - though I guess there are a lot more people back home than here.
    Last edited by James T; 29-06-2011 at 11:11am.

  20. #20
    Ausphotography Regular Bercy's Avatar
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    People wanting to taken "secret photos" are usually in black Transit Vans. The skulk around wearing duffle coats and hide things under newspapers. Or if you want to get uber techno -they have a mini CCD in their pen. What they are not doing si walking around with a brazenly obvious oversized DSLR and crumpler, taking pictures that are found on post cards. Remember they shot the wrong guy in a train tunnel after the bumbings - serious terrorists were just walking away. I think it is very fair for a bobby to ask what your doing and maybe getting some details or ID, which I would gladly give - probably interested in photography too - that's enough to keep everyone happy and safe. Don't need the MI5 and SWAT team.

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