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Thread: Private property and photography?

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    Private property and photography?

    How do you approach taking photos on or of private property? I'm not talking about invading peoples privacy and photographing their house etc, rather a field, dams, bush etc.
    I tend to avoid shooting a scene if it's over private property, even if I'm not actually on it.
    It's hard though because so much beauty is on private land here in tas.

    So what's your thoughts? And how do you approach property owners, ie asking them for permission etc?

    Cheers
    Daniel

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    If you are on public land go for gold whatever is in your view is generally fair game, if you are on private land ask permission (or forgiveness)
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    Ausphotography Regular JimD's Avatar
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    Ask nicely and be polite and say thanks when you've finished (and even show them the photos).
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    f o t o w o r x

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    Member Tom J McDonald's Avatar
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    Knock on their doors and send a print afterwards.

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    and if you're given permission, any gates you open, make sure you shut on the way out!!!
    Happy to take all constructive Critique, please don't rework or edit my photos. Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by bxaftw View Post
    How do you approach taking photos on or of private property? I'm not talking about invading peoples privacy and photographing their house etc, rather a field, dams, bush etc.
    I tend to avoid shooting a scene if it's over private property, even if I'm not actually on it.
    It's hard though because so much beauty is on private land here in tas.

    So what's your thoughts? And how do you approach property owners, ie asking them for permission etc?

    Cheers
    Daniel
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    Not really sure I get you here.

    You say you are on public land, but shooting over/across private property not zooming in windows etc. Shooting landscapes, trees etc.

    What's the problem?

    If you stand on Mt Wellington and photograph Hobart, it would be insane to ask the permission of tens of thousands of property owners whose property you would be in your field of view.

    Right?

    Scott

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scotty72 View Post
    Not really sure I get you here.

    You say you are on public land, but shooting over/across private property not zooming in windows etc. Shooting landscapes, trees etc.

    What's the problem?

    If you stand on Mt Wellington and photograph Hobart, it would be insane to ask the permission of tens of thousands of property owners whose property you would be in your field of view.

    Right?

    Scott
    yep you've missed the point of the question.. your example of mt wellington is an extreme case and not really a sensible arguement.

    an example of what i mean is; pulling over at a paddock (private property) and setting up a tripod at the side of the road (public land) and standing there for perhaps 10-20 minutes taking shots of the paddocks with the recently cut hay bales as the sun sets..
    now while this action is harmless, there is a house on the farm and it is just out of the frame, there may be people in the house wondering what this guy is doing taking photos of our property...

    this is what i was hoping to get comments on, do i go up to the house and ask permission to avoid any problems or do i just shoot away.

    what about land that has fencing and gates which are open, yet there is no house/owner to be seen, can i let myself on the land to shoot a beaut dam?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom J McDonald View Post
    Knock on their doors and send a print afterwards.
    good idea, may get expensive with the amount of photos i take though..

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Is there a house just out of frame in this photo?

    Canola.jpg

    It's someone's property I've photographed.
    If it's something you think will make a good image, take the photos. I'm not going to ask permission. I'll miss the sunset you where talking about.
    If the property owner has a problem with you being on public land taking photos of their property, they'll surely see you and approach you. They may agree that their land is wonderful and worth taking photos of.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bxaftw View Post
    yep you've missed the point of the question.. your example of mt wellington is an extreme case and not really a sensible arguement.

    an example of what i mean is; pulling over at a paddock (private property) and setting up a tripod at the side of the road (public land) and standing there for perhaps 10-20 minutes taking shots of the paddocks with the recently cut hay bales as the sun sets..
    now while this action is harmless, there is a house on the farm and it is just out of the frame, there may be people in the house wondering what this guy is doing taking photos of our property...

    this is what i was hoping to get comments on, do i go up to the house and ask permission to avoid any problems or do i just shoot away.

    what about land that has fencing and gates which are open, yet there is no house/owner to be seen, can i let myself on the land to shoot a beaut dam?
    a) the first example is not ridiculous, its exactly what google do
    b) enter someones property without permission, well, take your chances, anything could happen

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    http://4020.net/words/photorights.php

    This is not definitive, but I think a reasonable guidel

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    Personally, no matter how beautiful their dam is, if you enter their property - even if the gate is open - then my understanding is that you'd be on very shaky ground, and more than likely trespassing. If you're on the side of the road taking photos, even with their house IN the frame, my understanding is that you would be on much firmer ground, but I do understand your reticence, as I'd feel very uncomfortable with that scenario without their permission. I imagine a polite approach and request would generally be met favourably by most reasonable people. They probably agree that their property is photogenic anyway, and would probably love a copy of any image you took.
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    I have taken photos all over Tasmania, and have yet to encounter an issue with a farmer etc. Most are lovely folk and I have had many a good chat with them. So taking rural shots is easy, and probably more so in Tasmania.
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    in victoria you can access any ones gate to access the river going through there land without permission
    but it is advsible to ask
    the rivers are public rivers and have to be made accessable for the public
    but you cannot take off just driving through the rest of his property without permission
    cheers macca

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    Member Tom J McDonald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    I have taken photos all over Tasmania, and have yet to encounter an issue with a farmer etc. Most are lovely folk and I have had many a good chat with them. So taking rural shots is easy, and probably more so in Tasmania.
    You're all just one big happy family

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    I personally don't see any difference between standing atop Mt Wellington to photograph a distant property and standing 3 feet outside someone's gate to shoot that same property. Public property is public property.

    People don't have the right to not be photographed in public (or viewable from outside their land) so I very much doubt that a farmers house; trees; cows; and hay bales have any greater protection.

    You may feel you have some sort of moral obligation - perhaps some photographic groups impose ethical obligations, but unless Tas laws are wildly different to those in NSW, I think you have every legal right and you would have to do something extra-ordinarily provocative (eg set up camp) to trigger any police action.

    So, if you are asking for an opinion about the morality of it - don't ask me as I'm deliberately trying to be amoral in my answer - so ask a priest

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bxaftw View Post
    yep you've missed the point of the question.. your example of mt wellington is an extreme case and not really a sensible arguement.

    an example of what i mean is; pulling over at a paddock (private property) and setting up a tripod at the side of the road (public land) and standing there for perhaps 10-20 minutes taking shots of the paddocks with the recently cut hay bales as the sun sets..
    now while this action is harmless, there is a house on the farm and it is just out of the frame, there may be people in the house wondering what this guy is doing taking photos of our property...

    this is what i was hoping to get comments on, do i go up to the house and ask permission to avoid any problems or do i just shoot away.

    .......
    This is where I've come unstuck!

    My policy now is that I shoot and not worry about it, unless the property owner raises the issue with me at the time.

    I've shot literally a hundred thousand 'private property' images(mainly paddocks, fields, farms), and have never been questioned by the property owners, and on a few rare occasions where they have noticed me, they've all done so simply out of curiosity and gone on with their business.
    One time tho the owner saw it as a threat, and confronted me about it with a hostile attitude.
    Deleted the images he felt threatened his property and I moved on to the next scene.

    Shoot first ask questions later, and if confronted about the nature of the photograph just delete it if the owner requests it.

    As to the topic of entering land which is clearly open to doing so, even if it's private land .. 99.9% of land owners don't care mind or worry about it, unless you're doing something stupid!
    If they see a photographer standing alone in their field with a tripod, it's quite obvious to them what this person is doing... it's not like you;re on their land in a hot rod doing donuts or drag racing or something silly.
    Apart from this one chap, all land owners I've come across are quite cluey people.
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    Thanks for the replies people, you've cleared up the issue more or less.

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    If it was illegal to take photos of private properties, Google would be in a lot of trouble!
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