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[SMH] Photography Is Not A Crime

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Re: [SMH] Photography Is Not A Crime

Postby Swift » Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:57 pm

I had my first drama today when I took a photograph of a block of flats where a bus once stood. A guy getting out of his Audi asked what I was photographing with a brusque tone in his voice, so I said I can photograph anything from a public place. He asked why I photographed the building and I briefly explained I was comparing how it looked years ago. He gave me an evil stare and I said goodbye and went on my way. When I got in my car a couple of hundred metres away around the corner, he came the other way in his Audi SUV and pulled out his phone (which is illegal while behind the wheel) and pointed it at me. I pulled out my camera again and pointed it at him as he started driving away across the street from me (I never took an actual picture of him).
As I drove down the street, he was behind me in his vehicle and followed me for 2 kilometres until he drew beside me at a set of lights. I never looked at him but had a fair idea what he was doing until the lights changed :roll: . His prerogative, though illegal as a traffic offence. The police station was right ahead and that's probably why he moved on.
At a couple of points during the chase, he turned off to the left, but soon caught up which suggests that holding the phone whilst behind the wheel was not the only traffic offence he committed.

I found an interesting article covering how ambiguous the rules on photography in public can be.
http://www.capturemag.com.au/advice/kno ... -in-public
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Re: [SMH] Photography Is Not A Crime

Postby TA3001 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:49 pm

This sort of reminds me of when I took a photo of a bus that was almost obstructing a Southlink bus stop in the city whilst laying over. The Asian driver got out and approached me, and asked me in a mildly aggressive tone 'you taking photo of my bus?'. I covered it up by saying that I was taking a selfie, but it's just one of the examples of driver stupidity from this eastern suburbs planet.

It is the most peculiar depot in Adelaide, and sadly it houses the most interesting CNG SL202s that are still in service. Seriously, I have seen a driver approach a fare evader in a piss weak tone of voice in an attempt to persuade them to buy a ticket. He got right in the offender's face and said 'right, we're not going anywhere until this guy buys a ticket' (or something similar). The end result was the fare evader pushing out of the way and leaving the bus, but it could have been much worse. Torrens Transit drivers are told to never physically approach passengers in regards to fare evasion. There's even a driver there who has a reputation for doing 40kph regardless of how late he's running. His nickname is 20 minute T***.

Plenty more to tell about these folks. I have even given the drivers an official nickname, and rephrased my pronunciation of the depot to something similar to the current name, but more indicative of the service quality to expect at times.
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Re: [SMH] Photography Is Not A Crime

Postby BroadGauge » Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:58 am

TA3001 wrote:The Asian driver

Is the driver's racial background actually of any relevance?
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Re: [SMH] Photography Is Not A Crime

Postby Centralian » Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:05 am

I find if the driver is about and the bus is not in motion, ask if they're okay with you taking the photo. Can open a door to more information than just the snap.
I've had drivers and coach owners pose for me with the vehicle just from my asking about taking a photo of the vehicle.
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Re: [SMH] Photography Is Not A Crime

Postby Swift » Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:01 pm

Centralian wrote:I find if the driver is about and the bus is not in motion, ask if they're okay with you taking the photo. Can open a door to more information than just the snap.
I've had drivers and coach owners pose for me with the vehicle just from my asking about taking a photo of the vehicle.

And you get some who look at you like your weird and say why???
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Re: [SMH] Photography Is Not A Crime

Postby Centralian » Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:58 pm

Swift wrote:
Centralian wrote:I find if the driver is about and the bus is not in motion, ask if they're okay with you taking the photo. Can open a door to more information than just the snap.
I've had drivers and coach owners pose for me with the vehicle just from my asking about taking a photo of the vehicle.

And you get some who look at you like your weird and say why???


Just twitch the head, tell them it's therapy, and they'll leave you in peace. :D
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Re: [SMH] Photography Is Not A Crime

Postby Swift » Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:49 pm

That might work, or just don't ask. :roll:
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Re: [SMH] Photography Is Not A Crime

Postby TA3001 » Sat Dec 29, 2018 7:43 pm

And to add to this thread, some driver from Newton took a bloody pic of me today just because I photographed the bus he was driving. Kept saying "it's an invasion of privacy!", "folks can potentially go to jail for this". I didn't react rudely, but due to the driver's action, I have decided to mention it here, and I'm even possibly thinking of sending it to The Advertiser.

If I was wearing a vest sporting the name of an Islamic group with an actual camera accessing the area in a black armoured van, this would be worth drawing attention to. My thoughts in regards to this joker, DILL****.

It was a driver around the 60-65 year age mark, medium height with a fairly thin build with a European accent in bus 1257 about to commence 4:27PM 502 from Salisbury Interchange. It wasn't the first time I had seen this driver either.

Edit: Actually I captured it at just the right moment.

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Re: [SMH] Photography Is Not A Crime

Postby moa999 » Sun Dec 30, 2018 12:43 am

Could just be one of those bus stop nutters.
Likes taking photographs of bus stops and shelters when on breaks.
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Re: [SMH] Photography Is Not A Crime

Postby TA3001 » Sun Dec 30, 2018 1:01 am

Nah, he was definitely focused on the person taking the shot. Not the first time a Newtant has approached me in regards to taking a photo of a bus, and probably won't be the last. Next time, I'll smile and wave to them to make their day.

And just for the record, this looks to be the same daring driver whom I saw try to get tough with a fare evading passenger on a Payneham Rd service sometime within the last 12 months. He got everybody's attention by saying 'right, we're not going anywhere until this fella buys a fare', then approached the person in question and got right in his face. End result, he got pushed out of the way by the freeloader who couldn't be bothered arguing with him.
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Re: [SMH] Photography Is Not A Crime

Postby Swift » Sun Dec 30, 2018 4:23 am

This childish ill informed reaction is referred to as cam back. It's the only way for some of them to relieve their imaginary sense of helplessness. His prerogative.
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Re: [SMH] Photography Is Not A Crime

Postby tonyp » Sun Dec 30, 2018 5:17 am

Tell him you're reporting him for not parking close enough to the kerb. :lol:
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Re: [SMH] Photography Is Not A Crime

Postby TA3001 » Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:34 am

tonyp wrote:Tell him you're reporting him for not parking close enough to the kerb. :lol:


At least the fella stopped adjacent to the kerb this time. I have seen another driver from this notorious depot stop in the second lane to set down a passenger (on a road with 2 lanes each way), in a 60 zone near West Lakes.

I still remember the driver that did it despite being a year and a half ago.
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Re: [SMH] Photography Is Not A Crime

Postby ScaniaGrenda » Sun Dec 30, 2018 5:48 pm

And I was at Hornsby Station NSW recently and taking pictures of the buses with what remaining free time I had before I had to jump back on the train to Newcastle. I had a bus Driver stop shy of the pedestrian crossing between the station entrance and where the bike racks are and open he's Driver side window and ask me what I'm intending to do with the picture I just took of "him" (note I took a photo of he's bus not him, he just happened to be inside of the bus), I realised he was playing smartass (if that wasn't he's intentions I'm sorry but that's how he came across towards me) I just tell him "personal use", but what I really should've said was "I'm under no obligation to answer your question" and ceased speaking but I've pointed out before I'm too nice. Anyway we both quickly argue back and fourth and I conclude I'm allowed to take the photo from where I am and if he doesn't like it tough luck, I then told him to just keep on driving as arguing any further was pointless, it took a couple of attempts of me telling him to just move on nicely before he got the hint and moved on.

Like I mention in the lunch room on this forum, I then went and spoke to Hornsby station staff to see what the photography policy is and if you want to see what was said, go look at my last post in "What gives you the Sh*ts thread" there as of typing this post up. Anyway they conclude that the Station is "private property" but they weren't sure if where I was standing outside where I was taking photos from was part of their property or Hornsby Council (or whatever they call themselves) They also mentioned some people don't like their pictures being taken. You know I understand that point and I'm not taking photos of the drivers unless they want to pose in front of their bus. My subject & is the bus, not the driver, not the passengers... the Bus.

Something I find weird is how can they hate a camera capturing a photo of them but are fine with CCTV cameras on board recording every move and everything they do?
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Re: [SMH] Photography Is Not A Crime

Postby tonyp » Sun Dec 30, 2018 5:56 pm

Most of the time with photos of transport vehicles, the driver couldn't be identified anyway because of the reflection on the glass and the dark interior. Plus they're often wearing sunnies. It's a lot of fuss over nothing.
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Re: [SMH] Photography Is Not A Crime

Postby ScaniaGrenda » Sun Dec 30, 2018 6:38 pm

Well unless I have my camera set to the right settings, it usually doesn't capture too much of the inside detail anyway and I don't really care if the inside comes out dark as long as the outside comes out fine.

You know how in the Forums photo gallery I got a photo of a Demo Merc CB80 that Rover Coaches was testing? Well they didn't mind me taking photos of it and even asked me a few questions about the buses previous history but they did say If they (the driver or any other Rover staff) were in any photos they want to have their faces blurred out. To keep them happy & respect their wishes that's what I did but I don't know If I'm too happy with doing that anymore now that I've wised up more about my rights.

Well let's just hope that whenever I next go to Sydney I leave there on a positive note. So far I've had it 95% good down here in the Hunter region.
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Re: [SMH] Photography Is Not A Crime

Postby Merc1107 » Sun Dec 30, 2018 6:44 pm

I agree with tonyp, it's true this is much ado over nothing. To point out the obvious though - if you don't want attention from drivers, then don't take photos at bus stations (including layovers where the public may be less welcomed). If that's not possible, then think about carrying a few prints or have some photos on your phone as an example of what you're aiming to photograph.

If you are approached by a someone who thinks they know better about public photography, don't bother arguing. What do you get when you argue with an idiot?
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Re: [SMH] Photography Is Not A Crime

Postby ScaniaGrenda » Sun Dec 30, 2018 7:40 pm

I think my issue this time around more so relates to drivers wanting to know why they think I'm taking photos of them (which of course is the only thing they can think of is that I'm taking photos of, they of course can't think for a moment that this guy is taking photos of my bus) rather than what area I'm taking them from. You know if they didn't come off in a smart alec tone, I'd nicely explain to them what I'm doing. I'm sorry but I'm not going to take attitude from driver(s) who don't like me taking photos of buses when I'm more than welcome and allowed too. Yes "drawing attention" is something to note and take on board when you take photos but that doesn't mean I have to accept what they say to me. If I'm welcome and allowed to take photos then I'm welcome to take photos end of story. If you don't like it then like I said just move on, no need to argue. Let us enthusiasts be in peace. We do our thing peacefully and respectfully and then we leave.

Now about the point raised about how if you don't want attention from drivers while taking photos at area like bus stations and public layovers avoid them. I disagree, If I'm welcome and am allowed to take photos I will of course take them. I'm not going to avoid the area because 1 driver out of 5 or 10 or however many buses I come across in my time there is going to get the craps with me doing public photography. If other Transport enthusiasts have been to the same area and taken numerous photos without trouble why should I avoid the area because 1 driver might get the sh#!ts perhaps this time around? There's more important things for Drivers to be getting the sh#!ts over rather than an enthusiast or person taking a photo of their bus in a public accessible area.

A point I want to raise is what if an area a transport enthusiast comes across is the only decent area to get photos of transport vehicles from? What if they don't know the surrounding area too well or their intentions are to stick close by to accessible transport? What if their time restricted and can't go too far? They shouldn't have to miss out on taking photos should they? In my case when I went got to Hornsby station I didn't have a great deal of time on my hands and I definitely wasn't going to venture far off from the station in fear or concern I might upset someone by taking photos that I again mention I'm allowed to take.

Now I've taken photos at Gosford station bus layover area, no trouble what so ever in the few times I've been there in my years of being a Transport enthusiast, I found the Busways and Red Bus Service drivers very nice and respectful when I was down there. I've taken photos at old Newcastle Station bus layover when it was in operation and hardly any issues. I've taken photos at the front of Newcastle Interchange when buses are laying over, again no issues. I think we very well know at this point I'm not going to avoid bus layovers if I'm allowed to take photos and I'm definitely not going to avoid it because one driver is going to get the sh#!ts for the 3rd time I have to mention it.

I rest my case
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Re: [SMH] Photography Is Not A Crime

Postby 1whoknows » Mon Dec 31, 2018 7:03 am

I've occasionally had a driver cam back. Last time was at Kippa Ring in Brisvegas about a year ago.
I either just ignore it or wave at the camera, depending on mood.
After all if I can take a photo in a public place then so can the driver.
The same rights under the High Court decisions apply to both of us.

The best and simplest quote to remember and quote if necessary is from Justice O'Bryan who ruled "A person in our society does not have the right not to be photographed in public"
And of course the fact that you are photographing the bus rather than any of its occupants.
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Re: [SMH] Photography Is Not A Crime

Postby ScaniaGrenda » Mon Dec 31, 2018 8:04 am

And we've only got the media (News sector) to blame for drilling stupid scare crap into peoples heads. It's why most of us photographers keep getting stupid responses from concerned people along the lines of "Why are you taking photos of this? You must be a terrorist!"

Hard to believe one with a simple DSLR camera or any camera for that matter is considered more dangerous and more of a concern than someone with a weapon, think about it. Besides being In a photo hows it going to hurt you? I can understand if you were inappropriately photographed, you definitely have good reasons to speak up and have the matter dealt with or you were in a private restricted area where photography isn't allowed but John Doe taking reasonable & appropriate pictures of things around the area where allowed shouldn't be reason for concern.

If society is so against photography and for stupid morons treating it as a "crime" and "dangerous activity", we do we even need cameras on smartphones anymore?
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Re: [SMH] Photography Is Not A Crime

Postby 1whoknows » Tue Jan 01, 2019 6:55 am

Yes its a good point.

Virtually everybody is carrying a camera with them in their phone these days and those would be far easier for terrorists, pedos etc to use for covert photography as opposed to standing there with a whacking great DSLR in your hands.
But somehow we become the bad guys simply by being obvious. Strange.

As for privacy you are photographed almost continually now when entering or leaving stores, using ATMs, on trains and buses, in the street etc etc. I mean if it wasn't for CCTV would the cops ever catch anyone??
And bus drivers are on camera within their buses on a daily basis. Now there is a law that says you cant be photographed in your workplace, by your employer, without your consent but how many drivers have ever asked to have the CCTV in their bus turned off?
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Re: [SMH] Photography Is Not A Crime

Postby ScaniaGrenda » Tue Jan 01, 2019 9:06 am

You make some more good points in your post as well 1whoknows

If Drivers have asked for CCTV cameras to be turned off I bet management comes back and says no and that they are to stay on for "security purposes". We have security camera in public area's that record us but the moment one pulls out a DSLR camera and takes photos of the surrounding area, again suddenly we're the bad guys. No one says anyone about CCTV cameras recording us when in public spaces constantly but like I said the moment you pull out a DSLR camera your the suspicious one. It sucks and I think it's wrong

I've pointed out to morons before when I'm taking photos that you absolutely know you don't mind being captured on hundreds of CCTV cameras every day so why are you upset over me taking photos of things around the area when I'm allowed too? You either get upset with both problems or you don't at all. In my case it makes perfect sense, If your not upset by being captured on security cameras, why are you so upset about being in the background of ones photo? Heck these people don't have to even be anywhere in the photo frame, just simply using your camera and taking one picture is enough to make them hostile.

I'm surprised the likes of ACA haven't ran scare stories yet like "This bearded 34 year old guy walks around taking photos of random things, why you should be scared of him and why he's a danger to the community & your children" followed by some added clip of an neighbour agreeing that the guy's a menace and needs to be dealt with. Like who asked you to butt into this guys reasonable hobby. Just because he's taking photos of different things doesn't mean he's sus or of Danger. I'd be more of concerned of someone off their head walking around with a dangerous weapon like a tomahawk than an person that's not actually harming anyone by taking photos their more than welcome to take. Again it's media scare stories like this that lead to us enthusiasts and photographers being questioned and harassed by people who don't know any better. "OH YOU HAVE A camera and your taking photos of BUSES OR TRAINS! MUST MEAN YOUR A TERRORIST!" Oh because that's the only stupid reason you could come up with for why one might be taking photos of vehicles, how about opening your eyes a little bit more and getting past the scare stories the media drills into you?

I wish the public in this case knew the photographers aren't harming anyone. Some of us are taking photos / video because we're transport enthusiasts, others could be transport enthusiasts again but doing it for historical purposes or as a hobby and I might add some could be even former or current workers of the Transport sector (There's a few UK bus drivers who seem to be transport enthusiasts if you can find their channel, DoubleDeckerAnton being one) I don't think at this point any of us are harmful but the public like to get themselves in a knot and think & believe otherwise.

Okay so small thing I want to add that I forgot to post earlier, when I was at Chatswood Interchange just before Christmas. I was taking photos of the Stationlink buses that were across the road, I had one person in one of those orange work shirt (he wasn't part of Stationlink crew) ask me "why are you taking photos of that?" and all I said to him was "Public photography" snapped a few more photos of the bus and moved on. If they can't comprehend "public photography" then their not worth talking or arguing too and again just keep photographing and if these people start to follow or look like their going to get violent or lay hands on you I'd just ask for the police and hope the police aren't the ones who show up and justify the concerned citizens concern for you taking photos of public buses.
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Re: [SMH] Photography Is Not A Crime

Postby 1whoknows » Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:37 pm

There are nice stories too. Three of us were on the side of the Dukes highway getting shots the other day of the Jamboree buses. After more than two hours a cop car finally turned up.
And in a nice manner he said "Truck Spotters or Jamboree?" I told him the first one was close but we were actually bus spotters. He was fine with it.
Apparently they get a lot of truck spotters along that stretch of road. We were in a spot where both we and the car were well clear of the roadway so no issues.
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Re: [SMH] Photography Is Not A Crime

Postby Bus-1809 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:59 am

Had a similar situation a few years ago... Cops saw me and two mates snapping pics near a railway line, here in WA. A quick conversation between us and them along the lines of "Can you explain what you are doing"... "Yes taking pictures of buses on an event shuttle along this road"... "OK no dramas, you fellas have a good day" and all sorted.

Had a driver at Mandurah Bus Station try to tell me that taking photos of buses is illegal and that I could be prosecuted... Read him the riot act (photography rules) off the Public Transport Authority website and he was happy with that and realised he wasn't up to speed on the rules and thanked me for bringing him up to speed and wished me a good day :)

Plenty of positive stories out there!
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