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Cameras, Pictures And Security  
User currently offlineB737900 From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 186 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 4822 times:

Greetings all. Being a fairly new a.netter, I am thoroughly enjoying reading all of the Trip Reports. They are extremely informative and in fact have helped me plan some trips. Some questions arise however. With heightened security throughout the world, is anyone ever questioned about taking all those pictures? Are you ever denied use of your camera? Has anyone ever been stopped and questioned you? Notebook and camera in hand must raise some eyebrows. Perhaps this thread has been asked before but I have not seen any such so I look forward to hearing from a.netters. Thanks.


Sounds like a Beaver on floats..........we're saved!!
15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinejetblue777 From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 1468 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 4713 times:

Quoting B737900 (Thread starter):
With heightened security throughout the world, is anyone ever questioned about taking all those pictures?

Not really. But I try to avoid taking pictures of security checkpoints. If you use a point and shoot camera then no one would even bother questioning you but using an SLR might, but then a lot of the a.netters use pro cameras so there's no need to worry.

Quoting B737900 (Thread starter):
re you ever denied use of your camera?

Only by the FA, I was video taping our landing in ICN and she raised an eyebrow, however, in-flight, there okay with that. Unless you're sitting next to a very nosy and people who don't mind their own business, then you're good.

Quoting B737900 (Thread starter):
Has anyone ever been stopped and questioned you?

From my experience no, but being a teenager helps because no one's really gonna deem you as a threat or something. I've taken pictures of my food, legroom, check-in area, lounge area, you name it, every aspect... no one really cared.

Quoting B737900 (Thread starter):
Notebook and camera in hand must raise some eyebrows.

Based on my experience here in the US no one really cares to look at you as most people mind their own business, but, last summer when we traveled to Asia, I've received some looks by other passengers.


Don't worry, just don't take pictures of security check-points as you may be questioned by TSA agents...

And if you're traveling with a US carrier, chances are, if you ask really nice, the pilots will let you in the cockpit to have a friendly chat and take a couple of pictures. But most Asian airlines tend to be really strict with pictures and stuff.



It's a cultural thing.
User currently offlineB737900 From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 186 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 4651 times:

Quoting jetblue777 (Reply 1):
And if you're traveling with a US carrier, chances are, if you ask really nice, the pilots will let you in the cockpit to have a friendly chat and take a couple of pictures. But most Asian airlines tend to be really strict with pictures and stuff.

Now that seems totally opposite of what I would think of access to the cockpit. US carriers have a very secure door behind the deck and is not opened until we all disembark. I've read some of your stuff. Thank you jetblue777.



Sounds like a Beaver on floats..........we're saved!!
User currently offlineBurj From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 901 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 4625 times:

This has concerned me and my first few trip reports were done almost exclusively with my mobile phone as a camera.

Just recently I tried using my point and shoot and it was fine...

Taking pictures within airports at the U.S. can be problematic as others have reported here. But it is really hit or miss... Basically a point and shoot/compact and most people won't think twice...but show up with a full blown SLR with big lenses and people start to take note.

In flight you generally don't have a problem UNLESS you are getting other people in the shot.... You'll notice a lot of cabin shots are taken right at boarding or after deplaning when the cabin is empty. Alternatively taking the picture from the BACK of the cabin works as you just see the back of people's heads.


User currently offlineCoal From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2129 posts, RR: 10
Reply 4, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 4565 times:

Hi there

As it has been said, as long as you don't take pics of security, immigration, or people's faces, it's generally OK. One way around it is to use, say, an iPhone 4 camera (as long as your hands are steady!), which is pretty discreet.

Also, if you use a point and shoot (or DSLR for that matter), make sure the flash is off. I once took a pic of a business class cabin during the night with the flash on and was I scolded by the FA.

However, sometimes the FAs will be very nice and offer to take photos of you or of them.

It probably helps if the flight is special, e.g. I flew on SQ's A380 on its first week of service and pretty much everyone in Y, C, and R were taking photos of the plane!

Cheers
Coal



Nxt Flts: SQ SYD-SIN-DEL-SIN-SYD | VA SYD-DPS-SYD
User currently offlineN766UA From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 8366 posts, RR: 23
Reply 5, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 4522 times:

Quoting jetblue777 (Reply 1):
But I try to avoid taking pictures of security checkpoints.

Taking photos of security checkpoints is illegal and can land you in handcuffs. I was there once when some guy wouldn't stop taking pictures, even after TSA told him to stop, and he ended up being led away by the police.

Taking photos of airplanes, however, is never illegal. If a TSA agent bothers you, I'd say be respectful just for your own sake (though he's probably a tool), put the camera away til he leaves, then go nuts. Photos in the terminal (except security) are perfectly ok.



This Website Censors Me
User currently offlinejetblue777 From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 1468 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 4490 times:

Quoting B737900 (Reply 2):

Most American pilots are very friendly and it's actually surprising how they're okay with passengers taking pictures of the flight deck even after 9/11. (But like you said, after all the passengers have disembarked)



Quoting Coal (Reply 4):
Also, if you use a point and shoot (or DSLR for that matter), make sure the flash is off. I once took a pic of a business class cabin during the night with the flash on and was I scolded by the FA.

I took a picture of OZ's first class last summer and i forgot to turn off the flash (it was a 744 and i took the picture from Door 1 which was near the galley) and when it went off, the FA was scared to death thinking that something just lit on fire... not a nice move of me.  

[Edited 2011-01-27 20:02:23]


It's a cultural thing.
User currently offlineflymia From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 7278 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 4326 times:

Quoting B737900 (Reply 2):
Now that seems totally opposite of what I would think of access to the cockpit. US carriers have a very secure door behind the deck and is not opened until we all disembark. I've read some of your stuff. Thank you jetblue777.

Access is strict to only pilots during the flight but once the engines are off anyone can go in the cockpit. The pilots almost always open the door and say bye to the pax or have the door open during boarding. I have been in a cockpit before boarding, during disembarkation and after. There is no security threat.

Quoting jetblue777 (Reply 6):
Most American pilots are very friendly and it's actually surprising how they're okay with passengers taking pictures of the flight deck even after 9/11. (But like you said, after all the passengers have disembarked)

What is the security threat of taking a picture of a cockpit? Not everyone needs to get off the plane either. The plane is on the ground no threat at all.


As for pictures I have been taking pictures of airplanes all over the US and Europe and a few other countries and I have never had a problem. I have a small point and shoot. I will add many of my pictures have been taken at DCA.

[Edited 2011-01-27 22:16:54]


"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
User currently offlinelychemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1262 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 4310 times:

I was stopped in Nice, Paris, London and New York. Discretion is the word.

User currently offlineairbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4277 posts, RR: 51
Reply 9, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 4102 times:

I never had trouble with taking pictures or bringing all the stuff. Only, at some airports they wonder about the contents of my bag when they see a DSLR, a few lenses, a few wires (adapters, headphones), a few batteries (replacements) and a notebook   Of course, I open my bag after x-raying and that's all.

And yes, a cockpit visit is basically never a problem when asked. And I was talking at LHR with an AA captain for about 10 minutes last year, very open and friendly conversation.



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineBMIFlyer From UK - England, joined Feb 2004, 8810 posts, RR: 58
Reply 10, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 3979 times:

In the UK, I normally do all my photo taking at MAN - the most spotter friendly airport on the planet IMO (really). At LHR I sometimes run into the odd member of BAA security staff who insist it is illegal for me to take photos anywhere in the airport! I always seem to have issues at LHR, it's crazy!

In the USA, I am occasionally asked to show ID if I am seen taking any pictures (usually while i'm perimeter spotting) and I would normally show my UK military ID card. The local Police then change tact and those that I've encountered who are ex military, tend to start chatting to me and we compare notes about where we have been "on ops" etc. It usually ends with the officer telling me where the best spotting spots are to get the best views at the airport i'm currently at, which I think is mighty nice. I find that a lot of the US PD officers respect the UK military a heck of a lot, and always seem to say "thanks for your help in Iraq" every time I speak to them, having shown my ID.

On a couple of occasions the officer has returned later to ask how i'm getting on, but i've not actually been told yet to leave. I tend to find that if you are polite and honest about what you are doing and show the officers a sample of your photos, they tend to just leave you alone afterwards.

I have taken a few photos in SIN as well and not been bothered - it seems that out there everyone has a camera and they take pictures of everything!

The good news for me is that I am going to be working at a major UK airport this summer handling military charters (I'm a 'Movement Controller' in the military, so I spend a lot of time around aircraft) and I will be issued an air side pass too. So, provided I get permission, I may be able to take some air side shots  


Thanks



Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
User currently offlineQuokka From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 3856 times:

Most airlines don't mind if you take photos in flight but it is worth considering that people around you may not want their photos taken, so be discrete or try to take photos that don't include passengers faces.

At many airports around the world taking photos is fine, but usually you may not photograph security installations or personnel without permission. But this is hit and miss because some security employees don't worry about it.

In some countries you can be arrested for taking photos, but again this is very, very rare because most authorities realise families often like photos taken at airports on arrival or departure. Taking photos of the security cameras and military installations might attract questions, though.

The only time I have been challenged was at IST the day following a fire that burned down part of the terminal. The security was most insistent that no photos be taken. But otherwise never had a problem. If challenged say what you are doing and show the photos if need be.

If in doubt, you can always ask. I think it is always polite to ask cabin crew before snapping away. Most of the time they are perfectly happy and will put on their best smile for you.  


User currently offlinebuck3y3nut From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 881 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 3705 times:

Heya. Welcome to A.net  
Quoting B737900 (Thread starter):
With heightened security throughout the world, is anyone ever questioned about taking all those pictures?

Usually No. It really depends on the airline you are traveling on as well as the country. In my experience though, most of the times taking pictures in airports and on planes is OK. Unless people are nosy, they dont' bother too much. If you have a DSLR, of course you would like to use it. Therefore, there is really not that much of a problem.

Quoting B737900 (Thread starter):
Are you ever denied use of your camera?

I was on my last flight on United. You can read my trip report to Munich to read about the whole incident. I was told I 'raised a red flag' and that the pilot was notified that I was taking pictures of the cabin in flight. and this was at night when everyone was sleeping. Therefore I automatically 'raised a red flag'. The purser came to me and asked me to put my camera away and delete the pictures. After she looked at the pictures, she let me keep the pictures, but still asked me to put the camera away. I was carrying a digital photography book and even told her I was just learning how to use this camera in low light situations. She didn't care.

Quoting B737900 (Thread starter):
Has anyone ever been stopped and questioned you?

Yes yes. Read above. But the contrary happened in Germany. We were out on the tarmac boarding, and when I took my camera out to take pics, the security personel told me, "Good camera" and that was so so encouraging. I continued to take pics inside LH cabin and wasn't asked one question...

Quoting B737900 (Thread starter):
Notebook and camera in hand must raise some eyebrows.

Not really. It won't. As long as you remain honest & confident about it, you will be fine. You are an aviation enthusiast, and like to do this. There should be no reason for you not to do this. It's not a crime. The worst case scenario would be for extreme situations, you would have to put your camera away.

Happy clicking and looking forward to reading your reports in future  

Cheers


User currently offlinemarkboston From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 74 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 3446 times:

Quoting jetblue777 (Reply 6):
Photos in the terminal (except security) are perfectly ok

I was taking photos of planes inside the terminal at ORD recently and a uniformed airline employee came and asked me what I was doing.


User currently offlineYYZatcboy From Canada, joined Apr 2005, 1091 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 3365 times:
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CUSTOMER SERVICE & SUPPORT

Keep in mind that many aviation employees are also airplane nuts. Back when I worked as a CSR if I saw someone taking pictures I'd go ask them about it and see if I knew them from here. Most were just photography people taking advantage of the view out the window, and some were airplane nerds. Never met anyone from A.net though...


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User currently offlinemalioil From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2010, 126 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 2736 times:

The point about the SLR is very good- I was busy taking photographs just today for a trip report I hope to write within the next few days of FZ and GF, but I managed to loose my point and shoot- so had to use my SLR. I was not questioned by anyone, but did receive some looks from passengers- the SLR is not only huge and makes a very audible noise when a photograph is taken, but moreover atleast my model requires me to use the eyefinder, another inconvenience when trying to be discreet.

My advise is A) forget what fellow passengers think as long as they don't get into your business and B) use a point and shoot- a DSLR could be a bit awkward at times.



Flights Booked: BAH-DOH-EDI-LGW-JER-LGW-EDI-DOH-BAH-LHR-EDI-LHR-EDI-LHR-BAH-DXB-HKG-SIN-HKG-DXB-BAH-LHR-EDI
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