Security bru-ha-ha with shooting photos overseas


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#1
Sometime back, I wrote about taking photos in US with a telescopic zoom lens and raised a question whether one will be stopped by security or police.

More incidents since then:
i) read in photo pop about a guy who was taking photos of gargoyles of a building. He was stopped by police who took down his ID, and then left.
ii) two chinese were stopped by US security as they were accused of spying, because their camera contained infra red facility. (For those who converted their cameras to IR, this may become problematic if you take overseas!)

I am sure if one were to take photos of planes near the Changi airport, one will invite problems. Similarly, overseas, we want to avoid such places. In the US, sometimes, one is not aware of the security sensitivity over buildings.

Would like to hear from those who have been to US or UK where photography shooting is becoming a security hazard? Is there any website where one can read about and take precautions? The rights of photographers are becoming more infringed by security.

Will be going to US next month, with a 18-200mm lens, and do not want to invite problems; the lens (thank God I don't have the gigantic 70-200mm "thunderstick"), and large camera size may invite unnecessary stoppages. Or, should I take my compact type of camera?

Thanks.
 

Octarine

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#2
There was a case reported here in forum which happened at the entrance of SG parliament without involving a 70-200mm 'gun' - so it doesn't need a trip to US to get into such situations. Sad to say but paranoids will always find a reason.
Common sense and a decent demeanor are more helpful than discussing 'rights of photographers vs. rights of privacy vs. security reasons'. If in doubt just ask a police man before they come down on you.
 

Octarine

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#4
US is so big, how do you want one to generalise?
I don't generalize and one should not do it anyway. That's why I recommend common sense and just asking if you feel unsure. Also, there are people who don't like to be taken on picture. Asking them upfront is better then causing angriness.
 

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