Taking pictures in public places

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Taking pictures in public places

Postby Lophophaps » Sun 18 Sep, 2016 8:29 pm

There's a thread Dogs in national parks
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=24032
Part of that thread dealt with the legality of taking pictures in public places, which is a separate issue. Hence, I've started this thread.

See
http://4020.net/words/photorights.php
"In Australia the taking and publication of a person's photograph, without their consent or knowledge but within the limitations outlined below, is not an invasion of privacy, nor is it in contravention of case or statute law."
There's links to a number of places, including one about national parks
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=410

I'm unaware of any adverse or inappropriate incidents due to taking pictures in parks. Certainly some discretion is needed when children are present, if people are swimming, or if there's a reasonable expectation of privacy. There may be other categories.
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Re: Taking pictures in public places

Postby Xplora » Tue 20 Sep, 2016 5:13 am

This is another overview of the laws relating to taking photos in public places which I posted on the other topic but is more relevant here.
http://www.artslaw.com.au/images/upload ... s_2016.pdf Flowing on from the off topic discussion elsewhere -
All this pertains to photographs however if video is used and sound is recorded then the people involved must be aware the conversation is being recorded. The recording of conversation deliberately and covertly contravenes the Surveillance Devices Act in NSW and other states will have similar legislation. Video without sound is lawful as long as it complies with the relevant laws pertaining to decency etc. Covertly setting up a device in a public place with the intention of capturing images of an unlawful act or images of people is not legal unless you have a warrant but the inadvertent capture of an unlawful act or people on a device which has been set to photograph nature is not illegal and those images may be allowed in evidence. That decision would be up to the court. I have taken photographs of people committing unlawful acts in National Parks which have been used as evidence and secured a conviction. Specifically it was in NSW and of people shooting kangaroos from their car in a camp ground while people were camping. We border the ANP and generally take a camera with us on our exercise walks in the park as we have a problem with people illegally hunting deer. Photographic evidence often leads to a guilty plea whereas your memory can be tested in the witness box. My experience has taught me to make notes as soon after the event as possible while everything is fresh in your mind if you make a complaint to the authorities. This is called contemporaneous and is good evidence to accompany any photo or on its own.
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Re: Taking pictures in public places

Postby Lophophaps » Tue 20 Sep, 2016 7:15 am

Xplora, thanks for that. There's a legal maxim that evidence is better than testimony. While not strictly speak true (testimony is evidence) something that can be touched has better evidentiary value than testimony. Making a contemporaneous record is good. I have a bound lined diary for this purpose, very hard to alter without visible signs. I've used this in proceedings, testified and used my notes to secure a conviction. I make the notes in the diary and then transcribe them to a computer, which is backed up. Scan the page, also backed up. Works a treat.

Ignorance of the law is no excuse. For the lay person, use another legal take: the reasonable and prudent person. Ask how you would feel if the positions were reversed, if the taking of a picture is an invasion of privacy. This does not apply when taking pictures of a person breaking the law, but care needs to be made
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Re: Taking pictures in public places

Postby Xplora » Tue 20 Sep, 2016 8:50 am

Lophophaps wrote: For the lay person, use another legal take: the reasonable and prudent person. Ask how you would feel if the positions were reversed, if the taking of a picture is an invasion of privacy. This does not apply when taking pictures of a person breaking the law, but care needs to be made


The right to privacy in Australia is more of a moral issue than one of law as Nicole Kidman found out. I do not like people I do not know taking my photo for no reason but I am aware I can do nothing to stop them. Conversely I do not take photos of people I do not know just for the sake of it unless they are doing something of interest such as an adventure sport. That is courtesy and shows respect for their privacy. Interesting concept though of respecting privacy at the same time you are in public view. The eyes see more than a camera ever will. Don't stare.
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Re: Taking pictures in public places

Postby RonK » Tue 20 Sep, 2016 10:09 am

Xplora wrote:The eyes see more than a camera ever will.

That is in fact not correct, and was amply demonstrated in the Todd Sampson TV series Redesign Your Brain.
It's also the reason for many cases of smidsy.
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Re: Taking pictures in public places

Postby Lophophaps » Tue 20 Sep, 2016 10:30 am

Xplora wrote:The right to privacy in Australia is more of a moral issue than one of law as Nicole Kidman found out. I do not like people I do not know taking my photo for no reason but I am aware I can do nothing to stop them. Conversely I do not take photos of people I do not know just for the sake of it unless they are doing something of interest such as an adventure sport. That is courtesy and shows respect for their privacy. Interesting concept though of respecting privacy at the same time you are in public view. The eyes see more than a camera ever will. Don't stare.


If people are distant and cannot be identified I see no limitation on taking photographs. If the faces can be recognised I always ask. It's rare to be declined. Those that agree to a picture known that it could be on social media, and all these images are more or less happy snaps, no privacy issues at all. I have thousands of slides of people that I could easily scan and post, but will not do this. The pictures were taken in another era, before technology allowed pictures to be easily shared. I've shown these pictures to bushwalkers at slide nights, quite okay. Care needs to be made beyond the law, which is ever catching up on life.
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Re: Taking pictures in public places

Postby Xplora » Tue 20 Sep, 2016 12:36 pm

RonK wrote:
Xplora wrote:The eyes see more than a camera ever will.

That is in fact not correct, and was amply demonstrated in the Todd Sampson TV series Redesign Your Brain.
It's also the reason for many cases of smidsy.


I was broadly speaking Ron. The camera takes a moment in life when we push the button. Through the lens you also have limited vision. Don't have TV so I cannot comment on the series. I prefer taking landscapes anyway and people only spoil the shot.
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