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Tripod use Illegal in France?

Hello everyone,

I have a question. I read that the use of a tripod on city streets in France is illegal, really I read it at photo.net.

If this is true, can someone obtain a permit for the use of a Tripod in France?

Best Regards,

Thomas Bliss

by Thomas Bliss at 2006-03-12 10:37:06 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) Tucson , United States | Bookmark | | Report spam→

Sounds crazy, I’ve used them all oaver Paris with no problems.  Maybe they were talking about museums?  Many musems/sites require you to get a permit ($$$) to use a tripod but that’s not just France but almost everywhere.

by Tommy Huynh | 12 Mar 2006 10:03 | San Antonio, United States | | Report spam→
Funny, in Dubai I’ve been questioned a couple of times for using a tripod in certain places. Apparently having a tripod makes you a professional, whereas if you handhold your camera you’re perceived to be an amateur. And some places require professionals to ask permission, but the general public can shoot where and what they like.
(thinking of the other thread – what makes you a photographer – quite obviously then it’s having a tripod!)

by Vic Joubert | 12 Mar 2006 10:03 | Dubai, United Arab Emirates | | Report spam→
" thinking of the other thread – what makes you a photographer – quite obviously then it’s having a tripod!"

If you have more than one tripod plus a monopod, are you then considered a "Master Photographer"? Because if thats the case I’m tripod heavy, and most certainly a professional!  LOL….

Great thought Vic, very funny.


by Thomas Bliss | 12 Mar 2006 11:03 | Tucson, United States | | Report spam→
Geeze, Vic, I have like six or seven of them, all beaten up from use. I should take a photo of them and use it on a sort of professional certificate or something… LOL!

by Luis E. Andrade | 12 Mar 2006 11:03 | Philadelphia Metro Area, United States | | Report spam→
“And some places require professionals to ask permission, but the general public can shoot where and what they like.”

Canary Wharf, London. I was doing some pics there and guard told me about this, so I carried on shooting handheld as I usually do. Bizarre, esp. as a pro may be able to take pics when an amateur needs a tripod.

by AJP Lawrence | 12 Mar 2006 13:03 (ed. Mar 12 2006) | Sheffield/London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Not just Canary Wharf, but quite a few places which are actually private land to which the public is allowed access, for example also Broadgate. There are also other bits of London that look like public streets but are actually private and photography is simply not allowed (though so long as you work reasonably quickly and without making a fuss you will get away with it – and I’m sure one very nice security man on one site allowed me 10 minutes before coming to turf me off, and then advised me that so long as I stood the other side of the line he pointed out I could take as many pictures as I liked… but most are rather less helpful.) Trafalgar Square, the royal parks too you need a permit for professional (commercial) photography – and are likely to be warned off if you have a tripod. You can also expect problems if you are obviously posing models even without a tripod. 


by Peter Marshall | 14 Mar 2006 14:03 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Off topic but try planting a lighstand on NYC streets.

by Bill Thomas | 14 Mar 2006 15:03 | | Report spam→
That’s why it’s good to get an assistant to hold your pro 7b and a head. Everyone should have a “human light stand” or the “human flag” available.
It’s just too easy to get a permit in NY, except when the park cops are involved.

Funny enough, during the gates in central park I shot the back of the Met Museum from a grassy slope, naturally all of a sudden there where about ten others with their 35mm cameras. The only one who got hasseled was me, because my tripod was ruining the muddy field, but the thousands trampeling around didn’t do any harm of course. Now I just laugh (inside), act like I have never done this before, make the person feel very important, finish my shooting and enjoy their company while I make sure I get the shot.

by Andreas Kornfeld | 14 Mar 2006 17:03 | NYC, United States | | Report spam→
I was stopped once at the vatican, I was using a tripod, in Italy in some famous touristical spots using a tripod indicating you are professional and therefore there are copyright restrictions, sound absurd but it is true…. also the reason police come to me and stop me to use the tripod because I was puting an object on the ground, so means it is so called : occupation of public soil…
Also in the landscape of Tuscany and many other spots is forbidden
strange isn’t it?

by [former member] | 14 Mar 2006 17:03 | shanghai, China | | Report spam→
So Andreas,  I guess a very stiff mannequin is in order for my tripod shots. :-)


by Thomas Bliss | 14 Mar 2006 17:03 | Tucson, United States | | Report spam→
Haha!, Andreas, you nailed it!, I used to use “light on a stick” for reference to the assistant tecnique but “human lightstand” is way better. Im officialy stealin it from ya..

by Bill Thomas | 14 Mar 2006 17:03 | | Report spam→
Be my guest, Bill.

Thomas, maybe if you buy a new Gitzo they’ll make an exception ;)

by Andreas Kornfeld | 14 Mar 2006 19:03 | NYC, United States | | Report spam→
Gitzo Mannequin? Think of the possibilities.  Extra presumemed security, HOV lanes, no more sitting alone at the WIFI coffee shop/Hotel/Motel/Stealing residential unsecured wireless network.  Someone (thing) to point to when the police ask "who’s in charge here".  I think we could be on to something here.


by Thomas Bliss | 14 Mar 2006 19:03 | Tucson, United States | | Report spam→
Light on a stick ,Is’nt that what reporters are for?

by Glenn Campbell | 14 Mar 2006 20:03 | Darwin, Australia | | Report spam→
Probably not true but there are lots of laws in France that prevent shooting openly on the streets (many initiated after Princess Diana’s death).  Photographing anyone in public  without permission can get you in trouble and you can get sued, although I’ve been shooting here for years and never had any problems other than people getting angry! Speaking bad French seems to help.

Also, certain buildings (i.e. the night lights on the Eiffel Tower) are copyrighted and if you photograph someone’s private home and use the image commercially, you can get sued.

Yes, this is in the home of Henri Cartier-Bresson!

Best way to avoid problems is to not sell images in France (‘France out’); I’ve never worried about the laws. Visa Pour L’Image has annual slide show showing images in France photographers have been sued over. Sad, but funny.

by [former member] | 15 Mar 2006 01:03 (ed. Mar 15 2006) | Paris, France | | Report spam→
Do they show those images on the web as well? Would be interesting to see what get’s you in trouble as a pj in France. Funny, they magazines don’t wanna pay and in addition you get sued, that’s fucked up.
I was shooting in Paris with a tripod a day after 9/11, shot some in the city and a lot in La Defense. Had no problem in at all, nobody really cared. I just remembered that.

by Andreas Kornfeld | 15 Mar 2006 06:03 | NYC, United States | | Report spam→
I got stopped from using a tripod at the Victor Emanuelle Monument in Rome.  So I said "fine", put the tripod down and shot hand-held.

I then instructed my models to sit on the steps, at which point another "security" officer raced over to say that it was disrespectful to sit on the steps, and told them to stand up!  By this point I was getting mildy annoyed as there was no one else around given the time of day, and I could hardly be regarded as causing a public nuisance!

Then another "officer" came up to me and told me that the colour of my shirt was "inauspicious" for Romans, and that it would bring bad luck.  I looked at him, and told him that I was British, not Roman, so could he please fuck off and let me get on with my work.  He looked suitably non-plussed and left me to it.

Seriously, give someone a uniform and they just HAVE to piss people off!

by Michael Cockerham | 15 Mar 2006 07:03 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
if you’re shooting inside the tuilleries or the jardin du luxembourg,  you may need a permit to use a tripod. but, in the streets don’t think so. never was stopped from doing so. i even used a tripod in the trocadero.

by Ninfa Bito | 17 Mar 2006 08:03 | Manila, Philippines | | Report spam→
I was bothered several times by guards/police for using a tripod/looking too professional, I guess, at various places in Paris (la BNF, the quais). I got away with taking a pinhole camera off of a tripod once and making a several minute long exposure on the ground—they had no problem with that; only with the tripod itself! Sometimes you can talk your way out of it. A lot of it has to do with the buildings you are shooting, and there are laws about use of images of certain buildings that you should be aware of.

by M Gould | 17 Mar 2006 09:03 | mumbai, India | | Report spam→

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Thomas Bliss, Photographer Thomas Bliss
London , United Kingdom
Tommy Huynh, Travel & Corporate Photog Tommy Huynh
Travel & Corporate Photog
Houston , United States
Vic Joubert, Freelance Photographer Vic Joubert
Freelance Photographer
Melbourne , Australia
Luis E. Andrade, I shoot and I write Luis E. Andrade
I shoot and I write
Philly Metro Area, Jersey Side , United States
AJP Lawrence, Photographer/Graphic Desi AJP Lawrence
Photographer/Graphic Desi
Sheffield/London , United Kingdom
Peter Marshall, Writer-Photographer Peter Marshall
London , United Kingdom
Bill Thomas, Photographer-Videographer Bill Thomas
Nyc , United States
Andreas Kornfeld, Photographer Andreas Kornfeld
[undisclosed location].
Glenn Campbell, Photographer Glenn Campbell
Darwin , Australia
Michael Cockerham, Documentalistic Bystander Michael Cockerham
Documentalistic Bystander
(Image Matters)
Cologne , Germany
Ninfa Bito, Ninfa Bito
Manila , Philippines
M Gould, Professor/Photographer/Wr M Gould
Mumbai , India


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