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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!


I was wondering if someone could tell me am I right or wrong in this.

I went up to ally pally recently to take some photos, photography is a hobby of mine,  on this occasion I took a tripod, while I was taking a photo of the outside of the pub side of the building a security guard asked me did I have a permit to take photos, I said no, why would I need one, he said its private property and you are using a professional camera. I said it's not a professional camera, nor am I a professional, the photos are for me, it's a hobby, he asked me to leave, I wasn't bothered getting too confrontational so just left, although I did ask him a few questions...I said where can I not take photos of and he said the building, I said so the view is OK to shoot, he said yes, I asked is it OK to take photos of the building with a phone camera, he said yes, so I asked why not with the camera, he said you can't with the camera, it's on a 'stand'. I left. As I said I couldn't be bothered getting too confrontational as I wasn't in the mood and if somebody accuses me of breaking the law I'd just ask them to call the police but this seemed like an over reaction so left it at that. 

So anyways, does anyone know, should I have left, can I go back to take photos, I thought Ally Pally was owned by the council, it's not someone's house! Any suggestions most appreciated. Thanks.

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At some venues open to the public, it's ok to take pictures with a hand-held camera but not using a tripod in case someone trips over it.

OK, fair enough, good point, I was standing in the middle of a very open area, 20ft away from anyone.

Edit I I won't post the photo, that wasnt my intention at all. 

As a professional photographer who shoots all sorts of small-scale things outdoors I can assure you shooting a movie handheld is perfectly fine but possessing a tripod instantly turns you into a terrorist-paedophile without a permit who is causing a health & safety issue.

What I do is ask them to pick one of those things (on the basis that it's unlikely to be all of the above) so that we could talk about it. Usually the problem melts away. Or I sweetly ask them if it would be OK to be a paedo if I did have a permit.

Once some similar jobsworth threatened to call the police on me and I offered to do it myself. The Hampstead Heath Constabulary did show up but they were (understandably) more interested in the smell from a copse that had a dog all excited, which I later learned was a body.

Some places are genuinely off limits though and it's worth having a peek if their websites mention rules around filming or photography. Not worth bothering if they are very particular. Or following the rules if they're sensible. Once I was interrupted at the National Theatre but the guard just invited me to fill a very straightforward form and everyone was happy. They even let me keep the pencil.

Although my top tip is to invest in a hi-vis vest (mine was £1.50), which is the finest in contemporary British camouflage and lends the wearer invisible to busybodies. Bonus points if you can put some sort of ID card on a lanyard.

Of course none of this applies to a shoot with a crew etc in which case one should be procuring the relevant permissions...

Very good, very much agreed, the attraction was overbearing. 

But sorry I should have said, I did have a crew, I had my 1 year old in a buggy, and her Mum wandering around for a walk close by. 

You clearly sound like a danger to society!


Super post! Same applies on the railways, with very few exceptions (the whole of Merseyside being off limits unless you like scrapping with nightclub bouncers on platform ends).

People just like to feel important...

Ally Pally and Park are not really owned by Haringey Council - it's a charitable trust: they are the Trustee but the beneficiaries are the People of north London, so in effect we all literally own the Palace.

Sounds like someone was mistaking you for a commercial photographer. Needs reporting. Make a complaint to the CEO of AP, Louise Stewart, and the new Chair of Trustees, Cllr Mike Hakata.

Many places ban use of tripods and consider use of one constitutes being professional. As well as health and safety. You can use any type or size of camera but not a tripod. There are very few buildings in the UK that you cannot photograph. Or people. 

You would be surprised how many passers-by trip over things like cables etc in full view. The tripod may be in the centre of a massive area but someone will always try to squeeze past.

It does seem that the use of a tripod could be an offence under the Alexandra Palace Park byelaws.

3. The acts and things specified in the following paragraphs numbered (1) to (34) respectively are hereby prohibited in the Park and Palace and declared to be offences:.......

Erecting or placing any photographic apparatus for trade purposes......

Better carry a copy of " Amateur Photographer " next time.

Bit of a Darwinism in action. 

If someone doesn't have the wherewithal to watch where they're going...

Look, in my view, it's a public space, we've all got different hobbies and need to get along with each other, 'my freedom ends where another's begins' kind of thing - no need for rules except where people are actively being doornobs.

But some people are consistently being doorknobs. I used to work on Outside Broadcasts at the BBC and football fans often used to urinate on electrical junction boxes. You cannot overestimate the stupidity of the general public.



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