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picture taking in London

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  • picture taking in London

    I recently posted this on the Fodor's forum, but figured that I would post it here as well:

    My 3 friends and I are 2.5 months from our Summer trip to London. I am an amateur photographer and could easily be taking over 10K pictures. I took almost 2800 on my Spring Break trip to Northern California.

    I recently read an article in a UK paper discussing a problem with tourist photographers and terrorists. Is it likely that I am going to be asked to delete pictures from certain places? I am very curious. Doesn't the UK want tourists to come and take pictures?

    What has been your experience? Any pointers?

  • #2
    Well first off, enjoy your trip. London can be a very photogenic city and a photographers paradise if you get the weather right! You haven't specified which type of photography you will be mostly aiming to achieve? The only places id say you 'may' have an issue with taking pictures around are: Airports (ask here for more detailed info on where to shoot at the London airports if that's what your after), M.O.D bases - Just don't lol. RAF and military airfields ( Generally contacting someone on the base prior to your trip may help you out), and private property. There may be more but those are the places I can think of at present.

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    • #3
      Heading down the the Thames in the city at dusk (again in the right weather) can produce some lovely sunset shots and silhouettes. Bring a tripod for night exposures from bridges up and down the Thames and the river bank itself.

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      • #4
        Railway stations. Staff are very nervous about photography, and I can't say I blame them really.

        Any security area such as airport departure lounges although if you are discreet there shouldn't be a problem. Never, EVER in immigration/emigration areas.
        There are some, shall we say, "energetic !!" airport employees who have tried to confiscate equipment. They do not have ANY authority to do this, neither do they have any authority to detain you. Just politely say no and walk away. If they lay hands on you they are assaulting you.

        Don't let me put you off too much though as these are rare occurences and usually involve those employees who think they are more important than they actually are.
        If it 'ain't broken........ Don't try to mend it !

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        • #5
          Thanks for all of your pointers. Being in a group of 4, I am sure that people will quickly figure that we are a group of tourists who are just trying to enjoy themselves. Most of the photos I'll take will simply be a thorough and fun way to document our travels. I won't be taking a tripod to save on space.

          I never take pictures in security zones, but might want to get a few shots at Gatwick checking in. I already know that some of the museums we'll be going to do not allow photos--so I'll have to buy them in the gift shop!

          All I know is that when you read one of these articles, you get pretty nervous about taking any photos. I'm sure this is not the intent, but I have a feeling that the kinds of places I'm not encouraged to take shots are the same kinds of places I'm not encouraged to take shots in the US, either.

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          • #6
            I have a feeling that the kinds of places I'm not encouraged to take shots are the same kinds of places I'm not encouraged to take shots in the US, either.
            Keep that in mind and you won't go wrong here. Have a great trip.
            If it 'ain't broken........ Don't try to mend it !

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            • #7
              Generally photography in museums and gallery's is a no no. In some, however the use of cameras are allowed although the use of the flash on the camera is mostly frowned upon.

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              • #8
                I am not from UK but i was in transit twice last year through heathrow. I spent time in the KLM Holideck lounge in Terminal 5 (i think) and did a lot of photography (over 2000 shots) from there and no one bothered me. They have free food and alcohol so you cant go wrong spending time there.

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                • #9
                  I do know that places like the British Musuem and Imperial War Musuem do prefer the flash on one's camera to be off. I just purchased a new camera a month ago that has a low lighting feature for just such places.

                  My purpose with this thread is to get a feel for where pictures are allowed. No picts in the tube or in security areas. And, some places don't allow shots because they want you to purchase theirs. But on the whole, I'm not expecting problems. Some of the news articles blow this out of proportion.

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                  • #10
                    Here is what the British Museum says about photography:

                    Photography with flash and video recording is permitted in most galleries for private purposes only, using hand-held equipment

                    http://www.britishmuseum.org/visitin...acilities.aspx

                    This basically covers all of what I want to do doing our vacation.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by saupatel
                      I am not from UK but i was in transit twice last year through heathrow. I spent time in the KLM Holideck lounge in Terminal 5 (i think) and did a lot of photography (over 2000 shots) from there and no one bothered me. They have free food and alcohol so you cant go wrong spending time there.
                      Doubt it was T5 if it was last year

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                      • #12
                        Our group is flying into LGW via CLT on US. We will take some shots when we leave MCO, at CLT, on the flights, and some shots at LGW. It will be kept to a minimum for sure.

                        I want some pictures of aircraft, but nothing more than what you would take from the terminal, or sitting on the tarmac.

                        My view is that if you have the camera memory--use it! But use it with discretion.

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                        • #13
                          The Holideck is Terminal 4. Well worth 18 - 20 per person ( depending how you book it ) for a 3-4 hr visit. The lounge operators say that you can't go in until 3 hrs before flight time but I've fluttered my eyelashes, looked cute and got in up to 5 hrs pre-flight before now.

                          For Gatwick and Heathrow departures my wife and I generally stay overnight at a hotel with long term parking for our break if we have a flight departing in the morning, to avoid the morning traffic from home. If the flight departs much after 1000 hrs then we'll book a lounge as well. Makes for a much more comfortable start to a trip.
                          If it 'ain't broken........ Don't try to mend it !

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                          • #14
                            On the way out, we've got the 10:45 flight from LGW to CLT on a Sunday. We'll just have to wake up early and take the Gatwick Express.

                            I remember seeing a lounge in Terminal 2 (BA) when I was there in 2004. But I think US comes in to Terminal 1 (same as Virgin).

                            brianw999, I assume you live in the UK?

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                            • #15
                              brianw999, I assume you live in the UK?
                              Yes...but there's nothing to stop you booking a lounge online. They are open to anyone.
                              If it 'ain't broken........ Don't try to mend it !

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