Using a tripod in london

Using a tripod in london

21 posts
17 Nov 2013
BellPortraits
Photographer
BellPortrait..
I am hoping to do the London Photowalk with Matt Granger next Saturday and wondered what the rules are regarding using a tripod in London having heard there were various restrictions.

Posted 17 Nov 2013
Edited by BellPortraits 17 Nov 2013
CliveLawrence
Photographer
CliveLawrenc..
Are you doing long exposures? If not, you don't need a tripod - just wind up the ISO. The tripod will make you more conspicuous, inviting attention.

Posted 17 Nov 2013
RedChecker
Photographer
RedChecker
Tripods are classed as obstructions and you'll be asked to move along if anyone sees it.

Posted 17 Nov 2013
dominicdgt
Photographer
dominicdgt
When I spoke to westminster council about a shoot they gave permission to shoot but not using a tripod, that would need a licence and there was a scale of charges depending on the amount of people/equipment involved. I shot for free (no tripod) with their clearance but ran into issues when we strayed onto crown property, police did move us along although were very sympathetic, giving us time to finish and move along, Crown property includes several parks and key areas for some of those iconic pictures, then remember as well there's no one London authority that can give you total clearance you'd have to approach each Borough Council accordingly.

Dominic

Posted 17 Nov 2013
LaurenceJPower
Photographer
LaurenceJPow..
I've certainly used a tripod on town with a Gandolfi 5 x 4, but to avoid problems, how about using a monopod. A formula used by many people is that the slowest shutter speed one should handhold is "one over the focal length" - 50mm lens = 1/30th or 1/60, 200mm lens = 1/125 or 1/250. Using a monopod one divides the focal length by 4, hence 50mm lens = 1/8th or 1/15. (I'm old school and can't remember the speeds between used by modern cameras).

Personally the lowest I've gone (whilst getting a decent result) is 1/8th with an 85mm, which is really pushing it, but beaten by my brother 1 sec, albeit he was leaning against a pillar in a church.
Posted 18 Nov 2013
Edited by LaurenceJPower 18 Nov 2013
RedChecker
Photographer
RedChecker
LaurenceJPower

I've certainly used a tripod on town with a Gandolfi 5 x 4,


I have a sneaky feeling you'll have less issues with a large format camera because of Joe Public's perceptions of how good they are and what they may be used for.  Get out an SLR and they'll instantly think paparazzi or surveilance which in turn makes people uneasy.

And it's not just police & the public you have to worry about, security guards (in banks & the like) tend to get very nervous if you have a camera or are hanging around the area, especially in The City (even without a tripod).
Posted 18 Nov 2013
Edited by RedChecker 18 Nov 2013
Also if someone trips over you or your tripod you could require public liability insurance too !!

Posted 18 Nov 2013
RedChecker
Photographer
RedChecker
MisstyMoore

Also if someone trips over you or your tripod you could require public liability insurance too !!


That's a favourite lunchtime hobby of lawyers in London so I've heard.  I used to work for a construction firm (crane hire) and we were forever being fleeced by 'clumsy' lawyers who'd manage to trip/injure themselves on bits of equipment.
Posted 18 Nov 2013
dominicdgt
Photographer
dominicdgt
LaurenceJPower
I've certainly used a tripod on town with a Gandolfi 5 x 4, but to avoid problems, how about using a monopod.
Westminster City council where adamant a monopod made no difference and wouldn't sanction it either without a licence agreement with them, meaning a fee required.
Posted 18 Nov 2013
RedChecker
Photographer
RedChecker
dominicdgt

Westminster City council where adamant a monopod made no difference and wouldn't sanction it either without a licence agreement with them, meaning a fee required.


Westminster are an exception of sorts, not only due to the sensitivity of it being associated with government and some of the richest tennants in London but also most of it is privately owned.

If you ask about these things though of councils, they will invariably suggest you pay a fee.  Your best approach (if you insist on having a tripod) is probably to look touristy and plead ignorance (and make it quick)
Posted 18 Nov 2013
Edited by RedChecker 18 Nov 2013
stolenfaces
Photographer
stolenfaces
As you're attending an organised photographic walk, it would seem sensible to inquire of the organiser.
Just imagine the scene if everyone turned up with tripods or even mono-pods - it would provide a photographic opportunity in itself, and doubtless be the subject of many tourist photos.

Posted 18 Nov 2013
WESTEND_PORTFOLIOS
Photographer
WESTEND_PORT..
MisstyMoore
Also if someone trips over you or your tripod you could require public liability insurance too !!
always make sure you have a HI VIZ vest on your tripod
Posted 18 Nov 2013
dominicdgt
Photographer
dominicdgt
RedChecker
Westminster are an exception of sorts, not only due to the sensitivity of it being associated with government and some of the richest tennants in London but also most of it is privately owned. If you ask about these things though of councils, they will invariably suggest you pay a fee.  Your best approach (if you insist on having a tripod) is probably to look touristy and plead ignorance (and make it quick)
Westminster really though one of the the prime locations for a London photo session? As i seam to be the only person to have enquired about using tripods in parts of London with people who can sanction it! I can do no more than pass on my experience. Trying to be covert is risky and time consuming, once you've be rumbled the whole shoot would need a location rethink. Luckily for us the police told us they would walk away and by the time they came back "we should be gone" we estimated it gave us 15mins! but after that encounter it did throw us as to where we could set up. With a make-up artist/models X2/photographer we did stand out.
Posted 18 Nov 2013
vasquito
Photographer
vasquito
RedChecker

 Your best approach (if you insist on having a tripod) is probably to look touristy and plead ignorance (and make it quick)


Seconded - we were down last weekend and I spent a day and two evenings lugging a tripod and a rucksack and what-have-you around the mile / St Pauls / Embankment / Tower etc etc and didn't have any issues - but (a) I defo looked like a tourist !!!  Because I was ...  and (b) it was the weekend (partly) and rotten weather - both of which help I imagine surprise

Whilst the wife and I were taking some pics of St Pauls from the millenium bridge a whole gaggle of photographers arrived with their "tutor" - all equiped with tripods...
We didn't stick around to see if they caused a riot - they were certainly getting in the way . . .

Don't get me started about cyclists tough . . .

V


Posted 18 Nov 2013
Kiboko
Photographer
Kiboko
Just read and pondered all of the above, what a sad, sad country we have now created for ourselves.

Posted 18 Nov 2013
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