New York gets camera-shy
Since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, photographers of all types have increasingly complained about harassment.
D. Bruce Yolton, an amateur nature photographer, said he was run off by a police officer last spring when he tried to take pictures of a hawk nesting on the Triborough Bridge.
Things will only get worse under the new rules, he said. He wondered whether the regulations would result in officers cracking down on groups of amateur bird-watchers gathering to stake out wildlife.
“There is no way for me to apply for a permit,” Mr. Yolton said. “For one thing, I never know where the bird is going to be.”
The film office drafted the proposed rules earlier this year as a result of a lawsuit involving an independent filmmaker detained for using a hand-held video camera in Midtown Manhattan.
Rakesh Sharma, the Indian director of the award-winning 2003 documentary “Final Solution,” was told he needed a permit to record images of the MetLife building near Grand Central Terminal, even if he had no crew or equipment besides his camera.
The New York Civil Liberties Union sued, arguing, in part, that the city had never properly enacted regulations governing film permits. The case was settled and the film office agreed to formalize its rules.