Got booted out of the horse track, today

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I guess I'm just a troublemaker. :biggrin:

On occasion, I like to go to the local horse track to take pictures. In the past, they have been very camera friendly, and we have even had get togethers there, with a local photo forum. And last year, when I went there by myself, I stopped and talked to a security guard to specifically ask about photography restrictions. I even opened my camera bag, and showed him my D2x and 300 f/2.8. He said it was no problem, and to come on in. Well apparently, things have changed.

I was taking pictures at the track today, with my D700 and 300 f/2.8, when I was approached by a gentleman who introduced himself as a vice president. He asked if I had "media credentials", which I did not. He then asked what I was doing. I explained that photography was my hobby, and I was just taking pictures of the horse racing. While pointing to my camera, he said that I wasn't allowed to take pictures with "that". Hmmm. Well OK, what can I take pictures with, I asked. He held up a cell phone, and said something like this is OK, but something like "that" is "over the top". He went on to say I could go apply for media credentials, put the camera away, or leave. That was an easy decision, and I said I would simply leave.

Now, he was polite, and our conversation was cordial. And of course, they have every right to set their own rules, vague as they may be (I can't find any information on their web site about photography rules). I do find it a little odd, however, that their own security personnel don't seem to know what those rules actually are.

Oh well.....
 
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And of course, they have every right to set their own rules, vague as they may be (I can't find any information on their web site about photography rules). I do find it a little odd, however, that their own security personnel don't seem to know what those rules actually are.

I no longer find it odd that one group in an organization has no idea what the rules are even when, sometimes especially when, they are set by another group in an organization. Either the rules were never communicated across the organization or they haven't yet trickled down to everyone. It's all to common a situation.

It would, however, been nice if the guy who talked to you would have given you the actual rules or pointed you to them rather than just have said "cellphone camera is ok, SLR is not". Organizations like that should have such rules prominently displayed, and freely available in paper form or on the web, to forestall any such issues from escalating.
 
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Yes, he may have been polite, but I don't get it. They have rules. They don't have rules. Was he concerned you may have been doing commercial work? Did he feel threatened because yours was bigger than his? What was the reason for booting you and is it written anywhere? I'm not advocating protesting per se, but if you were there - if you had made a special trip to photograph; what was the justification for asking you to comply with an apparently unwritten rule?

Is this a venue you're interested in shooting again? Will you ask for the "president" or owner?

Sorry, I'm not trying to push any buttons or make you second guess your decision. Just sounds like a jerk who was trying to exercise his ego...
 
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Did they refund your admission fee?

And since I have no idea what type of horse race you were shooting, this may be a silly thought....but maybe next time you could bluff your way into the media office and tell them you just spoke with the President, and he asked you to stop by and pick up a media credential.:biggrin::wink:
 
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Written or unwritten, it doesn't matter. You must comply with any authority representing a private enterprise, in this case a VP. And if asked to leave, failure to do so can result in trespass charges against you. And although you can ask if the rules are in writing and if so, ask to see them, a private venue or business is under no legal obligation to show you.

And local authority, for example a store assistant manager, trumps corporate policy even if said policy differs from what that assistant manager is telling you. That disparity is then between him and corporate headquarters.
 
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I guess I'm just a troublemaker. :biggrin:

On occasion, I like to go to the local horse track to take pictures. In the past, they have been very camera friendly, and we have even had get togethers there, with a local photo forum. And last year, when I went there by myself, I stopped and talked to a security guard to specifically ask about photography restrictions. I even opened my camera bag, and showed him my D2x and 300 f/2.8. He said it was no problem, and to come on in. Well apparently, things have changed.

I was taking pictures at the track today, with my D700 and 300 f/2.8, when I was approached by a gentleman who introduced himself as a vice president. He asked if I had "media credentials", which I did not. He then asked what I was doing. I explained that photography was my hobby, and I was just taking pictures of the horse racing. While pointing to my camera, he said that I wasn't allowed to take pictures with "that". Hmmm. Well OK, what can I take pictures with, I asked. He held up a cell phone, and said something like this is OK, but something like "that" is "over the top". He went on to say I could go apply for media credentials, put the camera away, or leave. That was an easy decision, and I said I would simply leave.

Now, he was polite, and our conversation was cordial. And of course, they have every right to set their own rules, vague as they may be (I can't find any information on their web site about photography rules). I do find it a little odd, however, that their own security personnel don't seem to know what those rules actually are.

Oh well.....

Did he have ID of a VP? I would double check again to see what is really allowed.
 
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The VP in this case was not under any legal obligation to show their credentials, although they may have done so as a matter of courtesy if asked. And most will. But again, you must comply with anyone representing themselves as an authority for a private enterprise. There is no point in arguing as you will lose. You also risk giving a bad reputation to others who come after you.

This is different than when in a public venue where you have a legal right to be.
 
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The VP in this case was not under any legal obligation to show their credentials, although they may have done so as a matter of courtesy if asked. And most will. But again, you must comply with anyone representing themselves as an authority for a private enterprise. There is no point in arguing as you will lose. You also risk giving a bad reputation to others who come after you.

This is different than when in a public venue where you have a legal right to be.

But is the track a semi-public area. Is one under a legal obligation to obey someone they don't know so do you have to comply if the person says he is a legal rep but is not. First off you don't have to end up arguing. You are always polite. I would have just gone to the main office or the security office and asked nicely. He was given the OK before. I have worked on the private side and if not easily identified you always identified yourself and showed ID.
Of course you always have to determine what battles to fight. I agree if handled the wrong way you could cause problems for others. Best thing is to inquire and be polite.

I hope I didn't come on to strong with my reply. I respect your answer.
 
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Written or unwritten, it doesn't matter. You must comply with any authority representing a private enterprise, in this case a VP. And if asked to leave, failure to do so can result in trespass charges against you.

No one is disputing that. At least, I'm not. Their track, their rules.
 
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It's really not that big of a deal, to me. Their track and their rules, so if they say I can't take pictures, so be it. I don't have any issues with that.

But the goofy thing about it, is that apparently, there aren't any "rules" about any type of photography written down on their web site, or anywhere else. At least, not that I can find. And that is exactly why I had asked in the first place. Obviously, the security people don't know what the policy is......sure, no problem, buy a ticket, come on in, and take all the pictures you want. But once inside the gate, the "rules" change, and you can't take pictures with "that". All I would ask, is that they come up with a clear policy, so everyone, including their own people, know what the "rules" are.
 
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It's really not that big of a deal, to me. Their track and their rules, so if they say I can't take pictures, so be it. I don't have any issues with that.

But the goofy thing about it, is that apparently, there aren't any "rules" about any type of photography written down on their web site, or anywhere else. At least, not that I can find. And that is exactly why I had asked in the first place. Obviously, the security people don't know what the policy is......sure, no problem, buy a ticket, come on in, and take all the pictures you want. But once inside the gate, the "rules" change, and you can't take pictures with "that". All I would ask, is that they come up with a clear policy, so everyone, including their own people, know what the "rules" are.

If it is something you really like doing just check further into it. It may be not so obvious that the security people don't know what they are doing. They may have a clear policy in writing and the VP may not have known. I really think you are handling this very well. Sorry this kinda struck a nerve for me because I have been on the VP side, the security side and your side. To many times I have seen all sides doing the wrong thing. You did fine.
 
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The VP in this case was not under any legal obligation to show their credentials, although they may have done so as a matter of courtesy if asked. And most will. But again, you must comply with anyone representing themselves as an authority for a private enterprise. There is no point in arguing as you will lose. You also risk giving a bad reputation to others who come after you.

This is different than when in a public venue where you have a legal right to be.

This not exactly true...without them "proving" who they are (the supposed VP in this case), I would take the VP to be just some jealous louse that did not want me taking photos because he forgot his camera...hence, ask for proof of position...not just a business card...lets see your office and the rules......if he is not the real VP but an impostor he just had his bluff called........I have actually had this done tome before and I did not call the bluff but did snap a [pic of the so called management / owner fellow and it turned it he was just another ticket holder....never PRESUME that they are telling you the truth.......a lot of people just like to screw with others that they figure will not call the bluff.........cops are like that also..........but expect you to obey blindly.......
 
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Was this at Sam Houston? I used to go shoot down there all the time. The first couple times I did I called and was told to have at it, there were no rules against it. This was a couple years ago though. If it is Sam then it makes me wonder why a track that is barely hanging on would go out of its way to keep folks out.
 
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Did they refund your admission fee?

And since I have no idea what type of horse race you were shooting, this may be a silly thought....but maybe next time you could bluff your way into the media office and tell them you just spoke with the President, and he asked you to stop by and pick up a media credential.:biggrin::wink:

I was thinking the same thing with admission and really like the second idea! If you happened to get his name that would be even better.

You could always call or e-mail them (act like this hasn't happened) and ask what their policy is on photography.
 
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You did the right thing. Their property and their rules. I'd probably, politely, verify identification of the individual asking me to leave before packing up. If an admission fee was paid, I'd request to be reimbursed as their policy was unclear and not posted.
 
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I had this same issue the other week at PNC Park while trying to attend a Pirates game. I went to walk through the gate and one of the gate security guards asked to see my bag. He looked inside and said "you can't bring this into the park". I very politely said, "I see people with cameras here all the time and I looked on the website before hand and I did not see any thing stating you can not bring a camera into the park." He then proceeded to start to get angered and said " you can bring the smaller cameras but not something like that". I looked at him and said so "PNC Park has a written rule stating you can bring cell phone cameras and pocket point and shoots but not a DLSR like the one I have. He looked at me, thought for about 10 seconds and said "yup" with a smile. At this point I punched him in the face.. LOL just kidding ( but that is what I was feeling like doing at the time). So now I had to take my camera back to the car, which was about a twenty minute walk to and from the vehicle, stand in line again and miss most of the first inning of the game. If not for my girlfriend wanting to go, I would have just walked back to my car and went home.. I called PNC Park the next day to find the Official rule and I was told it was a "grey area" and the decision is up to the security at the gate.

Moral of the story, they don't want to say that cameras are not allowed, because now a days everyone has a camera on their cellphone. So everyone with a cell phone can post poor quality pictures all over facebook, but we who spend a little extra money and time, are penalized, because we might actually get some quality shots, and the only quality shots that are allowed to be taken at PNC park are by their in house photographers and you can buy those quality shots for $19.99 at one of the gift shops!!!!
 
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In all of these types of cases, I have yet to see root cause addressed. And that is, what exactly started this whole issue of DSLRs not being allowed at public social events?

Somewhere, sometime, "something" to trigger these "do not shoot with that" actions....
 
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...He then proceeded to start to get angered and said " you can bring the smaller cameras but not something like that". I looked at him and said so "PNC Park has a written rule stating you can bring cell phone cameras and pocket point and shoots but not a DLSR like the one I have. He looked at me, thought for about 10 seconds and said "yup" with a smile. <snip> I called PNC Park the next day to find the Official rule and I was told it was a "grey area" and the decision is up to the security at the gate.
I don't see a grey area in the rules. If the PNC management wants to ban cameras with long lenses, then it should revise the rules. From the PNC Information page:

CAMERAS AND VIDEO RECORDERS
Guests are welcome to bring cameras and video recorders (not in hard-sided cases) into the ballpark for personal use only. Commercial use of photos without the expressed consent of the Pirates is prohibited. Fans are requested to avoid standing in the aisles while using this equipment. Guests should not obstruct the views of others while taking pictures and refrain from using tri-pods and monopods. The Pirates reserve the right to remove any Guests that do not cooperate with this policy.
 
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I suggest applying for media credentials.

But then I assume they want to charge you for those.

No, I've never heard of anyone charging for a media credential. But you have to be "on assignment" from a news organization, and it has to be approved in advance in any instance I'm aware of. They usually will not approve a free lance shooter, even one who's shot there before, unless they're on assignment.

And most won't approve a news organization unless it is printed media, meaning they won't credential 'web site only' media outlets.

There are exceptions to all of that, but in general that's how it works.
 
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