(1 to 100 of 123 replies)
MindSpigot PRO 12:17am, 2 February 2006
You cannot photograph on the London Underground without prior permission and a £300 pound permit.

News reached me from OnAlienCinema. that a colleague of his has just a been stopped by a Policeman from taking photos in Kings X tube and asked not to take pictures and (told not forced) to delete his pictures on grounds of ‘security’. I’m not clear yet whether the terrorism act was specifically mentioned.

Knowing non flash photography without a tripod has always been allowed. And indeed the Conditions of carriage confirms only flash, tripod (and other supports) are banned. But oddly the Filming and Photography FAQ has recently been changed from only including film crews to covering *all* photographers, amateurs included.

Do you need to obtain permission to film or photograph on London Underground?
Yes, anybody wanting to film or take pictures must seek prior permission from the London Underground Film Office.
How much notice does London Underground require?
London Underground requires 2 weeks' notice to set up an average sized filming/photography facility. In certain circumstances this can be turned around quicker, but it is dependent on the request itself.
How do you apply for a film/photography permit?
All requests must be in writing, preferably by one of our Permit Application forms. Click here for the Application form.
At what times can you film on London Underground?
Filming and photography will only be considered during the off-peak period (1030 - 1530 or after 1930 hours Monday to Friday). Weekends are more flexible and can normally be achieved all day at most stations.

How much does it cost to film/photograph on London Underground Limited?
Our rates start at £300 per hour for filming. Each facility is reviewed on a case by case basis and prices are dependent on a number of factors including the size of crew and the amount of equipment to be used.

I rang TfL on 0845 330 9876 they confirmed unequivocally nothing had changed and agreed the FAQ was ‘confusing’. He felt though it’s preferable if you can ask the station manager for permission, but agreed there’s no requirement to do so. He told me he thought a message had been passed on several times to the Film office. A couple of minutes later though the phone rang, the TfL guy said he had made a mistake the FAQ was right. He agreed nobody had told him and said he had just done “a double take” when told “every piece of film or photography must be authorised ”. He could not tell me how it was enforced or when it happened, only “quite recently I think” .

I am trying to find out how it is enforced (a new bylaw? Does an existing bylaw allow them to change the rules?) What publicity has been given? Why has it been done? Was there any consultation or publicity of any sort? I’ve never seen a no photography sign, does this mean the police and staff are going to waste lots of time hassling tourists and other amateur photographers?

More news after I have talked to TfL’s Film Office tomorrow (Thursday).

A couple of other resources:
See also Linda Macpherson’s excellent Photographers’ rights in the UK.

More on UK/Londoner photographers’ rights:

Thanks to OnAlienCinema. for some some key URL finding
(1 to 100 of 123 replies)
πρώρα (Prora) PRO 10 years ago
And how in heaven's name do they think they can enforce it? Every day you can see tourists taking photos on the tube and masses of happy snappers armed with mobile phones with built in cameras (making the mobiles even more annoying than ever).
MindSpigot PRO 10 years ago
The person stopped on the tube, whom I was only hearing about 3rd hand has incorporated the data me and OnAlienCinema were finding and written up the story:

inglian Posted 10 years ago. Edited by inglian (member) 10 years ago
There is such a jumble of conflicting information here. My interpretation is that the £300 pound charge applies to filming and professional photo shoots (for modelling or advertising). TfL can't possibly charge every amateur or tourist who takes a snap on the Underground that amount.

Your friend of a friend's mistake was to take too long and thereby arouse the suspicion of the plod. As he relates, they didn't actually force him to delete his pictures or arrest him - probably because they well knew that he wasn't breaking any law.
MindSpigot PRO Posted 10 years ago. Edited by MindSpigot (member) 10 years ago
there is no refernce in TfL's FAQ to amateurs being exempt. TfL have confirmed by phone, as did the two policeman that *all* photography is now banned without a £300 permit.

As to whether there is a law that is being broken I'll find out ASAP. The FAQ is clearly originally written to apply to professionals (and I think just film crews) but TfL assure me it applies to everybody.
Mark Demeny PRO 10 years ago
I came across this post via Flickr central and felt I should clarify a few things. Having actually obtained an LUL film permit, I can state for a fact that it does not cost anything for amateurs. It took a few days (not weeks) and was valid for about a month.

Personally, the service I got was fantastic - and in my opinion actually having a formal policy beats having cops question your right to photograph things on a regular basis.
Laurie Young PRO Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Laurie Young (member) 10 years ago
Hi everyone. I was the person stopped by the police today. Thanks to MindSpigot and OnAlienCinema for finding out all the information.

The CPOs in question did not mention the terrorist act, though they did say it was a change in policy since the July 7th bombings. When I asked him (one spoke to me, while the other answered the tourist enquires on where the loos were and so on) where I could photograph, he told me not anywhere in London Underground, nor could I take any photos that depicted the underground.

I told him to double check that as I was sure that had I been on public property I would have been within my rights to include the station in the photos. He initially said that I was wrong, at least according to the information he was given. But then didn't reapeat that, and instead told me that parts of the pavement near Kings Cross are not actually public property, and so would also ban photography.

He told me that as I had now been warned, if I am seen to be photographing on the underground again, they will have not choice but to take my camera, and arrest me.

The research that I have done now, suggests that I could be:

held to be in breech of the terrorism act, depending on your interpretation of "photos that are of use to terrorist planning an attack"

Considered to be trespassing for breaking their rules of entry, and asked to leave. Trespass is not a criminal offence, so I would have had to be sued for that, not arrested (as I understand it)

Personally I'm not at all upset about having been stopped. I had been there for about 40 mins before anyone approached me, and while the information he gave me was somewhat lacking, he was polite at all times. I think it is good to see the police paying attention.

As markdemeny says above, its actually quite easy to get a permit (i hope that's still true) and I will be getting one for any futher projects I take on. I have had permits for several other venues before (I used to run a photo club at uni, so had to do things properly when training 20 people), and have never had problems getting a permit.
cybertect PRO 10 years ago
Taking a closer look at the FAQ there is still provision for no-charge photography

"Is it possible to shoot for free?

A letter of intent confirming cast & crew are no more than 5 people and equipment is lightweight and hand held only
A relevant copy of the script/storyboard
Two passport sized photographs of the person in charge on the day"

Reckon that should cover most people using Flickr :-)
MindSpigot PRO Posted 10 years ago. Edited by MindSpigot (member) 10 years ago

Thanks for the info. How long ago was this [edit ah I see from your link - April]? If still applicable it's slightly better news. It does mean I'll be applying for a permit every month which is annoying and seems ridiculous.

If ever I heard of a case of pointless unnecessary bureaucracy that achieves nothing this is it. Who on earth is helped by this? The cops have to check permits - a waste of their time. I have to apply - a waste of mine and TfL have issue it, a waste of their time and money (which in effect is our time and money).

On top of this there seems to have been no publicity and there are no signs, ensuring more time is wasted. Can you imagine how many tourist's won't know this? How much more police time will that waste? As to what does to visitors perception of London...

Why do amateur photographers need regulating? Exactly what problem does it solve?

"beats having cops question your right to photograph things on a regular basis."

Wouldn't it just be cheaper, easier and better all round if a formal policy is implemented of the cops not hassling photographers that aren't causing a problem?
MindSpigot PRO Posted 10 years ago. Edited by MindSpigot (member) 10 years ago

thanks for that, seems like a barking hoop to jump through, but I'll find the truth from the film office tomorrow.
MindSpigot PRO Posted 10 years ago. Edited by MindSpigot (member) 10 years ago
@Laurie Young

Hi Laurie,

Glad you were dealt with so courteously, many thanks for posting your story. I feel the whole permit thing is an inconvenience and a pointless waste of time and money. It was it seems imposed without any public debate, publicity or consultation.

The good news:
The Photographers Rights FAQ says to be covered by the prevention of terrorism act the photo must have been taken for a purpose that is "prejudicial to the safety or interest of the state" So no case to answer there.

The bad news is that whilst most trespass is a civil act, not so here. It also says "It is a criminal offence punishable by a fine to trespass on some premises, notably railways..."

cybertect PRO 10 years ago
Yep. Trespass on railways is a criminal act dating back to the 1840s

estherase PRO 10 years ago
Eeek. I was 'stopped and searched' at Paddington in the summer, but they didn't make me delete my pics..


..and they mentioned terrorist stuff, and certainly didn't say I wasn't to take any more photos...
pfig 10 years ago
@mindspigot: prejudicial to the safety or interest of the state can apply to anything the police pulls out of his hat of tricks, unless it's clearly defined. we've seen this happen with the law forbidding protests around the parliament.

i am very pissed about this, as i shoot in the tube almost daily.
GFR PRO 10 years ago
Some months ago (maybe a year) my husband was told that they would not issue a permit to use a camera and tripod to take a picture of the exhibition at Gloucester Road station. Heightened security was mentioned.
cowfish 10 years ago
I thought this had been the case for quite a while and isn't a new thing. If you ask nicely they will normally say yes. The people who say no are the same people who would have stopped you "in the olden days" anyway.

If you start frothing about photographers rights at people it will generally do no good. Be reasonable at first and THEN froth when all else fails :)
burge5k Posted 10 years ago. Edited by burge5k (member) 10 years ago
Since I'm from yorkshire and sound like it I reckon I could get away with being apologetic and pretending to be a tourist down visiting people. Also recovering deleted photos is pretty simple as long as you don't put any new ones on the memory card they were on so if someone gets really annoying you can just delete the photos and get them back later.
cowfish 10 years ago
I don't think they can ask you to delete photos - that's just something they bandy around afaik.
photosam PRO 10 years ago
I understand the provision for a planeed trip appears to be there, but what if you are just passing through and see something that you want to snap?

I keep a small camera on me at all times, and try not to attract attention.
annafdd PRO 10 years ago
Well, I applied for a permit, for casual amateur photography for personal private use. We'll see.
Andy Brooks 10 years ago
An email to the LU people resulted in a helpful and speedy response. In summary their reply was that 'tourist' photos are perfectly acceptable and do not require a permit, however if you are going to be loitering (my word, not LUL's) for long periods then you can apply for a free permit. I guess then one could get away with taking the odd spontaneous sht under the remit of 'tourist' photos - even if oyu happen to be using an SLR. Still in some ways kind of irks me the whole getting hassled for taking pics by the police - but at the end of the day they are responding to a percieved threat which has become real in the UK - although you could argue that they have become overly paranoid and 'pick' on easy targets (namely photogs) without just cause... a worrying situation - perhaps? only time will tell...
Grant Mitchell PRO 10 years ago
I've just got an email from them asking for a jpeg image of myself for a free pass. Very prompt response (request send 0830, and the request for a picture for my pass sent at 1200.

Photography is limited to between 1030 and 1530, and after 2000 during weekdays (you can snap anytime on weekends). This makes sense to avoid causing problems during peak times.

Altogether it seems like painless procedure getting a free permit (so far), and while it's sad you have to, I can't complain with the way they handle it.
grebo guru PRO 10 years ago
I got a speedy reply too, and again - asked for a JPG image of myself. I wonder if they laminate it on a badge?...

I rather expect they'll be fielding quite a few requests in the coming days (mine was Still Request #56) - they'll be in triple digits in no time!
Grant Mitchell PRO 10 years ago
Mine was request 55 :)
cowfish 10 years ago
How did you apply for the permit? The online form says it's for commercial filming/photography...
Grant Mitchell PRO 10 years ago
I just filled in that online form, stating that I was an amateur photographer, and the pictures were for personal use, and I wouldn't pay 300ukp for a permit. The reply was that I could get a free permit, all I had to do was send them a jpeg image of myself (presumably for the permit).
grebo guru PRO 10 years ago
I got my pass today. It still requires me to clear my presence with the station manager, and use of tripods are somewhat restricted on the platform itself (which is completely understandable).
cybertect PRO Posted 10 years ago. Edited by cybertect (member) 10 years ago
By 'somewhat restricted' do you mean 'no tripods ever' or are there circumstances when you can actually use a tripod on the platform, or elsewhere in the station?

I'd be interested to know.
grebo guru PRO Posted 10 years ago. Edited by grebo guru (member) 10 years ago
6) Tripods, if authorised by the Station Supervisor, must be positioned at least two meters from the platform edge and must not obstruct passenger or staff walkways anywhere on the station or train - at any time.
cybertect PRO 10 years ago
"positioned at least two meters from the platform edge"

That rules out taking pictures on the platform on large chunks of the network then :-(

Still, useful to know it's possible if you're not on a commercial licence. Thanks.
kateyay 10 years ago
I made some enquiries along the same line a couple of months ago when a friend and I were planning to do a project on The Tube.

For those who have applied for and gained permits - are these for one day of use or a set period of time, or indefinite?

Thanks for your comments - it's helpful to see who has been given what information!
inglian 10 years ago
moopness, I got mine yesterday (photo to follow later). It's for a period of one month. As (I think) Grebo indicated, you still have to get permission from the Station Supervisor/Manager. It hardly seems worth having one, if you're just going to take one or two shots. However, I may use the Permit for a few station visits, and do some more intensive photography.
inglian 10 years ago
Et voila:

kateyay 10 years ago
aha! excellent. Thanks for the picture also!
inglian 10 years ago
I'll report back, in case of any police harrassment, etc.
24db [deleted] 10 years ago
I was recently stopped from taking photos at Euston (in the mainline station). I was told I couldn't take anything on Railtrack property, I would have argued the toss, but I'm a Railtrack employee :D
inglian 10 years ago
As far as main line stations go, the official Association of Train Operating Companies guidelines state that you must seek the permission of the Station Manager. I would only add that I never had any problems of this kind when I was a young railway enthusiast in the late '70s, when our railway was nationalised.
Mike Knell Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Mike Knell (member) 10 years ago
I've been stung recently as well - firstly by a security jobsworth when I was taking a shot of Paddington concourse last July (before the 7th), and more recently while grabbing a couple of shots while waiting for a train at Kennington.

Ultimately, both railway stations and the Underground are private property and they have the right to enforce just about any policy they want. However, the policies as they stand are often contradictory, confusing and seem to be poorly communicated to staff and to police officers as well as to passengers. LU themselves have two contradictory pages, and there seems to be a certain amount of fuzziness about what constitutes photography for personal use. There is, though, a difference between grabbing a couple of snapshots and hanging around for a long time - one is taking photos because you happen to be there, one is photography for its own sake, and it's not too surprising that they're treated differently. The problem there is determining the boundaries.

Rail enthusiasts may wish to check out my recent blog entry - I'm planning on trying to get the companies involved to talk both to each other and to rail enthusiasts and photographers in order to bring a little consistency into these matters, as frankly, it's destroying one of my hobbies.

I mean, trainspotters used to be considered laughably quaint and harmless. Now we're being treated like potential terrorists. It's a little depressing, to say the least, not to mention surreal.
knautia PRO 10 years ago
I tried to apply for a permit this week, but the page is down. So I sent this email:

To: filmoffice@tube.tfl.gov.uk
Subject: Taking photos on the Underground


The link to the application form is broken on your website, but I'd like to apply for permission to take pictures on the Underground when i'm in London between 11th and 16th February 2006. I am a total amateur, I only want the pictures for myself. I would not be using flash or tripod, and I'd just want to take them while I was travelling on the Underground, not going there specifically to take pictures.

Thanks very much

and this is the reply, from the Head of Commercial Filming, which makes me feel lots better - I'll be sure to print it off and carry it with me

That's fine, you will not require a permit if you are just taking tourist photographs
knautia PRO 10 years ago
oh, and Mike, I take pics at paddington whenever I'm passing, and my excuse is I'm not hanging around, I'm waiting for my train....
Mike Knell 10 years ago
Yeah, I was waiting for someone, so had legitimate business there.

And as far as LU is concerned, it's probably also a good idea to carry a printout of this page from the FAQs on thetube.com as well.
MindSpigot PRO Posted 10 years ago. Edited by MindSpigot (member) 10 years ago
The film and photography office are clearly going to a fair bit of effort to keep everybody happy and all credit to them. I am very relieved the situation is not nearly as bad as my first post suggested, nonetheless there is I think some room for improvement (or at the very least hear the reasoning behind the policy and find out who made it).

a) I can't see how any of this regulation would have the slightest impact on terrorists. They can take pictures anyway in 'tourist mode'. If they want to loiter a permit is very easy for them to obtain.

b) Checking and issuing permits takes time, effort and money.

c) Little of the policy relating to amateurs is explained in their FAQ and most enthusiastic amateur photographers are unlikely to have found out about the FAQ until they are stopped.It is also contradicted by other pages.

d) I can't see what the reason is for only issuing permits valid for a month at time (that doesn't mean there isn't a reason, but policy justifications don't seem to available or the result of any public consultation).

The question then arises how can we as photographers engage with TfL in a positive and constructive way? Is there a feeling here we should and that we need to?

If there's sufficient feeling it's needed we could perhaps as a group draft a letter to TfL? Exactly what it says would be discussed here.
On Alien Cinema 10 years ago
I get the feeling that TfL is trying to keep things sane while under pressure from outside to do impossible things (like ban photography outright from the Tube). Telling TfL that there's a bunch of sensible people who are on their side can only be a good thing, I think...

Mike Knell 10 years ago
I had an email from Kate Reston (head of commercial filming) on Friday as I've been talking to them about exactly this. To paraphrase -

a) They're currently working on getting their website updated to accomodate enthusiasts and people undertaking informal photography projects like my Roundel Project - bear with them.

b) Changing company policy isn't easy, but the other problem is getting the message across to all of LU's 18,000 staff. The BTP don't get LU traffic circulars either, which means that they don't get to see any clarifications or updates.

c) Let them know if you experience any further problems.

The Film Office is definitely On Our Side. As you said, the nightmare scenario here is that some kneejerk ruling from above bans photography completely, and we don't (and neither, I think, do they) want to see that happen.
davehodg 10 years ago

Great job!

Getting the BTP clued-in somehow would be a great start.
MindSpigot PRO 10 years ago
Thanks mike, great stuff. I wonder why BTP don't get LU traffic circulars? In these days of email you'd think it was easy enough to arrange.

Bureaucracies: unavoidable but utterly maddening.
Mike Knell 10 years ago
Traffic circulars are actual physical documents rather than electronic, and I guess the reason that BTP officers don't get them is because they don't work for LU. It would be helpful if there was more communication between them.

The other thing is that while the BTP are the primary force policing the railways, in London you often find the Met there as well. It's possible that Met officers aren't as familiar as BTP with the various rules and regulations involved. I'd also be interested to see how many of these incidents (although there don't seem to be that many) involve PCSOs rather than full constables who should be better acquainted with the law.
davehodg 10 years ago
Data point: my numpty was BTP.
ennovy 10 years ago
this is riciculous news... i haven't read through the whole thread but just the initial post, and... really.. how are they going to stop us from photographing anything anywhere?
I got my 2mega pixl camera phone with me and no one will ever know if I do take a photo.
Mike Knell 10 years ago
Er, so read the rest of the thread, then! I mean, this is a discussion and everything, and the reality of the rules is not as bad as was stated above.
DrDctr PRO 10 years ago
There is of course nothing tfl can do to stop people taking photographs from the public roadway or from mainline rail property such as at Wimbledon and other overground portions of the line. When is a tourist not a tourist? If you have a flash?? If you have a tripod?? Who decides?? I would be more worried about plane spotters on the periphery of airports with ?? long lenses ?? taking photographs under the flightpath. Will tfl stop people photographing buses next? Not that there are any buses worth photographing after they murdered the Routemaster.
Ms. Moll 10 years ago
I read the first post with dismay and a little anger, then felt better after reading the rest of the discussion.

But by the end I'm still annoyed!

It seems to me that this is another case of 'knee jerk reaction' after the terriorist attacks. If it's so easy to get a permit how can it help fight terrorism?!

Grrrrr! I only come to London once a month or so and do take pictures on the tube, getting a permit on the off chance that i'll be down that month seems a crazy waste of time (for me and them).

It's good to know that my shots would probably be covered by 'tourism'.

Thanks to everyone who contacted TFL etc.
Kaptain Kobold 10 years ago
I'd heard rumours of some kind of restriction on photos on the Underground, but hadn't found anything about it other than on that TfL site. The wording does seem more geared towards 'professional' photography, rather than tha casual snaps I've been doing. Anyway, I've had a few trips on the Tube (trips into London are mercifully rare for me) in the last couple of months, and have taken a few snaps here and there with no problems at all. Either I've been lucky and no-one has spotted me (and I've not been particularly surreptitious about my picture taking) or the people that have seen me aren't bothered about it.
photosam PRO 10 years ago
Spotted this on the Platform at Tottenham Court Road Tube.

So there
cowfish 10 years ago
That's a standard rule everywhere on the underground, although TCR is the only place I remember seeing the signs :)
photosam PRO 10 years ago
I've just never noticed the signs before.
Yolise 10 years ago
I'd assume, then, that non-flash photography is OK.
πρώρα (Prora) PRO 10 years ago
I guess that they are afraid of a flash dazzling the driver at some critical time.
Mike Knell 10 years ago
Dazzling the driver at all, really - having your night vision ruined because some muppet's flashing lights in your face isn't great, according to a driver I asked once. Also, there's something to do with fire suppression systems being confused by flash (the Channel Tunnel shuttle trains have a ban on flash photography for this reason).
DavidPatrick_ PRO 10 years ago
"No Flash Photography" -> Don't they mean no people with flash, fancy cameras? :D

Seriously, I think Mike Knell has hit the nail on the head. When the driver emerges from the tunnel, I would expect that this is the most stressful time - just look at all those people ready to jump in front of the train. Now he can;t see anything because some bozo with a flashgun has blinded him.
Fauldsb 10 years ago
The reason flash photography is banned is because they use strobing lights to warn drivers of problems on the system - at least that was an explantion given on a tannoy message at Canary Wharf station last week.
hoolebronx 9 years ago
If anyone's interested, my experiences mentioned here
Soda O PRO Posted 9 years ago. Edited by Soda O (member) 9 years ago
utterly bizarre. a poster above made the point that this law would be impossible to uphold. i agree. the quickest way in which respect for authority is lost is when it makes laws it can't enforce. so, as of the minute they made this law, we could say that there has been anarchy on the underground with thousands of tourists every day flagrantly disregarding it.

apologies for the political rant but the natural course for a nanny state is a police state and that's frightening.
Kaptain Kobold 9 years ago
Well, I've finally got nabbed by the coppers.
πρώρα (Prora) PRO 9 years ago
But you were taking a picture in a main line station, not the Underground, and that's a different situation. Glad to see that you weren't thrown in a rat-infested prison cell however!
TramBus [deleted] 9 years ago
It sure makes an interesting read, having recently been on the Underground a little 'worse for wear' with my camera taking pics of all and sundry.

Ill leave my camera at home for leaving do's from now on.
malias PRO 9 years ago
There is a certain irony that CCTV is abso-bloody-lutely everywhere and yet we are not permitted to take photos of our own. It's getting out of hand and it's time to stand up for our rights to take photos. I suggest that all London flickrites meet underground to take photos en masse.
Kaptain Kobold 9 years ago
"I suggest that all London flickrites meet underground to take photos en masse. "

I like the sound of that :-)
Iconolatry 9 years ago
A really interesting thread. Particular for someone like me who has regularly used the London Tube network for fashion shoots. I have to say I've never been challenged and I have loitered for a long time in some locations but ive always used these places on a weekend or during the day not at peak times.

From the times I have been challenged by security guards elsewhere in the city at no time has anyone been sure of what they are doing, they are a) bored or b) affected by the negative news culture in the UK and are being a jobsworth. Ive sometimes been pleasantly suprised by really nice and relaxed security who have come to me to say its ok to take pictures.

Something I'd ask people to do. Firstly if approached be polite. Im sure everyone on this thread has been. Secondly do challenge any attempt to ask you to leave, hand over memory cards, or delete pictures. Anyone 'making' you do this is probably acting unlawfully unless they have stated that they have the power to do so and can prove it with a warrant.

I dont often get bolshy but this issue pushed me over the edge earlier this year. I was present at two of the bomb sites on the 8th July to assist the Met Police and LUL with the aftermath of the events of the 7th July. The freedoms we enjoy in the UK have already been eroded by these events - not because of some government conspiracy but because of people's general fears and a munchausen-like desire to get involved with the 'fight on terror'. Its nonsense. A terrorist is unlikely to a) need to have to resort to photographic recon and b) be carrying a large SLR camera to conduct it covertly!

I have worked alongside and served SO13 Anti-Terrorist Branch and I have no doubt they would not want these freedoms to be taken away (some of them are photographers too!) So politely challenge the jobsworths. I'll be looking to get a pass from LUL following this thread but i wont be paying £300 for it if thats what it takes.
Lawl PRO 9 years ago
Underground on the wonk

I didn't pay a penny :D
LoopZilla Posted 9 years ago. Edited by LoopZilla (member) 9 years ago
πρώρα (Prora) PRO Posted 9 years ago. Edited by πρώρα (Prora) (member) 9 years ago
Interestingly enough, last night, for the first time in my experience, there was an announcement at Embankment station, which I use a lot, saying that flash photography was not allowed anywhere on the tube network [emphasis is mine]. This suggests by implication that non-flash photography is OK.
LoopZilla 9 years ago
What about this picture?

davehodg 9 years ago
I called Radio 5 yesterday while they had some TfL bloke on talking about the security situation. I pointed out that staff and transport police had no clue what the policy was even when standing in front of signs with the policy on!

Didn't get any air time.

Bah. Know your rights and stand up for them.
Manzari PRO 9 years ago
If the ban was truely related to security, would photography be allowed for any price?
MSH* 9 years ago
I dont know how they can make that stick. I've never actually seen a sign banning photography, just the ones saying 'No flash'. I think providing your not blocking the escalators or climbing on to the tracks there should'nt be that much hassle. I think those rules are for proffesional shoots, but its not been communicated around tfl very well.
jonathan020 [deleted] 9 years ago
Question: I want to take pictures of the LU and have no objections to obtaining a pass however if there were to be another terroist attack does that mean that the names of everyone on their permit list would become suspects!?
Rob Jarvis Photography Posted 9 years ago. Edited by Rob Jarvis Photography (member) 9 years ago
jeeezzzuz, i hope not. :-O

Robert Jarvis

Karin Bultje 9 years ago
They are having a laugh! Another way to get money out of us it seems.

By the way do you know what LUL stands for in my language?
i'm curious Karin!
gilesh 9 years ago
Recently on a tube train I heard the driver say over the intercom that he was going to wait a couple of minutes in the station, so that his eyes could recover from the flash that someone had let off in his face as the train entered the station. He sounded quite annoyed.

I've taken quite a few photos in the tube, but without flash.
loose_grip_99 PRO 9 years ago
If you're Dutch Karin, yes I do & it describes some of the jobsworths very well!
boncey PRO 9 years ago
I just applied for a permit (as described above).
I said "Photos for Personal Use" for my "Description of Proposal".

I got back quite an odd email response about an hour later.
"Before I can issue you with a permit, I need you to explain in what context London Underground will be portrayed."

I replied:
"Hi, not sure I fully understand your question.
If it helps I'll explain what I want to take photos of.

I want to take photos of the architecture primarily, especially of the
newer stations (Southwark for example).
I also want to take photos of the platform art currently on display at
Gloucester Road.
Hopefully then; I'll be portraying London Underground in a positive context."

Hopefully I'll get approved...
boncey PRO 9 years ago
Woohoo, got another reply, I'm approved.
Mr Jaded 9 years ago
Nice blague Dazz
boncey PRO 9 years ago
My intentions as regards the positive portrayal of London Underground and all in their employ are entirely honourable I assure you.
dearbarbie 9 years ago
i just asked for a permit. said i can have one for £25 as long as i forward a pic of myself and my debit card details!!
boncey PRO 9 years ago
I just got mine for free - I applied two weeks ago (see above) and it arrived about a week later.

Did you say it was all non-commercial?
πρώρα (Prora) PRO 9 years ago
In view of this and other comments ought the title of this thread to be changed? At best it's misleading.
AndyRobertsPhotos PRO 9 years ago
I find really long threads can be a pain to navigate. Why not just start a new thread for the changed topic.
πρώρα (Prora) PRO 9 years ago
I am inclined to agree.
dearbarbie 9 years ago
*ignores above posts as you're making it even longer!*

i said it was all for personal use. emailed them back asking where my money would be spent, as i'd be paying for tube with my oyster anyway, said it cost me just as much for a bloody visa to china..no reply to that of course! thats really rubbish. am p8ssed off now!
boncey PRO 9 years ago
How very odd.
According to their FAQ you can still get a free permit:
"Is it possible to shoot for free?
# A letter of intent confirming cast & crew are no more than 5 people and equipment is lightweight and hand held only
# A relevant copy of the script/storyboard
# Two passport sized photographs of the person in charge on the day"

If it were me I'd email them back quoting their own rules at them.
Dr Max PRO 9 years ago
I asked yesterday and was told they issue passes for a MONTH, for which there is a £25 'admin charge'. I don't mind the admin charge as much as the short period - sounds like a revenue generation wheeze to me.
boncey PRO 9 years ago
Maybe they've changed the rules - looks like I got mine just in time.

Mine was supposed to be for the month of October, but it's valid from the date it arrived in mid September until end of October.

I'd best make the most of it if it's gonna cost £25 next time.
Any suggestions on where to shoot?
I want to do the platform art at Gloucester Road; some of the new Jubilee Line stations - and some of the signage on the older parts of the District Line in West London.
Any other tips?
dearbarbie 9 years ago
woah yeah, i may still email back and quote his faq at him tho!!!
Karin Bultje 9 years ago
@ Robert Jardis. It stands for a word I think I am not allowed to use here:-)

@ loose_grip_99. Yes, I am Dutch indeed and you got my point. LOL!

By the way I was someone getting stopped the other day for taking a shot outside a station.

Tales of a Flaneur PRO 9 years ago
I'm always impressed by the stations on the older lines and those outside the centre of London. My local station is Belsize Park, but I'm very fond of the ticket windows in Hampstead ...

The stations along the High Barnet Branch of the Northern Line are a bit grotty (I'm thinking of the platforms at Kentish Town).

Methinks there are some interesting bits on the Circle / H&C line platform at Baker Street. Again, the old ticket facilities at the Edgeware Road are interesting (I believe it is the deep-level tube entrance - cool lift there, too).

The escalators and upturned lamps at Clapham Common.

The dramatic plunge of the main escalators at Holborn. The mosaics of the Tottenham Court Road.

The over-the-top mercantile atmosphere of Canary Wharf (and any of those DLR stations amid the skyscrapers).

The Hitchcock illustrations all the way out at Leytonstone.

Endless opportunities for 800 speed film and trains coming and going.

Standing outside the train taking sneaky snaps as people alight.

Just some thoughts - you very well might be seeing pictures like this in my photostream next month!!
cowfish 9 years ago
I'd like to pipe up for the beautiful stations at the ends of the picadilly line (not too far west though...stop at Osterley). Similar designs with tall towers and light and darkish bricks. The window at Northfields is especially marvellous, but I am biased as it is my local.
boncey PRO 9 years ago
Well, if you meet me outside and buy me a beer I might be tempted to go there. :-)

Thanks for the tips guys, have a feeling this could be a busy month.

If anyone didn't know - the permit can only be used off-peak which is after 8pm weekdays, so I will do all my shooting on the weekends.
Anti Matter 9 years ago
All I can say is this. I have been stopped by the police before for taking pictures of public buildings and the like, but the the last time this happened was in 2005.

Since then I am a little more aware. Go in fast get the pictures and move on. An example of this, was at Westminster. I took several pictures of the interior of the station using s DSLR camera (hardly hard to hide lol) These were of the Escalators looking down on them from a higher level. Upon going down a level and taking a picture looking up to the structure I was stopped by an L.U Station Assistant and asked what was I photographing and why.

I explained I was simply taken by the lines of the structure and found them very apealing. He told me I quote "It's ok mate for tourists but not with a big camera like the pros use" - Seems this is catching as a recent O2 festival in Regents Park would not let 'Big cameras with lenses in only compacts'

I own a Sony K800i phone, this has a remarkably good 3mega pixel camera and took the remaining pictures with this. I think I will continue using this, its small and very handy for quick good looking snaps (you can even control the white balance whichis handy for indoors shots like the Underground)

I think we all have to accept that in this day and age, taking pictures of anything 'artistic' of buildings or places attracts attention. Are you just there to take pictures for arts sake? Or are you there to scout the place out and look in detail at them for other reasons later.
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