Need a permit to busken

Why are tripods banned in some public spaces and how do you deal with them?


If it is a crowded, public place, many security forces often perceive it as a trip hazard, possibly even a weapon. It's also possible that when you're photographing public art, you don't want you to "steal" it.

There are times when it makes sense to seek permission if you are exposed to long exposure. Depending on the person, you may be asked to take other precautions (caution tape, tenons, etc.) to ward off potential triggers or they may just tell you no.

If you don't need really long exposures, just a little more stability, try a monopod (this confuses enough people because they don't know what it is that you can get away with it many times). If you need stability, try a Gorillapod or other tensioning system.

If they don't want you to "steal" it, you may be out of luck unless you are given special permission.

John Cavan

Same answer as me, but sooner so I should vote. ;)


Was about to say pretty much the same thing, that explains things really pretty well! Gorillapod systems can be fine if you have a sufficiently lightweight camera and monopod for a faster option.

Barry Semple

I have also encountered this problem a couple of times. Again, security personnel asked me to put the tripod away if there was no sign indicating that it was not allowed. In both situations, I met the requirements and then went home. I then found the company's management online and emailed them to ask why. Under either circumstance, they apologized saying the security guard was overzealous (there is a surprise) and invited me back to take a photo of their place. Took some patience and drives back but the results were well worth the effort. If the use of a tripod is refused, politely check with the real supervisor if it is in any way possible to do so.


I saw a colleague of mine go a little further and immediately tell the security guard that he had called the management office beforehand, and a lady there told him it was okay to use a tripod. It worked.


I believe that tripods are generally understood as a sign that you take photography seriously, especially in museums and in culturally important places where tripod-equipped (= professional) photographers can be seen as a threat to the ability of institutions to Postcards for sale. (Or by stealing the soul of the art they own.)

And of course you have to remember that people with tripods can be terrorists.


People with bananas can also be terrorists ...


@ysap Hollywood taught us that suspicious looking people with cameras must be terrorists. While bananas and bandanas are optional for terrorism.



Insert the joke "Gorillapod + Banana" here.

Matt Grum

Another reason that needs to be mentioned is that some tripods have spikes that can damage floors or walls if you carelessly handle the pod.

If even then you can't use a monopod, a piece of string with a loop that goes around your foot and attaches to the tripod mount (via a bolt with an eye hole) may work well. Or prop your lens hood against a vertical structure such as a wall or pillar. The latter could give you away too, but it's easy enough to stop until they go away ...


A string pod is often enough, it just takes practice to use it well. You also need a stable posture. I just step on the end of the string; A loop sounds like a good idea until you forget you tied your foot to your camera the first time.

Sridhar Iyer

A few reasons:

  1. We photographers are generally unaware of our surroundings when we take a picture. This is a problem when moving with the tripod lens extended and the camera still attached to the tripod. In a crowded area.
  2. Some public places are absurdly crowded, e.g. B. Every damn person in the world who goes to Agra wants to have their picture taken on a bench where Princess Diana is posing in front of Taj. The time it takes to compose a recording and set up a tripod is just unacceptable.
  3. It looks a lot like something you can wield a sniper rifle with.
  4. Difficult to check manually (as you can't just carry them through a metal detector).

You can get written approval from an authority. I've seen people (who look more or less like professional photographers) flash an ID and move around restricted areas with an open tripod.