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payette 08-19-2010 01:00 AM

Trespassing, Photographing, Privacy, Opinions. . .
Hey all-
Recently I posted a picture in the horse photos section, in which I mentioned that I had taken the picture while out for a drive, of a horse making a goofy face.
Little did I expect that a firestorm of controversy would erupt as to whether or not taking such a photo was legal or illegal, morally correct or incorrect, or just plain right or wrong.
I am very interested in the discussion that arose, though the picture forum isn't really the apropriate venue.
So, I thought I would start a new thread where people are invited to air their opinions, and state the law as they may know it, regarding when and where it is "okay" or "not okay" to photograph other people's horses, property, etc.
I have a habit of taking pictures when I'm out and about, of horses, hayfields, crumbling barns, cattle, etc. which I later use for reference photos in artwork. I personally don't photograph people's homes or vehicles, etc. without asking permission. (I'm also an architecture student, and I have on a number of occasions asked- and recieved permission- to photograph houses I admired).
My opinion about the appropriateness of publicly sharing a photo of property owned by someone else is that I don't feel that it is a big deal if there is nothing in the picture which is explicitly identifying. . . but, like I said, that's only my opinion!
Anyway, I started this thread to invite polite, courteous discussion of the topic. Please, everyone, share your point of view, explain it, defend it, etc., but please do not be rude to others. Everyone is equally entitled to their opinion. :D

wyominggrandma 08-19-2010 01:07 AM

Like I stated on the other discussion, I see nothing wrong with taking a photo of animals, etc as long as you are not invading private property. If a horse, dog, cat, deer, etc is in a pasture and you are on a public road, then as far as I am concerned, click away.
Photographers take photos all the time of all kinds of things, and are usually in a public place while doing it.
I loved the photo and maybe someday while you are driving through Wyoming you can take a photo of one of my horses being dorky. If so, just give me a print, okay?

TheRoughrider21 08-19-2010 01:21 AM

Honestly, I don't think its trespassing. As long as you werent hunting around the property and like creeping around. But I know three cops...I suppose I could always ask them but I'm sure laws are different in every state. I say if you can see the horse from the road then you're free to take a picture. Cause people could be walking on that persons property if the fence came that close and the person was just walking along the road, so I don't think its any different.

alexischristina 08-19-2010 03:51 AM

I wouldn't have a problem with it, I mean, people snap pictures of other people all the time for goodness sake, and I've never actually seen anybody throw a fit- the person, usually, wont find out, and as 'wrong' as that may be, why isn't anybody yelling about that? Often times, when looking through photo's on 'photo sharing' communities, I find people are very proud of their 'sneak photos' as are other people looking at them.
But that's kinda off topic!

I think it's fine, so long as, should you be asked to stop/delete photots/take photos down, you do so politely and then ta-da! no harm done.

PaintHorseMares 08-19-2010 05:32 AM

To my knowledge you can generally take and even publish pictures of private property (including animals) from a public place for non commercial use as long as you do not infringe on the privacy or trademarks of the, unless you were taking a picture of Mr. Ed or if the farm's name was in the picture, I think you're fine.

HowClever 08-19-2010 06:55 AM

As far as I am aware it is common practice for rescue organisations over this way to take photos of horses on peoples' properties and it is perfectly legal for them to do so as long as they are on public land. Once you cross a fence it becomes trespassing obviously, but if you are on the side of the road/footpath, etc then it is well within your rights to take photos of anything within your eye sight.

Jake and Dai 08-19-2010 08:18 AM

This is an interesting topic to me as near where I live there is the most beautiful appaloosa mule. Not sure thats the proper term but he's got the longest mule ears and a lovely spotted blanket. I've been dying to take a picture of him and post just for fun but have refrained.

I don't think it is illegal but was never sure it was right. :-)

I wouldn't mind someone taking pictures of my ponies from the road, but would hate to see them show up in a critique section of a forum or heaven forbid, FHOTD.

Conflicted much? :-)

Alwaysbehind 08-19-2010 09:24 AM


Originally Posted by Jake and Dai (Post 723664)

I don't think it is illegal but was never sure it was right. :-)


I can not comment if it is legal or not. But I do not think it is right.

Kind of like the OP saying she asks about taking photos of people's houses that interest her. Why is it less important to ask about taking photos of their other things that are located on their own private property?

BigGreyHorse 08-19-2010 09:40 AM

I don't know if it is legal but it isn't right IMO and probably not wise either.

Too many people these days have been targets of (possibly) well meaning crusaders. Over the years there have been enough photos & footage filmed of our farm to overloadl MGM's vault! Shearing sheep is abuse in case you didn't know. :roll: Just the sight of a camera-- inside or outside of our property lines-- gets me upset.

All that to say, you don't know what has happened previously and an innocent photo may turn into a really bad situation if your intentions are accidentally misinterpreted.

payette 08-19-2010 10:30 AM


Originally Posted by Jake and Dai (Post 723664)
I wouldn't mind someone taking pictures of my ponies from the road, but would hate to see them show up in a critique section of a forum or heaven forbid, FHOTD.

Conflicted much? :-)

I totally agree with you about this! I've seen photos posted on craigslist this past winter where the poster trashed the owners of the horses living next door to them because they didn't feel that adequate shelter was provided. I felt mortified for the owners of the horses, (who looked healthy and content) as their home, paddock, and horses were picked to shreds by strangers.
I don't feel that is right at all. I'm not THAT old, but I guess I am old fashioned, and believe if you have a problem with someone/something, then you should make an honest effort to communicate with that person directly. . .

I recently witnessed another example of a photographing situation I felt was "wrong", when a patient we were transferring to an air ambulance (I'm a volunteer EMT) was photograhed by 10 or 12 people with cell phones attending a Birthday party at a park directly adjacent to the helipad. The people were on public property, sure, and the patient was probably not readily identifiable, as they were covered in a sheet and surrounded by EMTs, but I was disgusted. I thought photographing that was extremely crass. There were law enforcement officers on scene as well, who did nothing to stop the photographers, so I'm assuming it was "legal"- but to me, definitely not "right".

Jake and Dai- If the mule in question is near you, ask the owners. Many people would be glad to let you take photos, especially if you offer them prints of any that turn out well!

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