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Has anyone here had trouble photographing embassy buildings (in Northern/Western Europe)? I'm sure it's fine with most embassies, but some are probably a bit "sensitive" when it comes to strangers taking pictures.

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No trouble in the UK

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2 hours ago, Avpics said:

No trouble in the UK

Not quite true I think.  The Israel embassy building is, I think, in a “no photography” zone.  Not due to the embassy but the area.  There is at least one embassy that is on a private road so “technically” one should have permission....  

 

last time I photographed outside the Chinese embassy (and that was a year or two ago)  a number of security staff came out and watched but did not obstruct me.  

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30 minutes ago, IanDavidson said:

last time I photographed outside the Chinese embassy (and that was a year or two ago)  a number of security staff came out and watched but did not obstruct me.  

 

Interesting. I was considering that; perhaps I should give that a try. I've taken a few photos of the US embassy; they always have guards outside, and it generally appears quite forbidding, so I tried to be quick about it – no tripod and tilt-shift lens – and not get too close.

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15 hours ago, IanDavidson said:

Not quite true I think.  The Israel embassy building is, I think, in a “no photography” zone.  Not due to the embassy but the area.  There is at least one embassy that is on a private road so “technically” one should have permission....  

 

last time I photographed outside the Chinese embassy (and that was a year or two ago)  a number of security staff came out and watched but did not obstruct me.  

 

Recently I photographed a Tibetan demonstration in London that marched to the Chinese embassy. Initially two security personnel were unhappy as I photographed demonstrators in front of the embassy entrance, but they couldn't interfere as I was on the public pavement. 

 

Sunday's are a quiet time to shoot embassies for stock, and often many are in the same area, but the lighting may not always be ideal for all. 

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2 hours ago, sb photos said:

Sunday's are a quiet time to shoot embassies for stock, and often many are in the same area, but the lighting may not always be ideal for all. 

Yes, that may have something to do with it

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I would have thought taking images of any embassy from a public road would not be an issue. There security might not like it but tough, if they step outside the embassy gates they are on British Sovereign soil. The worse they can do is call the local police who will probhably tell them the same or send round a local policeman to ask what your doing, but he or she won't move you on either.

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Smile and make eye contact or even have a quick chat with armed Met Police outside embassies like the US Embassy at Nine Elms and they'll be fine. All they want to know is if you're planning to make real trouble. It breaks the ice and won't make you feel inhibited enough to hurry you.

 

Richard.

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i was photographing the Turkish embassy in Zagreb , and was clearly told no by the armed guards.  not knowing Croatia's street rule i complied .  didn't have problems with other, though most had boring angles. 

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I wandered down a back alley one evening in central London a few years ago, mused on taking photos of rubbish in a skip but decided against it. This happened to be behind the embassy of an Eastern European country whose name I have forgotten. A guy arrives in a range rover and aggressively tells me I'm a spy. We have a short angry verbal exchange and I depart.

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