Site Links
Gaining Access; Ask And You Might Just Succeed:
Bookmark and Share

Taj Mahal
No tripods are allowed on the grounds of the Taj Mahal, and in order to get permission to bring one in, you must contact the Ministry of Antiquities in New Delhi. To be honest, you really don’t need a tripod to shoot successfully. However, there will always be certain compositions that require one. For example, in the picture through the arch (#6), I wanted the archway itself plus the tomb in the background to be in focus, and that required a small lens aperture that in turn required a tripod.
Instead of trying to negotiate the Indian bureaucracy myself, I asked the tour company I use in India to do it for me. No fee was required, but the application for permission had to be done at least four months in advance. Once we had permission, the document was presented to the security people at the Taj and I was able to bring a tripod on the grounds.


In India, you must be very specific as to where the tripod may be used and for how long. If this detail is addressed, you’ll have no problems in using a tripod to get the best possible pictures.

Mulu National Park, Malaysian Borneo
In coresponding via e-mail with the director of a national park in the Borneo portion of Malaysia, I found out that in one of the spectacular caves—the Deer Cave—tripods were not allowed. This seemed pretty strange to me, but then I’m used to nonsensical policies coming from bureaucracies. After several e-mails back and forth, the director agreed to let me use a tripod inside the cave. He just arbitrarily agreed. I told him I was coming from halfway around the world to shoot the cave, and I’d really appreciate if he could deviate from the rules, so he said Okay.

It turns out the cave is massive (several 747 aircraft could fit inside), and I was the only one there. Good pictures would have been impossible without a tripod (#7).


Twin Towers, Pre-9/11
It pays to always be on the lookout for photo opportunities and to have your photographic antennae alert. I was in New York doing a stock shoot in the early 90’s, and I took the typical shot of the Brooklyn Bridge in the foreground with lower Manhattan in the background. Everyone used to take that picture, but I really wanted something different. I looked around and thought how great it would be if I could get permission to get on top of one of the nearby buildings for an elevated view of the bridge and the skyline of New York.

While I was shooting from ground level, a woman walked up to me and asked what I was doing. She had an interest in photography and was curious about my Mamiya RZ 67 medium format film camera. I explained what stock photography is, and then I told her it would be so amazing if I could get on top of that building over there—and I pointed to the best case scenario rooftop. I was shocked when she told me that she knew the man who owned it! I asked if she would call him and ask if we could go up there, she did and he said yes. I couldn’t believe it. In a city of 8 million people, the chances of this happening are, well, 8 million to one.


We gained access not to the roof but to an upper floor with a window that could open, and I was happily shooting the beautiful scene when a red tug boat just happened to pass under the bridge (#8).

Article TOC
Page 1
Page 2

Learning Center

Stereophile    ::     Sound & Vision    ::     AudioStream    ::     AnalogPlanet    ::     InnerFidelity    ::     Shutterbug
Home/Latest • Print & Web Media Kit • Privacy • Terms of Use

Copyright © THE ENTHUSIAST NETWORK All rights reserved.