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PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 6:28 pm 
Hey there!

I'm going on a trip to China this year and cannot make up my mind if I should or should not bring a tripod.

I've heard rumors that tripod use is not allowed in all public places. Has anyone of you been there already and can tell me where it is allowed to use one and where not?

It's around trip including some of the bigger cities like Beijing, Xian, Chongqing, Dazu, Pudong and Shanghai. Most of the time we'll do day trips to different sites. This is not a photo trip and I'll be traveling with a group, so I won't be able to take every single shot using the tripod. I was thinking to leave the tripod in my suitcase during the day and take it out at dawn and dusk, mainly to shoot skylines and busy roads and places. Maybe take it with me on free time.

What do you think?


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PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 7:52 pm 
Take a monopod... take one that folds up super small to hide it if necessary.


Good Luck


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PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 1:57 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 2:03 am
Posts: 1434
Location: Gold Coast Australia
I spent 4 weeks in China and never saw a tripod, email your local Chineese embassy for info. I think you would be better off handeld as there are a lot of people over there and getting a clear shot of the icons without people is difficult, maybe a grilla grip may help.

Cheers

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PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 2:01 am 
Does anybody know why they don't allow it?

I tell you to take the tripod with you.
I bet that, if they see you using it, all they gonna do is tell you it's prohibited.
That's all.


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PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 2:06 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:06 am
Posts: 1977
if you take a monopod use it as a walking stick and walk with a limp... its worked for me multiple times and I've never been stopped once including using it as a walking stick to go on planes, sporting events, concerts, china, and multiple other places. If you really want to hide the monopod concept get someone to drill the appropriate hole into a wood ball and screw it on the top to make it look like a cane head... I know several ppl who do that as well...

I was in china for 8 months 5 years ago and if you got caught at that time they confiscated your tripod as well as all camera gear if they deemed you where taking pics of sensitive objects or activities. .... I've had that happen to me in a not to be mentioned country 2 years ago and never saw my gear again even though it was only a SX5IS and a makeshift tripod.

you need to keep in mind that they wont always bother you but if they deem you are taking pics of something which involves national security they will bust you and confiscate everything... and national security to them covers a wide variety of things including demonstrations or anything deemed harmful to their culture or could be percieved as such. Taking a pic of a guard or a police officer can well fall into this grouping.

Besides all that the ppl are some of the nicest you will ever meet and the culture and history are totally amazing. You'll have a blast :)

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PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 3:41 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 2:03 am
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Location: Gold Coast Australia
Wolfsong Said
Quote:
Besides all that the ppl are some of the nicest you will ever meet and the culture and history are totally amazing. You'll have a blast


I totally agree with this.

Cheers

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PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 5:40 am 
Currently living in China and even I didn't know it, you mainly need to be on your guard in Beijing, and possibly shanghai due to the expo. To be fair, the chinese people just don't really care all that much about the policies made in Beijing, so once you get out of the party hubs, the people are nice, and you likely won't run the risk of getting gear confiscated, or at the least you'll be able to pay whoever is telling you about it some kwai and he'll let it slide, it's china so that's normal practice :P


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PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 11:00 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 7:07 pm
Posts: 256
Location: Holland
I had no problems with tripods in china.
I went to both bejing and shanghai and I used my tripod inside buildings like the watercube, and in outside places like the forbidden city.

The only time I was checked out by police was at 5 o clock in the morning, when I was shooting the raising of the national flag on thiamin squire. A police officer/guard took a good look at me and my gear, smiled and walked away.

I passed al securety checks, with no problem wat so ever.

In bejing westeners are so uncommon that the chinese themselves consider you as a curiosety. And they take pictures of you with premission or not. So do like the chinese do, be bold but not to bold.

And of coure china is sensetive about it's security and political problems.
So don't go shooting guards/police that are not there for ceremonial reasons. And don't go shoot other sensetive subjects.
Shooting Riots, demonstrations, suesides, anything even remotely political is "forbidden".
But I can name some other wesern country's that are just as sensetive as china on these subjects.

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PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 4:30 pm 
Thanks for all your answers so far. Camera gear confiscated... that sounds scary. And it is so easy to aim your camera at something right in front of your lens and totally overlook that one political sensitive object way in the distance. I learned that on my trip to Israel last year. Thank God for nice busdrivers who'll warn you in advance before any of the officials notice. I was merely framing some landscape panorama shot and thousands of kilometers away was that radar station on a mountain top. The man had to point it out to me thrice... Talk about seeing and visual perception being very subjective things.

Thanks for reminding me to think twice before shooting away. I'll make sure to triple check if there are any police or military or riots and the likes anywhere nearby and avoid them like hell.

What other subject would land me in trouble? I don't know about China, but in Israel photographing airports would have been out of question...

I'm still unsure if I should bring a tripod or not. :?


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PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 5:35 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 7:07 pm
Posts: 256
Location: Holland
Please don't be scared.

Almost my entire groop was composed of tourist just snapping away with their compacts/dslr. And our two guides (one from my own coutry that lives in china, and one chinese) deemed everything alright.

In china it's officially forbidden to shoot place of public transportation as far as I know. But with a bunch of architects as tourists camera's where everywhere when we where in the new airport terminal, and also in this case no security guard (and there where plenty of those around) ever said anything.

But then again there will be a difference between the terminal, and the security check zone/passport controll. But as said again, I don't any country would let you shoot there.

The only time someone ever adressed me about this was in a store.
Just when I came into the store a guard spotted my camera and asked verry politely not to take pictures in the store.

For the rest, I wasn't even addressed by military / police men when I was trolling along trough the empty streets in the early morning clearly carrying a camera.

China is used to tourists,... the difference is only that most of them are domestic and come from different parts of china.

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