Taking pictures out in public can sometimes become a legal or ethical issue.
For example, a few years ago I was down near the border where the United States was building a huge fence to keep out the Mexicans. I found the fence interesting and was taking pictures. The Border Patrol stopped me and made me erase all the pictures on my camera. For all he knew, though, I could have had some other memory cards with additional pictures on them.
As far as I know, taking pictures of goverment buildings and such while on public property is not a crime. However, you have to make a decision at the time whether or not you want to argue with an officer. I chose not to.
While standing on public property in the United States a couple of weeks ago, I took this picture of Mexico with the new border fence in the foreground:
My purpose in taking that picture was not to get a picture of the fence but to get a picture of the buildings in Mexico with that beautiful church being the focus.
Mr. Border Patrol Office probably would have made me delete that picture.
For an interesting quiz about photography law, try this link: U.S. Photography Law. There are way too many typos in the quiz questions and choices. With today’s spell checkers and grammar checkers, I always think that if someone misses typos like those, what else did they miss? For the record, I scored 80%, but it’s obvious that one question (the one about basically interfering with police while taking pictures) is broken because it doesn’t matter which answer you choose, it marks both as wrong. Makes a good case that if you’re going to post tests, quizzes, and links for the public, you ought to test them to make sure they are correct and working.
Have fun taking the quiz but brush up on your rights as a photographer. Here are two good resources:
The Photographer’s Rights, by Bert Krages, attorney at law
You have every right to photograph that cop, by the ACLU