Irish Photographer Causes Panic with Tripod


It seems like tripod design might need to rethink a few elements if these incidents of the ubiquitous photography accessory being mistaken for a high powered rifle continue.

A photographer in Ireland spurred a manhunt after after taking a stroll on the beach with his tripod one night in yet another case of the accessory being mistaken for a gun.

Apparently this visage spooked a local who called authorities on the photographer which then prompted a search for him – all without his knowledge.

Image via Studio 7042 Dominika from

The photographer was taking a stroll at dusk on South Kerry Bay in Ireland. Armed with his tripod, he not doubt was probably trying to capture some images of the surrounding area. In fact, he was engaged in astrophotography or capturing images of the night sky and stars.

Little did he know he could have joined the heavens had more rational people not prevailed in the end.

The police apparently made quite a scene, cordoning off the area, warning the public away, and even commandeering a set of binoculars from a nearby pub. After obtaining some field glasses, according to The Independent, the police spotted the photographer on the beach and noticed he was doing nothing more than taking pictures. This led to them calling off the emergency.

While this entire drama unfolded and packed itself back up the photographer was never once alerted as to the kerfuffle he had inspired.

Some people thought this was an April Fool’s joke but it is apparently a real story.

If you will recall we recently ran a story about a photographer who had pulled over to take photos of a traffic stop. That photographer, Andy Grimm, was shot and wounded by the sheriff’s deputy who will not face charges for that. In that case, the deputy also had mistaken Grimm’s tripod for a gun.

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Kehl is our staff photography news writer since 2017 and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here and follow him on Insta.

I doubt very much the Irish police would have shot a single shot. This story seems to get more and more exaggerated to more its rewritten. The actual story is more to do with how useless the police were at dealing with it. Closing off a small village like it was a big city bomb scare! LOL, not able to find a guy in the place he was standing.. you gotta admit, its a bit comical. Hopefully heading down to that same spot to get a few shots myself in a few weeks…… let’s hope the cops show up so they can light-paint the rocks for me with the blue and reds :p

I would wonder if they were mono pod rather than tripod?

I was removing my partially extended mono pod from the trunk when a police car pulled up and two officers rushed at me saying drop your weapon!
That had hands on side arms
I put the mono pod against the car and stepped away,
At least one officer realized what I had and told the other I was a photographer.
At that they said good evening a returned to their car and left I was so shaken that even with the aid of the mono pod I couldn’t take a stable picture.
This was early 2017 summer I Australia

I haven’t had any issue with the police, but on a number of occasions people who are either curious or suspicious, confront me. At times they are a trifle aggressive too. But my SOP in such cases is to invite them to see what I am shooting and even explain why I took that picture. That openness sort of quietens them down. The their anxiety is whether I will publish them on social media, which I assure them I won’t. In the process I also offer to take their portraits or group photos and we have a lot of fun while the subject or the group is being direction. Of course, my age also helps.

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