Photographer Could Face Legal Consequences for Golden Gate Bridge Pic


Photographer Bruce Getty got the snap of a lifetime and his picture of the Golden Gate Bridge proves it.

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Photo by Pixabay from Pexels.

Sadly, it hasn’t come without controversy because the organization that maintains the bridge states that Getty must have trespassed onto a part of their property that is off-limits to the public and they want him to take down the picture or else face legal consequences. Naturally, Getty claims both innocence and that he is not going to take down the picture.

The pic in question is actually a composite of Getty’s picture from under the bridge and another photograph of a blood moon. The composite picture, which is not being sold or otherwise used for commercial purposes, is part of his portfolio.

What makes this odd is that the cease and desist letter from the Bridge District asked him to not only take it down but fork over any money he made from the picture though Getty says, “I'm just a nobody taking pictures; I like to have fun.”

Even so, as FStoppers points out, he apparently does have a history of trespassing and even admits to an incident in 2014 as well as one last December in which he was asked by a police officer to delete his pictures (he didn’t). FStoppers reports that he is being threatened with prosecution should he be caught trespassing again.

You can check out some of his pictures over on FStoppers by clicking here.

What do you think? Should photographers be allowed to take pictures at sensitive locations if they have permission? Are the authorities being heavy-handed in this case? Do you have any experience bending or breaking the rules in order to get a good shot? Let us know your thoughts and stories on this piece in the comments below.

Also, check out some of our other photography news articles on Light Stalking by clicking right here.


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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.

Photographers are Ordinary people. They shouldn’t be allowed To take pictures from closed areas, as hordes of Instagram citizens will come to copy the photo and destroy what was ment to be protected.

To protect the Golden Gate’s property, and image rights, I think it would only be fair for those close to it, or going over it, should do so with officially sold blindfolds.

Really! There bridge is out in the open and is therefore available for anyone to photograph it. Draconian thoughts and actions to curtail our freedoms is ever present. I’m sure that thousands of pictures were taken when the bridge was not only under construction, but when it was first opened. Trespassing? I think not!!!

If he gets caught trespassing and fined/punished, that’s his problem. Same for anyone else. I still appreciate good photography regardless of the circumstances of the shots.

It’s a pic. Everyone STFU and leave the guy alone. Smfh people wanting others to get on trouble by the law for petty shit. Stfu and mind your own business.

I have shot in off limit areas for the past thirty five plus years. But, I’ve alway had the property owner or the client’s Ok by some authority, especially when publishing it! It just smart business.

Usually it’s the “photographers” who think they have some special entitlement. (Quote marks mean somebody who has a big, fancy camera with an impressively long lens, hanging from a brand-name strap around his neck.) Even a police press pass doesn’t guarantee access! Only time I would make an exception would be for an important news break. Like a presidential assassination, not Brad Pitt blowing his nose!

First I looked at the photo (Which is excellent) so my question is are there 2 fences to keep you out as this photo was taken from what appears to be the safe/public side not on the wrong side of the fence. Alternatively anyone could theoretically fly a drone camera into the area and take photos and having looked around there are numerous in this area. Trespass has many forms and is complex and should not be condomed, good luck to the photographer but stay safe.

The fact the GG is asking for money tells me “it’s all about the money.” The root of evil. If it has to do with security I imagine it Is because of 9/11. They won, our country has completely changed, not for the better.

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