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-   -   Is it allowed to use a tripod in a National Park ? (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/under-water-over-land/57547-allowed-use-tripod-national-park.html)

Pete Bauer January 14th, 2006 08:03 AM

The Park Pass would undoubtedly be a good deal for someone wanting to visit multiple parks, but (without reading the fine print), I doubt that the Pass would include, or be a subsititute for, a commercial filming permit. Suspect that's an entirely separate issue.

The "right thing to do" is to check and get any required permissions or permits, yet I have to agree with the majority here that if you're a relatively unobtrusive, one-man show and being respectful, I can't imagine that you'd have hassles in a US National Park. Cameras on tripods are everywhere; that's nothing to the park officials. It is just the ones -- with permits or not -- who go out of their way to be idiots that are going to have problems with the officials.

Rodney Compton January 14th, 2006 10:49 AM

Filming in Paris
Bonsoir Ronan

I like your site, the stills are very lyrical - I would not expect less from a Frenchman. Do you have an interest in mainstream classical French cinema, Traufaut, Chabrol, etc.,

Rod Compton

p.s The camera in the picture is a Sony 450 with wideangle ?

Ronan Fournier January 14th, 2006 11:19 AM


Originally Posted by Jacques Mersereau
If you shoot and plan to broadcast footage from a National Park or
any other location you should acquire a signed release form from
the proper authority.

All right Jaques, you're right. The safer way is to phone to the park administration, even if it's a bit difficult with my horrible french accent!

Ronan Fournier January 14th, 2006 11:29 AM

-> Pete, thanks a lot, yes I will buy the Golden Eagle Pass. I've got one from my last journey, but it's expired now.

-> Rodney, thank you for the compliment about my work, it's very kind of you.
Yes I love old french movies. I've got a master in cinema from Sorbonne University. My favorite director of the sixties is Jean-Pierre Melville, who made "l'armée des ombres", the best movie, IMO, on the french resistance during the WWII. I love Marcel Carné too, and, more recently, Jean-Jaques Annaud. Are you a fan of french cinema, too ?

The camera on the homepage of my site is an Aaton Super 16mm which I used some years ago. On the movie page, it's the Sony FX1 wich is above goosenecks in Utah, near Monument Valley...

Robert J. Wolff January 16th, 2006 04:00 PM

Ronan, Good Evening.

You will be stopped from shooting if you:
Slow down a tour of the site.
They don't want you to hold up 20 to 200 people. Suggestion: Take the tour. (It will give you and idea as to what you want to shoot.) Hand hold what you can. Go back, on your own, and shoot with your TP. If the same personel are on duty, they will recognize you. That helps!

If you try this in a cave (Mammoth, Black Hills, etc.), most probably you will be treated with slightly less courtesry, than if you did the same at the White House. You know, blocking emergency exits; Distruction of enviornment/antiques, what ever.

The best time to visit the NP's of the US, is "off season". Before, June, and, after August. The NP personel are much more relaxed after the "Season Crush"!

Come on over! They are well worth the effort!

Alan Craven February 1st, 2006 11:27 AM

I am amused by the suggestion that damage to the ground by tripod legs is a problem - presumably trekking poles do not cause a problem??

Tripod use if frowned upon or banned in cities in several European countries, including Sweden. It was this that prompted the invention of the late, lamented, Duopod. The rights to this were purchased by the UK company Uniloc who manufactured two versions for some years. Presumably they did not sell well enough, as they are no longer available.

Steven Gotz February 1st, 2006 11:53 AM

I was told by a guide on the island of Crete that the reason that they did not allow tripods was that it made it possible for tourists to take much better pictures. That ruins the postcard and souvenir business.

I thought about that for a while and realized that could be a pretty compelling reason.

Pete Bauer February 1st, 2006 12:11 PM


Of course, in most places where one is allowed to hike in a US park, damage to the ground by a tripod isn't really an issue.

HOWEVER, it is a very serious matter in certain parks such as Arches or Zion, for example, where there is an extremely fragile cryptobiotic crust that can be damaged for generations by a single footstep, treking pole, or tripod poking into it. If caught damaging these delicate crusts by not restraining themselves to the marked paths, people are likely to be ejected from the park. It isn't a matter of sensitivity to tripods per se as it seems to be in some parts of the world, but simply a protection of unique environments.

Alan Craven February 1st, 2006 01:28 PM


I was not suggesting that surface dmage is not a problem! Just that from what I have seen in Europe, N. America and New Zealand, trekking poles present a far greater problem.

It is possible to find paths in popular places with two lines of small holes lining the edges. I have not noticed sets of three holes!

David Bird February 2nd, 2006 11:23 AM

Beware of shooting with a tripod in Washington, DC and at the St. Louis Arch, irrespective of your intended "use" of what you shoot (still or video). Apparently the guys that wear the park service uniforms in both locations went to the same training school. Tripod = pro=ya gotta have a permit. I don't have any idea why the Rangers in St. Louis would care....I assume that the Washington guys are afraid you might capture some lobbyist passing out cash in the background :)

Daniel Runyon February 2nd, 2006 11:11 PM

I used to live in Yellowstone and not only did I film hours upon hours but ran into many others doing the same...no problems at all, nothing that anyone even pays any attention to. Well, ok, one time a ranger told me I was getting too close to the elk, but that had nothing to do with filming...I'd been told that at times when I had no camera. When she told me that I asked how close I could get and she took me to the limit and then stood there beside me as I filmed just oohing and ahhing at the beauty.

Joe Carney February 17th, 2006 01:20 PM

Ronan, I have to second Meryems' comments. Be aware where you put your stick down. A good alternative might be the dvrig pro that has been reviewed and used by others on this site. Give you great stability with no stick in the ground at all.

One thing I"ve found is if you are video taping buildings and people you might be asked to stop for security reasons. Almost got arrested down in homestead FL because we didn't have a permit.

Joe Carney February 17th, 2006 01:38 PM

Ronan, I just thought of something that might work out for you.
If you are going to state or national parks, there are several programs for volunteers and/or wage earners. Someone with video and editing skills would be very useful, in exchange for a free camp site (sometimes with power and water and sewer, more ofton just power or nothing at all). In some cases you can make minimum wage if there is a budget. The park services are always looking for someone to help them promote their parks, but with very very little budget, hence trading space for work. Some even feed you.
In exchange you might even get a personal tour to the best areas by the park rangers themselves.

A good web site to find more info is...
www.trailerlife.com click on the forums and then scroll down to the
section on work camping. (campinglife.com and rv.net all link to this same set of forums too). Lots of experienced people to guide you in the right direction, who to contact, what paperwork to download.....

There is even a link to a beet harvest that pays relativley well if you are willing to work hard. Some people made over $4K US in a month. But your work you #ss off for it.

Mostly retired people do this, but there are many younger folks who just want to see the country. You may not be able to accept a regular wage unless you have a green card, but you can usually get around that with bartering. Ask if there is some sort of foreign work exchange program available when inquiring. I was in Ocean City Maryland last week, there were more Ukranians(working) than American tourists around at the time:) So there has to be something available somewhere.

Mark Williams February 17th, 2006 02:26 PM


If interested try the volunteer clearinghouse website at http://www.lrn.usace.army.mil/volunt...blistings.html

The Corps of Engineers is the second largest recreational provider in the U.S.
There is a constant need for folks with good photo and video skills especially with the funding shortfall for recreation in the 2006 and 2007 federal budget.



Ronan Fournier February 20th, 2006 02:59 AM

Thank you Joe and Mark,
This is an interisting idea. I'm going to study it.

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