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Visiting Statue of Liberty/ Ellis Island, NY - Security Screening on Camera Bags/Tripod

Flying Tiger , Jul 08, 2006; 09:45 a.m.

I wonder if anyone has recently visited the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, NY.

On their website, it says LARGE package, backpacks, suitcase and other parcels are NOT permitted on the ferry, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. To be specific, it says: "Anything that cannot fit into a plastic milk crate" will NOT be permitted.

How about a shoulder and/or backpack camera bag and a TRIPOD? I plan to shoot medium format on a tripod. How about X-Ray on films? Any hand-checks available? Any experience and advice are appreciated? Thanks.

Responses

Rich 815 , Jul 08, 2006; 10:42 a.m.

A Google search on "Tripods at Statue of Liberty" shows a couple links saying that tripods are not allowed. Unless you are shooting very high speed film I would not worry about the X-ray machine, should there be one.

David Henderson , Jul 09, 2006; 06:34 p.m.

From the NPS site, and the section on Liberty/Ellis Island in particular.

"3. A tri-pod may be used if hand held photography is not possible, or practical. The tri-pod may not be of the rolling type, nor exceed three feet at its widest point. Tri-pods are not permitted to be used inside the Ellis Island Museum, inside the Statue of Liberty, in any pedestal or monument area, or anywhere its use could impact public safety. Anyone using a tripod will be required to fill out a Filming Permit. Depending upon the nature and use of filming, a non-refundable Film Permit Fee of $25.00 may be applied."

James Kirkikis , Jul 10, 2006; 01:21 p.m.

I have not been to Liberty Island since 2003, so things may have changed. When I was there, I used my tripod with no problem from any park ranger or security guard. I was not allowed to bring my Lowepro camera backpack. This was no problem for me, as it was winter and I put all my long lens in a jacket pocket and hand carried my camera body and wide angle. My advice: call or email and get the info from an actual person (that's what I did in 2003 - they said OK). Sometimes web site tripod rules apply to all of the NPS properties. The actual places may have their own set of rules

There is a security tent prior to getting on the ferrythat will x-ray the bags. Like the airport x-ray, it is low dose, so there should not be a problem.

Some other advice: try to catch the ferry from Liberty State Park in Jersey City, NJ. If you are driving, there are plenty of places to park at Liberty State Park. If security stops you before you get on the ferry, you can quickly drop the tripod at your car and still make it back in time. Plus, the lines are much shorter and the ferry less crowded from NJ.

The statue faces east, so catch the first ferry to Liberty Island to get the better light. There are no sunrise ferries. Also, for sunset, you'll have to time your visit around December 21 to get the dusk light and floodlit statue. Anyother time, the ferry leaves too early to get that magic light.

Ilkka , Jul 10, 2006; 07:29 p.m.

The problem with these Xrays that keep popping up at all sorts of places nowadays is that the effect on film is cumulative. When one travels to USA from overseas, the film has probably gone through 3-5 Xrays already, and same amount on the way back. And if then it is checked at every museum, shopping centre, trainstation etc. it is better to either switch to digital or stop going to USA entirely, since this problem seems to be getting worse all the time. China is another bad example where Xrays are in train stations and many other public places. Where is this world going to?

Craig Gillette , Jul 11, 2006; 09:08 p.m.

It isn't checked everywhere. In fact I've never had a non-air travel (non-medical of course) x-ray of anything anywhere. If you want excuses, made up excuses, to not travel, stay home. Last time I looked, film was still widely available in the US so you could buy here as well.

James Kirkikis , Jul 14, 2006; 11:46 a.m.

Craig,

Although this is getting off topic - there are individual places, especially big tourist sites, that require you to send your bags through x-rays. The Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Top of the Rock, The UN, Liberty Bell and Independence Hall are the places where my bags have been xrayed. Thankfully, I live in the northeast, so I did not suffer the cumulative effects that a visitor might face. This is not an excuse, made up or otherwise, or my attempt to spread some anti-government paranoia. And I am not here to debate the necessity or effectiveness of the added security. I am just giving the facts.

Craig Gillette , Jul 20, 2006; 08:14 p.m.

There are some high value venues which require x-rays. (One would assume that similar precautions are in place elsewhere, besides the US.) But it's not all that pervasive and certainly not as pervasive as indicated. To state that it's required at all museums, shopping centers and train stations is erroneous, either out of intent or ignorance.

There is another problem, there are a lot of primary sources available on the net, and as the OP indicated, they aren't necessarily clear. But it still makes sense to contact these venues, etc., directly to get an authoritative answer. Almost all of these types of venues have contacts for e-mail or phone and that would likely be a more accurate source of information.

Ilkka , Jul 24, 2006; 10:02 p.m.

"To state that it's required at all museums, shopping centers and train stations is erroneous, either out of intent or ignorance."

It is just a matter of time. Remember my words.

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