Yesterday (we think), NY Times published a Q &A with its photo editor Michele McNally. It's very interesting and informative, with notes on what kinds of cameras are used, why color photos on actual newspapers can suck, the paper's policy on publishing pictures of wounded or dead American soldiers. But there was an odd part answering a university student's question, "after 9/11, what obstacles do your photographers encounter and how do they get the shot that they are allowed by the Constitution?" McNally wrote:

"If you are stopped by the police, I suggest that you cease shooting, explain yourself and never be confrontational. Shoot only from public spaces. You are prohibited from shooting bridges and tunnels, less so the subway."

The Daily Politics pointed out that shooting bridges isn't "a rule. Or an amendment, come to think of it." And it seems that the Q&A was updated with a question-clarification from Todd Maisel, Vice President, NY Press Photographers Association, reminding McNally of a couple things:

It is perfectly legal to photograph bridges and tunnels from public areas. Imagine if you couldn't take photos of the Brooklyn Bridge? Port Authority and TBTA have signs up indicating no photography, but where is the law? Test it one day.

Second, photography is perfectly legal of bridges and tunnels from areas that are not part of their property. Imagine if you will, that you were in the rest stop at the Verrazano Bridge and took a picture of the bridge. Wouldn't you say that is perfectly legal?

Third, you said it is even less legal to take photos on the subways. Let me say that the MTA attempted to pass rules that would have banned photography, but the NY Press Photographers Association, with the help of numerous other organizations fought and won this battle.

...I'm sending you this information because you should be best informed of the rights of your photographers. Your attorneys could confirm all this information and it can be found on-line. We are always with you as your colleagues and your counsel on photography issues is important to all of us.

Snap! McNally responds, basically saying there are some areas that are restricted, casual photos are probably fine but the police may be suspicious of photography during the night ("In fact, one of our photographers was stopped last night on the PATH line."). Maybe that's why the Times used an archive picture from the MTA of the Triborough Bridge yesterday.

Photograph of a pedestrian bridge in Queens from Bluejake