March 08, 2012

my email from the Golden Gate Bridge

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Back in November of 2010 I received this little "love-letter" from the Public Relations Director of the Golden Gate Bridge:
Mr. Kinney,
First, I must say that your photos are amazing and beautiful. Second, I am writing as I did notice that you have a several images of the Golden Gate Bridge that are available for purchase on your website site, that were taken on the property of the Golden Gate Bridge. I am writing to inform you, as gently as I can, that the Bridge District has a still photography (and filming) permit process for images taken on our property that are used in any commercial way…which selling them is. The permit requires a fee of $2000/day for stock photography. You may receive a retroactive permit if you wish to pay the required fee, or remove the photos from the opportunity for purchase. Bridge property generally includes the roadway, the sidewalks, areas on the south side and Alexander Avenue to the Sausalito city limits. Our property does not include Vista Point, Fort Point, or the parking area on the northwest side.  The images that I saw that were taken on our property would include rau0144, rau0191, and rau0231, and possibly others that I missed.
Let me know how you would like to proceed.
Mary Currie, Public Affairs Director

Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District
PO Box 9000, Presidio Station, San Francisco, CA 94129

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

After a bit of back-and-forth between Ms Currie, we were able to hammer out a compromise. I labelled the offending images "not available for purchase". A few months ago I pared down the size of my "big site" and now the images taken on Bridge property are gone.

The photo above, made a couple years ago, was taken from Fort Point, which is not part of Bridge property.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

But this image WAS taken while standing on Bridge property, hence the "not available for purchase" blurb.

So not to give you the wrong impression here--I don't sell all that much of my work. In fact, since the economic downturn sales have completely dried up. I photograph purely for the sport. It's more of a hobby than a money-making opportunity. Hey, I'm not complaining. This is what I love to do. It's what I dreamed of doing all those years I spent working my butt off for employers that rarely appreciated my efforts.

Thank you for visiting. I hope my photographs will inspire you to get out there and make your own images. It is, really, a lot of fun. I am, really, a lucky guy to be able to do this.

CLICK for the very "best" of my work on my photo website.


Anonymous said...

$2,000 A DAY; Not a one-time payment of $2,000. They should have their heads examined!! Furthermore, isn't the bridge public property? Granted, it's controlled by the bridge "authority" -- they make that very clear!! This kind of stuff burns my ass.

For what it's worth, there is discussion about similar "money-making propositions" in some of the national parks. Time to speak out!

John @ Beans and I on the Loose said...

Thia would have been a good post for April 1st. "Now is Donald just playing an April Fool's joke on us here?"

AphotoAday said...

Hi ANONYMOUS -- (aka: MR. JAN BELL) Yeah, what burns me is that they don't post the rules... Also anther thing that has always burned me is how much the Bridge directors pull down in salaries for their cushy jobs... I may get thrown in jail for copyright violation by re-printing this article on the subject from our local newspaper, but here we go:
(((begin quote)))
Golden Gate Bridge District salaries disclosed

By Mark Prado
Posted:   08/27/2008 12:16:51 AM PDT

As tolls on the Golden Gate Bridge are set to rise by $1 Tuesday, the district payroll indicates 71, or 8.6 percent, of the district's employees earned more than $100,000 a year in 2007.

The salary information was released in response to a public records request by the Marin Independent Journal, which received county payroll data earlier this year.

Retiring bus division manager Sue Chiaroni hauled in the largest paycheck, earning $323,535 in 2007. While her base pay was $178,490, she was able to cash out sick and vacation pay as she retired.

Bridge General Manager Celia Kupersmith's base pay was the highest of any employee at $228,448.

"We endeavor to be in the middle of pay for transit agencies in the Bay Area," said Mary Currie, bridge district spokeswoman, who earned $112,638 last year.

For Kupersmith's position, that appears to be more than true.

San Francisco Muni chief Nathaniel Ford makes $298,000 a year; BART general manager Dorothy Dugger, $290,000; San Jose Valley Transportation Authority's Michael T. Burns, $290,000; AC Transit head Rick Fernandez, $260,000; and SamTrans general manager Michael J. Scanlon, $237,157.

The Golden Gate Bridge District has a $164 million operating budget this year, of which about $100 million goes to salaries to pay its 825 employees.

The toll increase is designed to raise about $18 million a year, with a majority of the revenue going to salaries and the rest to capital projects and transit service.

district has been trimming jobs since September 2002 when it was faced with a $454 million five-year shortfall. Since then more than 200 jobs - or 21 percent of the workforce - have been cut, district officials said. Wages also were frozen at times.
"We looked for efficiencies as well in ferry and bus service," said bridge district official Denis Mulligan, who made $208,490 in 2007.
The district is unique among Bay Area transit operations because it provides services without direct sales tax measures or dedicated general funds. Toll revenue, transit fares and grants are the primary way it funds operations.
(((end quote)))

And hi, SINBAD'S DAD -- Nope, I assure you that I'm not making this up. The truth sometimes is stranger than fiction, isn't it?

Civic Center said...

That was a nice and gentle "pay up or cease to exist" note, but that doesn't mean the policy isn't ridiculous and probably unconstitutional. What complete and utter jerks.

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