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Encountering "the law" while photographing

 
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Mike B in OKlahoma



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 1048
Location: Oklahoma City

PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 8:34 pm    Post subject: Encountering "the law" while photographing Reply with quote

A casual comment by Ken brought an old experience of mine to mind, and y'all may have similar experiences you want to share.

When I visited Hawaii a couple of years ago, one of my fantasies was to photograph the carnivorous caterpillars that are found there and nowhere else. See this link for info on the caterpillars:

http://magma.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0306/feature6/index.html?fs=www7.nationalgeographic.com

I didn't have any luck on my own. Eventually I managed to talk to a park ranger who told me a place to look. He advised me to search after dark. So I went and parked by the side of the road in rural Maui, and was walking around with my flashlight looking for caterpillars. I didn't find any, but did manage to shoot this centipede:

http://www.photomacrography1.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1410&highlight=hawaii

Eventually, the Hawaiian version of the law came along. He naturally wondered what the <censored> I was doing walking along the side of the road with a flashlight at night. I avoided telling him exactly what my quarry was, but said I was photographing insects--I showed him my camera and in my car showed him a notebook of large prints I often carry with me, including many of insects. I think he was beginning to get a little bit less suspicious till he asked me what sort of insects I was looking for. I thought about lying, but I went ahead and said I was looking for caterpillars. He wanted to know what sort of caterpillars came out at night, and I had to tell him about carnivorous caterpillars. I think he still accepted my story of being a photographer, but he apparently decided I was trying to make a fool of him with the caterpillar story. He suddenly got more aggressive and hostile in his questioning after I mentioned the carnivorous caterpillars, because (as he put it) "everyone knows caterpillars just eat leaves."

In any event, I wasn't breaking any laws, so he had to settle for calling in my driver's license number and finding I wasn't wanted for any crimes....He eventually drove off and left me in peace. But I'd had enough, and gave up caterpillar-hunting for the night. I never did find one to photograph! Crying or Very sad

Any other good stories out there of encounters with non-photographers who didn't believe what you were doing?
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Mike Broderick
Oklahoma City, OK, USA

Constructive critiques of my pictures, and reposts in this forum for purposes of critique are welcome

"I must obey the inscrutable exhortations of my soul....My mandate includes weird bugs."
--Calvin
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Ken Ramos



Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 7048
Location: lat=35.4005&lon=-81.9841

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 3:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wonder what ever happened to that right of life, liberty, and persuit of happiness thing we always heard so much about in this country? Think @!#@%! like that can make someone wonder sometimes. I could see and appreciate the officers concern for someone creeping around at night but once given a logical explaination, along with proof of what one is doing, I would think that would be enough without being a horses behind about it. Interesting encounter Mike, to bad about not finding the cat though. Sad
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Epidic



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 137
Location: Maine

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Pursuit of happiness" is what the officer was doing. Obiviously his ideas about catapillars was conflicting with reality and making him unhappy - blowing off steam probably cheered him up.
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puzzledpaul



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 414
Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 2:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whilst travelling on the London Underground system (Easter this yr) I took stills of the masses of exposed stainless steel architectural structure and detailing at one particular (photogenic, imo) station.

After going thro' the turnstiles I spotted the CCTV control room - in the main concourse - fully glazed 'walls', with all its contents clearly visible to all passers by.

This setup struck me as a far too good opportunity to overlook / miss because of its 'Enterprise bridge' look - from Star Trek ... so this time I decided to do a 'walkaround' with camcorder Smile

Had just about finished, when a female voice pronounced that 'taking photos in the station wasn't allowed for security reasons'

She then escorted me to the door of the CR where its single male occupant joined us.

They queried whether I realised the situation - I said there's no signs / notices of the 'no pics' variety (I'd checked) - they said, 'No matter, still the case etc'

'Where do we go from here, then, I asked' ...

'Why do you want the pics etc ...'

'Am associated with 3D computer modelling and your control room makes excellent visual reference material for anyone wanting to make / texture virtual 3D models of things like spacecraft innards ... '

Slightly faraway looks start appearing on their faces ...

I offer to show footage and start waxing lyrical about features of specific interest (very 'sexy' s/steel light fittings + monitor support structures - amongst other stuff ...)

Body language now suggesting they just want to get rid of this 'nutter' ... so the say ... 'If it's just for personal use etc ... then ok ... I suppose ...'

My parting comment 'Is it alright to carry on taking stills, then? '

'Yes ... if for personal use etc '

Various interesting aspects to this, imo ... not the least of which is to build a CR in a public location with glazed walls etc?

pp
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Ken Ramos



Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 7048
Location: lat=35.4005&lon=-81.9841

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 3:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Slightly faraway looks start appearing on their faces ...


Laughing Reminds me of an old saying we had while I was in the Navy; "If you cannot dazzle'm with brilliance, then baffle'm with bull....!" Pretty good write up there pp! Laughing I would have been very worried myself. Wink
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DaveW



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 1702
Location: Nottingham, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With all the bombings anybody taking photo's in these type of places are likely to arouse suspicion. Some militants in the UK have just been charged for attempted explosions on the Underground I believe, they also were recorded on security cameras.

Many people would be the first to complain if the place was later bombed but the security people had previously ignored the layout being photographed in preparation. We will never now know if the Twin Towers were first photographed to decide the best place for impact because nobody at the time would have paid any heed to anybody doing it. Though these public places have now been photographed so much any bomber can get the images they want from many magazines.

We no longer live in what would have been considered normal times in the past. Expect anybody using a camera in a potential target area to now be challenged, either in the UK or USA.

DaveW
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