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Michael Todd Thorpe | all galleries >> PAD Gallery >> Photo A Day 2006 > March 16th - Harassed!
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March 16th - Harassed!

I got harassed for taking pictures today.

I stopped on my way home from work at the rail yard to take pictures. It was late in the day and it was overcast and
nothing was working quite like I wanted, so I got in my car to leave. As I was waiting for rush hour traffic to clear, some
guy came out of his house across the street and wanted to know what I was taking pictures of and why. So I told him, "trains."
I saw him turn to someone in the house and say something and the next thing I knew he was walking across the street to
intercept me. As he approached he started calling out my auto license to someone standing in the door of the house with
a phone. In as pleasant of a way possible, I told him he was welcome to take down my number. After all, I knew I wasn't doing
anything wrong. I was trying to be polite and trying to diffuse the situation. He said, very belligerently, "Oh, I know I can!"
He got to the middle of the street and before he could get closer I said goodbye and drove away.
I wasn't prepared for an argument, and even though I grew up only a few blocks away, this wasn't a very nice neighborhood.

Remember, here in the States, if it's in public view you can take a picture of it... more or less!

Know your rights and be prepared:

The Photographer's Right


Canon EOS 300D Digital Rebel
1/60s f/11.0 at 37.0mm iso100 full exif

other sizes: small medium large auto
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Doug Kessler22-Mar-2006 04:07
Thanks for addressing the issue that constantly bothers me. Post 9/11, photographers are lumped in with potential terrorists and our rights feel impinged. Public places should continue to be fair game for anyone with a camera.
BTW, great SP.
Cheryl Hawkins18-Mar-2006 01:53
Excellent SP Todd!
Cheryl Hawkins18-Mar-2006 01:53
A self-imposed homeland security agent? What is this country coming to? I have to get my copy of my photographer's rights out and reread it!
northstar3717-Mar-2006 22:02
The cheek!
Jvan Photography17-Mar-2006 16:32
Love this shot! Nice light :-)

That would freak me out if someone came up to me and did that!
Craig Persel17-Mar-2006 15:52
Right on. People behave like sheep under a cloud of delusional fear and paranoia. Photographers have been beaten, stomped, shot and trampled for photographing the realities of life (e.g. civil rights movement, warfare, atrocities, urban conditions, etc.) because the impact of photographs have helped change the course of history. It is a core "Freedom of Speech" activity that has to be protected in this age of powerful attempts to control the media and spread state-controlled propoganda. Bravo Todd.
David Mingay17-Mar-2006 12:33
When do we get to see the Pentax shot of the Canon??
Guest 17-Mar-2006 09:03
To paraphrase the Beastie Boys, you gotta fight, for your right, to SHOOOOOOT! Standing up to idiots like this is the only way to avoid this creeping authoritarianism (it's just as bad here in the UK). Well done for standing up for your rights.
lordbud17-Mar-2006 06:33
Guest 17-Mar-2006 06:15
Sometimes you wonder if people really don't have anything better to do.

Nice composition and use of natural light. Nice camera too.
carol j. phipps17-Mar-2006 05:39
Well composed! You handled yourself well! Have a blessed day.
Guest 17-Mar-2006 05:19
nice skin tones..
nice cropping.
James Lundy17-Mar-2006 04:58
Super SP. Way to keep your cool. I am a little less subtle. That K1000 looks to be in great shape!
Guest 17-Mar-2006 04:38
great shot.