Well, I am wondering if my name is circulating on a list along with media of my appearance outside of a federal building? Reason? I recently was approached and warned not to shoot photos of a particular building because it was a federal building. Hmm, I really wasn't aware. Well, to some degree. It sits right in downtown Dayton, Ohio. I have a habit of taking photo walks at lunch once or twice a week and on my last excursion, I drove past a modern building that really caught my eye.
The building was a nice design utilizing right angles and mirrored windows along with a deep bark brown exterior that really looked great on a sunny day with deep blue skies and big fluffy white clouds. The reflection of the sky on the large area of windows almost seemed as if the building had one large window to see the sky without obtrusion. How could I not shoot this great building on a perfect sky filled day?
So, I park a couple of blocks away and hike back to the building I had seen. Along the way, I snap a few photos of interesting door and window structures that I felt might make good stock images. Soon, I am looking up at the magnificent building of mirrored windows. I remain clueless to its contents until I walk past a security gate to its parking lot which holds a sign claiming US property.
Ah ha, I think. Its some city building I think to myself. Well, I am staying on the sidewalk which is public and I snap about 5 photos in total. Upon the last shot of a section of the mirrored windows, I am approached by a security guard.
"Why are you taking photos of a federal building?" he quickly asks.
"Because it looks interesting. I am just walking around the area shooting interesting architecture. I am an amateur photographer sir and not trying to cause any problems. I am not a terrorist. I promise." I try to explain.
"You need to stop taking photos of the building." he tells me.
"I am on public property sir. I am not trespassing and only shooting what is already publicly visible from anywhere." I replied as I held my camera. "And I do know my rights," I added.
"Am I infringing upon your rights, sir?" asked the guard.
"You are asking me to stop photographing a public building which is in plain view to anyone in the general area on public grounds. Other than that, no, you haven't yet but I have heard stories about cameras getting confiscated etc. and that's not going to happen here," I explained. I probably didn't need to add that last statement but I wanted him to make sure I was aware of the possibilities.
So, I walked away shaking my head with the guard staring me down as I walked down the block. All this for a photo...