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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 02 Jun 2012 (Saturday) 17:01
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Sad Testament...

 
Karl ­ C
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Jun 02, 2012 17:01 |  #1

Today, I was out shooting and stopped by the old artillery battery park in San Pedro, California (near Pt Fermin). Before walking through the open gate, I looked for signs indicating either "Private Property" or "Photography Prohibited". No such signs existed...

So, I wander around for 15 minutes, getting some shots. A volunteer from the "US Army" Museum on premise stopped and asked if I had a questions (I was very polite). Then I left the area and drove up the hill to check out what was up there (the old barracks now being used for something different) and the USCG Vessel Tracking building. Stopped and took a quick shot of some barrack windows.

Then I got back in my rental and drove back down the hill...only to be stopped by a Los Angeles Unified School District police officer. He asked what I was doing, told him I was a photographer getting some shots. He then said all of the battery park area was private property and monitored by CCTV. I explained I didn't know that and presumed it was a park area since the sign at the entrance said "Department of Parks and Rec".

After going through the usual field interrogation routine and getting FI carded, the officer left to discuss with the person reporting. The officer was cool - just doing his job but looked perturbed to get a call about this; he said he was confident I was harmless (no kidding, Officer).

It turns out the person manning the CCTV monitors watched me wander around the old battery area and felt "nervous" about me getting shots, and he called it in. Seriously? Nervous about someone taking photos of an old artillery battery? That person couldn't differentiate between some looking to cause harm and a photographer? The museum volunteer saw me a couple of times, in addition to talking with me, and never once said anything.

The property was owned by the school district yet wasn't posted as such.

It's a sad testament to how much things have changed here in the U.S. since 9/11. Once upon a time, we could take photos with not much concern about being stopped by law enforcement. Today, we've become a society based on fear and paranoia, and anyone with a camera is now suspect.

This is not meant as a rant; more of a sad observation.

As an aside, if you find yourself near Pt Fermin, do not wander up the hill to the battery park to get shots.


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MikeFairbanks
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Jun 02, 2012 18:40 |  #2

It's just the norm since 9-11. People talk tough about terrorists and the, at the same time, ironically choose to behave as if they are terrified. Go figure.

People are just diggin' the fear. It's what they know.

Salem

Red Scare

Orson Wells on the radio.

Just one witch hunt after another.


Keep taking photos. Next time wear a turbin or something and really get them freaking out.


Thank you. bw!

  
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CameraMan
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Jun 02, 2012 18:43 |  #3

Fidget with your shoes and/or underwear a bit as well. :lol:


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mike_d
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Jun 02, 2012 18:47 |  #4

I wonder if there's ever been one documented case of an actual terrorist getting stopped questioned while taking pictures of a prospective target with a big honkin' camera.




  
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CameraMan
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Jun 02, 2012 18:49 |  #5

They probably use point and shoot cameras. ...and wear turbans...


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Shampoo sounds like an unfortunate name for a hair product.
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Bear ­ Dale
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Jun 02, 2012 18:53 |  #6

mike_d wrote in post #14522053 (external link)
I wonder if there's ever been one documented case of an actual terrorist getting stopped questioned while taking pictures of a prospective target with a big honkin' camera.

Yep and whilst wearing a big beard, wearing a turban and Palestinian chequered scarf.


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ssim
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Jun 02, 2012 19:15 as a reply to  @ Bear Dale's post |  #7

I have yet to see any evidence that the 911 terrorists had a hard drive full of their targets. As noted above it is pure and simple paranoia much like the comments that they all wear certain scarves or head gear. I have some close friends that are deeply religious and wear those things in respect for that and they are the farthest thing from radical you will ever find. They are tired of being looked at sideways and always being questioned if they even look sideways.

If the police get a call it is their duty to respond but I sure wish someone had said it was plumbing tools instead of cameras that make us look suspicious then we would see these posts on the plumbers forum rather than photography ones;). It would be nice to know where the thought process that anyone with a camera was shooting their next terror target. It seemed to sort of develop out of thin air post 911.


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Nature ­ Nut
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Jun 02, 2012 19:29 as a reply to  @ ssim's post |  #8

Since terrorists seem to try and blend in as a normal photographer,maybe you should try blend in as terrorist?

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mike_d
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Jun 02, 2012 20:38 |  #9

ssim wrote in post #14522131 (external link)
It would be nice to know where the thought process that anyone with a camera was shooting their next terror target. It seemed to sort of develop out of thin air post 911.

I think the idiots in charge get their information from watching action movies where the private investigators and terrorists are always gathering photo intelligence while sitting in a car with a big camera and lens. Don't forget the film winding sound effect!




  
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kfreels
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Jun 02, 2012 21:01 as a reply to  @ mike_d's post |  #10

Something to consider. I read an article a few weeks ago that suggests that the number of people who die on the roads because of the extra hassle of air travel and additional fears cause them to drive rather than fly, kills more people every two years than the number of people actually killed on 9/11.


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sjones
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Jun 02, 2012 21:47 as a reply to  @ kfreels's post |  #11

Yes, terrorists have used cameras/videos to survey potential targets, including militants in Singapore and Jakarta. Before 2001, suspected Al Qaida militants reportedly took numerous photos of the Prudential building in New Jersey, and in Pakistan, officials raiding a suspected senior Al Qaida member's home reportedly discovered laptops containing hundreds of photos of potential targets in the United States. Criminals case joints, so do terrorists.

A terrorist attack occurs at least daily somewhere in the world, and you can bet photography is involved in some of these attacks, even if just a small minority of them. Why this should be surprising is actually what is surprising…plotting an attack can be a very complex process, and visual aids help.

Moreover, if it is illegal to use a camera somewhere, it is not the authorities' obligation to assume what type of camera a potential terrorist might use, especially since DSLRs now have video capabilities. If cameras are off limits, they are off limits.

As for second-guessing the mindset of what a terrorist might do or not, I'm wondering how any of you are qualified to make such sweeping assertions. This might come as a shock, but the type of folk who would blow themselves up are not always the brightest on the block, and how they go about surveying a potential target varies.

I know this, because it was my job for more than a decade to research, analyze, and write about militant/terrorist activity.

THIS SAID!!! I shoot street, or what I like to call, outdoors; meaning my stage is the public setting. Clamping down on my right to photograph in public would kill photography for me…I don't want to do macro shots in my backyard or portraits indoors.

And I emphatically agree, paranoia, increased restrictions, and authoritative abuse play right into the hands of the terrorists. I'm not defending any draconian response by any means, and I'm personally disgusted at the bigoted anti-Islamic sentiment coursing through much of the West.

Still, whenever this discussion comes up, there's always the, "Yeah, you think a terrorist would be stupid enough to use a big, conspicuous, white lens, of course they wouldn't" as though deliberately blowing up women and children is rational. And no, Google maps doesn't reveal info on security detail and other considerations.

Again, if photography is banned (whether reasonably so or not!), it is not for authorities to decide which cameras are OK under assumptions that a terrorist would never use a large camera. Hell, after reading this site, that's exactly what I would use, because no one would expect me to do such a thing.

Said my piece, I'm out, but PM's always welcome...


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Jun 02, 2012 23:44 |  #12

Karl C wrote in post #14521746 (external link)
Today, I was out shooting and stopped by the old artillery battery park ...It turns out the person manning the CCTV monitors watched me wander around the old battery area and felt "nervous" about me getting shots, and he called it in. Seriously? Nervous about someone taking photos of an old artillery battery?...This is not meant as a rant; more of a sad observation.

He thought that you were carrying a Cannon in an artillery battery, not a Canon! They need to teach better spelling in school. :lol:


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Clean ­ Gene
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Jun 03, 2012 01:04 |  #13

Karl C wrote in post #14521746 (external link)
Today, I was out shooting and stopped by the old artillery battery park in San Pedro, California (near Pt Fermin). Before walking through the open gate, I looked for signs indicating either "Private Property" or "Photography Prohibited". No such signs existed...

So, I wander around for 15 minutes, getting some shots. A volunteer from the "US Army" Museum on premise stopped and asked if I had a questions (I was very polite). Then I left the area and drove up the hill to check out what was up there (the old barracks now being used for something different) and the USCG Vessel Tracking building. Stopped and took a quick shot of some barrack windows.

Then I got back in my rental and drove back down the hill...only to be stopped by a Los Angeles Unified School District police officer. He asked what I was doing, told him I was a photographer getting some shots. He then said all of the battery park area was private property and monitored by CCTV. I explained I didn't know that and presumed it was a park area since the sign at the entrance said "Department of Parks and Rec".

After going through the usual field interrogation routine and getting FI carded, the officer left to discuss with the person reporting. The officer was cool - just doing his job but looked perturbed to get a call about this; he said he was confident I was harmless (no kidding, Officer).

It turns out the person manning the CCTV monitors watched me wander around the old battery area and felt "nervous" about me getting shots, and he called it in. Seriously? Nervous about someone taking photos of an old artillery battery? That person couldn't differentiate between some looking to cause harm and a photographer? The museum volunteer saw me a couple of times, in addition to talking with me, and never once said anything.

The property was owned by the school district yet wasn't posted as such.

It's a sad testament to how much things have changed here in the U.S. since 9/11. Once upon a time, we could take photos with not much concern about being stopped by law enforcement. Today, we've become a society based on fear and paranoia, and anyone with a camera is now suspect.

This is not meant as a rant; more of a sad observation.

As an aside, if you find yourself near Pt Fermin, do not wander up the hill to the battery park to get shots.


So, like...did they take your camera? Or arrest you, or confiscate your memory card?




  
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philwillmedia
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Jun 03, 2012 03:15 |  #14

Terrorists don't need cameras to take shots of potential targets.
It's all provided for them on Google Earth and Street View.

If the OP had been driving around in car with a dome on the roof, no one would have cared.


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elrey2375
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Jun 03, 2012 03:46 |  #15

Karl C wrote in post #14521746 (external link)
Today, I was out shooting and stopped by the old artillery battery park in San Pedro, California (near Pt Fermin). Before walking through the open gate, I looked for signs indicating either "Private Property" or "Photography Prohibited". No such signs existed...

So, I wander around for 15 minutes, getting some shots. A volunteer from the "US Army" Museum on premise stopped and asked if I had a questions (I was very polite). Then I left the area and drove up the hill to check out what was up there (the old barracks now being used for something different) and the USCG Vessel Tracking building. Stopped and took a quick shot of some barrack windows.

Then I got back in my rental and drove back down the hill...only to be stopped by a Los Angeles Unified School District police officer. He asked what I was doing, told him I was a photographer getting some shots. He then said all of the battery park area was private property and monitored by CCTV. I explained I didn't know that and presumed it was a park area since the sign at the entrance said "Department of Parks and Rec".

After going through the usual field interrogation routine and getting FI carded, the officer left to discuss with the person reporting. The officer was cool - just doing his job but looked perturbed to get a call about this; he said he was confident I was harmless (no kidding, Officer).

It turns out the person manning the CCTV monitors watched me wander around the old battery area and felt "nervous" about me getting shots, and he called it in. Seriously? Nervous about someone taking photos of an old artillery battery? That person couldn't differentiate between some looking to cause harm and a photographer? The museum volunteer saw me a couple of times, in addition to talking with me, and never once said anything.

The property was owned by the school district yet wasn't posted as such.

It's a sad testament to how much things have changed here in the U.S. since 9/11. Once upon a time, we could take photos with not much concern about being stopped by law enforcement. Today, we've become a society based on fear and paranoia, and anyone with a camera is now suspect.

This is not meant as a rant; more of a sad observation.

As an aside, if you find yourself near Pt Fermin, do not wander up the hill to the battery park to get shots.

Did you ever think that since it's private property they don't want you wondering around? Maybe it has nothing to do with them thinking you are a terrorist, maybe there are unexploded shells out there or something. How are you supposed to tell the difference between someone who is just taking photos and someone who aims to do harm. It's not like the person aiming to do harm will be wearing a sign that indicates such. It's not a sad testament to anything. It's private property, they don't want anyone on it. They didn't confiscate your camera or card, you didn't get arrested. Not really sure what kind of response you were looking for. As for all the hoopla about paranoia and whatnot, think about it in these terms; a terrorist only has to be right one time. Those who protect us need to be right EVERY time. If the end result is you being stopped and asked a couple of questions, then so be it. It wouldn't bother me in the least if it happened to me.


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Sad Testament...
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