I’m in two bigger photo challenges this year — both are weekly things.
So, each week, there’s a theme. You take the theme, interpret it and go out and take your photos. When done, post to the Flickr group.
Seems simple, right?
I’ve been a bit of a photographer my whole life. I started early and have kept it up throughout my days. I’ve often read stories about people being questioned or told they couldn’t take photos in a particular spot. Sometimes it seemed legit, others not so much. I think people see cameras and decide they need to be big and start questioning things.
In all my years, I don’t recall truly being questioned. Sure, somebody might ask me what I was up to, but I always made sure to ask about taking pictures where I wasn’t sure if it was allowed.
That all changed Sunday.
One of the themes this week was “close up.” Being I don’t have a macro lens, I was looking for different things to be able to get close up on and get a good shot. I settled on a local car wash. It’s one of two in town and this one has a really beat-up, old look to it. In fact, one of the two bays is blocked off and looks like it doesn’t work as the hose and all is gone.
It’s a perfect place for photos, especially considering how frigid temperatures have been. Ice builds up and it looks quite interesting.
Being it was cold, I wasn’t going to be there long. So I started with the blocked-off bay (there was only a barrel on one side), then went to the active bay.
Midway through, a pickup truck pulls up. But not that close. Maybe 150 feet away or so? The guy rolls down his window and when he knew he somewhat had my attention, it started.
Him: “What are you doing?”
Me: “Taking photos.”
Him: “For what?”
Me: “No particular reason. Just taking photos.”
Him: “Of what?”
Me: “The ice formations.”
Him: “Oh. What for?”
Me: “Just to take photos.”
Him: “Oh. Well be careful.”
Me: “I’m watching my footing” (There’s ice all over the ground)
Him: “So why are you taking these photos?”
Me: “Just for the photos.”
At that point, I thought that was it. The truck started to move, then stopped. Now I was annoyed. He was kind of staring at me. I don’t know if he owned the place, worked nearby or was just nosy. But he didn’t identify himself.
So, I peeked back over. The questions started again.
Him: “Who are you take the photos for?”
Him: “Do you work for a newspaper?”
I think there may be been one more quick exchange before he finally left. First, if I worked for a newspaper, I probably wouldn’t be taking photos of that car wash. But that’s just me.
Look, if he owned the joint and wanted to make sure I wasn’t up to something bad, that’s fine. But identify yourself. And heck, if that’s the fact, I may have offered to send a photo if he wanted it. Heck, if you didn’t want me there, let me know and I’d leave.
But that was one of the most bizarre thing I’ve ever had happen. It’s not like I was taking photos inside a top-secret bunker or anything. It’s a freakin’ car wash!
Anybody else have any interesting stories involving being questioned when taking photos?
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