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Old Oct 12, 2009, 7:57 PM   #1
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Default Terrifying experience

I dont know if anyone here has ever gotten into trouble photographing but tonight I was literally an inch away from being shot in the head. The residential area I live in is a political hub for one of the parties and they are like thugs who have risen to the top by only destroying things.

I was snapping at 4 o'clock in the night and the ground from where I have taken most of the bird pictures really lits up in the night with flood lights and lamps all along the jogging track. Unfortunately I used the flash and caught attention of one of the security guards who was I guess maybe 200 meters away. They came by my appartment and took me with my camera. All along the way they were telling me how stupid I was and how they were watching me with a telescopic zoom. I was literally shaken and couldnt believe what was really happening. They took me to their office and asked me to sit outside and then called me in. I apologized and told them I was unaware of security risks. They checked the pictures; however they didnt find anything interesting. I mean all they could find was some plants, birds and a few pictures of half moon. I told them they could delete the pictures if they wanted but they said its alright and I should not be snapping in the area.

They were nice enough to let me go and my camera unharmed. Infact the guy who picked me up also dropped me to my appartment. The whole way back I was thinking about the telescopic zoom and what an impressive equipment it must be but was also terrified to realize that that equipment must have been attached to one of their sniper rifles.

Sadly I will not be able to take any more pictures from my balcony and they are going to keep a close eye on me from now on I guess. I really enjoyed shooting from the balcony and will really miss it.

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Old Oct 12, 2009, 8:25 PM   #2
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That's sad to hear, Zee. I might be foolhardy but, I don't think it would deter me. They know what you photograph now so, they'll *probably* leave you alone.

Where did this incident take place?
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Old Oct 12, 2009, 8:34 PM   #3
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Scary indeed. Makes anything I have experienced small potatos.

There are places downtown where building security have stopped and asked me what I was doing. Usually just showing them a few images on LCD was all it took to send them on their way, but I have been asked to leave "official" grounds outside a building, which they have every right to do. Chances are though, if one really wanted to case a place you can probably find drawings/plans on the internet and even better images to see what you wanted to see.

I live in a third-floor apartment and have often used objects I see from there, close and distant, to do things like check resolution of one lens vs. another and shoot the moon at night, but do try and do what I do when no one's in the parking lot or another apartment balcony looking at me when I do it. Last thing I want anyone thinking is I am trying to see what's in their apartment or being a peeping tom. I know from reports available for the public to see that there are several sex-offenders who live within a relatively close area of my apartment complex and I don't want anyone wondering if I am one of those people.
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Old Oct 13, 2009, 8:10 AM   #4
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I was recently detained for a short period of time by two police officers and a security guard for shooting video from a public sidewalk near the main entrance of a major corporation. They told me that picture taking of any kind in the area was illegal. I held my ground and ask them what law I was breaking. In the end they made me show them identification and then released me. In this 911 era anyone observed with a camera may be considered by some to be a terrorist suspect.
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Old Oct 13, 2009, 9:44 AM   #5
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It was really scary. One guy had AK 47 and he was sitting beside me in the car and another in front. These were the words of one of the guys in the car "you see these armed men, they are hunters and they find opportunities to hunt". And I was literally shivering specially when one of the guys said "we have telescopic zooms and could have shot you straight in the head". The only person who remotely understood my point was one of their men in their office. He was polite and said "you can take as many pictures as you like but not from the building and not of the ground as it compromises our security check points". When we entered their area, it felt like we were in some isolated military base and it was hardly 200 meters away. Its cut off from general public and even people who live in the area have to take different entrance points. They made me feel lucky and I was glad. No more sigh seeing from the balcony
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