Some twilight photos taken on 14th Street in Columbia Heights. All shots were taken with my Rolleiflex 2.8E on Kodak Portra 160. This time I was using a tripod – the black and white shots were hand-held. While I was out taking these photos, I had someone from Cavalier Liquor come outside and tell me, “you didn’t get permission to take pictures”. He then broke into a smile so I knew he was just teasing. I’ll make a nice print of the picture and bring it to them, one of these days.
I also had someone approach me as to why I was photographing Gloria’s Pupuseria and Pan Lourdes. I explained to the guy I’m a photographer and I take pictures of things I find interesting. He explained his interest in why I was taking pictures with a throwaway line about 9/11 and can’t be too careful these days. As a Pentagon attack survivor, and photographer, I find the gratuitous abuse of 9/11 as an excuse for anything and everything intrusive to be highly insulting. If I were scouting potential targets for a terror attack, I sure as shootin’ wouldn’t be using a Rolleiflex on a tripod! I’d be doing what everyone else is doing and using my cellphone, to be as inconspicuous as possible. And I’d not be scouting out a Latino bakery in a transitional neighborhood. Suspicious behavior is not taking photographs – suspicious behavior is leaving a bulky bag unattended in a busy location. Photography is not a crime, and telling people to look out for photographers is up there with the porno scanners at the airport as the worst kind of security theater – it harasses innocent, law-abiding citizens and presents the illusion of “doing something” while not actually addressing real security needs.