You looking at me?

Took this at on the tail end of our Artscape visit this summer. They sell alcohol at this event as the guy on the right can attest to. Not the cleanest shot I know, but I am surprised that I even got this. You see, as we were walking back to our car, we came upon this situation you see in the photo above and Rachael’s (she is on the far left) mom Lisa basically dared me to get this shot for obvious reasons. I, however knew that it was not illegal to photograph the police in Baltimore plus I really wanted the shot so I raised my camera and about midway through me pressing the shutter button, I had doubts. Was Lisa right? “Oh well, too late now” I thought. I finished the shot and quickly dropped my camera. Then I got a little pissed at myself for chickening out and not getting anymore shots. All of this happened so fast that I just knew that the one shot I got was either going to be blurry or a shot of my feet. It wasn’t until I got home and uploaded the photos that I saw what I captured. About two weeks later, a local radio program just happened to discuss this very topic. On the program was a councilman from the city of Baltimore who stated that doing what I did was completely legal in the city. Ha! Imagine that.

Canon 5D mark II, EF 85 1.2 L, ISO 160, 1/80 @ f/2.8

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20 Comments on “You looking at me?

  1. In England they try to use anti-terrorist legislation to prevent you from taking photographs of the police, so you have to be careful. Though famous cases of police brutality have been captured on cameraphones. Also, the police, particularly community support officers (essentially voluntary police) sometimes prevent or even attempt to delete photographs taken in tourist hotspots (eg London landmarks) and other public places, also dubiously citing anti-terrorism laws. However, it is perfectly legal to take photographs on public property in the UK (I have a print out of current law regarding photography that I carry in my camera bag). Private property is a different matter: photography without prior consent can be legally interpreted as trespass.

    • Thanks for the statement Steve, as the English situation is what gave me pause in taking the shot in this post to begin with. You see, I was in London some years ago with some of Sheila’s relatives and we happened upon 10 downing street. We were in a car and I raised my arm to snap a photo of said downing street. Sheila’s nephew flipped out (as I would too now knowing the situation) and told me to put the camera away before we all got shot. No sooner had he said that is when I notice the guard going for his gun. I quickly put the camera away and we sped off. Scared the bejesus out me. I know that it unlikely that the police here would shoot me for a photo, but once you go through something like this, you never forget it.

    • Thank you Dotdos. I think it is most unfortunate if it is illegal in your country. I feel citizens of any country should have the right to at least document public officials in public places so long as it does not harm anyone.

  2. Wonderful moment you captured dear Lionel, you are amazing. Thank you, it is nice to hear you and to watch your photography. I hope and wish you had a nice summer. Blessing and Happiness, love, nia

  3. We just had a confrontation in Austin, TX over photographing the police. The police chief clarified the situation saying the photographer must stay far enough away as not to interfere or endanger anyone. Seemed sensible to me and clearly that is what you did. On the other hand your brilliant shot first gave me the impression that the two officers were actually actors or strippers on their way to a bachelorette party.

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