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Dave Beedon | all galleries >> Photography >> Threat to National Security? > My photographing this and nearby things worried a private security guard
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My photographing this and nearby things worried a private security guard
4 Jun 2005 20050604_2986

My photographing this and nearby things worried a private security guard

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This photograph---taken in Renton, Washington---shows a motor-operated retractable gate that crosses a road. What makes this road special is that it is the access road used by The Boeing Company to move new 737 airplanes from the Renton Airport (at left) to a nearby company staging area (at right) where last-minute work is performed on planes before they are delivered to customers. I happened to photograph the gate because it was interesting. Here's the story...

While walking down the Cedar River Trail (at right) I stopped here to photograph whatever caught my fancy: planes, fence, tool box, vegetation, and this gate. I even got down on my knees to get a close shot of the long, rusty metal plate. As I snapped pictures, a private security guard who worked for Boeing had been watching me and came out of the staging area to talk to me. In a friendly and non-threatening manner he asked me what I was taking pictures of and why. He was uneasy about my activity but could not say exactly why.

We had a pleasant conversation, during which I explained my interest photographing all sorts of things because there is "beauty in the mundane" (or something like that). I also told him that I understood that photography from public places is legal no matter what the subject---even the 737 airplanes close at hand. He seemed to understand but was nonetheless "concerned." He never asked for my camera or request that I delete any photos. (I would have denied either request.) The conversation drifted into the fun aspects of photography and he eventually returned to his station.

When I took this picture I was not on the Cedar River Trail, but I don't recall seeing any signs that warned of trespassing here.At the time I did not think about the fact that this might be private property, but in hindsight I believe it is. Thus the security guard’s concern was not unreasonable.


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Jason Anderson02-Feb-2008 08:42
Allow me to express my admiration for your devotion to your craft; I might have been too intimidated to attempt the shot in his presence.
The Third Side01-Feb-2008 13:22
Thanks Dave, for the inspiration here. Wish my encounter had turned out better...
Gary Winters01-Feb-2008 03:20
You're lucky you weren't tasered. :-)
1moremile01-Feb-2008 00:20
Good that you were polite, Dave. I'm getting tired of bailing you out. Call John next time.
Actually I enjoyed your documentation of this event. Good to know you stuck up for yourself and there's not a thing he could do legally. And you walked away with mutual admiration.
LeeG01-Feb-2008 00:18
You must have crossed the line. Security Guards are your friend, Dave.
The Third Side31-Jan-2008 12:39
You mean that security guard never heard of PBase???? Funny story Dave. I could create an entire gallery of 'near arrest' photos, if you know what I mean.
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