Oh goody, the photo idiocy has spread from Silver Spring

Photo courtesy of MeI was renewing some domain names earlier in the month and noticed that FreeOurStreets.org was coming due soon, and I pondered for a minute whether to spend the money to get another year. After all, we’d gotten what we wanted with it. After our 4th of July photo walk the city attorney made a written statement to the management company indicating that they did not have the right to restrict people’s freedom of expression on public land, even if it was managed by a private corporation under contract with the city.

Silly me, thinking we wouldn’t need it again someday.

Now the foolishness has some to DC proper. Andy Carvin writes here about his experience with being bothered by security guards in Union Station. Now, Chip Py managed to make Downtown Silver Spring look beautiful, but one of the challenges in talking about that incident was always how to respond to “why would you want to take pictures of a strip mall?” Union Station, on the other hand, is obviously beautiful architecture and photographed painlessly by a multitude of people every day. Yet for some reason the management company there has decided to harass some photographers.

She informed us that we would have to cease taking pictures immediately and leave. I asked what the problem was, and she said that this is a private space, and we didn’t have permission from management to take pictures.

Here’s hoping it stops with a single misunderstanding and this gets cleared up promptly.

The above photo of the ghost of security-ruined photos is a snipet from Carvin’s aborted 360 degree panorama. Check it out in full here or a non-aborted pano elsewhere in Union Station here. The gigapan technology is pretty neat.

3 Comments so far

  1. Tiffany Bridge (tiffany) on May 14th, 2008 @ 2:32 pm

    Gah… Union Station’s own website says it’s a federal government building (Dept of Transportation), that is also the headquarters of Amtrak, which is of course ALSO owned by the federal government. What is SO HARD to understand about PUBLIC PROPERTY?

  2. Tom Bridge (tbridge) on May 14th, 2008 @ 4:07 pm

    Sounds like we need another photo walk…

  3. David (dkoran) on May 15th, 2008 @ 12:30 am

    AH, yet another "me, too" from the MB authors…

    Seems to be the topic du-jour for Boing-Boing as well.

    LA Subway – (yes, they do have one) – http://www.boingboing.net/2008/05/14/taking-pictures-on-l.html
    Port of Los Angeles – http://www.boingboing.net/2008/05/14/bb-reader-two-fbi-ag.html
    Spokane, WA – http://www.boingboing.net/2008/05/14/spokane-county-emplo.html

    The photo idiocy has indeed spread.

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