Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Shephard Light

Winter Magic
since there's no place to go, let it snow! Lights along the plaza, The Shops at Arbor Lakes, Maple Grove.

While I was out on this outdoor mall shooting the lights seen on Monday, and today; I was approached by a very nice security officer. He politely asked my business, wondering if I was freelancing or doing this for my own enjoyment. I said the latter. I was previewing some photos with camera on tripod. He commented on how well the tree shot turned out. I appreciated this Security Officer's candor and understanding.

I was informed that the mall owner and shop owners do not approve of photographing their shops or malls as the area is private property. he didn't mid me taking photos of the lights, which was my intent. I thanked him and finished up. I was about done anyway as it was pretty darn chilly and windy that evening.

Anyway, this got me thinking about amateur photographer's rights the Christmas season. Here I thought I was in a public place taking photos of a public display. The street is public, so I suppose that legally, I should have taken my shots from there.
I wonder now if anyone else has experienced this while taking pictures.


  1. Magical indeed. You are so good to be out shooting photos AT NIGHT in those temperatures.
    From my visits to other blogs, getting told not to shoot something is a common occurance. I don't get it - it's not a military installation, it's not someone's personal life...

  2. magique cet éclairage, la photo est magnifique, le lampadaire donne un superbe éclairage et bravo pour la photo.
    magical this illumination, the photograph is splendid, the floor lamp gives a superb illumination and bravo for the photograph.

  3. No, but I hear about it all the time. Guess that's why I take animals and objects more than places and people! This is a wonderful shot by the way...

  4. Marley in Chetenham had security gaurd usher him away in a mall in the UK.I just get glared at. The legal position is very tricky, but in the UK there in no law preventing you photographing, but it happens that you are stopped. Love the Narnia light and cosiness of the whole scene.

  5. I personally think Maple Grove has way too much time on their hands. Its the poshest of 'burbs with virtually no crime so any security or police is bored enought to make such a comment! Its a public place, how can it be called "private property"?? Does that make the MOA private because no one's ever approached me on a sidewalk, for Gods sake and said that. If you were kind and kept your tongue- kudos goes to you because I don't know if I'd not get into an arguement with the guy :)
    I love some of those shops, but really call this city "Maple Grove Hell" because of its small concentrated shopping with barely any close parking, and the traffic and the way they force you in circles to exit their small parking lots.
    I digress.
    About your picture, though, very nice, and serene-feeling. Before I scrolled to the place you took it, I never would've guessed MG; I would've said DT Mpls! Shows how much I know...

  6. nice image well composed... just a bit to much HDR look for my taste. (theres a lot of red in it, don't you think?)

  7. Man I love this shot. It's very cool.

  8. You'd think shops would be glad of the publicity. How strange.
    The photo came out beautifully and B.'s right; that's definitely a Narnia lamp post..

  9. As Babooshka has said I've had a run in with a security guard, and I was only photographing some sweets! I always think that if you are on public property you can photograph as you wish, and that is the law here, even if others want to question your motives!

  10. We've had a bunch of altercations with security in the San Gabriel Valley -- Ben over at sky is big in pasadena got hassled by a security guard at a building and Ben held his ground because the law says anything is legal from the sidewalk as long as you're not shooting with a telephoto into people's rooms. I haven't been questioned ... not yet, anyway.

    This is a stunningly beautiful winter night shot. Hat's off to you!

  11. I havent, but a friend of mine did. She was taking photos in her neighborhood. A man came out and told her to stop taking pictures of his statues. (she was in the street) He said he couldnt be too careful with the fear of terrorists these days. Im not sure what he thought she was going to do, but she moved along. LOL

  12. Just coming back for a visit (roundabouts are in the news again). Anyway, you really do have beautiful photographs.

  13. Regarding the mall security, the same thing happened to me and my wife as we were photographing our children on the escalator at the Eden Prairie mall. A Somali security guard tried to tell me that I could not take photographs in the commons area. I told him to jump in a lake. He got his supervisor, and I told him to jump in a lake, too.

    They backed down. Truth be told, they probably could have called the police and successfully had me removed from the premises, but common sense got the better of them.

    It is the times we live in.

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  15. Oh I was stopped on the sidewalk of our upscale mall taking a photo of the Apple Store (with their permission!). It gripes me no end. Like someone said, no actual CRIME to stop and you are so bored you are hassling photographers??? This a fabulous shot and good for you for getting it before Barney FIffe got you.

  16. What is up with mall owners and retailers?! I figure, as long as I'm standing on the sidewalk or in the street or in a courtyard, all's fair in love and photography. Now, if I go into their store and they have a zero photography policy, I can accept that. But outside?! Gimme a break.

  17. By what I understand some of these places are privatly owned (sidewalks are sometimes privatly owned too) but if you stand in the street you are allowed to shoot anything from there.
    Beautiful picture!

  18. I just had that happen to me last night. Was downtown Minneapolis and on the way to my truck spotted a nice shot of a building (Ameriprise Financial). After a few minutes a security guard approached me and asked if I had a permit to take photos of the building. Asked him why I would need one. He told me I was standing on their property. I pointed out to him that I was standing on the sidewalk and he said their property starts 6 feet from the curb. Fair enough. So I said well ok I'll move to the 'public' part of the sidewalk. He said I still needed a permit. I asked if he was telling me that I couldn't take pictures even if I was across the road and he said yes. Frankly I think that is bull...t.

    You said you we're polite and I was too, however I made sure he understood that I didn't feel for one second that he or his company had any legal ground to stand on. As far as I'm concerned they could just as well require that people using 'their' part of the side walk have to hop on one leg and whistle a song.

    And this certainly isn't the first time this has happened to me. My attitude towards these situations is starting to get a bit thin, and I'm going to do some more research on this.

    Check this article.