Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

wolverine

I took a photo of the power plant and then

17 posts in this topic

I got in big trouble. There is a larger point to this story, which I hope you will all keep in mind. Anyway here is my story.

The University of Michigan Power Plant could not be located in a more populated and prominent location. Nearly all of the surrounding classroom buildings are a mere 10-200 feet away from its walls. 10 feet!! In fact, the sidewalk along the street goes right up against the building. I've taken a glimpse or to through the glass emergency exit doors of the plant. So by now, you get the point, that this building is REALLY close to public land aka, streets and sidewalks. And there is very little, if no fencing at all. I'd probably get blasted by the U since I posted the above info about the plant, but why shouldn't I, it's not like anyone can figure that out for themself. Well, now that you get the point, I shall get to the good parts of my story

I was walking along taking photos on this beautiful monday, and I liked how the sun shown brightly on the smokestacks and cooling towers. What a cool industrial shot I thought! WRONG!!! Immediately after I took the photo from the public sidewalk, a man came running out of the plant screaming at me. Now I had my headphones on, so he must have yelled at me like 7 times. He ran up to the fence, and I finally figured out he was yelling at me. He asked me to come toward the fence and I complied. He then asked that I erase the picture, which I had no problem doing. After that he explained that the University is particular about photography on the building which is understandable. After that, he gave me a few accusing glimpses then walked away.

Now what do I think of this? Well, he's right and wrong. As we know, power plants have been kept on close watch because of terrorism issues. It's good that he was doing his job to be sure no one was photographing the building if that is the universities policy, despite my legal rights of photographing the building from a public sidewalk. I guess you could classify that as the WRONG, but I'm going to throw the legal junk asside, and look at a different perspective. The University needs to put signs up saying no photography. The building is in such a prominent location, it is nearly impossible not to catch a shot of part of the plant in the University's beautiful buildings.

So I just want to remind all of you, that we should be careful of what we photograph. Although you may have legal rights of taking snapshots of power plants and industrial factories, etc., we still need to be respectful of the security issues going on this country, and have this reflect here at U.P. So use best judgement when posting photos here. That way, we won't get yelled at here. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I sympothize with "what's going on in this country" but I say if it's visible from a public space there is no problem legally or in any other way with taking a photo. I mean come on, if something is at such risk from a terrorist attack, maybe some genius should put it away or cover sensitive areas that can be seen from public spaces. Maybe I'm just really smart but seems like a simple concept to me. Because photo or not, if it's visible from a public space then guess what, terrorist can see it just as easily as the lens of a camera can. Sorry, for ranting but this issue gets me fired up. I can't stand how irrational people (security guards especially) get when it comes to the "treat of terrorists". Don't get me wrong, I think it is a valid issue to be concerned about but that must be balanced with basic reason and individual rights as well.

A similar thing happened to my co-worker recently. Our job is basically to photograph commercial real estate. Well my partner was doing just that walking down the sidewalk and a cop pulled up and started harassing her for taking phots (just plain buildings not even power plants, gov buildings or anything like that). One thing led to another and she was in handcuffs, but they had to let her go b/c the jail would not take her. Charged her with bunch of stuff, but anyway she hired a lawyer and the judge basically laughed and dismissed the case as an unlawful and unethical arrest. Thank god someone knows the law.

PS. Let's get real my little digital photo from the sidewalk poses a larger threat than say www.keyhole.com.???? Maybe we should shut them down for safety... they even offer a free trial!! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I understand too why they did that, but I agree that they should put up a sign saying that pictures aren't to be taken for security reasons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is the plant we are talking about. This photo was taken from a pedestrian walkway. You can't see it, but a road and sidewalk butt up against the plant on the far left. If they are so concerned, I don't see why they don't wrap the machinery on the roof with sheet metal. I agree with you completely, it's ridiculous.

I'm posting this photo because I do not see anything that would be a threat to security.

pwr.jpg

EDIT: Btw, I didn't even zoom my camera. Yeah, it's that close.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This has happened to me twice in Jacksonville. Around Christmas I snapped a pic of the 617 ft Bank of America Tower, and a guy came running out the building asking if I was Muslim.

On the Saturday before the Super Bowl, I took a pic of the Main Street Bridge, and a security guard told me if he caught me taking another pic of the bridge, he'd have to take the camera.

Needless to say, I didn't erase anything, but you do have to be aware of your surroundings when taking shots of things people think are terrorist targets.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is interesting...today is the first day in a long time that I haven't run into someone who has a problem with me taking photos. Of course maybe part of that was because I was around Cass Park, where anything goes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Makes me wonder now how tourists are treated in NYC and the other big cities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

were you on public land when you took the photo?

If so, they cannot stop you from taking photos. You should be aware of your rights as a photographer. You can pretty much take a photo of ANYTHING (except for some government sites) from public land, and there is absolutely nothing anybody can do to stop you.

They cannot legally confiscate your equipment, or legally have you delete the photo.

Here is a good read on the subject, written by a lawyer. You should always carry a copy of this on you at all times. It has stopped angry people in their tracks several times.

http://www.krages.com/ThePhotographersRight.pdf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


^ I actually have a copy of that printed out. Even before, I did know my rights, and when and when not I was allowed to take photos with and without permission. I was on a public sidewalk paved by the city along a city street. In fact, the sidewalk runs up against the building, so technically, you could legally take photos of its interior through the windows (which I find odd why they don't brick them up if they are so concerned). The reason why this problem exists is because the plant used to be in the middle of nowhere back in the early 1900's, The city population exploded, and the plant became surrounded by streets, sidewalks, parks, reshalls and apartment buildings. It's likely the security personel feel the plant is threatened because it's located in the heart of a very dense urban area, but the law is the law. And besides, I have no concern of capturing the mechanics of the plant rather the architecture, such as the smokestacks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't really even see the security risk. That look to be a coal or natural gas burning plant. Blowing up a plant like that would probably cause a lot of destruction, soot, and loss of power. The damage done by bombing a nuclear plant would obviously be much more severe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've heard this same story at ssp.com. Anyways, is this power plant nuclear?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No. There are very few nuclear plants in the country, with the only one in Michigan, I believe, being in Monroe. You would know a nuclear plant when you see one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Next time something happens Wolverine, just give a yell and I wil come running from the law school. I would not put up with that crap but then again I do go for law school, so I try to get into fights as opposed to avoiding them. Especially when someone who has no authority tries to limit my rights. Keep taking your great pictures.

I think there is three nuclear plants in Michigan: Cook, Fermi, Palisades. Even though I have been in Cook numerous times I still would not take a picture of those places.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Next time something happens Wolverine, just give a yell and I wil come running from the law school. I would not put up with that crap but then again I do go for law school, so I try to get into fights as opposed to avoiding them. Especially when someone who has no authority tries to limit my rights. Keep taking your great pictures.

I think there is three nuclear plants in Michigan: Cook, Fermi, Palisades. Even though I have been in Cook numerous times I still would not take a picture of those places.

yeah there is one by benton harbor and I think there was one by petosky that they shut down

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rizzo, the plant is natural gas.

As mentioned previoiusly, there is nothing that is "secure" about the plant since it is zero inches from a public sidewalk.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


All of this is silly. What is there about a power plant? There are gobs of them around Ann Arbor, and just as Wolverine said they're smack dab in front of the public's eyeballs for their viewing pleasure. Maybe the University should be more afraid of NIMBYs and big lobbyists than some humble photographer trying to catch some decent lighting. Could that security guard have gotten up on the wrong side of bed or something?

MrCoffee

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On a public sidewalk ? Jeez, that is or should be a constatutional right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.