Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Big Creepy Guy With A Camera

Yesterday afternoon I went to the library after work to get my next "fix."

After finding a few books to read and putting them in the Camry, I got out my camera and walked around the library grounds for a bit.

This particular library branch has a huge pond (man-made) out behind it, and there are always lots of ducks and other interesting birds.

They also have lots of pretty trees and plants growing all over the place there too.

I started by photographing some white ibis (birds, see my other blog today for pics of them) and then moved around taking photos of the rain trees that are starting to bloom and create their fall seed pods, one of my very favorite things to see here. (That's one of my photos from yesterday, on the back side of the library. click it.)

Now this branch of the library, though it's the largest one near where I live, is also a favorite of the homeless to hang out in during the hot summer days.

Yeah, it's technically fall, but this far into Florida, that doesn't mean much; it's still hot as blue blazes on most days.

As I was slowly moving around, taking a good look at things and visualizing my photos, there was one tiny little older lady with crazy hair that looked at me like I was going to grab her and then a few seconds later ran down the sidewalk screaming at the top of her lungs.

She was chasing a city bus that had stopped beside the library, but was too late; it took off without her and she went back into the library.

I continued my photo excursion and about 10 minutes later, I came around one corner of the library, still walking on the sidewalk, mind you, and she came around the corner from the other direction, heading for the bus stop again.

She took one look at me from a good 50 feet away and turned right around and went back into the library.

I remember thinking, "Is she scared of me?"

As I continued at my slow pace, stopping to photograph the dates or seeds or whatever they were on some huge palm trees, I noticed two of the librarians I've dealt with for years now, standing out in front of the library.

I also smelled cigarette smoke and just thought they were out for a smoke.

But a couple of minutes later the lady librarian came over to me and asked what I was photographing. She was nice and smiling, because I had been taking photos up into the trees.

I told her that I had checked out some books and that I was taking pics of the rain trees and palms as they were going through their fall changes.

She said that a "patron" had come in and said there was a creepy man out there with a camera, taking pictures of the kids.

I said, "No Ma'am. I'm a rocks, trees, and water photographer. If you'll notice, I've intentionally stayed away from the playground equipment and the kids over there practicing soccer. I'm fully aware of the times we live in and photograph accordingly."

She laughed and said that they could tell I was not there to photograph kids, and that it was public property anyway and that I had every right to take pictures out there, but when the "patron" had come in there upset, they had to come check me out.

She told me to take my time, and was sorry to bother me.

I told her that I understood and that I would have done the same.

We went our separate ways.

I was tempted to wait for wild-haired lady to come back out to go to the bus stop so I could make faces at her, but that would have been mean, so I didn't.

It sure made my mini photo excursion interesting though, and I'm glad I stayed 400 yards from the nearest kids too.


Don't forget to go over to John's Daily Digital Images to see the ibis photographs.

10 comments:

Mert said...

People ARE strange, and it's a bit funny that the strange one you came in contact with thought you were the weirdo. LOL!

byoc said...

Nice photo - reminded me of Phoenix, wonderful story.

katherine. said...

what? no photo of the librarian?

Hammer said...

People always trying to stir up drama.

I have heard of people being detained for taking pictures of public buildings but for some reason I don't think you fit the profile ;)

Neva said...

The times we live in can be pretty scary! I took a picture of kids jumping rope and it never crossed my mind until later that if I had been a male that would have been a big no no...I try to be careful about that now....and I have debated about taking it off as it has kids faces on it...but I haven't...I posted a library on my photo blog today...I like your space here! I'll come for a visit again.

Moi said...

Crazy and scary..i get over zealous with my camera and I may land in much bigger troubles because being new to the country I still am trying to decipher what offends people here and what does not......I mean, basic sensitivity is a given thing...but getting unintentionally involved in troubles is not something one can foresee.......

I remember Carmi on his trip to China was shooting some very reluctant subjects ....I dont think i can ever risk that!!! it's a very fine line between public and private in public spaces, when it comes to photography!!!

Travis said...

Despite that person's over-reaction, I think it's cool that you find life to be a huge photo op.

Wingnut said...

FANTASTIC!

I used to be shy photographing people worrying about what they would think and how they would react. These days, I just click away, I don't think I could have helped myself from "shooting" her, at least from waist level so she didn't know :). People really are weird aren't they? You're pretty protected by the public location clause I think, and heck, let the police look at the images on your memory card, nothing to hide right?

Thanks for stopping by my blog, I always enjoy yours!

CG said...

It's horrible, isn't it? I'm a librarian too and I bet your librarian hated having to mention it to you. Scary for photographers, especially the guys...

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