News and Views from Dave Wilson

Tag: architecture

Shooting in Houston

by on May.07, 2011, under Photography

Houston Skyscrapers

Houston Skyscrapers, originally uploaded by DaveWilsonPhotography.

Things have been rather quiet on the blog this week. I’ve been extremely busy at work and have also been down here in Houston since Wednesday working on a TI project. Luckily, I”m pretty close to the wonderful architecture downtown so I’ve managed to get out with the camera twice to shoot skyscrapers.

As in all big cities, you can be pretty sure that the minute you show up with a tripod, local security guards start getting all itchy. I’ve had no unpleasant encounters this time but, as usual, got the distinct impression that I was considered a security risk:

  1. I was asked to stop shooting the Wells Fargo building (it’s the blue/green shiny one in this image from a couple of years ago). The pleasant security lady who came out and talked to me after I had finished my second bracket indicated that she thought the policy was silly but that was the policy.
  2. While shooting at the Chevron building both today and on Thursday evening, I found myself shadowed by a security guard who hovered around me but didn’t complain about my presence.
  3. While trying to find a high vantage point to shoot the downtown skyline, I wandered into the Hilton Hotel which has a 24th floor terrace. Unfortunately, it’s not open to the public and the bell captain I spoke to indicated that the hotel has a policy of no photography with tripods unless you have permission from a manager (which is fine) and that he reckoned none of the downtown rooftops would be open to photography since everyone currently has a heightened awareness of “security issues.”

While some of these are still examples of ridiculous policies, in my opinion, there was one very obvious difference between my experience here and up in New York. Here, at least, both the security-related people I spoke to were friendly, courteous and professional. Neither was belligerent or overbearing and both saw the humour in the situation. Our discussions were completely civil and not at all confrontational.

If we have to have ridiculous anti-photography policies in place in our big cities, I would suggest the people imposing those policies take a lesson from the folks I interacted with in Houston instead of employing the New York model.

P.S. I don’t have any image management software on my work laptop so I can’t post any of this week’s captures just now. Look for a couple of pictures within a few days once I’m home.

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