Being careful in where you shoot

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by kallisti, Dec 30, 2016.

  1. kallisti macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2003
    Wanted to share a recent shooting story.

    I'm into abandoned houses as subjects.

    I recently went back to a place I'd shot before. An abandoned house where I've never seen anyone to ask for permission to shoot.

    I was in the back of my car getting my photography gear together. I was confronted unexpectedly by the owner of the property. He evidently cuts firewood as was concerned that I was trying to steal firewood. I assured him that this was not my intent, that I was a photographer and found his house interesting, that I hadn't seen him, that I would have been happy to ask for permission to take pictures, and that I would be happy to leave.

    He looked at me and asked me if I was a Jew. I said no. He then went on a very extended and heated rampage about how Jews needed to be exterminated. Exterminated. The rampage involved numerous conspiracy theories, some of which were bizarre enough that I hadn't heard of them (aliens, how Hitler was actually a Jew).

    I was more scared than I think I have ever been in my life. I actually thought he might kill me or abduct me into the abandoned house a la the "gimp" in Pulp Fiction. Not exaggerating, I've never been this scared.

    He ended up feeling that I was "okay" and should support the "white race" in the upcoming civil war to take back the US for the rightful heirs of America. He ended up giving me permission to take pics, being convinced I wasn't a Jew.

    This happened near Providence, RI. Not in the some backwater part of the South or the Midwest. In the "progressive" northeast.

    This incident was disturbing to me on many levels, but it made me much more cognizant of where I shoot and thinking about my safety when I shoot. I was technically trespassing though hadn't thought about it before given that the property seemed abandoned. I now know better.

    Be careful and safe when you shoot. It's a crazy world out there.

  2. deany, Dec 30, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2016

    deany macrumors 68030


    Sep 16, 2012
    North Wales
    Wow! thanks for sharing and thank God your safe.
    That sounds like an absolutely dreadful experience.
    Very brave of you to get a picture after the ordeal, I dont think I could have done that.
    The picture looks like Bate's Motel from the film Psycho!
    Stay safe on future shoots.
    Maybe check 4G signal at location and consider apple watch with SOS feature for added security.
    Or always let someone know where you are shooting as that does look remote.
  3. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    Sadly this sounds more like a guy with mental health issues rather than just a racist conspiracy theorist.
    Glad you got out unscathed.
    I'd probably not head back anytime soon.
  4. kenoh macrumors demi-god


    Jul 18, 2008
    Glasgow, UK
    There is just no excuse for that kind of behaviour. It is disgusting. I find it appalling that using a proper camera these days is seen as dodgy in some way in certain places yet crazies can fire off secret selfie or candids on their phones... It isn't the guy with the full on rig to worry about, it is the pervert pretending to text while shooting ladies clandestinely.

    If I go somewhere now I.e. Glasgow at night, I take my brother in law as a spotter. He looks for threats while I take a shot. The last thing we need is to be confronted by a group of toerags who would damage your gear or worse.

    Stay safe guys... The world is full of ********s
  5. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    Monopod comes in handy!
  6. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a


    Apr 28, 2006
    By most measures you were trespassing with the owner having psych issues or not being completely secondary. I hike, explore and hunt quite a bit but I feel quite presumptuous assuming it is acceptable to enter property which is not mine nor is public. That being said I used to follow a Minneapolis group of urban explorers called Action Squad which I found super interesting! If you enter property which is not yours you should fully expect to encounter mild to wild.

    Have fun but please be safe.
  7. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    As a Southerner, by the Grace of God, I can tell you we do not have a lock on crazies. I suggest that if you decide to continue your trips to abandoned properties, on Monday you get a carry permit.
  8. kallisti thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2003

    You are of course quite correct. I was trespassing which is not something I would normally do. While it looks like it is in the middle of nowhere, it's actually in a suburb of Providence and next to a hospital where my wife works. One of the things I found appealing in the house is that I could compose it in such a way that it would look like it was in the middle of nowhere. I've driven by many times and never seen a sign of life. I parked just inside the property next to a relatively busy road. None of this mitigates my extremely poor judgement. I'm old enough that I should know better.

    Thanks for all the responses, they are much appreciated. Just wanted to share this anecdote in the hope that others can learn from my mistake and not repeat it. And no, I don't plan to go back there. Or put myself in a similar situation in the future.
  9. Fozzybadfeet macrumors 6502


    Oct 7, 2009
    Orange County, CA
    Yikes, that's pretty crazy.

    1. If that was me, I'd probably be threatened and attacked by the guy (I'm not white lol)

    2. That's a cool house to take photos in...But it does look really creepy.

    I'd simply be interested in the history of the home.

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