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shopping mall on a january monday (365-17) | by Robert Couse-Baker
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shopping mall on a january monday (365-17)

Security Guard: Hey you, what are you doing, there? (him, waiving at my camera)


Me: Talking pictures (matter of fact tone, seeings that it was quite obvious I was holding a big-ass Canon EOS 5D in my hands and I wasn’t using it to peel lemons)


Security Guard: Well, you can’t take pictures here with a camera like that.


Me: Okie dokie, sorry (me, putting camera into backpack)


Security Guard: You have to ask at the front office for permission.


Me: Okay, thanks (me, leaving)


It’s funny how technology has put some issues into surreal reversal. Anyone who wanted to image the public spaces in a shopping mall with nefarious intent is going to do it with a hidden camera or a camera phone. In contrast, someone imaging with artistic intent is going to be totally obvious, schlepping around a 5D, a D3 or a 500CM. Artistic intent is not going to degrade the wealth of the mall owners, but we live in a one-size-fits-all world. Corporate lawyers have done a magnificent job of expanding property rights over public spaces, and I might say, bedrock civil rights. Although this is Constitutionally dodgy, it is what it is. I’m not going to argue with an $8-an-hour security guard, who was in fact, quite civil. Best I can do is reciprocate and be polite; he didn’t buy the rules.






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Taken on January 17, 2011