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Thread: Ever worry about getting shot while using your spotmeter?

  1. #1

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    Ever worry about getting shot while using your spotmeter?

    Not wanting to incur the wrath of the Kirk, let's try not to take this into a political (or religious) direction.

    But seriously, have you ever been photographing in a "sensitive" area, like under a major bridge or near a federal building (USA) and think about some spotter calling in the drones and snipers?

    Or just gotten hassled in airport security for having a loaded Pentax Digital in a leather holster?

  2. #2
    matthew blais's Avatar
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    Re: Ever worry about getting shot while using your spotmeter?

    Nope...but I was photographing a vineyard for the owner which borders Ontario Airport and while under the darkcloth heard screeching tires and peeked out to see Two Airport Cop cars and one cop got out very quick and approached.

    Seemed the dispatcher forgot to log my call that morning that I'd be on premises.

    Heard over their radio "to confiscate his equipment" before things straightened out...

    probably didn't help I was less than 100 yards from the control tower...
    "I invent nothing, I rediscover"
    August Rodin

    My Now old Photo Site

  3. #3
    Claes Uhnér
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    Re: Ever worry about getting shot while using your spotmeter?

    Not in Scandinavia, no.

    But airport security at Berlin-Schönefeld always test my carry on luggage for explosives if I travel with my Gossen LunaSix…

    Interestingly, the security personnel at other airports, including Berlin-Tegel, has not shown the slightest bit of interest in this exposure meter.

  4. #4

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    Re: Ever worry about getting shot while using your spotmeter?

    Sad question/concern. Is this really the state of affairs in the US now? Say it ain't so. Go back 25 years, if you're old enough, and try to envision posing such a question or try to fathom being suspicious for using a freakin light meter! Have the terrorists won?

  5. #5
    MIke Sherck's Avatar
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    Re: Ever worry about getting shot while using your spotmeter?

    I always wondered whether something like that would happen, especially since I carry the meter in a holster on my belt but there's never been any excitement. And I *love* the undersides of bridges!

    Mike
    Politically, aerodynamically, and fashionably incorrect.

  6. #6
    Vlad Soare's Avatar
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    Re: Ever worry about getting shot while using your spotmeter?

    Luckily Romania, and probably all - or almost all - continental Europe for that matter, hasn't yet been alienated by the terrorist paranoia. Of course, it may be just a matter of time, who knows...
    Wearing a real gun on your belt in downtown Bucharest would probably cause no reaction at all; most people around here have enough problems already and couldn't give a damn about what you're doing, and policemen are usually happy to be left alone. In fact, I really doubt that they would even know what to do in case a madman started shooting. They'd probably run for cover.

    No problem at all in Romania. I also had no problem shooting large format (and using the spotmeter) in Vienna or Prague. But on the other hand I never went to sensitive areas, just to usual touristic places, so my experience may not be too conclusive.

    Or just gotten hassled in airport security for having a loaded Pentax Digital in a leather holster?
    No problems with an analog Pentax yet (no leather holster, though).

  7. #7

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    Re: Ever worry about getting shot while using your spotmeter?

    I was stopped entering a bank with my Soligor digital spot tucked safely into a Zone VI holster on my belt. The guard told me I could not enter with a firearm. I very slowly (you can never tell how these rentacops are going to react to sudden movements) withdrew my meter and told him that he was an exposure value of 8.7, but if he stepped into the light he might get a little brighter. The innuendo went completely over his head.
    Michael W. Graves
    Michael's Pub

    If it ain't broke....don't fix it!

  8. #8

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    Re: Ever worry about getting shot while using your spotmeter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Graves View Post
    I very slowly (you can never tell how these rentacops are going to react to sudden movements) withdrew my meter and told him that he was an exposure value of 8.7, but if he stepped into the light he might get a little brighter. The innuendo went completely over his head.
    Wouldn't it have been easier to just explain what it was?

  9. #9

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    Re: Ever worry about getting shot while using your spotmeter?

    I have spent the last 11 years photographing the Chicago River–yes, it's in Chicago, and beyond. I have shot virtually every bridge, from above, from below, you name it. I've covered almost every inch of the river's many, many miles. I use a spot meter, but do not carry it on my belt. The one and only time I had a problem was about 2 weeks after 9-11 when I was on the opposite side of the river set up to photograph Navy Pier (a huge tourist destination) and a cop walked over and asked me if I realized I was trespassing. I replied that I wasn't, and he said that in fact I was and in addition it was federal property and he needed my personal information, which I agreed to give him. He also said that while we talked I should finish what I was doing. In between getting my ID, etc. he told me about Harry the beaver that lived there and other interesting stories. At one point I glanced over at the form he was filling out on me and noticed it was a boat safety form–he was putting on an act for the other cops who were watching from a distance. When he was done asking questions I let him look through the camera, which he found really interesting. As I left he mentioned that I was lucky to not have been confronted by the EPA police as they had no sense of humor. That was my only experience with law enforcement doing this project, other than cops from the marine units passing by on their boats and waving hello.

  10. #10

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    Re: Ever worry about getting shot while using your spotmeter?

    Quote Originally Posted by bobwysiwyg View Post
    Wouldn't it have been easier to just explain what it was?
    Of course it would have been. Your point?
    Michael W. Graves
    Michael's Pub

    If it ain't broke....don't fix it!

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