PhiladelphiaIn 2004 I was in Philadelphia to cover the annual Army-Navy Football game. I arrived early the day before and decided to take some pictures of the city.

At one point I stopped and looked up at several buildings. I liked the way that the buildings came together, looking like they had been placed in a random, but interesting configuration. I had my view camera with me and set things up to take the picture. I composed the picture and focused while under the dark cloth, but when I popped my head out I was confronted by the police.

I was told that I was not allowed to take pictures of the buildings. I was dumbfounded and asked why. When I was told that I was not allowed to take pictures of the tops of the buildings, I looked at the officer with my mouth hanging open. I explained that I was not taking a picture of the top of the building and offered an opportunity to look at the subject of the picture. This fell on deaf ears.

I then asked about other people with cameras and why they were not being asked not to use them. The only difference was that mine was using large sheets of film. Still no answer and only a demand that I take my camera down. I complied.

Later that evening I returned to my hotel room, which had the view you see in this image. You will also see the tops of many buildings.

About GLSmyth
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1 Response to Philadelphia

  1. A few years ago I took a picture of the Education building in Tallahassee with my 16×20 pinhole camera.. One of the employees strolling out of the building remarked, ‘hey, if that is a bomb, you better get closer.’

    I guess those days are gone now.

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