A few years ago I was out on Alameda Point, testing a few lenses to share on a large format photography discussion group. And as luck would have it, a security guard told me I couldn’t photograph there. Our local paper, the Alameda Sun did a little story titled “Free to Pursue His Craft“.
I honestly thought after that my right to photograph on public sidewalks in my lovely little town was resolved. But recently as I tried to go out and shoot some more I’ve run into the same problem. I don’t know where the PM Real Estate Group hail from. They seem to think they have powers that companies in China, Zimbabwe or other third world dictatorship command. These folks claim I need a permit to photograph anywhere on the point, even in front of the City Hall Building or on a sidewalk next to a bus stop.
As a matter of principal I’ve resolved to make documenting Alameda’s former Naval Air Station a personal project. And I went out recently and got started. The gallery I’ve started is here. When the security guard gives me grief, I just tell him to call the police. In the unlikely event the police actually show up, I’ve got a copy of Bert Krages II The Photographer’s Right printed along with a copy of that Alameda Sun article with me on the cover.
I plan to keep adding to the gallery. Years ago when I lived in Vallejo I ran into similar problems. Eventually we got the security guard situation sorted out. Later some local photographers, my friend Tom Paiva and I even managed to have a show from the results.