Minton-Capehart Federal Building, Indianapolis

Minton-Capehart Federal Building
Pentax ME, 35mm f/2.8 SMC Pentax-A
Agfa APX 100 (expired 7/1998)

I think it was Mike Connealy who wrote on his blog about being hassled by security when photographing a federal building where he lives. I mentioned that the next time I took a photo walk Downtown I ought to liberally photograph our federal building and see if I would be similarly accosted.

I did it recently, making five or six photos of this building while on the property, in probably a ten-minute span. I was left alone. Perhaps I just went unnoticed.

This photo from across the street benefits greatly from my 35mm lens. It was no trouble at all to fit this giant into my frame. I did have to tilt the camera up to avoid the top from being cut off, which created perspective error. A quick hit of Photoshop’s perspective-correction tool made the top of this building jut out properly.

Film Photography, Preservation

single frame: Minton-Capehart Federal Building



8 thoughts on “single frame: Minton-Capehart Federal Building

  1. Bill Bussell says:

    You should see groups with titles such as photography is not a crime. Some banks don’t want their skyscrapers photographed. There are videos of security guards harassing people on the public sidewalk.

    • Yes, and in the US it’s straight up harassment to do that, because you can photograph anything from a public space. But not every security guard or even police officer knows or cares.

  2. I think there is a connection to rather primitive ideas about who in what circumstances is allowed to use certain technologies. This often comes up as part of films about criminal activity, criminal justice and espionage. In many old films the use of radio communications and photo surveillance by police was used as a device to signal and bolster authority. Use of the same technology by criminals or spies was depicted in a way to enhance their sense of menace. The tradition of using tech as a plot gimmick lives on in modern films, but it has gone way beyond just having characters handle a mike or a camera.

    • What an interesting way to look at it. Clearly, photographing this building puts nobody at any risk whatsoever — but my action can be seen perhaps as one of dominance in some way, and perhaps that is challenging for government officials.

  3. Wow, I heard about, that it is allowed to take pictures from anything which can be seen from public space. But what is law and what law can be enforced by you seems to be something different in a country governed by Twitter.

    Nevertheless this building looks interesting with its growing floors.

    • As far as I know this is how it works in the US: if you are standing in public space you can photograph anything you can see. But should a police officer come up to you and ask you to stop taking pictures it is probably not going to be effective to assert your rights in that moment.

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