Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Quickie With a Cop

"Columns" by Wes Aldridge

I'll be the first to admit, this shot is no photo masterwork. It is alright, but nothing special. A simple night shot of the columns at Bicentennial Mall close to the Tennessee State Capital. I was planning on working some angles and really pulling out some kind of ultra-artsy shot, but my shoot was abruptly cut short.

I was kneeling down looking through the viewfinder trying to meter this shot and I caught a glance of a figure walking up the Mall towards me. It was about 10 p.m. and I was the only soul anywhere around, so naturally, I felt a little uneasy with multiple thousands of dollars worth of camera gear in a pretty ruff part of town.

I didn't really look at the guy coming toward me. I figured him to be "street taught and bought" and knew we would strike up a conversation and I would end up giving him a couple of bucks in the process, like I usually do... unless he kicked my ass and took my gear. Anyway, I hoped for the best as he approached.

"Excuse me," he said. "Park's closed." I thought what the hell is he talking about? Who is this guy? I lifted my face from my Canon to see a rather stout Metro park ranger standing there. I was confused. I didn't know the Mall was a park and I saw no signs about hours of operation. I asked and he said it closed in winter time at 9:30 p.m. I said what a crock and asked if I could take this shot. He said yeah, but then leave.

So, fired two exposures and got on my way. The important things learned tonight: 1.) Listen to Metro, even if they wear forest green and drive the white Explorers 2.) Bicentennial Mall is a park.