DOT Headquarters a No-Photo Zone

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Photo by army.arch

Stephen Miller just wanted to take photos of some vintage bicycles at the US Department of Transportation headquarters in D.C. But a security guard said that wasn’t allowed. Why, you might wonder? He couldn’t tell you that, but he knows it’s not allowed.

From Miller’s account:

“What’s going on here?” he asked.

“I’m photographing the bicycles,” I replied. He continued walking, and I rode down to the next installation — three vintage gas pumps — and began taking photos of them.

“You can’t do that here,” he told me. I asked him why not. “It’s the rules, for security,” he said. I asked him what rule prevented me from taking photographs of public art, but he said that he could not tell me the rule. I asked if he worked for DOT or a subcontractor hired for security. “I can’t tell you that,” he replied again. I asked for his name, which he also refused to tell me.

“So you can’t tell me the rule, your name, or who you work for?” I asked him.

“Nope,” he replied. Luckily, at that point I was already done taking photographs, so I wished him a good evening and continued my ride.

This is not the first time photographers have been hassled at the DOT. Flickr user urbandispute posted an incident where he was stopped and questioned three different times for taking pictures outside the DOT. As urbandispute puts it, the building was built in a run-down part of D.C. as part of revitalization efforts. It’s one block from the Washington Nationals stadium, and there are several public art installations outside for pedestrians to enjoy. Which raises the question: What the hell is their problem?

Article from Greater Greater Washington

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4 Responses to “DOT Headquarters a No-Photo Zone”


  1. 1 Wes Oleszewski October 1, 2009 at 6:01 am

    Same thing happened to me at the FAA back in 2003. I featured it in a Klyde Morris cartoon http://www.klydemorris.com/strips.cfm?strip_ID=1172 which was picked up and published in the Washington Post… it appears as if mindless security continues.

  2. 2 heisse geschichten March 11, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a very well written article.
    I will make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful
    info. Thanks for the post. I will certainly return.
    heisse geschichten


  1. 1 ACLU to DOT: Why Harass Photographers? « Trackback on May 28, 2009 at 2:42 pm
  2. 2 Another Hearing on Photographer Harassment « Trackback on September 21, 2009 at 5:55 pm

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