Downtown Carnival on Vimeo

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more about “Downtown Carnival on Vimeo“, posted with vodpod

The following is some video I shot over Labor Day Weekend with the 5D Mark II which I had on loan for Canon.  Funny, no authorities tried to stop me from filming this train!  This was shot in downtown Houston, and the key to remember here is that there is no lights, flash or any post to get the video.  If you shoot with the 5D, please post your vids in your comment.

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YOU CAN’T TAKE PICTURES ON THE TRAIN…I THNK…

I’ve contacted Metro offices at 713-635-4000 to find out if I can take pictures on the train. The operative seemed shocked that I would ask and said I don’t need permission. Then I told her what happened last night, and she said well METRO Police are the experts, and I should really ask them. So I called the Metro Police at 713-224-2677, and the first officer I spoke with told me that it was illegal for me to take pictures on the train. He explained that if I wanted to, I would need to get permission from MTA…written permission. When I asked if I was on the sidewalk would I be able to take pictures without a permit. Again, he stated no as it would also be illegal. I asked him what law I would be breaking. He said he didn’t know, but because of terrorism, I could not take pictures of the train. When I asked him what terrorism he referred to, he put me on hold and put me on with a supervisor who said the same thing.

When I asked the supervisor what law I would be breaking, and if it a misdemeanor or felony and what would be the nature of the charge, such as theft or driving under the influence, he admitted there was no law strictly prohibiting photography of the train, and that I would not be charged. He said what would most likely happen if I was taking pictures is detainment.

They would run my ID against their terrorist watch list, and if my name did appear on the list then they would take me down to the station, and wait for Homeland Security, and then they would probably release me as there is no law that has been broken. He said that if this happens to ask for a supervisor. Yea right, so what I can get tazed..? I don’t think so…

When I asked him what terrorism involves a private citizen taking images of the train, he said there have been several near misses where bombing plots have been foiled because someone reported a suspicious person taking pictures on the train. He said the media was not alerted to this, but it happens all the time.

So just to clarify, there is no law that prohibits photography of the Metro Light Rail in Houston, but Metro police have still been given the mandate to detain anyone they see with a camera. When I asked the officer, why would a Police Officer quote a law that doesn’t not exist..? He said he can’t control what each individual does when on duty, and he said to file a report if I want…

To some this might seem like much ado about nothing, but consider this, there has been no domestic terrorism since 9/11. There certainly hasn’t been any in Houston. These local police officers are clearly getting their mandate from Homeland Security.

This is a very clear violation of our civil rights specifically freedom of the press. If we don’t exercise this right, we will lose it. I encourage everyone with a camera, board the Metro Rail System and take pictures. Take as many pictures as you can as often as you can. Please post your experiences online and let’s take back our freedom before it becomes a legend. It’s up to you.

Taking Pictures on the Houston Metro Light Rail

Ok, I just called MTA dispatch, and they tell me that photography is prohibited. I asked why, the dispatcher tells me, its because of “Terrorism”. When I asked what taking pictures has to do with terrorism, the dispatch officer told me that taking pictures is what terrorist do. “They come over here and take pictures of our trains and water treatment facilities…” Am I making this up..? Call 713-224-2677.

Check out these similar stories from around the country.
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LABOR DAY WEEKEND AND THE 5D MARK II

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I’m spending this weekend with Jake, kitty and the 5D Mark II.  So far it’s been totally amazing, and I can totally see what all the fuss is about.  Trust me when I say, if you enjoy taking pictures, you’re in for a great ride.  Video, which is the primary reason I wanted to play with the 5D takes some finesse to get right.  Initially, I shot video in full auto mode.  Expect some grain when doing this.  In manual,  got much better results.  Check out some of the better images below, and video will follow in the coming days.

One big gripe here though, and pardon my negativity.  My gripe is with the City of Houston, specifically Metro Transit Authority.  All this consistent hype about how shooting in Houston is permit free, blah, blah, blah!  Don’t believe it.  We were on the dock waiting for the light rail just around Texas street.  An angry homeless guy came up to us and starts harassing us for change.  I look to my right and there was a Metro Police Car, and I waved at him hoping he would keep this guy moving who was now becoming belligerent.  I’m usually not so nervous in these situations, however, I did have $2500.00 worth of camera strapped around my neck.

The cop yelled out something, but we couldn’t hear over the homeless guy screaming that all he wanted was to talk, and he didn’t want any money, yea right.  Finally the homeless guy splits, and we could understand what the cop was saying:  “NO VIDEO OF THE TRAIN!”  I’m like…what the hell..?

It seems harassing pedestrians is fine, but if you intend to take a picture of the Metro Light Rail, well you’ll be dealing with the long arm of law.  I’m not sure if it’s because they thought I was some sort of photo terrorist or if they don’t want any potentially damaging images of a fatality, (they don’t call it the DEATH RAIL for nothin).  Whatever the reason, they just don’t allow no picture takin of the Metro Light Rail in Houston…  H-Town — and the H is for Hater!   So no video of the train in the permit free city of Houston.   Whatever, I got some video of the train, and now I’m on a mission to get more…POWER TO THE PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!