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The Bobbing Log II

August 31, 2016


Suddenly, without warning, the top of the building I was on lit up.  I was no longer in the dark.  There were lights all around.  Some were of different colors.  There were red lights laid out in a large circle.  There was a very bright light that looked to flash on and off as it circled around lighting up the neighboring buildings.  I suddenly felt very conspicuous.

I was on the top floor of a parking ramp in downtown Minneapolis – one that said at its entry “For Staff and Guests Only”.  I was looking for a good night shot of the new stadium.  This ramp looked like it could have a great view.  I concluded I was a guest.

There were no cars on the top floor. I drove to the highest point but the corner I wanted to shoot from was fenced off.  There was a gate with a sign on it that said, “Do not open gate”.  There was no sign that said “Do not climb through fence.”

The view from the corner was as I hoped   …if one stood on one’s toes.  The wall  around the top of the ramp was solid concert and was 6 feet tall.  My tripod, when extended to its maximum height, just barely got the camera above the wall.  I felt like a spy.

The stadium lights were a disappointment.  I had met up with Mark Goodman earlier.  We were hoping for some wild psycho light show to accompany the rock concert that was going on inside.  It didn’t happen – at least not that one could see from the outside.  I walked around to see if there were any other good shots of downtown.

Then it happened – the lights.  It turns out I was shooting from a helipad   …a helipad that had a helicopter coming.

Two men came out of the little building.  Judging from their uniforms, they looked to be security types.

One saw me.

I saw that he saw me.


I decided to take the offensive.  I said, “Hi.”

He saw the camera.  He asked, “Getting any good shots?”

I responded, rather relieved, “I hope so.”

I could hear the helicopter.  Since I wasn’t being told I couldn’t be there, I decided to stay and shoot the helicopter as it came in.  The only problem was it was night.  The sky was dark.  The helicopter was also dark.  I got its lights.

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It reminds me of a photo shot with friends one evening along the Mississippi.  It was dark then also.  The photo was of a log bobbing in the river.  It was under appreciated.

Maybe you had to be there.









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