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.
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.