Nearly Getting Arrested in Downtown Atlanta – Stuck in Customs

Nearly Getting Arrested in Downtown Atlanta

Here is an HDR photo of downtown Atlanta from Olympic Park. This is not the shot I wanted, although I am still happy with it.

I had a run-in with the law this evening while I was with my friends Scott Kublin and Rick Shearer. Just next door to the Olympic Park is the aquarium and the Coke Museum with a big field in between. There were about a fifty people or so there at the park. I set up my tripod to take a photo of downtown and the Coke Museum was in the middle of the shot. A female cop of came over and told me I had to take down the tripod because I looked like a professional. Coke does not allow that, so she said. I said I’m a blogger with expensive toys and hardly a threat. Then she got quite huffy and agitated before telling me if I did not take down the tripod that I would be arrested.

This policy is absurd. She claimed that Coke is worried about their brand and image so professionals need special permission. So, it’s okay for amateurs with crappy camera-phones to take photos and upload to Facebook and Flickr? But not me, someone that can make their building look amazing? And they don’t want their pretty museum to be on a popular travel blog that gets over a quarter million visits a month and millions a year? Or even, who cares if I was not that popular and only 10 people saw it?

In fact, in the world of social media, Coke (and every other company with old-rules made by out-of-touch people) should welcome people like me that are making their brand even more popular.

And to think, I had just had a Coke.

Additional Note: There’s also quite a discussion happening over on the Facebook Thread and the Flickr Thread if you want to read even more about it! Thanks again for the interesting discussion and your insightful stories!

Nearly Getting Arrested in Downtown Atlanta (by Stuck in Customs)

Finally, here is a useful guide for all the legalities around photography…