A little bit of something is better then a whole lot of nothing
I have a friend that reminds me of that once in a while, and i decided that’s the attitude I’m going to have to take today.
I’m on vacation on Kauai and while driving around late Friday afternoon I spotted some fantastic run-down buildings and went to investigate. Turns out it’s the old (mostly) abandoned Koloa Sugar Mill. Looked like an awesome place to shoot some HDR and abandonment photography. However, at the approach to the mill there are quite a few signs saying “No Trespassing”, “Private Property”, “Violators will be Prosecuted”, etc… From the signs and fences they looked pretty serious about it.
I don’t like to trespass and always attempt to contact the property owner if possible for permission to photograph. I took notes from the posted signs and went back to the condo to look them up on-line and call. Oh, the agony! Closed until Tuesday because of the holiday weekend – so now I have to wait until Tuesday morning to call and convence them to let me on their property to photograph the mill. I called several times and finally got a hold of the Grove Farms corporate administrative assistent who told me I would need to talk to the VP and she would transfer me. However, she transfered me to someone from security who explained to me that they don’t allow people to photograph their buildings or sites. I did everything I could think of to convence him that they should let me shoot their mill. He said it just was not worth it to them, with paperwork, liability, employee time, etc… In the end, I was not successful :( and he made it pretty clear if I wasn’t Ansel Adams or Scott Kelby with people to call their people I wasn’t getting in. He did say I could shoot the buildings from outside the fence though.
So, Tuesday afternoon during a rain storm I head over there, drive passed the no trespassing signs and warnings, on to their dirt road and around to the south side where I found a reasonably good starting location to shoot. I had just set up my tripod and shot 3 sets of brackets when a Grove Farms security guard in pickup sped my way, stopped and informed me I was trespassing and needed to get off the property immediately. I talked to him for about 90 seconds and explained that I had called for permission, they wouldn’t let me in, but said I could shoot from outside the fence. He informed me that “outside the fence” ment at the end of the paved road 1/4 mile away from the site where the no trespassing sign was and that I needed to be on the other side of that in less then 3 minutes. I quickly grabbed a few infrared shots and packed up my equipment. Sure enough, just as I was leaving a whole swarm of security trucks showed up and followed me off the property. I guess they are pretty serious about not photographing their buildings. It’s their property, I understand that, they have the right to keep people off of it, and I do understand their liability concerns and costs. I would really liked to have spent more then 10 minutes and had better access.
Here’s the result of my first (and best) of three shoots. Processon on my MacBook without a Wacom tablet and my regular tools (making me realize today that I need to duplicate my tools from my MacPro at home).