Question About Photgraphing Gov't Buildings In US
Evening all..had a rather interesting encounter yesterday evening. The sky's were clear, front had passed through and the light was very nice..so around 7:00 pm drove into town to make some exposures of main branch of the PO in Ft. Worth. This is a grand old building with columns across the front and I had 'seen' the image in my mind and decided to go for it.
Got to down, evening light was perfect - golden hour stuff - took a quick meter reading to see if the light was indeed good, set the camera up and walk into an area in between the streets and started setting up. As always, I was aware of traffic and the different sounds around me while under the dark cloth, when I heard the jingle of keys...looked up and a gentleman was crossing the street from the direction of the post office. I smiled and greeted him, but was met with a glare and 'What are doing?'..explained that I was taking a picture of the grand old building, which was cut short with -'You can't do that, it's a government building'. I explained my position, that is was indeed a govt building, but also a 'public' building, which only seemed to agitate the gentlemen. He said he could call someone to come out and explain to me that it was illegal, at which point I said fine..did not agree with him, but would leave..he could call whom ever he needed to.
Since then I have done several searches and can not find anything that states that it is illegal to make a photograph of a Post Office...does anyone know if this is true? or is this just more mis-information effects from 9-11. The gentleman seemed quite upset, and told me that since 9-11 I was breaking the law...which is possible, but can't seem to find any information on this.
I have sent an email to the USPS inquiring if a permit or anything is needed to photograph one of their buildings. I explained that I was interested in the historic old building and that I would be using a camera (5x7) on a tripod and that it might draw attention, and would they need me to fill out any paper work, or such. As noted here before, sometimes it is better to ask forgiveness rather than permission...and with 5 minutes longer, that's what would have happened. So, no image, no exposure...just frustration.