From May 10 to 14, I was in Washington, D.C. for the ISO meetings on image permanence. These meetings were held at the Library of Congress and cover issues related to the preservation of traditional and digital photos. The Library of Congress is in the center of Washington, across from the Capitol.
On Tuesday, I found myself with an hour or so between the end of the meeting and the time I was meeting one of the other participants for dinner. I decided to walk around and take a few touristy photos of the area. In spite of the fact that I visit Washington once or twice a year, I have very few photos of the area.
I wanted to document what Washington has become, so I took a picture of one of the many barricades located in front of the Library of Congress.
This photograph did not please the guard on duty, who was obviously frustrated at the lack of activity. She cornered me, demanded to know what I was doing, and why I had taken a picture. This guard made me delete the photo of the barricade from my camera and wait inside her shack. She phoned her superior, ” I caught someone taking a photo. What should I do?” She gave them my driver’s license number and social security, eventually concluding that I was not a risk.