Photographers, globally, have one similar problem - be it perceived or not - in that people, security people, managers, police, whoever, seem to want to ask them what they're doing... So, in keeping with the standard, I was just wandering around the block taking some happy snaps with the pretty amazing (yes, really!) new Sony Powershot HX20V... There's a massive building site that is the old channel nine building just up the road and there are some very interesting old buildings, as well as a handful of tractors (Seb loves tractors!) so I was standing taking a couple of pictures when Mark asked me what I was doing... (outside the boundary on public property)
As has been the case on previous occasion, I immediately thought "Who is he to ask me what I'm doing!" ...but, for a change, took a moment to think before I answered! Yay me.. I told Mark that I thought it was almost amusing that the building had "Live Sub Station" sprayed on the side... like it was some living building... Then I asked Mark who he was and what he was doing - turns out Mark is the foreman on the whole project and was just wondering what I was up to. We had a long old chat about how it was all going and how it was going to effect the area and what are the strange noises that Seb asks me about "What's that noise?" (Turns out it's bead blasting to remove old lead based paint, and they keep a mist in the air to remove any dust / risk of breathing the stuff in)
...all in all, a much better result that having Mark haul me over the coals because I got my back up and replied with some smart comment like "I know my rights, you can't tell me to go away, I'm an awesome street photographer, look at my awesome camera, I'm so old skool, you can't controllll meeeee!!!..." oh, hang on, I may be letting my recent personal experiences with some ridiculous street photographers, who are an embarrassment to us all, cloud my comments... hmmm
When you stop and think about it, there's no reason someone shouldn't be able to simply ask you what you're doing, really, is there? A straight answer will pretty much always defuse the situation, and if you need to, show the person a photo or two (I showed Mark the new Sony..) ..who cares?
We're all just trying to do our thing, I guess, so I am going to be more helpful from now on and not so daftly, unnecessarily aggressive when people say "Hey, what are you doing there?" ..well, not aggressive, just unhelpful...
On a personal note, I'm looking forward to the channel nine property being finished - as long as we don't end up with a massive traffic problem, which based on what the sausage lady says, we shouldn't... And the facilities that the place will have are going to be a great benefit to the community.