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Love/hate relationship with the 'hood...

Joined
Jun 28, 2016
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Hey doods!

So I was commissioned to do a traffic analysis shoot on Tuesday of this week. This is 2 hours of shooting in the morning and 3 hours in the evening. The way I choose my locations is I always park on public roads (so I can't be kicked out), and in the summer, I try to park in the shadow of a large tree.

1567870372986.png


Naturally, this means the morning location is usually slightly different than the evening location.

Tuesday morning I set up all my gear near a park in the shadow of a large tree. The shoot was uneventful. A Sheriff DID pull up and ask what I was doing. I told him, he nodded and moved on.

1567868265860.png


The evening shoot, however, was different. I shoot 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM in the evening. I had relocated to an area that was evening-shade-friendly, which was in front of a residence.

1567870429900.png

Around 5:00 an older couple in their mid to late 60's pulled into their driveway. The lady was driving. She gets out of the truck and says to me, "I had to come home because the neighborhood association told me that there was a stranger in front of my house." I said, "Well...I've been here for 2 hours. I'm doing traffic analysis. You're welcome to come see what I'm doing." They both sort of scoffed and went into their home. Whatever.

10 minutes later their garage door opened and the old man did a piss-poor job of pretending to mill around the garage. CLEARLY, he was keeping an eye on me. Honestly, I didn't mind.

Coincidentally, at that very moment, the sky was starting to fill with clouds and was actually raining just N.E. of my location.

1567868619123.png

I had about an hour of shooting to do, so I just kept shooting. Anyone who knows anything about the high desert knows that just before the rain comes, there's wind...LOTS of wind. Sure enough, around 5:15 PM, with my bird in the air, I got hit with a blast of wind and dust right in my face. Fortunately, my paper work is held fast to my hatchback struts courtesy a few neodymium magnets. And my iPads are well-protected from Sun and rain, and my RC can be scooted under the hatchback to keep it dry and out of the Sun. It's a good set up. 32-36 MPG donchaknow! 4WD donchaknow!

1567869089087.png


I put my freshly-launched bird in ATTI mode to test the wind. She drifted toward me @ 25 mph. Time to call it a day. As I'm bringing her in, giant rain drops hit me and my car. I'm not super worried because I know my bird will be safe in my car in a few seconds.

I land quickly and stuff the drone in my car. I grab the RC and stuff it, too. I was about to close the hatchback when 4 police cars surrounded me...almost like a SWAT team. Clearly, the old couple had called the police. Fortunately, the heavy rain had moved on, and it was only slightly sprinkling when all 4 Sheriffs got out of their SUV's and approached me. The usual questions, "What are you doing here?" I explained that I was doing traffic analysis. I make it a habit to record my flights on my iPad so that I can show curious on-lookers what I'm doing without having to fire up the bird. For my first flight I show the map view so they can see where I'm parked in space, and then I show the camera view so that they can see I'm shooting traffic. I hit play and the cops watch. I say, "Pretty boring, actually." The taller blonde cop says, "Is this all you're shooting?" I reply, "Yep." I try to give as much information as possible withOUT them having to ask, so I continue to explain, "I'm shooting traffic patterns on Alameda Blvd. I fly for 4 minutes and land for 11. I shoot a 2 hour block in the morning and 3 hours in the evening. But, as you can see, I just got rained out." The other cop asks who I'm working for. I tell him and point to some business cards stuck in my charger inside my car. I offer to get a business card for him and he says, "Hold on!" I freeze. He says, "I'm going to pat you down." I say, "Okay." He asks, "Do you have any weapons on you? Anything that can hurt me?" I reply, "No."

As he's patting me down, he asks a series of questions.

Cop: What's this?
Me: USB drives.
Cop: What's this?
Me: A flashlight.
Cop: What's in your back pockets here?
Me: Money...licence...business cards.

He finishes up. They ask a few more questions, and finally concludes that I'm harmless.

I point to the house and say, "I offered to show them everything I was doing. I was very friendly." The cops just nodded. I tell them, "I'm done for the evening. If you guys don't need anything, I'm going to head out. I should warn you that I will probably be back here tomorrow or Thursday to finish up. I'll try not to park in front of this house." Again, they nodded.

Fast forward to Thursday. I have 4 shots left at the same location, which is 5:13 PM - 6:02 PM...4 minutes up, 11 minutes down. I park about 20' Northwest of my original location. I circled the house of the mean people.

1567870561956.png

I no sooner get set up and a 30-something guy named JJ approaches me from the house across the street. He has two large dogs with him (unleashed). The dogs bark and run toward me, but I don't flinch. He yells from across the street, "The dogs are friendly!" I reply, "Yeah...I can see that. Nice dogs." I have time, so I make nice with the dogs.

JJ asks, "So what are you doing." I explain the whole traffic analysis thing to him. He says, "Kewl. I work for our new hockey team, the Isotopes." We jabber-jaw for a bit and then he says, "It sure is hot. You want some water?" I replied, "Yeah...that would be nice." He comes out with a cup of ice water, a cup of ice and a Pepsi.

1567870922221.png

He says, "I have to go, but good luck." I reply thanx.

A few minutes later I launch my bird and who pulls up but the mean, old couple. They look at me. I tilt my cup and smile. They scoff and go in their mean old people house.

It's just funny the stark contrast between these two people who live right across the street from one another, but have probably never spoken a word to each other.

Fast forward to the next night (Friday), and me and my girlfriend are grabbing some Chick-fil-a and who is sitting at the table across from us but 2 of the 4 cops that had patted me down the Tuesday before. I introduce them to my girlfriend and jokingly say, "This is the SWAT team that patted me down the other night." We all laughed...good times...

Keeping it real in the neighborhood...

D
 
Last edited:
Joined
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Hey doods!

So I was commissioned to do a traffic analysis shoot on Tuesday of this week. This is 2 hours of shooting in the morning and 3 hours in the evening. The way I choose my locations is I always park on public roads (so I can't be kicked out), and in the summer, I try to park in the shadow of a large tree.

View attachment 26536


Naturally, this means the morning location is usually slightly different than the evening location.

Tuesday morning I set up all my gear near a park in the shadow of a large tree. The shoot was uneventful. A Sheriff DID pull up and ask what I was doing. I told him, he nodded and moved on.

View attachment 26533


The evening shoot, however, was different. I shoot 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM in the evening. I had relocated to an area that was evening-shade-friendly, which was in front of a residence.

View attachment 26537

Around 5:00 an older couple in their mid to late 60's pulled into their driveway. The lady was driving. She gets out of the truck and says to me, "I had to come home because the neighborhood association told me that there was a stranger in front of my house." I said, "Well...I've been here for 2 hours. I'm doing traffic analysis. You're welcome to come see what I'm doing." They both sort of scoffed and went into their home. Whatever.

10 minutes later their garage door opened and the old man did a piss-poor job of pretending to mill around the garage. CLEARLY, he was keeping an eye on me. Honestly, I didn't mind.

Coincidentally, at that very moment, the sky was starting to fill with clouds and was actually raining just N.E. of my location.

View attachment 26534

I had about an hour of shooting to do, so I just kept shooting. Anyone who knows anything about the high desert knows that just before the rain comes, there's wind...LOTS of wind. Sure enough, around 5:15 PM, with my bird in the air, I got hit with a blast of wind and dust right in my face. Fortunately, my paper work is held fast to my hatchback struts courtesy a few neodymium magnets. And my iPads are well-protected from Sun and rain, and my RC can be scooted under the hatchback to keep it dry and out of the Sun. It's a good set up. 32-36 MPG donchaknow! 4WD donchaknow!

View attachment 26535


I put my freshly-launched bird in ATTI mode to test the wind. She drifted toward me @ 25 mph. Time to call it a day. As I'm bringing her in, giant rain drops hit me and my car. I'm not super worried because I know my bird will be safe in my car in a few seconds.

I land quickly and stuff the drone in my car. I grab the RC and stuff it, too. I was about to close the hatchback when 4 police cars surrounded me...almost like a SWAT team. Clearly, the old couple had called the police. Fortunately, the heavy rain had moved on, and it was only slightly sprinkling when all 4 Sheriffs got out of their SUV's and approached me. The usual questions, "What are you doing here?" I explained that I was doing traffic analysis. I make it a habit to record my flights on my iPad so that I can show curious on-lookers what I'm doing without having to fire up the bird. For my first flight I show the map view so they can see where I'm parked in space, and then I show the camera view so that they can see I'm shooting traffic. I hit play and the cops watch. I say, "Pretty boring, actually." The taller blonde cop says, "Is this all you're shooting?" I reply, "Yep." I try to give as much information as possible withOUT them having to ask, so I continue to explain, "I'm shooting traffic patterns on Alameda Blvd. I fly for 4 minutes and land for 11. I shoot a 2 hour block in the morning and 3 hours in the evening. But, as you can see, I just got rained out." The other cop asks who I'm working for. I tell him and point to some business cards stuck in my charger inside my car. I offer to get a business card for him and he says, "Hold on!" I freeze. He says, "I'm going to pat you down." I say, "Okay." He asks, "Do you have any weapons on you? Anything that can hurt me?" I reply, "No."

As he's patting me down, he asks a series of questions.

Cop: What's this?
Me: USB drives.
Cop: What's this?
Me: A flashlight.
Cop: What's in your back pockets here?
Me: Money...licence...business cards.

He finishes up. They ask a few more questions, and finally concludes that I'm harmless.

I point to the house and say, "I offered to show them everything I was doing. I was very friendly." The cops just nodded. I tell them, "I'm done for the evening. If you guys don't need anything, I'm going to head out. I should warn you that I will probably be back here tomorrow or Thursday to finish up. I'll try not to park in front of this house." Again, they nodded.

Fast forward to Thursday. I have 4 shots left at the same location, which is 5:13 PM - 6:02 PM...4 minutes up, 11 minutes down. I park about 20' Northwest of my original location. I circled the house of the mean people.

View attachment 26538

I no sooner get set up and a 30-something guy named JJ approaches me from the house across the street. He has two large dogs with him (unleashed). The dogs bark and run toward me, but I don't flinch. He yells from across the street, "The dogs are friendly!" I reply, "Yeah...I can see that. Nice dogs." I have time, so I make nice with the dogs.

JJ asks, "So what are you doing." I explain the whole traffic analysis thing to him. He says, "Kewl. I work for our new hockey team, the Isotopes." We jabber-jaw for a bit and then he says, "It sure is hot. You want some water?" I replied, "Yeah...that would be nice." He comes out with a cup of ice water, a cup of ice and a Pepsi.

View attachment 26539

He says, "I have to go, but good luck." I reply thanx.

A few minutes later I launch my bird and who pulls up but the mean, old couple. They look at me. I tilt my cup and smile. They scoff and go in their mean old people house.

It's just funny the stark contrast between these two people who live right across the street from one another, but have probably never spoken a word to each other.

Fast forward to the next night (Friday), and me and my girlfriend are grabbing some Chick-fil-a and who is sitting at the table across from us but 2 of the 4 cops that had patted me down the Tuesday before. I introduce them to my girlfriend and jokingly say, "This is the SWAT team that patted me down the other night." We all laughed...good times...

Keeping it real in the neighborhood...

D
Good story! Thanks for sharing!
 
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