Banned for Life

Imperial Building 01/22/2016. I put together an improved animated gif of the building going up over the past year, and replaced the gif I put up on January 13, 2016. Click on the photo to see the new animated gif.


It’s not the first time I’ve been banned for life because of my photographic endeavors, but yesterday’s ban was more surprising than when I was banned for life for photographing the Sandias from the edge of an Indian Pueblo. While the Pueblo’s police officer did not argue the fact that I was not on pueblo land, he had a problem with me photographing the Sandias, which he said is sacred property that belonged to the Pueblo. So he wrote me up for photographing the Sandias from the edge of the pueblo, and told me I was banned from the pueblo for life.

As anyone who has followed my blogs for awhile knows that I have been documenting the construction of the Imperial Building going up behind our office over the past year from the parking garage on 2nd Street. While city security staff has seen me on the garage taking photos of the construction many times over the past year, none of them have ever taken any notice, and said nothing more to me than “Hi!” when we were in earshot of each other. Yesterday, however, a security officer drove up and told me that I was not supposed to be on the parking structure, ordered me to leave, and told me to never come back. I asked her about people who parked in the garage, and she said anyone parking in the garage is supposed to walk to and from their cars, and are not allowed to walk anywhere else in the parking garage. Okay! I left, and shook the dust of my shoes as I walked out of the garage.

I understand that the City doesn’t want people wondering around in the parking garage breaking into cars, but I’m obviously not breaking into cars. Since the Imperial Building is almost done, it probably doesn’t really matter if I don’t do anymore photos of it from the parking garage, but I would like to finish the project from the same vantage points. I emailed Mayor Berry and asked if his office would give me a letter granting me access to the parking garage so I can finish documenting the Imperial Building to its completion.

I also went back through my photo archives and created a new animated gif of the construction over the past year. I had missed a couple of weeks of progress, which I overlooked trying to get the first gif completed so I could post the gif on the one year anniversary of ground breaking on the project. So the new animated gif is more complete and all the images fit better than the first animated gif. You can see the new gif on the post from January 13, 2016 at

30 thoughts on “Banned for Life

  1. I am so tired of aggressive, pompous, bullying, security people who are just out to make themselves feel important or more powerful than someone else… who then do a half-a$$ job of the work for which they’re getting paid. (Believe me, I see plenty here.)
    The city should be thankful for the free advertisements you’ve given them for a year. The GIF is fabulous!
    Okay… I’m stepping down from my Julia Sugarbaker soapbox now. Mega hugs!

  2. Wow, 2 more bannings… you’re quite the trouble maker! I don’t really very the Pueblo one… if you weren’t on Pueblo land, it doesn’t seem like they should be able to stop you. They can’t possibly stop all photography of the Sandias from all vantage points.

    • Hi Janna! The Pueblo’s policeman didn’t try and stop me per se, he just banned me from photographing on the Pueblo, if I so happen to be on Pueblo land. What it comes down to is that I have professional equipment, and that draws a lot more attention than people with their phones and point-and-shoots.

      • I was going to say that I understand and respect the rules of the various Pueblos when I am *on Pueblo land* to the extent that I have never taken a photo from that fabulous vantage point NW of Acoma Pueblo but on Acoma land, even though so many people I know have no qualms about that. And that, if Sandia Pueblo wanted to ban everyone who photographs the Sandias, that would certainly cut down on business to the Casino, hotel, and lovely restaurant there. But, of course, you are correct – it is the professional equipment that draws attention.

        The mayor should license some of your images!

        Yesterday people everywhere in Albuquerque were nuts. Driving around, I thought it had to be the actual day of full moon, not just close. But, the moon last night rising over the Sandias was pretty spectacular. I hope you saw it.

      • What the Pueblo really believes about the Sandias as opposed to individuals members of the Pueblo might be very different. I don’t photograph Pueblos either, even from public right-of-ways, but I think all of us have the same claim to the Sandias.

      • I know that at one time there was an ongoing lawsuit between Sandia Pueblo and the Federal government over land use the Pueblo argued was theirs. I don’t know what that outcome was, or if there has been an outcome yet. Interesting issues.

  3. Wow…Tim…let us know if you get permission from the higher ups to complete the project. What a shame! And you’re a photographer with honest intent! Grrr…😠 Elizabeth

  4. Kind of archaic if you ask me, especially if you aren’t doing anything but photography. You aren’t destroying property but preserving it so everyone can enjoy it. But what do I know

    • Hi Rebecca! True. But the security guard didn’t know what I was doing until I told her and she didn’t seem to care one way of the other.

  5. We have a title here – ‘jobs-worth’. It’s not a compliment. You are archiving a little piece of history and that should be celebrated.

    • Hi Mia. It’s like everything becomes black or white with no grays in between, and no sense or logic to the conclusions. Some things that used to be minor are often zero tolerance (select words, for example), and things that are serious crimes often seem to be ignored or have little consequence (rape, murder, rioting for example). A grumpy guard telling me to never come back is not unexpected. Have you read P.J. O’Rourke’s “Driving Like Crazy”? That book brought back so many memories of all the things I used to do that are now felonies. It also helped inspire my “Tales From My Youth” series.

      • Exactly Tim, June Gloom and I are big on The Gray Zone. If something doesn’t make in my book sense (a no-brainer) there’s a very good chance that it’s most probably wrong. We’ve been lacking thinkers for a while, they’ve been replaced with mindless doers. I haven’t read “Driving Like Crazy”, I just read a quick recap, no doubt written with humor, the chapter, The Rolling Organ Donors Motocycle Club made me smile. This entire situation of no accountability reminds me of the movie, Falling Down, at some point someone is going to have enough, a big enough. I’m looking forward to having some time to check out your, “Tales From My Youth” series.

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