So I was out tonight, almost midnight, in the freezing cold (2 degrees Celsius), shooting some timelapses — last shots — for my upcoming short movie “Nicosia”.
I was at a big roundabout at the outskirts of Nicosia. I was positioned in the centre of it. Suddenly, a sketchy 4x4 car stops abruptly, near the edge of the road, at the roundabout, behind me.
I turn around, and I see three large dudes in plain clothes — don’t know if they were muscular or fat — getting off and beginning to walk fast towards me. As if that wasn’t enough, just as they were getting off, all three of them put on their hoods.
Rather instinctive I decided to distance myself from the camera which was still shooting, my gear and Lowepro bag, and to begin walking towards them. I later realised that I did this in order to gauge what was going on with these dudes.
If they were thieves, the time it would take for me to realise it, would be reduced and the distance between them and my gear would be big enough to allow me to take action.
As I was walking towards them, and they towards me, I shouted a rather warm message: “Evening, is there a problem?”. Silence. “Speak up, dammit” I thought. The dudes walk a couple of meters more and the guy closer to me asks: “What are you doing here?”. With one foot ready to sprint in the opposite direction I respond that I’m taking some photographs.
Shortly after, they identified themselves as the Police and cooperating, we started walking towards my camera to show them what I was doing.
As I was showing them the images on my camera’s LCD I explained to them what a timelapse was, and that I was shooting the traffic of the roundabout with the moon moving across the sky. Needless to say, the shot I intended to do — moon moving across the frame — was ruined because the camera was positioned very low on the ground pointing upwards. In order to show them the LCD I had to take the camera out of position.
Whilst still hovering over me, they asked several other questions like “What’s the purpose of this”, “How I got there?”, “Where do I work”, etc. after which they finally left.
I never had an incident with the Police, let alone plain clothes undercover Police, asking me about my photography intentions. Good thing they didn’t take me to the station!
The irony is that just a couple of minutes before the Police raided me, there were a dude with an RX-8 drifting like he’s in 2 Fast 2 Furious around the roundabout.
UPDATE: Watch the finished timelapse of Nicosia: