There I was, barreling down the 99 freeway in the Central Valley of California, when I saw an incredible sight: a windmill farm in a mountain pass. Hundreds of windmills, different heights and shapes, some spinning quickly, others making lazy loops, others seemingly stuck.
Of course, my first thought was to try to capture the beauty of these machines. I pulled off at an exit, found a gas station with a little parking area, and set up my tripod. That's when I started to feel very self-conscious. In fact, I got a little paranoid: Was taking pictures of our country's energy infrastructure allowed? Was I violating some law? Did I just look silly? I was able to shake these feelings off, but they definitely colored my experience. They might have been heightened by the fact that I live near Washington, DC, where the use of a tripod, even on public sidewalks, is frequently banned for security reasons.
Does anyone else ever feel odd or self-conscious when whipping out the tripod?