Red tape and the public pool

I’ve been trying to make this type of image at Rehm Pool in Oak Park for two years. It’s a very simple image to make, one that probably most photojournalists have succumbed to shooting at least once in their career, but getting access here was trickier than I ever dreamed it would be.

I shot this from the lowest level of three tiers of high dives at the pool. It overlooks a diving board about 15 feet below. I tried to get pre-approval to shoot from there last year, but there was some sort of hangup. Insurance reasons or something as I recall. Anyway, I just stopped by the pool last Tuesday on a whim and essentially talked my way past the front gate despite a few manager types stopping me to ask a variety of questions. Once I got past that, I figured what the heck, let’s give it a try and simply climbed up the ladder and began shooting photos of kids leaping into the pool below.

Lasted about four minutes before a teenager working at the pool came up and told me I wasn’t allowed to be up there without the presence of a lifeguard. So that was that, but not before I shot this photo of Spencer Smith, 11, half way through a flip.

5 Responses to “Red tape and the public pool”

  1. Scofflaw! Apparently every time the upper levels have been open for diving, they need the paramedics to come over and treat divers. That diving height ain’t safe for amateurs. Professional photographers, no prob.

  2. I’ve heard they have had some problems in the past. I was actually on the lowest level, though, where lots of little kids jump from every day. Guess it’s safe for six year old kids to leap off, but not for a grown man to stand on.

  3. We would love to post that at toemail if you do not mind?

    Just need to confirm the location and we are good to go!

  4. Sorry, Toemailer. No thanks.

  5. I think this one is a great photo.

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