On my first trip to LAX and the wonderful In-N-Out Burger, it was around 4pm and the sun was sliding more and more to the west, meaning I had to stand on the opposite side of the planes from In-N-Out to get good light. The best spot, it seemed, was next to the big LAX sign on Sepulveda, so I crossed the street. Right after shooting something on final, from behind me I hear "Sir, you can't do that here sir." I turn around and sure enough there's an LAPD black & white car parked there with a cop walking toward me.
Me: "Sorry, officer? I can't take photographs here?"
Me: "It's my understanding that the constitution protects this sort of thing."
Officer: "Yes, but because of federal regulations and national security, you can't photograph airplanes here."
After protesting a bit more he mentioned that I was on airport property, at which point a.) I wasn't certain whether I actually was on LAX property or not (I was on the sidewalk, not the grass next to the sign) and b.) I wasn't certain that photography is allowed on LAX property. Without knowing for sure if I was in the right or not, I backed down and didn't press the point any further.
Anyway, despite repeating the b.s. "federal regulations" line and mentioning that he was "being a nice guy" by warning me about these regulations (as if he didn't have jurisdiction, but a black chopper might swoop down and drag me to Guantanamo if I didn't obey), he was courteous, and we talked a bit, he asked where I was from, if I was doing it for work or as a hobby. Apparently someone had called in to report me, or more likely the guy with a P&S about halfway down the block who had been there before I got there, and he said it wouldn't be a good idea to stay because someone else would call and he'd have to come back. I told him it was my first time in LA, he told me he was visiting NYC for the first time next week and he asked for some important sights that he should see.
After the obligatory ID check, I asked him if it would be okay to shoot from the park next to In-N-Out. He said no, the whole area was off limits. But he suggested "a hill" that I COULD shoot from unimpeded because it's "a tourist area." He gave me directions to it and sure enough it was Imperial Hill. After sneaking in a couple of shots while walking back to the car at In-N-Out (had an awesome KLM 744 shot, but I was on the wrong side so it came out crap :evil:) the lady and I drove over to Imperial Hill until the sun got too low to shoot anymore.