No Pix! Does it bother you?

Mar 2nd, 2005, 07:03 AM
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No Pix! Does it bother you?

Is it just me? After flying 9 hours, to go to a city/country's major attractions only to find a sign that says "NO PHOTOGRAPHY", I feel cheated. I understand the damage a flash can do (allegedly) and therefore always turn my off. Museums, mansions, churches.........more and more are not allowing pix at all. Maybe someone can explain why.
f64club is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2005, 07:17 AM
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1. Its hard to enforce the no-flash rule. There are a lot of either ignorant or stupid people who keep ignoring the 'no-flash' rule.
2. Its a copyright thing. They want their postcards and other publications to sell. They own the art and therefore the right to ditribute copies/reproductions.

That said, I am sometimes disappointed, but make do with post cards and journal entries.
ssachida is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2005, 07:25 AM
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A highly talented amateur photographer whom I know well has a saying: "It's the picture you don't take that you remember best."
Dave_in_Paris is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2005, 07:26 AM
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I just answered this question on the US board, but here are a couple of other thoughts.
How many times have you been in a place that says "no flash" and seen flashes go off. Usually the guard comes over and says, "no flash" only to have the culprit insist they "thought" it was turned off -- well, too late. But it happens over and over again. A good reason to not allow ANY photography to get around that.
Meanwhile as I said on the other board, it is refreshing to take the opportunity to actually experience a place first hand for a change instead of through the viewfinder of a camera. And it's nice for the non camera toting people to not have to constantly walk around those who are taking lots of time adjusting and getting ready for their perfect picture. But some postcards, support the place that way, and do without your own photos for a change. Big deal.

I'm always amazed that someone wants a photograph of the Mona Lisa. Why? Or a picture of the kids standing next to The David? What's the point? To prove to people you were there?
Patrick is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2005, 07:28 AM
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Well, it's not just you but maybe you should think about this a little.

Reasons for no photography:
1. Light does damage the delicate chemical makeup of ancient pigments. Maybe one single micro-second of a flash wouldn't do much, but image that bright light going on for hours -- as is the case with thousands of flashes -- and it's a problem, truly.

2. Some places are, indeed, protecting their own sale of images -- sometimes we're talking about postcards, sometimes we're talking about reproductions of fine art.

3. Many people feel that flashes disturb the peace or sanctity of a holy place. I would be truly upset if a wedding, funeral, unction service (oil for the sick), etc. for my family were interrupted by flashes and camera clicks from roving tourists treating the church as just another sightseeing venue, like Main Street Disneyland.

4. Some fellow tourists are disturbed by random flashes from other people's cameras. I admit, the ones that most tick me off are the ones from people with point-and-shoots trying to get a long shot at night (e.g. at a place like the Colosseum) -- the flash is going to do NOTHING to help their picture, just highlight the foreground, and all they're going to get is the backs of some heads and a lot of dark.
HKP is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2005, 07:30 AM
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Taking into account the throngs of people that visit museums, I have no doubt that flash photography will cause enough damage to these works of art, especially paintings and frescoes.

Yet, I have been told that since many museums have been privatized (sp?), more "No Photography" (vs "No Flash Photography) signs have sprung up. I was told that this would 'force' people to buy more souvenirs at the museum's bookshop. This I was told by a tour guide we had in Florence.

I do wonder why they have such poor control over people who constantly 'flash' Mona Lisa though, despite the signs. This brings to mind the thread not so long ago that the painting you see at the Louvre is a Mona Lisa "stand-in" (i.e. fake) and the real thing is safely hidden somewhere else. Hmmm...
craisin is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2005, 07:34 AM
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I bought some beautiful post cards in Rome. They have a pretty matting and I had them framed. They are so much nicer than anything I would take. I realize there are some very good photographers amongst the Foderites: I'm not one of them.
crefloors is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2005, 07:34 AM
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Actually it doesn't bother me, it is nice to be able to go to a museum and enjoy a piece of sculpture etc. without some idiot posing next to it. Half the time I am tempted to ask the "model" if they have any clue what they are standing next to - I bet half of them don't, they just go from object to object and pose so they can have their picture taken.
Margie is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2005, 07:38 AM
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About the Mona Lisa -- not persuaded that what's hanging there is a copy, but in any case, it's covered by an amber-colored filter now, which makes it impossible to see the subtlety and beauty of the real colors (which I did see many years ago, before they put the filter over it). So what's the point? I'm sure the filter was placed there to stabilize the pigments.
HKP is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2005, 07:40 AM
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Destroying the "sanctity" of a place is an interesting point, and it really is more than just flashes. I find it so annoying to enter a large hall and find people everywhere blocking everything as they are trying to focus their cameras.

Meanwhile, let me be grumpy for a minute. Living in a major tourist town (Naples, Florida), one of my big pet peeves is trying to have a nice dinner here in an upscale restaurant and being constantly assaulted by flashes all around us. Can someone explain why it is so important to take so many pictures of each other eating dinner? I try to imagine people showing their friends at home months later and saying "here we are at this restaurant in Naples having dinner". Huh? Can anyone tell me they honestly think their friends will care?
Patrick is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2005, 08:13 AM
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I seem to be in the minority on this thread, but I enjoy taking pictures, making up my albums and reliving our trips through them. I try not to intrude on others, but I can't count the times I have aimed and am ready to push the button when some clod walks in front of me. Just as annoying as the flashes must be to others.

I'm not annoyed by the no photography signs, however, and do obey them. I buy postcards in those cases and they incorporate nicely in my trip albums.

I don't like pix of "me standing next to the whatever," and certainly don't take shots to "show that we were there." It's not about a bragging or ego thing, it's a memory thing. As far as the quote above, something to the effect of the picture not taken is best remembered--not when you get to be my age! quot;>

If you don't wish to take pictures don't, but I think it's unfair to get so uptight with those of us who enjoy it.
Giovanna is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2005, 08:16 AM
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I don't think that not allowing photography forces anyone to buy postcards or anything else from the museum store/shop. I also don't think my own photography would be half as good as a lot of the stuff (posters, prints, etc.) that is being sold in those venues.

But some people could apparently care less about damaging artworks and if you allowed it they would have dismantled the Mona Lisa and every other work years ago carving out momentos.

Patrick, I think people take pictures at meals for lots of reasons and not necessarily to show anyone else. I have a photo of myself and two Navy buddies taken in a Honolulu nightclub back in 1965 and it is one of my favorite photos...I don't show it off to anyone but it is very sentimental to me.
Intrepid1 is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2005, 09:24 AM
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taking a picture of a work of art is redundant...the best photographers in the world have already done that and they are readily available. i say try to capture or frame what's not the norm. find the shot that you can't buy from someone else...hence photography. heck i say take a shot of the sign saying "No photography".
ucsun is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2005, 09:54 AM
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Giovanna, when I enter a "throne room" of a palace and walk towards the rope to look at the display, and happen to walk in front of a photographer who is standing back focusing on the scene, I resent being called a "clod" for focusing my attention on the attraction I paid to see, rather than watching out for other people and what they are doing.
I remember standing trying to cross the Japanese bridge at Giverny for what seemed like half an hour to stay out of the way of a dozen people taking turns at photgraphing each other, while everyone else was supposed to wait and wait for them to finish. If they want to take pictures, fine, but why should everyone else's enjoyment be curbed by them?

Don't get me wrong. If I happen to see someone about to shoot a picture, I'll hesitate and stay out of their way -- but I don't think it's my responsibility to keep my eyes peeled for photographer's when I'm there to enjoy the surroundings, nor to wait 10 minutes for them to finish focusing, arranging people, and checking everything.
Patrick is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2005, 10:00 AM
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Patrick - Yes, the reason I had my picture taken outside St. Peter's was to show that I was there. Which would you rather have, a photo of a loved one on vacation, or a T-shirt that says Roma? The whole purpose of photography is to record an event. One of my favorite photos is the one of my wife and I, in a restaurant in Venice with the canals behind us.
Dave in Paris - As far as the photo not taken is best remembered......can you imagine not taking pictures at your daughter's wedding? Photos are there to help bring back the memories.
f64club is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2005, 10:11 AM
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I do believe that there is a difference between taking a photograph outside near a landmark and taking one inside near a work of art. In the latter case, the photographer is often completely blocking the view of others.

My absolute "favorite" is those folks with camcorders who walk around an entire gallery six inches in front of the paintings, recording the paintings and the labels and never even taking the camcorder away to look at the art with their naked eyes. Really, they might as well stay home and look at photos in books or on the Web. At least they'd be out of other people's way then.
KT is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2005, 10:17 AM
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f64club, I think you're not following what I was saying. I'm not talking about taking pictures of people in front of a canal or in front of St. Peter's. I was talking about taking a picture of someone standing beside The David or the Mona Lisa. Somehow I think there is a big difference. The discussion was more about where photography is either not allowed or might be a disruption.
Patrick is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2005, 10:19 AM
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I'm on all sides of this debate. My husband's hobby is photography so his favorite part of a trip is getting to photograph beautiful things. His motto is something like, if I can't see it through a viewfinder, it wasn't there. Every so often on a trip, I get completely fed up waiting for him to walk to all sides of something to get the perfect angle. As you can imagine, if a place has "no photography", he doesn't even want to go in. He thinks a good compromise is for the place to charge a fee for those who want to photograph. That way they could also have some control, requiring people to only use video or make them show that they'd turned off the flash, etc. While I tire of waiting for hubby to take all his pictures, I find that I'm the one who says Gosh, I wish you'd gotten this or that when we get home.

As much as my husband likes photography, I like eating. For me, half or more of the fun of travel is eating new and different things or experiencing again some wonderful dish that you just can't find in this country. That's where my husband's interests and mine come together. I love the pictures we have of restaurant exteriors, interiors and even individual plates of food. I can relive a meal just by viewing our slides, videos and now digital pictures. I've been chastized on one foodie site for participating in this kind of activity and seen pix that others have taken of their dining experiences on another. We once had a waiter rush from the other side of a room over to us as my husband aimed his camera at my plate. I was concerned that he would throw us out of the place, but no, he only wanted to reposition the plate so as to show off the serving to better advantage. We usually make our dining reservations early so we are often the only ones in the dining room as my husband takes pix of the interior of the restaurant. We try never to focus so as to get other diners in our pix, especially not the older gentlemen who may be entertaining their "nieces." On the other hand, we've been forbidden to take pictures of film in some restaurants, most recently Baccarat and Entredgeu in Paris, one a very upscale, trendy place, the other a little hole in the wall. I guess one person's lasting memory is another's annoyance. For my part I'd rather see someone take a picture than answer an annoyingly ringing cell phone--but that's a whole nother post.
JulieVikmanis is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2005, 10:25 AM
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This is off topic, but, blocking the view of artwork doesn't belong solely in the domain of photographers.
For example:
Standing 6 inches in front of Boticelli's Venus. What do they see? the painting needs to be seen from atleast a few feet away to be appreciated!
Even more so for large impressionist paintings. Sure the brush strokes are interesting, but people go through entire galleries hugging the walls!! I feel like shouting at them to go to the center of the gallery first. Everyone can see and only then can anyone appreciate the painting in its entirity.
Here I am wishing a gallery was wider/longer so I can see this 20' x 20' painting/fresco properly, only to have someone walk right up to the wall and stand there looking at 1 brush stroke and hoping they understand it from the plaque next to the painting!!

Sorry, I'm done venting now.
ssachida is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2005, 10:33 AM
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In museums, cathedrals, etc. I leave my standard Nikon in the bag and take out my very tiny Coolpix 3100 with a mini-pod attached. I obsessively verify that the flash is off, set my exposure to "night," place the mini-pod against something solid (e.g., wall, column, etc.), and take the picture. I have done this even where signs indicate that no photography is allowed, and was only admonished once (in the Paris Doll Museum). With practice, I have become so quick that I am rarely noticed.

Postcards are pictures of some else's trip.
smueller is offline  

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