Photographing the DAVID

Mar 22nd, 2006, 10:20 PM
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Photographing the DAVID

I wanted so much to photograph David, but there were guards standing around saying that it is not allowed. Why? For goodness sake, the flash won't melt the marble. I didn't, because I was told not to and wanted to follow the rules. When that rule is made, do you suppose it is for several reasons? To not bother others? To sell the great postcards in the gift shop? I'm not going to sell my photographs (I'm not that good.) Does anyone have an opinion on these rules?
Princess is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2006, 11:03 PM
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Maybe they meant you could take pictures but not use flash. I think the flash damages the item over time. You need to consider that thousands of people are zapping the item with this extreme light so over time I could see how it could cause damage. I videotaped the statue without problems (or flash) but that was back in 2002. Policy could have changed. I found the policy of "no photos" even more confusing, particularly when visiting churches. Some allow photos, others don't.
worldinabag is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2006, 11:10 PM
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I know that light damage on paint is irrepairable and I believe it also degrades the marble's surface color. Also, the David is annoying enough to see with all the people around. With photographers stopped to get "the perfect shot" it would be even worse.

I actually think that since there are so many postcards available, there is no reason to stop and take your own picture.
laclaire is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2006, 03:20 AM
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Hi P,

Photos are banned so that people will buy the ones in the museum store. They are better than the ones we amateurs could take, anyway.

ira is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2006, 01:07 PM
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You know, that's what I thought all along. I really wouldn't have taken as good a photo as the postcards. Although, it would be nice to have the photo to actually show that I was there.
Princess is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2006, 01:17 PM
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I was told that it may do with copyrights (which situation, apparently also exists in other museums in Italy), and has nothing to do with the potential damage to the structure.
nevertooold is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2006, 02:13 PM
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Flash is not going to destroy marble any quicker than the throngs of people breathing on it would. Remember The David sat outside in the elements for quite a long time before it was moved to The Accademia. Now a couple of thousand flashes a day on a Degas chalk would probably do some damage over time but marble is well, marble. There's a reason the make floors out of it.

Usually the main reason you can't take pictures is monetary (they want to keep the copyright and sell you books, postcards, etc). Secondary, flash is pretty annoying for other visitors.
cadillac1234 is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2006, 02:17 PM
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You're right about the breath Cadillac that's why after they spent lots of money giving him a good scrub, the museum also installed a high-tech air system to keep the area dust free and clean it of other harmful things.
sandi_travelnut is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2006, 02:23 PM
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is this a change? 5 or 6 years ago, I don't remember there being any guards, or even any signs saying no photography. We took lots of photos. i can't remember if they allowed flash or not, i think we took no-flash pics.

I know in the Sistine when they did the restoration work, Sony paid for the work and hence owns the photo-rights. So you can't take pictures, you have to buy theirs.
china_cat is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2006, 02:31 PM
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You know ChinaCat, I was just thinking the same thing. I seem to recall that several years back a no-flash pix was ok with David, but I donot remember for certain. Does anyone remember?

With that said, I cannot tell you how many people we saw taking flash pictures during our most recent trip to Italy, it was disgraceful. My DH couldn't believe it. Big signs everywhere and still they would snap their pix, many did get yelled at though.
Tiff is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2006, 02:38 PM
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Well, that's just it! Many people will always say, "Rules are meant to be broken". It's just not so. Rules are made to follow and respect. That is why when I was right in the presence of David, I didn't take the photo. It killed me, but rules are rules. I also saw people taking the pictures, some with flash, and other without and some trying to sneak a photo off to the side or with a camera hidden in their pockets, etc.

More and more, people are trying to get away with not following the rules, and that goes for lots of situations. I always ask at a museum if it will be alright to photograph something. If they say, "No", then so be it, it's "No".
Princess is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2006, 02:40 PM
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"Although, it would be nice to have the photo to actually show that I was there."

You mean your friends won't believe you unless you show them a picture?

Dozens of people were taking pictures, including me and the guards had no problem with it. The rule was "no flash" when I was there last. Who would want a flash anyway with the perfect natural lighting from above?

I too am amazed how many people take flash pictures everywhere even when instructed not to. Usually they act all sorry as if they thought the flash was turned off. Then they go to the next room and do the same thing again.
Mar 23rd, 2006, 02:48 PM
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I think the 'No Photos...Period' is starting to become more of the norm all over since apparently a signifigant portion of the public cannot be trusted with the 'No Flash' policy.

In 2002 there was a 'no photo policy' in place at the Accademia
cadillac1234 is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2006, 03:52 PM
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Trying to see a work of art with flashbulbs going off around is very annoying, not to mention hard on one's eyes. Anyone trying to see the Mona Lisa at peak hours in the Louvre will see primarily the backs of the heads of other people taking photographs.
Underhill is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2006, 05:15 PM
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When we were there in 2000 you could take no flash photos, in 2004 it was no photos period.
sandi_travelnut is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2006, 05:21 PM
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I like the no photo policy. Was there last December and one can actually walk pretty close to it and enjoy the sculpture. Instead of looking at people crowding the place to have their photos taken in front of David.

Same reason I love the Borghese in Rome.

If you want a photo in front of "a" David, go do it at the replica in front of Palazzo Vecchio.
rkkwan is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2006, 05:46 PM
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The Louvre won't let you take photos in certain very busy areas. Not because of any possible damage but because of the blocked views.
JJS2006 is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2006, 09:55 PM
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Neopolitan, I Just like to take pictures of myself, together with my husband, in front of monuments, a great statue, church, etc. I know that I have been to see a site without my photo, but I enjoy seeing the picture of us during our vacation together and remembering the time we had.
Princess is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2006, 10:47 PM
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With very rare exceptions, flash does no harm to art. It has no effect at all on stone, and its effect on paintings or any other art object that is already being displayed in normal artificial or natural light is too small to be significant.

Additionally, old works of art are not protected by copyright. Certainly David would be in this category.

The real reasons for prohibiting photos are usually monetary, or occasionally logistic. The arguments about protecting the artwork are bogus, but are used because people are less likely to object to them.
AnthonyGA is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2006, 11:15 PM
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They definitely had a no photo policy when we went last year, and I was surprised to see a lot of people surreptitiously sneaking pictures even though a stern female guard (who seemed to be in charge) kept shushing everyone and yelling - no pictures...

I wasn't even tempted to sneak a picture after seeing a few tourists reprimanded by her
sharon1306 is offline  

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