Tuesday, 4 October 2011

No photography allowed

You have waited in line for a few hours in line, saved for years, sacrificed your social life, left your loved ones behind and travelled over seas and continents to see (insert landmark, painting, iconic, historic item etc) only to be greeted with the “no photography allowed” sign.

What do you do?

Option 1: “Yeah fair enough, I suppose the (*insert item*) is a really big deal and I don't want to disrespect the (Gods/ ancient tribe/ locals/ museum management) by taking a picture. The memory of seeing this (*insert*) will last forever, the feeling of being here, of standing it it's presence – nothing can take that from me, the pictures in my mind will be 100 times better than any measly effort to try and capture the essence of this (*insert*).

Option 2: “What?!? – no F**ing way – I don't care I am going to take a sneaky photo anyway.”

In my case, both of the options have applied in different circumstances.

My illegal photo of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, Rome
(c) fifiheavey
I understand that flash photography can ruin ancient manuscripts and I can also understand that museums and such places need people to come and see their items instead of just looking at a photo. They also don't want any crap blurry shots circulating around the globe ruining their reputation.
And I respect their ideals.

Skulls from Kutna Hora, Sedlec Ossuary, Prague
(c) fifiheavey 
But sometimes, it just doesn't cut it with me, as I have described above there were times when I sacrificed and put in a hell of a lot of effort to go and see items and therefore feel I deserve to take back a picture.

Right of wrong (probably wrong) I know I am not alone, everyone does it. And with sophisticated camera phones now, looking inauspicious has become a lot easier. Photos are taken and nobody knows – no one gets hurt.
Check out http://www.strictlynophotography.com for all the illegal photos of things you are not allowed to photograph!

As I said I do respect the ideal of no photography and a lot of the time I obey it, but it depends on my frame of mind and the amount of respect I hold for the place or item (or how scared I am of the security people!)
Sometimes it is better to reflect on the memory of the visit, than to stare at an illegitimate photo or video footage – it gives it more meaning.

No photography allowed inside the passage tomb at Newgrange.(c) fifiheavey
So what do you think let me know do you obey the no photography sign?

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