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Tuesday, 10 June 2014


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The opening shot in Erwitt's "Museum Watching" is of such a sign. In five languages, no less. To be honest, unless you disturb other watchers, what would be the point ?? Especially in these days of sharing your experiences and recommendations ?? Would it hurt the Ansel Adams show, if the lady in the cartoon told all her friends, what a great time she had ?? The recent Bailey exhibition in London banned all use of phones inside the exhibition, even...

A friend of mine went to the Annenberg Space for Photography a few years back when it first opened. He was in the building but not yet in any galleries and he started to take photos of the large entrance space and he was told NO Pictures. And there was NO Photos anywhere to photograph.

Two year ago I attend the CP+ Camera and Photo Imaging photographic trade show in Yokohama, Japan. As well as trying out the then just announced X100s, I also got to see lots of other interesting stuff.

I came away with two very strong impressions. First, I was somewhat stunned by the grace, beauty and utility of the X100s, and second, I was somewhat stunned by the strong "no photographs" stance aggressively plastered all over the booth of a certain major player in modern digital photographic printing.

Impressions do last. Love my X100s...

On a visit to the Museum of Tobacco at the Duke Homestead in Durham, North Carolina we were greeted by a sign on the door that read, "No Smoking in the Museum of Tobacco".

If you ever will visit the Helmut Newton Foundation at the House of Photography in Berlin/Germany, don't bother to take a camera with you. Because you have you have overlooked the small pictogramm showing "No photography" the museum attendants will point this fact out in a quite agressive way. And this ban is for the whole interior (not only the exhibitions) which is a pity as the building has an amazing art deco decoration all around...

Non flash photography is allowed in many museums, including mine, as long as it's the permanent collection. Traveling shows? Almost never, if not never: rights. BTW, flash photography does degrade things, especially works on paper. That is why light levels are often so low, even too low for photography (see an excellent blog post on this by Jim Kasson from a few years ago), and one must remember that museums are thinking in terms of thousands of visitors and decades of accumulated light exposure, if not centuries.

Thanks to Ken for that explanation! I understand its basis and respect that requested right to no photos, I even ask before taking photos in a store- but too often I feel museums just "blanket" everything with a no photography rule.

Re: Ken Tenaka's comments. Except, except, except... I've been a repeat visitor in a number of museums over the years, and have watched "photography allowed" policies (subject to particular exhibition requirements of course) migrate to a general "no photography" policy. It doesn't seem that migration towards more restrictive attitudes about photography is due to reasons 1, 2, or 3.

And I can't take photos in the NYC Public Library reading rooms anymore, darn it.

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