Wednesday, March 27, 2013


In yesterday’s blog my partner was complaining about the photography ban in the famous mansion he was visiting. As prolific travelers and photographers, we come up against bans all the time. My daughter, Kristanne, happened upon two articles on the subject and sent them to me.

First, let me explain that I visited the Louvre in 1987 and I was amazed that they allowed flash photography. They obviously weren’t worried about flash damaging their treasures. Tests have proved that flash is no more damaging than the gallery lighting. Jim and I rarely use flash. I like it in a darkened bar with intended gloom and colored neon lights.

Now, the excuse is, they think you won’t buy post cards or other items in the museum store if you take photos. That doesn’t hold water either. In the Louvre I bought beautiful prints of famous artwork as gifts. I buy post cards all the time. And sometimes books.

Another excuse, the copyright laws are trampled upon. Sure, people in droves are going to take a picture of someones work, copy it, sell it,  and pass it off as their own?  It is ludicrous. I doubt it has ever happened.

Most galleries allow photos, some don’t. The bans are laughable, really, because every gallery, save one exception, where the owners control the gallery, they love it when you photograph their work. They are getting free advertising. You name their gallery and give an example of what they do. If the owners love it, why wouldn’t all artists like it?

And, my final point on the subject, any brochure advertising a mansion, a ghost town, a gallery, an event, a visitors center, shows a picture because a picture entices you to want to see more. Any magazine describing  a circus, an event, a beautiful town, provides a picture. And, most telling, magazines constantly tout food at restaurants. They usually publish a picture and a famous recipe or two. And providing the recipe does NOT keep customers away, as they used to believe.

We obey their bans but our readers who can’t ever get there miss out. That is why I resent the bans.


Randall said...

Hi Mary,

Nice right up. I've seen ban's in galleries and museums also. I went to one of the impressionist exhibits here in Houston and they wouldn't allow cameras in there but in other sections of the museum they did.

I like to plein paint in oil and I was at one public place it was an outdoor mall where instead of walking indoors the shops were lined up like a town and they had a nice water fountain with people playing and this lady comes up to me telling me I have to leave, geessh.


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