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-   -   Leave your cameras at home! (https://www.trekearth.com/forums/showthread.php?t=140397)

dom_inik_m 09-27-2005 10:35 PM

Leave your cameras at home!
 
Photography will soon be completely outlawed in the Louvre. Starting on September 15, inside the first-floor rooms in the Denon wing (Italian, Spanish, and French paintings (including, of course, the brand new room sheltering the now infamous M*** L***... and financed by the generous sponsorship of Japanese corporations), the galerie d'Apollon and the top of the stairs leading to the Winged Victory of Samothrace.

To protect antique paintings from the devastating effect of repeated flash lights because the vast majority of amateur photographers don't know how to handle theirs cameras (if so, I propose to ban all automobiles, boats, trains and planes to be sure no one will ever die in an accident)?
To deter visitors from lingering in front of famous art works and capture a fragment of their own memories?
To channel the millions of anticipated new visitors, lured by the Da Vinci Code fame?
To sell more postcards and books?
To...?

In other words, are greed, stupid authoritarianism and cultural/political short-sightedness the sole guides to our everyday existence?
Whatever the answer may be, here is the essential sub-question: who's responsible for the intellectual property rights of art pieces in public museums?

Please follow the links (in French) for more details:
<a href="http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utilisateur:Traroth/Photographier_librement_au_Mus%C3%A9e_du_Louvre">P hotographier librement au Musée du Louvre</a>
<a href="http://lafeuille.blogspot.com/2005/09/les-photographies-le-louvre-notre.html"> Les photographies, le Louvre, notre patrimoine</a>
<a href="http://www.palmbavardages.net/archives/2005/09/tu_veux_du_popc.html">Tu veux du Pop-corn avec ton Rembrandt ?</a>

And, to quote the Louvre Web site: Disappointed to leave Paris without a photo of the Mona Lisa? Don't worry! Most of the Louvre's 35,000 works can be viewed on the Web at: http://cartelfr.louvre.fr
Please note: The reproduction of images from this site is authorized for private use only.


The fight has only begun, I'm afraid...

markgong 09-28-2005 06:24 PM

Re: Leave your cameras at home!
 
Personally, I don't see what the big deal is. I think it is perfectly acceptable for the museum to ban cameras on the first floor, if the flashes on the cameras are damaging the paintings. Can you imagine what over 60 flashes a minute, spread over the course of year will do to a painting? Plus, taking a snapshot of the portrait doesn't do it justice anyways. Much rather buy a postcard or art print. Is taking a photo of the Mona Lisa really worth the destruction it will cause? Also most people go to view the painting not because they appreciate it as art, but rather as more of a cultural icon. Should these people be rewarded for their fan fare?

The art may belongs to everyone and that is why it should be openned to be displayed to the public. However, that right should not be abused by tourists who feel obligated to take a photo of the art, and by doing so damages the piece.

Homerhomer 09-28-2005 06:36 PM

Re: Leave your cameras at home!
 
I am in between on this one because I don't see a point of galleries banning taking pictures outright, yes there are some type of arts that can be damaged, ban cameras only in those rooms, but banning it in whole galleries is IMO stupid.
Have visited many musuems recently and the photography ban seems to be an increasing trend unfortunately, for example at Guggenheim photography is banned, I am just not sure how much damage can be done to a displayed print which was printed last week, and can be reprinted if needed.
Peter

dom_inik_m 09-28-2005 07:01 PM

There a huge difference...
 
between banning flash photography (which should be the norm) and banning photography altogether!

Besides, the main reason for all this is not the risk for paintings (flashes have always been forbidden inside the Louvre, but museum attendants didn't seem to care anymore...).
With 4.5 million visitors per year (and 7 expected soon), it has been decided that too many visitors linger for too long in front of the most famous art works, especially when you're dealing with groups of Japanese and Chnese tourists eager to take some souvenir shots. So, things are to move on quicker.
The next step being an electric train, as in Disneyland, moving from one room to another, allowing people on board to make an extensive tour of the museum in 2 hours sharp?
Or make all visitors carry an alarm clock around their neck, which'll ring after 30 seconds standing motionless looking at a statue or a painting, with two bulky attendants throwing the culprit out to teach him how to behave in such a place?
Well, if this is what you want...

sohrab 09-28-2005 07:11 PM

Re: There a huge difference...
 
mark.. there are lots of monasteries in the region of ladakh in india which are homes to lots of buddhist treasures including paintings, murals and so on..
you're not allowed to use a flash.. as they might damage the paintings etc..
but photography isn't banned altogether..

markgong 09-28-2005 07:26 PM

Re: There a huge difference...
 
The problem is that the majority camera carrying tourists and visitors do no know how to turn off their flashes. If what is done is for the sake of preservation, then I am completely for it. In the case of the louvre where you get millions of visitors who want to see Mona Lisa and only a small minority of them know how to control the flash settings, I believe it is reasonable to prohibit photography to a limited degree. I would love to take photos in the Louvre or any other exhibitions, but it definately won't kill me or trouble me that much if banning it out right saves the painting from unexperienced photographers. Afterall, I like to take photos of people and situations, not stil life. ;)

Luko 09-28-2005 07:31 PM

Re: There a huge difference...
 
I agree with almost everybody, except Mark, here (sorry Mark) : flash photo should be banned in museums while quieter photography allowed. This is the norm at Beaubourg CNAC for instance (though it might have changed, a long time I didn't go there)... I would be really pained if they extend their ban to the egyptian area and greek and roman statues galleries (the best areas for museum photo IMHO).

On the other hand, I'm afraid moaning and grining now won't help, thanks to the too many french grouches. Too many people have moaned for peanuts like bringing a tripod into the museum (a pity you can't read french, some stories of the links are simply pathetic : a guy writes the whole mejilla because he can't bring his tripod, complains why HE didn't get a rational explanation taht would convince him not to bring his tripod and the full monty that goes behind. If it were me, such ballbreaker wouldn't just be allowed to enter the museum.), forbidding tripods is perfectly understandable, although some professional grouches have already complained. Anyway photographying with a tripod is already forbidden in Paris streets.

Then I'm afraid any additionnal plea will go directly to the trash bin where already belongs the grouch plaints. Another smart thing would be not to mix up rampant USphobia, Disneyland, anticapitalism and so on... the point is that photo without flash is on the verge of being banned in the Louvre. That's the sad news.

Luko

dom_inik_m 09-28-2005 07:41 PM

Not on the verge...
 
Photography has already started being banned in the Louvre, since what's happening now are only the first steps towards a full ban.
The museum experience to be: buy your ticket, see, be happy, buy postcards and come back in numbers. Nothing else...

Homerhomer 09-28-2005 07:59 PM

Re: There a huge difference...
 
"between banning flash photography (which should be the norm) and banning photography altogether!

Besides, the main reason for all this is not the risk for paintings (flashes have always been forbidden inside the Louvre, but museum attendants didn't seem to care anymore...). "

why didn't they care anymore? because the flash was fired off so many time that it would take the whole army to controll it. I personally don't remember one visit to the musuem where someone wouldn't fire off their flash, Mark has a point, many of the visitors don't know how to turn it off from their cameras and we all pay the price for it.

I can live with photography ban in areas of the gallery because it's impossible to control everyone, and there will be flash fired off as long as pressing the shutter is allowed, but it is a shame that many places extend it to the whole musuems, greek statues or some modern art made of plastic won't suffer even if an occassional flash is fired off.
Peter

markgong 09-28-2005 08:42 PM

Re: Not on the verge...
 
I understand your plight with the banning of photography, and seeing this as putting a strain on one's artistic expressoin, but I think that the ban would have benefits as well. Rather than looking through the viewfinder or LCD to frame the photo right, or spend time fumbling with one's camera, perhaps the visitor will instead spend more time viewing the paintings and art pieces giving the attention it deserves. Plus, let us not forget that a photo of a piece of art is only a lesser copy of the original. Also, if one makes a case for street photography inside the museum because it is interesting, then I would challenge that person to find beauty and unique photos at a place that does not lend it self to be photographed.

Homerhomer 09-28-2005 08:58 PM

Re: Not on the verge...
 
"I understand your plight with the banning of photography, and seeing this as putting a strain on one's artistic expressoin, but I think that the ban would have benefits as well. Rather than looking through the viewfinder or LCD to frame the photo right, or spend time fumbling with one's camera, perhaps the visitor will instead spend more time viewing the paintings and art pieces giving the attention it deserves. Plus, let us not forget that a photo of a piece of art is only a lesser copy of the original. Also, if one makes a case for street photography inside the museum because it is interesting, then I would challenge that person to find beauty and unique photos at a place that does not lend it self to be photographed."
=================
with the above statement I disagree 100%.
Why the assumption that the photographer doesn't spend enough time enjoying art? I don't see the relation here and doubt that anyone will give the piece more attention just because photos of it can not be taken. And why are we suppose to be told how to enjoy our visit at the musuem (as long as we aren;t damaging or disturbing anything)?
I also don't agree that one only has to copy the art in the images, there is still plenty of ways of putting your own spin on it or simply take advantage of interesting elements available.
Why we would have to avoid beautifull places to photograph?
Mark, you have my full support and disagreement bro ;-)
Peter

Luko 09-28-2005 09:13 PM

Re: Not on the verge...
 
"a place that does not lend it self to be photographed."
the Louvre museum for instance?

It happens that "museum" photography is a part of street photography like Elliott Erwitt, HCB or more recently Matt Stuart showed us for instance... and yes of course, I could still breathe without the authorisation of shooting inside a museum, as I can breathe now in Paris streets where it is impossible to photo someone without sneaking the shot, as Peter can breathe even though he's been arrested for photographying kids, as I-don't-remember-who (Peter again?) was firmly advised not to take images in NYC underground, as some french photographers who had to pay ridiculous fees to the owner of a boat for having their pic including the boat published in a magazine, as etc. etc.

The problem of so called safer civilisation is that they easily and quickly tread into the paranoid zone. When safety is globally reached it then takes a lot of effort to marginally increase it, the effort is generally taken on the account of your freedom. It often leads to breaking balls of 10% of the population who has nothing to do with it to satisfy 1% of the population, the rest of it, 89% being neutral. Just that.

Going in your way, I then think that the more challenging thing for a street photographer is to take landscapes and to cope with it. Will you please post photos with NO people in it anymore, Mark, thanks... ;) ...

Cheers
Luko

Homerhomer 09-28-2005 09:30 PM

Re: Not on the verge...
 
" as Peter can breathe even though he's been arrested for photographying kids, as I-don't-remember-who (Peter again?) was firmly advised not to take images in NYC underground"

All me;-) types like me (middle aged bold accountant, living in the suburbs with wife and kid) tend to pose a huge threat to the society and security of the nations!!!!!!

Peter
(I wonder if my wife is a spy!?!?!?!)

markgong 09-28-2005 09:32 PM

Re: Not on the verge...
 
"Why the assumption that the photographer doesn't spend enough time enjoying art? I don't see the relation here and doubt that anyone will give the piece more attention just because photos of it can not be taken. And why are we suppose to be told how to enjoy our visit at the musuem (as long as we aren;t damaging or disturbing anything)?"


================================================== =====

The comment was obviously not directed at art lovers or those who appreciate art, but at visitors and tourists who are simply there to say they were there. I think this is a big problem in Paris, where millions of tourists go to the Louvre simply because it is the Louvre, not for the sake of art. It becomes more sightseeing rather than fullfilling one's soul with art. I am not saying that these tourists have no place in the museum, but I would respectfully agree that their photo taking priveledges be revoked if they cannot control the flash on their cameras. Such seems to be the case now where people leave cameras on AUTO setting and snap away at the priceless paintings, damaging them with their seemingly harmless flashes. I personally do not mind not having the ability to photograph in the museum if it means the millions of other visitors who have no idea how to turn off flash gets their privledge revoked. This is still an isolated case where the main concern is not public safety, terrorist attacks, or selling more post cards, but rather the preservation of priceless artifacts so generations after us can enjoy them.

That being said, I think it's ridiculous to ban photograph in other wings of the museum where flash cannot damage the pieces.

markgong 09-28-2005 09:41 PM

Re: Not on the verge...
 
Haha touche Luko.

I was playing the devil's advocate for a while there. I fully considered the paranoia factor and further limitations of a photographer's rights in public places to take photos. However, I still think that the Louvre is an isolated instance in which photography is banned because tourists can't seem to control their flash and paintings would be ruined because it. I don't think there is an invisible hand at work here, trying to limit a photographer's rights for the sake of security, national interest or anythign along those lines. While the far reaching implications of this ban is uncertain, and I fear its effects, I can however understand why the museum are taking such extreme measures.

Haha, it is far more difficult to take interesting photos in one's backyard than in a 3rd world country filled with vivid colors and unique faces. Sadly, I fall under this category of photographers. ;)

dom_inik_m 09-29-2005 04:01 AM

Sorry, you missed the whole point, Mark
 
The ban has not been edicted to protect paintings. If so, all painting departments should be concerned at the same time, which is not the case. And it shouldn't be extended to the whole building and collections, as planned

To quote the new regulations: with the growing success of the Grand Louvre project, marked by a sharp increase in annual attendance, the museum decided that the implemention of a partial restriction of photography and filming was needed. The restriction affects only the most crowded areas of the museum, where blocked views are most frustrating to the visiting public.

As I wrote before, people are expected to go faster from one room to another and linger less in front of the most popular pieces, bound to attract crowds. There goes your considerations for administrators willing to take care of art lovers who, as everyone knows, never watch a painting or a statue for more than 20 seconds...

By the way, what would be the best way to identify an art lover, not to be associated with a vulgar tourist eager to take pictures at anything he's been told to look at, and rush to the next masterpiece nearby? Should he:
Take an oath on a copy of Da Vinci's Treatise on painting?
Purchase a special permit?
Answer successfully some kind of test before being admitted inside ("we're so sorry, but your score doesn't qualify you to look at Géricault's paintings... but you can go to the bookstore instead")?
Any other suggestions?

I can't help but wonder...

tongapup 09-30-2005 06:18 AM

Re: tripods forbidden in Paris streets
 
for real? And if so, why?

MKING 10-03-2005 02:34 PM

Re: Sorry, you missed the whole point, Mark
 
Mark's reasoning is valid though that is obviously not the motivation that prompted the Louvre to act in this way (though don't tell them about Mark's understanding otherwise they might add that to their list of excuses!)

Indeed, the Louvre recognises the cultural icon status of some of their works. This action is not all that dissimilar to the action taken by the management at the Tower of London. If I recall correctly, you cannot actually stop and stand in front of the Crown Jewels anymore, you're stuck on a travelator that parades you at a reasonable 4-5kph pace around the glass displays and what few glimpses you manage to get are supported by giant LCD screens with video footage of the jewels. Caters quite happily for tourists who want to tick the "Crown Jewels" box on their London "To-Do" list but for the jewelry connoisseurs out there I'm sure most of their knowledge and appreciation for such works is based on books and other archival sources rather than the very items themselves.

Turning once again to these works as art rather than cultural icons I support the idea if its done explicitly in the interest of preserving the works better but trying to stop people from actually having the opportunity to appreciate the works in depth is kinda contradictory to the whole point of art in my opinion.

I suppose its good business ethics here-- you're catering for more people to have the chance to stand in front of the work but their subsequently sketchy recollections of what they saw can be mitigated by making then buy a postcard of Mona Lisa etc. 'Charitable', perhaps but it's still disappointing. And I don't like photography bans anyway though the people they're targeting are not specfically photographers.

dom_inik_m 10-03-2005 02:46 PM

As I expressed earlier...
 
you're stuck on a travelator that parades you at a reasonable 4-5kph pace around the glass displays...
I wonder why they didn't also print on the admittance tickets: "What we want to you see is good for you."
Obviously, they created their own kind of electric train to carry visitors from one point to another.
But why bother to go, then? Better connect yourself on the relevant Web site and click on the virtual visit link. Photographing your computer screen will soon be the ultimate trip for art and culture...

PS I hope I don't sound too antiUS that way. *o)

Homerhomer 10-03-2005 03:23 PM

Re: As I expressed earlier...
 
"PS I hope I don't sound too antiUS that way. *o)"
-------------------------------------------------

You didn't until you have added this sentence, you weren't too antiUS, you weren't just enough antiUS, infact it didn't seem to be anything antiUS.
I thought that the point of this thread was that you were antiRegulations in French museum.

dom_inik_m 10-03-2005 04:27 PM

Re: As I expressed earlier...
 
AntiExcessiveAndPointlessRegulations, in fact!
Thank you, Peter... ;-)

MKING 10-03-2005 05:56 PM

Re: As I expressed earlier...
 
Didn't catch an anti-US vibe at all unless you were inferring the reports of photographers in the US being frustrated by police incursions into their business. As far as I have read and heard this isn't a strictly US phenomenon but is happening in many places (including Australia, and more likely to here when anti-terror laws come into play in 2006).

MKING 10-03-2005 06:04 PM

Re: As I expressed earlier...
 
Also, to draw upon something mentioned by John Urry;

You go to these places because it's part of a 'collective' tourist 'gaze'-- there is an established history of people visiting these icons/sites and it has built up a whole process of collective memories-- what others tell you, what others show you, what you read on the internet, in books etc. You also go because it's the 'in' place to be-- the place to be seen and supposedly, the place to best experience the location you've gone to. I sometimes stop myself in shock when I realise that I've seen something or visited somewhere and have no idea WHAT I've just seen or its significance even though I've witnessed it in person.

Sadly, the commercialisation and the spread of everyone else's recollections and romaticisms about any given popular location colours your own perception of the place, sometimes to the extent that your own experience is, largely, that of everyone elses. For example, the Mona Lisa-- both the Louvre and the crowds of tourists are making it difficult to form your own opinion or idea about the painting by simply looking at it in the flesh. You then fall back on existing material about it.

Or, eg, my mother said about the Roman Forum how disappointing it was to see in the flesh-- just rubble, hot sun and tourists. But it was incredible when she later saw the 3D simulations of what it might have looked like 2000 years ago.

joseelias 10-03-2005 06:13 PM

Re: Leave your cameras at home!
 
I’ll start my message with two small stories:

Some years ago, right after the opening of the Lisbon Oceanarium during World Exhibition - Expo 98 , despite all the messages warning people not to fire the flash as they could put in danger the fishes, stupid people (there’s no other name for them) did not respect it. Of course, with thousands of visitors flashing around the main tank, and despite the workers efforts, it could only produce bad results. And the results were that in several occasions, the sharks got enraged with the flashes and attacked other fishes around them. As a consequence some rare species were eaten by the sharks which would never happen in a normal situation. After the flash is fired nothing can be done, and sometimes the consequences are impossible to revert.

The second story happened to me, also in the Oceanarium. Knowing that the flash couldn’t be used I turned it off. Still, when photographing some very, very sensible sea creatures (in fact they have a guard permanently by the side of the aquarium) I was warned by the guard that I had to turn of my Auto-Focus Light Assistant immediately because it also was dangerous to them (no warning about this anywhere). I preferred that it was totally forbidden to photograph them than to make me put those creatures in danger! Now, how many people don’t even have the care to turn of the flashes?! More, how many even know how to control the AF-Assistant Light? Again, nothing can be done after being fired.

Personally I also find reasonable that photographing with flash to be forbidden in situations where the flash may produce permanent damage in unique or rare items.

And if people are too ignorant or too stupid to understand this (“one flash won’t make difference…”), or unable to control the cameras, making that the amount of flashes fired destructive of the richness of our common culture, than forbid all photographs in the areas where they can make such damage.

What worries me, and should worry all of us, is the fact that it’s forbidden to take photos inside train and subway stations as well in many other places (and still growing), without any explanation. No security man was able to give me ANY reason except that it’s forbidden and only with authorization it’s allowed…

This worries me because it sounds like they are trying to hide severe security flaws, bad service to their costumers and other cases like this. And the excuse that it’s a security against terrorism as I’ve heard later is a crap as a terrorist can get with a big easy these information. Just buy a 2mp image-phone also with video mode and no one will bother you for being handling it…

These are the real cases which we should be worried about, and not to be able to take a photo of a painting that any postcard shows with better quality and detail (not to mention books). If people want a souvenir to brag about to their friends, just buy a postcard and keep the entrance ticket…

baudinm 11-07-2005 06:45 PM

Re: tripods forbidden in Paris streets
 
I don't have the answer to your question, but you can have a look at my post "No tripod shots in Paris ?" in the "General" forum section. My post is not directly linked to the present thread, but it is not far.


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