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Taking photographs in public buildings/church

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Minnesota
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Taking photographs in public buildings/church

I realize that some places do not allow any photos or photos with flash. But are there other rules I need to be mindful of? For example, are we allowed to use a tripod?

north carolina
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1. Re: Taking photographs in public buildings/church

In Florence, I photograph anywhere that I do not find signs prohibiting. Of course, with consideration in a church. I use the tripod anywhere that I photograph, no problem. Keep in mind that some places that prohibit photography may allow you to photograph out from their windows. I have gotten some nice shots that way from Uffizi and Pitti Palace.

Singapore
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2. Re: Taking photographs in public buildings/church

The only place that bans you from taking photos is the Accademia, but a lot of people still do it because the guards didn't take any action other than shouting "No photo".

United States
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3. Re: Taking photographs in public buildings/church

There have been some postings in the past that mentioned that using a tripod would put you in a "professional" category and requires a special permit. Since my tripod is very little, I've never run into this problem In Milan I was pushed aside by a woman with a hugh camera/tripod setup in the Duomo where it is clearly marked NO Photos. No one said anything to her.

TAB

Norwich, Norfolk, Uk
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4. Re: Taking photographs in public buildings/church

There are places in Florence, other than the Accademia, that do not allow photography. Mind you many people seem to ignore the signs, which isn't something I would do, or advise.

Norwich, United...
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5. Re: Taking photographs in public buildings/church

One of the best ways to identify where and what you're likely to be able to shoot is by taking a look on Flickr - particularly if you use their Advanced Search facility and narrow down the date taken range.

It does however seem rather unlikely that there's now only one place in Florence that forbids photography?

Don't be frightened off if museums and galleries insist you park your camera in the Cloakroom lockers - holding onto their job is almost certainly worth more to the staff than the contents of your gadget bag!

Remember that you'll often find horrid mixes of daylight and artificial lighting (tungsten bulbs and, more and more now, fluorescents of varying temperatures) so try to shoot with not just Auto White Balance, but also - if you can - a Custom reading and, with digital especially, make liberal use of the camera's Autoexposure Bracketing facility to increase your chances of getting a decent result.

Be sure to carry some Euro change as some churches may still have pay-boxes for illuminating their side aisles, chapels etc.

I've gone over to carrying a tiny table-top pod rather than anything larger. While a heavier camera might need one that's a little sturdier - like the Manfrotto 709B - most simpler digital compacts should be OK with the sort of thing that can be bought from street vendors or shops here for 5 or 6 Euro. Just be sure it has protected feet and inflexible legs, then you can get extra stability by resting on walls, display cabinets, the floor - for ceilings - etc etc without causing any damage.

If you're close to running out of card space and don't want to pay the local price for more, consider having your pictures copied off onto DVDs. This is the sort of shop sign to watch out for:

www.pbase.com/isolaverde/image/62361482

And try to separate yourself from the herd - you'll often be rewarded by being allowed to do stuff that would be out of the question with a crowd around!

Peter

Upper Maremma...
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6. Re: Taking photographs in public buildings/church

In theory, you could not take photos in churches, they are legally private properties. But most churches don't care, and you will see signs if you are not allowed.

Sydney, Australia
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7. Re: Taking photographs in public buildings/church

There will be signs prohibiting photos, or flash, or tripods, but please be careful with tripods as they can block easy passage for others. Wherever there are frescoes, do not use flash as the light degrades the paint in the pictures. Instead open the aperture, use the image stabilization, lower the exposure a notch or two and push up the ISO. A gorillapod (flexible tripod) can sometimes be used twisted onto seat backs and don't forget to use the self timer with the camera flat on its back for domes and ceilings.

I got stopped from using the gorillapod as a stabilizer against pillars in the Mezquita in Spain because it was a "tripod". I was furious but helpless. It was no more than a handle on the camera, but...them's the rules.

Greve in Chianti...
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8. Re: Taking photographs in public buildings/church

There's a very easy way for you to find out whether or not photography is permitted - ASK! :-)

Generally, restrictions on photography in churches and museums is pretty rigid, and for a couple of good reasons. The artwork, and in particular the frescoes are very fragile and can be greatly damaged by flash. Since most people either forget to turn off their flash or just don't care to bother, it's safer just to prohibit photography altogether. Another reason is that most museums and almost all the churches are very low on funding. Surprisingly, the monumental churches get very little or no money from the Main Office down in Rome for maintenance and as you can imagine, the maintenance of a 700 year old monument filled with delicate and highly perishable artwork costs a lot of money. So they charge admission and try to generate income by asking you not to take photo's and buying the book instead. Not a bad trade-off, I think. Of course, some of the big churches (S.Croce, the Duomo for example) have no photo restrictions.

I have never in my long long life heard that using a tripod switches your status to professional.

Finally, if you do get caught snapping a photo where you shouldn't, the worst that will happen is that some very nasty guard will scream NO PHOTO at the top of her lungs. Sadly, the guards consider this great sport and have managed to earn themselves a well deserved reputation for being rude, aggressive, rude, uncourteous and rude - and not just because of their penchant for screaming. But that's about all that'll happen.

United States
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9. Re: Taking photographs in public buildings/church

Here is one post that discusses the "professional" aspect of using a tripod:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187886-i343-k2737…

There were more using the search function.

TAB

Greve in Chianti...
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571 posts
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10. Re: Taking photographs in public buildings/church

I'm not convinced - not by that TA thread or by the one on Luminous Landscape. Seems to me a tempest in a teapot.

Use good sense. Don't go setting up a gigantic military-issue tripod in the doorway between Botticellie and Leonardo at the Uffizi - it could get in somebody's way.