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Understanding the No Picture Taking Policy in Some Places

Creation of Adam
Understanding the No Picture Taking Policy in Some Places
on June, 23 2014
Creation of Adam

Image credit: Creation of Adam taken by From English Wikipedia under Public Domain.

1,2,3, Say Cheese! Oops, You Can’t!

When visiting places, you don’t want to go home without taking pictures as memories of your visit. Sometimes, even if you have not bought anything from that place as long as you have taken tons of photos, you are good. Sadly, there are certain places in the world with a no picture taking policy, meaning, picture taking is restricted. You might have even encountered some instances when you were doing your best pose, when all of a sudden, a security personnel was yelling at you, saying you’re not allowed to take photos. There are different reasons behind this rule. Obviously, there is nothing that you can do unless you are willing to take the risk of paying huge fines or imprisonment.

Strict Regulations in Art Museums

There are a lot of art museums around the world that do not allow visitors to take photos. They don’t even allow visitors to touch certain items. Those who want to visit will just have to look around, do some readings, and go out. They even assign security personnel in each corner to ensure that no one violates the rule. As annoying as it may sound, it is totally understandable. There are certain art pieces that were created decades or centuries ago. If they are exposed to camera flashes, their integrity might be sacrificed. Thus, some museums allow picture taking, but flashes are not allowed. Also, taking pictures usually create sounds due to camera shutter, which is another reason why picture taking is banned – so as not to affect the solemnity of the place.

Copyrights Issues

Art museums are also strict when it comes to picture taking since they have to protect the copyrights of the masterpieces. People who take images of these artworks may easily copy them using other medium. Another case is that of the Sistine Chapel. If you have visited this popular place which is the home of Michelangelo’s paintings, you might have been frustrated with the no picture taking policy. The main reason behind it is that when the chapel hired a contractor that would fund the renovation of the area, the winner of the bidding, Nippon TV, was given the exclusive rights to take photos of the chapel and publish these photos. Though there is an expiry period for their copyrights, this idea still sounds frustrating, especially since the entire place is majestic.

Religious Reasons

If you visit certain parts of Thailand, Laos or Cambodia, you would be fascinated by their images of Buddhist gods and deities. You might not help it but stand next to them and take photos. Though the rules vary in every place, there are certain images that you are not allowed to take photos with. For them, these statues are not just representations of gods, but the actual gods may live in them. Thus, as a sign of respect, taking photos is not allowed. There are also some other cultures in which taking photos while they do their rituals is not allowed. This is in line with their idea of preserving the sanctity of the ceremony.

Know More Prior to Your Visit

To be safe, you need to know exactly the rules of picture taking in every place that you decide to visit. It is also better if you look around for signs or even ask people in charge if you can take photos or not. It is not just a way of respecting the place, but you will also avoid getting yourself in trouble.

Bernadine Racoma

Bernadine is a writer, researcher, professional and multi-awarded blogger and new media consultant. She brings with her a rich set of experience in the corporate world, as well as in the field of research and writing. Having taken early retirement after working as an international civil servant and traveling the world for 22 years, she has aggressively pursued her main interest in writing and research. You can also find Bernadine Racoma at .

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