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(Gizmodo)   Does flash photography really damage art? Short answer: No. Long answer: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO   (gizmodo.com) divider line 49
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4118 clicks; posted to Geek » on 24 Jul 2012 at 1:33 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-24 10:59:51 AM
www.fugly.com
 
2012-07-24 11:19:55 AM
No, but it hurts the museum's ability to sell kitschy little prints and postcards of the art you want to photograph.
 
2012-07-24 11:21:22 AM

Vodka Zombie: No, but it hurts the museum's ability to sell kitschy little prints and postcards of the art you want to photograph.


Once again I have arrived too late.
 
2012-07-24 11:32:50 AM

Vodka Zombie: No, but it hurts the museum's ability to sell kitschy little prints and postcards of the art you want to photograph.

 
2012-07-24 11:40:04 AM
Sounds like a cheap museum... no oil paintings?
 
2012-07-24 11:51:54 AM
I remember the guard at the Musée d'Orsay yelling at me not to take photos of a bronze sculpture with my flash.

Thankfully my French is atrocious, so I offered to send him some prints and went on my merry way.
 
2012-07-24 11:57:17 AM
Probably not, but it's annoying as fark to be walking through a crowded museum with a hundreds of flashes going off. I saw so many tourists plowing through the Louvre basically viewing classic works of art through the screen of their digital camera for a second or two to snap a picture and move on.

Oh, and using flash photography on Disney rides should result in summary execution. Do you really need a bad photo of every inch of Pirates of the Caribbean, you stupid hick?
 
2012-07-24 11:59:25 AM

Nabb1: Probably not, but it's annoying as fark to be walking through a crowded museum with a hundreds of flashes going off.


THIS.
 
2012-07-24 12:00:51 PM
"A friend of mine was once admonished by a museum attendant, who said that the light was so bright that it could freeze an object, and this sudden cold shock would be damaging to a delicate wooden exhibit!"

Umm ... WTF?
 
2012-07-24 12:27:58 PM
People still use cameras with flash bulbs?
 
2012-07-24 12:49:56 PM

Mugato: People still use cameras with flash bulbs?


Yes and nobody knows how to turn them off either. Ever see those thousands of flashes going off at the Super Bowl? Yeah, I'm sure your 0.25 square inch flash really has the power to light a stadium of 70,000.

Vodka Zombie: No, but it hurts the museum's ability to sell kitschy little prints and postcards of the art you want to photograph.


THIS. The worst was seeing The David. Photo taking of The David is forbidden. It was outside for hundreds of years for anyone to do so. Now you get accosted by a nun if you dare even have a camera around your neck. "NO PHOTO!" It's made of MARBLE, and it's not under copyright, so what the hell is the problem!? Oh because there's a gift shop on the way out!
 
2012-07-24 12:55:41 PM

Gig103: Mugato: People still use cameras with flash bulbs?

Yes and nobody knows how to turn them off either. Ever see those thousands of flashes going off at the Super Bowl? Yeah, I'm sure your 0.25 square inch flash really has the power to light a stadium of 70,000.


I know they use them in studios and stuff but I don't know why you'd need it in a place with good lighting if you have a half way decent digital.
 
2012-07-24 01:05:15 PM
The new thing is "You can't take pictures because all this is copyrighted".

No, really, they say that. They said that at Windsor Castle in England. "The artwork in here is copyrighted so no pictures or video is allowed".
 
2012-07-24 01:37:19 PM

ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha: "A friend of mine was once admonished by a museum attendant, who said that the light was so bright that it could freeze an object, and this sudden cold shock would be damaging to a delicate wooden exhibit!"

Umm ... WTF?


It was easier to make up some bs rather than snatching the camera, throwing it on the floor and stomping it while shouting "nyahh!"
 
2012-07-24 01:44:55 PM

Mugato: I know they use them in studios and stuff but I don't know why you'd need it in a place with good lighting if you have a half way decent digital.


Take a photography class. The flash has a million uses, some of them rather surprising.
 
2012-07-24 01:47:27 PM

Nabb1: Probably not, but it's annoying as fark to be walking through a crowded museum with a hundreds of flashes going off. I saw so many tourists plowing through the Louvre basically viewing classic works of art through the screen of their digital camera for a second or two to snap a picture and move on.

Oh, and using flash photography on Disney rides should result in summary execution. Do you really need a bad photo of every inch of Pirates of the Caribbean, you stupid hick?


This this this ...
 
2012-07-24 02:07:13 PM
As pointed out above, most people don't know how to effectively use the flash anyway. If they were allowed to use the flash, they'd just end up looking at the pictures at home to realise that there was a horrible great big white blob where the flash had reflected off the glass of the painting they took a picture of.

But even though it usually says 'no flash photography' in my experience that often might as well say 'no photography'. I use a DSLR. It's obvious if I'm going to use the flash because it has a pop-up flash. I've gone to take a picture of something in a 'no flash photography' area only to be accosted. I've then pointed out that I'm not going to use the flash and then just been told to put my camera away anyway.

Mostly I don't bother to photograph art anyways though, because looking at a picture of a picture, statue, tapestry etc.. is just kinda boring.
 
2012-07-24 02:09:40 PM

Nabb1: Oh, and using flash photography on Disney rides should result in summary execution. Do you really need a bad photo of every inch of Pirates of the Caribbean, you stupid hick?


Well what did you expect?
 
2012-07-24 02:11:05 PM

Walker: The new thing is "You can't take pictures because all this is copyrighted".

No, really, they say that. They said that at Windsor Castle in England. "The artwork in here is copyrighted so no pictures or video is allowed".


I got that at the Experience Music Project and Sci Fi Museum in Seattle. The lights were also low enough that you couldn't take any non-flash photos. I believe the copyright concerns were valid on some level, since it was movie/TV props from the last 60 years, and the museum wasn't selling any souvenir postcards of the exhibits. I was surprised at how much of it was owned by Paul Allen.

The Guttenberg Museum in Mainz was very strict about no flash. Someone in the group had a good camera that could manage without a flash, and he was allowed to take photos.

Versailles allowed photos anywhere, and was well-lit.
 
2012-07-24 02:20:15 PM

Walker: The new thing is "You can't take pictures because all this is copyrighted".

No, really, they say that. They said that at Windsor Castle in England. "The artwork in here is copyrighted so no pictures or video is allowed".


That's actually correct at Windsor Castle: the Queen has right right to something called "Crown Copyright" which traditionally was in perpetuity (it's in a state of flux at the moment and runs through at least 2040).
 
2012-07-24 02:29:51 PM

Fish in a Barrel: Mugato: I know they use them in studios and stuff but I don't know why you'd need it in a place with good lighting if you have a half way decent digital.

Take a photography class. The flash has a million uses, some of them rather surprising.


Read this as well: http://strobist.blogspot.ca/
 
2012-07-24 02:45:27 PM

ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha: "A friend of mine was once admonished by a museum attendant, who said that the light was so bright that it could freeze an object, and this sudden cold shock would be damaging to a delicate wooden exhibit!"

Umm ... WTF?


Apparently, someone took the phrase "freezes action" literally.
 
2012-07-24 03:08:45 PM
I always thought it was a throwback to the days of flash powder in a tray, and that the smoke from igniting the flash powder was what caused the harm.
 
2012-07-24 03:28:05 PM

Gig103: Mugato: People still use cameras with flash bulbs?

Yes and nobody knows how to turn them off either. Ever see those thousands of flashes going off at the Super Bowl? Yeah, I'm sure your 0.25 square inch flash really has the power to light a stadium of 70,000.

Vodka Zombie: No, but it hurts the museum's ability to sell kitschy little prints and postcards of the art you want to photograph.

THIS. The worst was seeing The David. Photo taking of The David is forbidden. It was outside for hundreds of years for anyone to do so. Now you get accosted by a nun if you dare even have a camera around your neck. "NO PHOTO!" It's made of MARBLE, and it's not under copyright, so what the hell is the problem!? Oh because there's a gift shop on the way out!


I took like 15 pictures of David. What did I have to lose? They would throw me out? I already saw him.
 
2012-07-24 03:32:07 PM
The Hermitage allows flash in the majority of their exhibitions. However, considering how poorly most of their galleries are kept, a flash is the least of their problems.

/ hey, who will know if that Picasso was supposed to be warped?
 
2012-07-24 03:46:25 PM
It's debatable whether aircraft are "art" but bright flashes don't harm them. Their paint, on the other hand ... .

// You just have to get in real close.
 
2012-07-24 03:51:29 PM
Tobin_Lam

ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha: "A friend of mine was once admonished by a museum attendant, who said that the light was so bright that it could freeze an object, and this sudden cold shock would be damaging to a delicate wooden exhibit!"

Umm ... WTF?


Apparently, someone took the phrase "freezes action" literally.


The stupid; it freezer burns frostbites.
 
2012-07-24 03:52:32 PM
Much like the mobile phone ban on airplanes, the REAL reason is actually a very good one that the vast majority of the population would support if they were simply told the truth. Hiding behind a lie of "safety" smokescreen is patently false and undermines public support of the ban.

Flash photography is annoying as hell in an art gallery or museum, plus you get congestion and disruption as people try to frame up shots and generally make a nuisance of themselves. It would be simpler and more honest just to say it - "for the convenience of your fellow visitors and in the interest of their ability to enjoy the art on display the museum requests no photography (especially with flash) in the gallery"

Then the guards, instead of having to lie and say "you're hurting the art" could tell the truth: "you're being an annoying douchebag" and ask you to move along.
 
2012-07-24 04:01:26 PM
I spent the day at the Art Institute in Chicago, 8 days ago. They were really good about letting me take all the pictures that I wanted. Although they had the no flash policy.

In the Lichenstein exhibit there were a handful of paintings we weren't allowed to photograph, but for the most part, it was no problem.

Looking back at them, you know what I learned? I am lousy at taking pictures of art.
 
2012-07-24 04:10:00 PM

cefm: Much like the mobile phone ban on airplanes, the REAL reason is actually a very good one that the vast majority of the population would support if they were simply told the truth. Hiding behind a lie of "safety" smokescreen is patently false and undermines public support of the ban.

Flash photography is annoying as hell in an art gallery or museum, plus you get congestion and disruption as people try to frame up shots and generally make a nuisance of themselves. It would be simpler and more honest just to say it - "for the convenience of your fellow visitors and in the interest of their ability to enjoy the art on display the museum requests no photography (especially with flash) in the gallery"

Then the guards, instead of having to lie and say "you're hurting the art" could tell the truth: "you're being an annoying douchebag" and ask you to move along.


French guard: I'm bored, and you, Monsieur, are being ze grand sac de douche, or as we say in France, "Un Americain,"

Douche is shower in French, so I wonder what a douchebag is called.
 
2012-07-24 04:11:28 PM
I never understood why anyone was a cheap jpg with their cellphone of a van Gogh painting when you go home on google and d/l a high quality image of it. "But it has to be my shot of it!"

www.fadingad.com

Hey asshole, down in front!

/hot
 
2012-07-24 04:22:13 PM

Mawson of the Antarctic: I never understood why anyone was a cheap jpg with their cellphone of a van Gogh painting when you go home on google and d/l a high quality image of it. "But it has to be my shot of it!"

[www.fadingad.com image 500x375]

Hey asshole, down in front!

/hot


Dear god...it's like going to a concert!
 
2012-07-24 04:29:41 PM
Not like it stops Asians anyway.
 
2012-07-24 04:43:57 PM

This About That: Vodka Zombie: No, but it hurts the museum's ability to sell kitschy little prints and postcards of the art you want to photograph.

Once again I have arrived too late.


That was in the article, so just by being in the thread you're too late.

Also, UV exposure will in fact damage many paints and dyes, quite a large number are UV active (unsurprising given the old-school sources of such). So an old-school high-temperature filament flash (or, for the really, really old-school, a powder flash) will do substantial damage to paint over a long period.

The thing is, as TFA points out, camera flashes have had UV filters since the '80s (mainly becase of potential damage to eyesight, not paint, but still) and most modern ones are spectrum-corrected LEDs limited specifically to the visible spectrum and not filament-based at all. So we're back to it not being a problem since it's not 1955 anymore.
 
2012-07-24 04:48:26 PM
The gift shop has postcards to sell.
They cant with you taking pictures for free.
 
2012-07-24 05:01:55 PM
Chalk me up as another person who doesn't understand taking pictures of paintings. The picture will never be as good as the hi-res scan or staged professional shot of the actual painting online, so just enjoy the works when you can actually see them in person, instead of being glued to the camera.
 
2012-07-24 05:39:21 PM

CPennypacker: Gig103: Mugato: People still use cameras with flash bulbs?

Yes and nobody knows how to turn them off either. Ever see those thousands of flashes going off at the Super Bowl? Yeah, I'm sure your 0.25 square inch flash really has the power to light a stadium of 70,000.

Vodka Zombie: No, but it hurts the museum's ability to sell kitschy little prints and postcards of the art you want to photograph.

THIS. The worst was seeing The David. Photo taking of The David is forbidden. It was outside for hundreds of years for anyone to do so. Now you get accosted by a nun if you dare even have a camera around your neck. "NO PHOTO!" It's made of MARBLE, and it's not under copyright, so what the hell is the problem!? Oh because there's a gift shop on the way out!

I took like 15 pictures of David's penis. What did I have to lose? They would throw me out? I already saw him.


FTFY. Seriously. Huge hands, huge feet and the dude's hung like a field mouse?!?
 
2012-07-24 05:58:09 PM

Vodka Zombie: FTFY. Seriously. Huge hands, huge feet and the dude's hung like a field mouse?!?


Hes a grower, not a shower.
 
2012-07-24 06:35:39 PM

Vodka Zombie: FTFY. Seriously. Huge hands, huge feet and the dude's hung like a field mouse?!?


IIRC, small penises were all the rage back then (They made fun of people who where well endowed)
 
2012-07-24 06:50:21 PM

Nabb1: Oh, and using flash photography on Disney rides should result in summary execution. Do you really need a bad photo of every inch of Pirates of the Caribbean, you stupid hick?


cdn0.hark.com

They're just making sure if the ride breaks down, the Pirates don't eat the tourists.
 
2012-07-24 08:11:11 PM
Sounds like a good excuse to firebomb some museums.
 
2012-07-24 08:58:23 PM

Mawson of the Antarctic: I never understood why anyone was a cheap jpg with their cellphone of a van Gogh painting when you go home on google and d/l a high quality image of it. "But it has to be my shot of it!"

[www.fadingad.com image 500x375]

Hey asshole, down in front!

/hot


That, my friend, would be a crappy cellphone jpg of a da Vinci.
 
2012-07-24 10:08:05 PM
Does flash photography really damage art?
img35.imageshack.us
 
2012-07-24 10:24:08 PM
Yes it does. Unless flash photography and the laws of physics have changed recently, all light sources emit heat and UV radiation (because they are sources of light) that will damage art and artifacts. One camera with a flash will not cause any significant damage (if the light radiation burst occurs only once during the entire existence of the Earth in the past few billions of years), but hundreds of flash cameras every day will cause significant damage. Even if a frame or case has UV filtering film built into the glass or plexiglass, the light will cause severe damage because those films decay over time and just cannot deflect all light radiation. The American Association of Museums has some resources for basic art and artifact conservation that can help explain and resolve the problem.

FTFA: After more than a million flashes, the pigments and dyes exposed to the naked flash showed a slight, but visible, fading in a few samples.

The article treats it like a trivial matter, but any light damage is a problem for conservation. A curator that allows art or artifact decay violates both the letter and spirit of preservation/conservation ethics and best practices. The state government of Texas (Texas Historical Commission) will freely loan out light meters to Texas museums for that specific reason.

Evans points out the irony that, "Curators ban photographing things like Pharaonic Egyptian relics that have been bathed in the intense UV light of desert sunlight for over 3000 years."

Because we want to preserve them, you shiathead. This is akin to someone citing bad acquisition and preservation efforts from the 19th Century as an excuse for bad current behavior (like the unethical theft of antiquities and human remains from American Indians). That is the basic premise of conservation and preservation. If we could, we would keep everything in acid-free boxes in perfect humidity control with absolutely no light whatsoever, but the public needs to see the objects and artwork.

/curator in training
//TFA needs to read MRM5 or else shut up
 
2012-07-24 10:41:45 PM
Kind of pointed out already re: the Mona Lisa, but what flash photography damages is the other folks enjoyment of viewing the art.

They should all be online for free though.
 
2012-07-24 10:46:52 PM

rebelyell2006: Yes it does. Unless flash photography and the laws of physics have changed recently, all light sources emit heat and UV radiation (because they are sources of light) that will damage art and artifacts. One camera with a flash will not cause any significant damage (if the light radiation burst occurs only once during the entire existence of the Earth in the past few billions of years), but hundreds of flash cameras every day will cause significant damage. Even if a frame or case has UV filtering film built into the glass or plexiglass, the light will cause severe damage because those films decay over time and just cannot deflect all light radiation. The American Association of Museums has some resources for basic art and artifact conservation that can help explain and resolve the problem.

FTFA: After more than a million flashes, the pigments and dyes exposed to the naked flash showed a slight, but visible, fading in a few samples.

The article treats it like a trivial matter, but any light damage is a problem for conservation. A curator that allows art or artifact decay violates both the letter and spirit of preservation/conservation ethics and best practices. The state government of Texas (Texas Historical Commission) will freely loan out light meters to Texas museums for that specific reason.

Evans points out the irony that, "Curators ban photographing things like Pharaonic Egyptian relics that have been bathed in the intense UV light of desert sunlight for over 3000 years."

Because we want to preserve them, you shiathead. This is akin to someone citing bad acquisition and preservation efforts from the 19th Century as an excuse for bad current behavior (like the unethical theft of antiquities and human remains from American Indians). That is the basic premise of conservation and preservation. If we could, we would keep everything in acid-free boxes in perfect humidity control with absolutely no light whatsoever, but the public needs to see the objects ...


Naked, meaning they removed the UV filter.

Also FTFA: "The samples exposed to the glass filtered flash showed no visible change, although the experimenters were able to detect very small changes with a densitometer. Interestingly, the change for the control group was the same as for the filtered flash. "

"A similar panel was set up under "standard gallery lighting" as a control. "
 
2012-07-24 11:11:35 PM

Cyno01: rebelyell2006: Yes it does. Unless flash photography and the laws of physics have changed recently, all light sources emit heat and UV radiation (because they are sources of light) that will damage art and artifacts. One camera with a flash will not cause any significant damage (if the light radiation burst occurs only once during the entire existence of the Earth in the past few billions of years), but hundreds of flash cameras every day will cause significant damage. Even if a frame or case has UV filtering film built into the glass or plexiglass, the light will cause severe damage because those films decay over time and just cannot deflect all light radiation. The American Association of Museums has some resources for basic art and artifact conservation that can help explain and resolve the problem.

FTFA: After more than a million flashes, the pigments and dyes exposed to the naked flash showed a slight, but visible, fading in a few samples.

The article treats it like a trivial matter, but any light damage is a problem for conservation. A curator that allows art or artifact decay violates both the letter and spirit of preservation/conservation ethics and best practices. The state government of Texas (Texas Historical Commission) will freely loan out light meters to Texas museums for that specific reason.

Evans points out the irony that, "Curators ban photographing things like Pharaonic Egyptian relics that have been bathed in the intense UV light of desert sunlight for over 3000 years."

Because we want to preserve them, you shiathead. This is akin to someone citing bad acquisition and preservation efforts from the 19th Century as an excuse for bad current behavior (like the unethical theft of antiquities and human remains from American Indians). That is the basic premise of conservation and preservation. If we could, we would keep everything in acid-free boxes in perfect humidity control with absolutely no light whatsoever, but the public needs to see the objects ...

Naked, meaning they removed the UV filter.

Also FTFA: "The samples exposed to the glass filtered flash showed no visible change, although the experimenters were able to detect very small changes with a densitometer. Interestingly, the change for the control group was the same as for the filtered flash. "

"A similar panel was set up under "standard gallery lighting" as a control. "


Which is very disconcerting for preservation efforts if true. Although, what do they speak of for UV filters? Because there is a variety of types for placing over windows exposed to sunlight, and the sort that can be placed over light bulbs. And the sort that can be placed over the full light fixture. No matter the source (light bulbs, flash photography, open windows), UV radiation is damaging.
 
2012-07-25 04:41:42 AM

Good Behavior Day: Walker: The new thing is "You can't take pictures because all this is copyrighted".

No, really, they say that. They said that at Windsor Castle in England. "The artwork in here is copyrighted so no pictures or video is allowed".

I got that at the Experience Music Project and Sci Fi Museum in Seattle. The lights were also low enough that you couldn't take any non-flash photos. I believe the copyright concerns were valid on some level, since it was movie/TV props from the last 60 years, and the museum wasn't selling any souvenir postcards of the exhibits. I was surprised at how much of it was owned by Paul Allen.

The Guttenberg Museum in Mainz was very strict about no flash. Someone in the group had a good camera that could manage without a flash, and he was allowed to take photos.

Versailles allowed photos anywhere, and was well-lit.


The Hall of Mirrors was well lit?
 
2012-07-25 10:13:36 PM

Nabb1: Probably not, but it's annoying as fark to be walking through a crowded museum with a hundreds of flashes going off. I saw so many tourists plowing through the Louvre basically viewing classic works of art through the screen of their digital camera for a second or two to snap a picture and move on.

Oh, and using flash photography on Disney rides should result in summary execution. Do you really need a bad photo of every inch of Pirates of the Caribbean, you stupid hick?


STOP ENJOYING THINGS IN A DIFFERENT WAY THAN I ENJOY THINGS!
 
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