In a time of everybody photographing everything, little seems new and fresh, from celebs, to tourist attractions, where are the original scenes, the original moments..? Perhaps nothing is left. Where is our desire to discover and document unknown territories, to see everything?
Today I stumbled apon a website today called ‘Strictly No Photography‘. It is dedicated to showcasing photographs taken in places where you should not really be taking pictures.
There have been loads of times where I have been tempted and not bothered and a few times where I have been warned not to and done it anyway. There is something about doing the opposite of what you are told. Especially when it comes to taking photos in places you shouldn’t, you feel you have then captured something others have not.
Then there are the restrictions placed upon us by people protecting their corporate interests. I imagine most have seen the signs at art galleries. I could not help myself when visiting an exhibition of Nirvana photos in a london gallery. I was still gutted at selling the ticket to the last scheduled concert Kurt Cobain was to play at and always regret not getting to see them. So when I saw a corridor of photos with his face refracted in them I just had to take it.
The CCTV camera just visible in the frame but unseen to me alerted an attendant to my snapping and a moment after I pressed the shutter, the door in the picture flung open and I was dressed down by an irate security guard obviously bothered by having to sit in a cupboard looking at screens all day. Why assume I am going to rush home and made a calendar of someone else’s art? I would argue the gallery is a public place and normally take pictures with that thought in mind.
Still, since then, whether it be art or science exhibitions, government buildings or places of religious interest I always look around for cctv cameras before I snap. 🙂
With phones as well as cameras now being banned from more and more places it is certainly a challenge and I would much rather see a respectfully grabbed shot taken in a place you would not normally get a glimpse into that any ‘papped’ shot of a minor celeb drunk in a bar or flashing themselves getting out of a car.
(To see more pix of places you wouldn’t normally, I highly recommend the exhibition I recently saw at the Photographers Gallery in London… ‘An American Index of Hidden and unfamiliar.’ By Taryn Simon Interestingly there were very few places she didn’t get permission to photograph, Disney had an issue with some behind the scenes location and also the US government disallowed access to the warehouse where the furniture is stored for ex tenants of The White House.)