Monday, November 12, 2012

Advice to Art Museum Visitors, Don't Focus on Photographing the Art Work...

... and just focus on the grandeur of the masterpieces.

A little backgrounder...

I read this very informative article sometime back. To summarize, the photographer expressed his dismay on how wedding guests behave now: instead of focusing on the bride and groom, the happy emotions, and just enjoying the event, people now just focus on photographing the event. They even fight the professional photographer for choice spots to take the picture. Instead of capturing emotions, the professional photographer, the one who's actually supposed to make the pictures, now capture cameras in front of faces, people chimping on the back of their cameras, other people's armpits... And even when the cameras are not in the shot, the photos taken by the professional can still be ruined by the focusing beams.

If you are about to get married, I suggest you read this article in full and tell your guests to not bring their cameras nor take pictures with their phones (and iPads especially) - well, if you have the strength, the guts to tell them that...

Anyway, I recently went to the Art Institute of Chicago. I greatly enjoyed my time viewing the different art works. I stood as close as I can to study the different brush strokes in the paintings and I stood several feet away to look at the masterpiece in its totality.

It was while I was standing far from a painting when I noticed a very peculiar phenomenon (well, peculiar that first time I saw it): there was a visitor who was just runnin'-and-gunnin' - point her phone on a painting, take a picture, then move on to the next; repeat...

This is not the way to enjoy a museum. This is not the way to spend time in one. Doing this trivializes what the masters did. And if you're doing this so that you can have a "copy" of the art work, then by all means buy a book! No pictures you take, not in such a situation and condition, would produce a very nice copy of the artwork. Not to mention the other people that would be, most likely, also in the shot.

I used to be like that. But now, I know better - it is kind of ironic that I stopped photographing art works in museums when I started being serious about my photography. (But, to be honest, I still take a couple or so pictures of my favorites. But I only do so after I really soak the art work in, after I've closely studied what makes it a masterpiece, after I've seen it from afar and up close.)

And please, don't run-and-gun. If you want to make a copy of the art work, at least make the effort when doing so...

Want a good book to start you off in your quest towards art "maturity"? Consider the book below:

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