|Me taking a photo of an antique mirror in a shop window|
We've seen some amazing sights, including stunning works of art, impeccably preserved historical artifacts, and incredible workmanship that I can't show you because photos were not allowed. Some places are sacred sites, and the taking of photos would be an offense. Works of art and craft are the property of artists, and photographing them is tantamount to theft of intellectual property or copyright violation. In other situations, people with cameras can be disruptive, rude and unpleasant, so shop owners or proprietors forbid photos.
|A man taking a photo of himself on the Rialto Bridge.|
But even so - when there is a sign saying "no photos" it's only polite to obey. And when it's uncertain, one should ask. "May I take a photo, please?" Most of the time, people say yes, but if they say "No," put the camera away.
|Exterior, Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari|
Later, we visited a shop where handmade carnival masques were made. There were prominent signs saying "Please do not take photos inside the shop." While we chatted with the owner, two young girls came in, huge cameras around their necks, and while the owner's back was turned, they got off a few shots.
We walked further down the calle, and in another masque shop, we encountered the same girls. This time, the shop's owner sharply rebuked them for taking pictures.
Yet.....at the Museo Palazzo Mocenigo, in a tiny passage between two of the stunning rooms with their magnificent painted ceilings, there is a 17th century painting of a small dog, a black-and-white terrier mutt with a crazy toothy grin. I longed to photograph it. There were no guards and no other visitors there, and I could have slipped my camera out of my bag, snapped a shot and no one would have been the wiser.
I didn't do it.
But since then, I have done an internet search for an officially sanctioned image of the dog painting, and I can't find one.
What do you think? What would you have done? Would it have been harmless for me to do it? What do you think of taking photos, of rules against photos, and of people who break those rules?