What to Remember When Taking Pictures Inside a Museum

Posted on: 22nd October 2013

A trip to the museum is not only an educational experience but also a unique and memorable event. You cannot help but take all shots you can get just so you can have something to look forward to in your photo albums.

Museum PicturesHowever, there are many limitations as to what you can bring or not bring inside a museum. That includes your digital camera and other electronic accessories you have. Most museums also have restricted areas, which you cannot photograph no matter how earnest your request is. Moreover, even if you are allowed to take pictures of something that interests you, there are a few challenges that you would meet such as poor lighting or keeping your camera steady.

Rules on the use of electronic equipment

Movie cameras and video equipment are strictly prohibited inside museums because flashes may damage delicate works of art. You can still bring still cameras but you may not be allowed to bring tripods and other camera accessories. Check on the rules and schedule of the museum you intend to visit because it might give you a permit to use a tripod on specific days.

Limitations on museum photography

Museums put a limit on what can be photographed or not in order to protect an artist’s copyright privileges. They only allow people to take pictures of items belonging to their permanent collection. If you want to take photos of works of art that do not belong to the museum, you might be required to obtain a photograph release form or permit beforehand.

Using a digital camera properly

There might be limitations but these should not discourage you from taking admirable pictures inside the museum. Follow all the rules properly to avoid any delay or trouble. Bring some extra memory cards and batteries with you if you need to check in your bag.

To get quality pictures in low light, use slower shutter speeds. If you are using a camera with large sensor, use a higher ISO number. If not, the ISO setting should only be lower than 400. To reduce photo noise, install noise reduction software to your camera beforehand.

Do some test shots first so you can adjust the white balance setting accordingly. If there is an orange hue or color cast in your photos, you can just edit them later.

If tripods are not allowed, steady your hands properly to get a clear shot. Turn on the image stabilization setting of your camera if there is any. Using the viewfinder rather than the LCD is better especially when you need to press the camera firmly against your face.

Use a single area focus mode instead of continuous-autofocus mode so you can control what is in focus. To avoid lens distortion, avoid standing too close to the artwork. Since most items are under glass casings, reflections can be minimized by using the smallest aperture possible. If you want a close-up shot, step back and zoom in instead. Good luck with your museum photography!

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