Trying to give something back to the Community...
I can't explain what happened to me earlier in the year but I was taking pictures with my trusty Sony Cybershot in Lisbon when I got the urge to start shooting more than just your typical tourist "point and shoot" pictures.
So after investing in a Canon EOS 400D and some lenses and starting to learn some basic skills I've been visiting some amazing places and taking what I think are some pretty okay pictures (improving all the time I'm glad to say).
But one thing I find repeatedly disturbing is people's lack of respect when taking pictures in museums, churches and other monuments where it clearly states either in words or pictures or BOTH that photographs are allowed but NO FLASH.
So there is me playing by the rules and countless times I've seen someone fire off a picture with the flash.
Now these places have these rules for a variety of reasons such as disturbing other visitors or the ambience, but probably most of all you firing off a flash at something like an old oil painting is actually fading and damaging it.
If you stop to look and think the whole reason these places and their artifacts have survived several centuries is because they are darkened without direct sun light in the majority of cases.
"So what difference does my one little flash picture?"
On it's own probably not that much but when you've got hundreds and maybe even thousands of people doing the same thing the cumulative effect is alarming and we're damaging our and our children's heritage.
So PLEASE folks I know instruction manuals are as interesting as watching paint dry and hardly the most intuitive at the best of times but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make sure you know how to turn off the flash on your camera (and also the auto focusing beep whilst you're at it as it's very off putting being in some of these wonderful, serene places and being disturbed by the constant auto focusing beep of people taking pictures).
Why bother? Well if you don't then pretty soon many places will be forced to introducing the rule of no photos at all to protect their assets which is frustrating as hell when you visit somewhere and want to take a picture but you're told you can't as people never respected the no flash rule in the past so there's now a blanket no photo ban.
Don't believe me? The next time you visit somewhere like this just ask a member of staff and they will tell you.
You'll probably find you get a better, more natural result by turning off the flash anyway.
In fact to help folks out if people want to email me or post comments on how to turn off the flash on different models of camera I'll post them here for everyone's benefit. Spread the word folks and let's help protect our heritage for generations to come as well as allowing everyone to enjoy happy memories by looking back on wonderful pictures of the beautiful places we are blessed with.
I can't explain what happened to me earlier in the year but I was taking pictures with my trusty