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Ted Szukalski

Gallery of fine art photography.

Photography Forbidden


During my recent trip via many European countries I have come across phrase “Photography Forbidden” far too many times. Museums, churches, castles and in one case a public street display these signs. I have inquired on many occasions “why?” only to receive very long winded and meaningless answers. The only credible answer I received was in Krakow’s Wawel castle: the castle displays a lot of light sensitive paintings and finishings. Bright flashes damage the paint and it is far to difficult to explain and enforce “No flash photography” so they ban every kind of photography – just in case.

In one place I was referred to ministry of Art and Culture to get a photo permit. Seriously, who, as a tourist, would ever bother with that and yet the staff were very serious that is the way to go.

Some places would have you buy their brochures and thus they feel their business model is threatened if you take your own photos. In these places I’ve offered to buy their brochure if they still let me take photographs. Only 1 (ONE) operator agreed to such deal.

Far more successful is a practice of a fee based license: when you purchase your entry tickets you pay small additional fee to get a one off photo/video license. I think that is the most sensible approach and it works well for both sides.

Naturally, the point and shoot, small camera owners disregard all these signs and requests and fire away with blinding flashes playing ignorance. However if you own a DSLR no one treats you on the same level.

As I renew my ACMP membership for this year I wonder how many professional and amateur photographs face the same issues. Happy clicking and watch the “forbidden zones”. And please if there are paintings involved obey these directives. I want my kids and eventually grandchildren and generations after them enjoy the works of art I can look at!

Morskie Oko (Eye of the Sea), Tatra Mountains (Tatry), Poland


Morskie Oko, which literally translated to English means “The of eye of the sea” is the largest post ice age lake in Polish Tatra Mountains. It is also one of the deepest. In fact its depth lead to a legend that the lake is connected with the sea and thus the name.

To reach the Morskie Oko you have to hike for 2 to 3 hours or take a horse driven carriage. No cars are allowed past the entry to the Tatra National Park.

The hike is worthwhile – that actually is an understatement of the century. If you make it early in the morning before the crowds on a nice day as we did you will be rewarded by one of the most beautiful views offered anywhere on Earth. The colour of the lake and the high standing peeks of the mountains are unforgettable. You can walk right around the lake. It is a very easy track and will take you around 45 minutes.

Please explore my Morskie Oko Photographic Gallery.