How to get good pictures in museums

If you have chosen a museum to take pictures, you have to get prepared: get the needed equipment, think of the composition, and choose the time when there are fewer visitors. It may take some effort, but in the end, you’ll have a splendid artistic slideshow made out of your photos, which will remind you of that day for many months or years.

Museum photography example

Respect rules

Almost every museum has its policy about taking pictures. Why is flash photography not allowed in museums, especially art galleries? Because the light may deteriorate sensible pieces of art.

Some museums allow flash, but you’ll have to buy a special permit, others are open for free photography. Don’t forget to check this information on the museum’s site or ask any museum attendant.

Low light photography

Low light shooting demands a larger aperture and higher ISO. Another option — you may just set up a slower shutter speed, but in such a case, make sure you have a stable tripod and you are not a nuisance to other visitors.

If you are an amateur photographer, you’d better stick to Auto Mode and auto focus. More experienced art lovers may be more creative.

Museum photo example

Glass reflections

Many ancient or precious objects are placed in glass cases to preserve fragile items from overcurious visitors, air and light influence. While photographing museum artifacts, you should be especially cautious about the reflections. There are two main ways to avoid reflection in glass photography:

  • Change an angle. Find such a position and lighting so that the glass is not seen.
  • Put the camera lens as close to the glass as possible, ideally without any gap at all.

Don’t forget to wipe the lens, use a polarizing filter and turn off a flash.

Choose what to shoot

Paintings and sculptures are not the only items worth shooting. Often, exhibitions are set in breathtakingly beautiful interiors with mosaic floors and stucco moldings.

Pay attention to the floors, doors, ceilings, wallpapers, and other architectural elements. They may be even more interesting, especially as a background for portraits.

Pictures inside museum

Museums are not only half-forgotten "temples of art". They are also great sites for taking creative photos for your future family archive.