Despite What Their Website Says, Taking Pictures In San Francisco's Museum Of Modern Art Is Cause For Ejection

Thomas Hawk was “forcibly thrown out” of San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art for taking photos in an area where photography is expressly allowed. Hawk had recently purchased a family membership to MOMA in no small part because of a policy change that permitted photography. When he arrived and started snapping away, he was approached by the director of visitor relations, Simon Blint…

Blint explained that photography wasn’t allowed, even though Hawk had confirmed that it was, and then asked two security guards to escort Hawk out.

MOMA’s website states:

Photography is not permitted in the galleries. Flash photography is permitted only with a handheld camera in the Atrium.

So Thomas must have been in the galleries, right? Why else would they kick him out. Well, let’s look at the picture he took:

Ok, then he had to be using something other than a handheld camera. A fancy camera, one with a tripod and a flash.

I was not shooting with a tripod. I was not shooting with a flash. I was being quiet and respectful of the area and the other patrons.

Blint on the other hand was hostile, accusatory and refused to even examine my photographs or allow me to share with him what I was doing with my art. He accused me of using a “telephoto” lens to spy on his staff from the public staircase on the second floor. Blint obviously knows nothing of photography because the 14mm ultra wide angle lens on my camera body was about the furthest thing possible from a telephoto lens. He refused to discuss this, refused to examine my photographs, refused to consider it at all and simply had me ejected with two security guards.


I believe that I was very much targeted in this case because I was using a digital SLR. There were plenty of people taking photographs of the atrium using point and shoots that Simon did not target, but I think that it was the fact that I was using a larger DSLR that made me a target. Rather than try to understand what I and my art were about Simon felt the smarter way to deal with the situation was simply to kick me out of his museum.

Tell us, our charmingly creative commenters, what would be the best way for Simon Blint to apologize to Thomas?

Update: A witness chimes in over at SFist:

I was at the museum on Friday and saw this whole thing go down. Thomas Hawk’s account of what happened is unabashedly one-sided. What he neglects to mention is that he was standing on a balcony with his camera pointed down, aiming directly into the shirt/cleavage of one of the female employees working at the museum. Simon Blint asked Thomas Hawk to stop taking photos in order to protect his staff from a creepy perv, not because he was using a dSLR or for whatever BS reason Thomas Hawk claims.

If true, then Blint’s actions would be entirely appropriate. Whichever poor soul handles communications for SFMOMA should be able to provide needed clarification tomorrow morning.

Simon Blint, Director of Visitor Relations at the SF MOMA, Yeah You Asshole, Photography is Not a Crime [Thomas Hawk’s Digital Connection]
(Photo: Thomas Hawk)


Edit Your Comment

  1. ceriphim says:

    I’m trying to understand why having a DSLR would single him out as a target, or even if the museum manager knows the difference. Seems like an odd thing to pick out as the cause of the issue…?

  2. sketchy says:

    Two sides to every story.

    If I was the curator of a museum with protected works I too might be suspicious of a guy sporting a ‘professional’ looking camera setup more than a crappy P&S.

    Using a DSLR with a ‘fast’ lens would allow a person to take photos without a flash (unobtrusively) and possibly document security measures and equipment in anticipation of a crime – AFAIK that is one of the main reasons to disallow photography in certain galleries and museums. People with P&S cameras simply don’t know how to take those types of photos or have the equipment to take them very well.

    Just because the curator couldn’t identify that a 14mm UWA was not a ‘zoom’ or ‘telephoto’ does not affect how he should handle the situation , police officers does not need to identify the brand of tires on a car to know if it’s speeding or not, they will address the behavior regardless of the equipment.

  3. sketchy says:

    Police Officers DO not…

    stupid no editing comments.

  4. 3drage says:

    Me thinks sketchy has been watching the Ocean’s series of movies a little too much.

  5. wwviper says:

    I think Thomas should get the $20 cost of admission as part of an apology. Granted he had the family membership, but let’s pretend he didn’t.

    Who would want to spy on the MOMA staff anyways?

  6. post_break says:

    Point and shoot cameras can shoot without a flash. I doubt anyone planning a crime would bring a full body SLR when they can just blend in with the crowd with a high res point and shoot.

  7. Frank_Trapasso says:

    But to follow your logic, Sketchy, he was the only one picked out of a group of people all taking pictures and reprimanded for takign pictures.

    Lens size means jack, unless it’s why he was singled out.

  8. tedyc03 says:

    He could read the Constitution, then the relevant caselaw, and then write a report and apology to the OP detailing their findings of the fact that photography is protected in public spaces (which is anywhere open to the public).

  9. brettt says:

    They should be forced to hang his photo in the atrium as an apology :-)

  10. Alex7575 says:


    “AFAIK that is one of the main reasons to disallow photography in certain galleries and museums”

    They disallow FLASH photography in many museums, because the flash of the cameras have a tendency to “break up” the chemicals in the paintings, the Louvre was able to install special isolating frames on some paintings that are safe to use a camera flash.

    If you are the curator of an art museum, you should be able to appreciate/respect other people’s art, he failed miserably whether or not Mr. Hawk was “in the right”.

  11. STrRedWolf says:


  12. juggler314 says:

    one day, everyone will have continuous video all the time, you’ll never know…I wonder what all these places will do then? Also, people are f*cking morons. Hopefully that security guard manages to accidentally die before he has children…

  13. STrRedWolf says:

    Seriously. Simon ether did not know, or cared not of, the new policy allowing non-flash photography. He should resign in disgrace.

  14. WolfDemon says:

    Reminds me of the time I was in Spain in a cathedral. Nowhere did I find anything that said I couldn’t use a flash. And it being an ancient cathedral and very dark on the inside, the best way to take pictures was with my flash. The only rule I was able to find on cameras was no tripods. The *whole* time I was inside this building there were flashes left and right of me…and yet, people come up to *me* and get angry with *me* because I’m using a flash. I believe I was also targeted for having a digital SLR :

  15. juggler314 says:

    DSLR=target because the aforementioned MORONS seem to think better camera = professional. I bet you are not allowed to take commercial phtography anywhere in the building (which is reasonable). But the underpaid security staff doesn’t want to spend time actually vetting anyone so they guess at who might be violating policy. I’ve personally taken almost that same picture in the SF MOMA (althought with a P&S, not my DSLR).

  16. juggler314 says:

    @sketchy: I don’t get it you both brought up a valid point, and contradicted it in the same statement. If the police don’t care what kind of tires you use, than the security shouldn’t care what kind of camera you use (and FWIW you can et P&S camera’s with f/2.8 lenses these days so your argument is moot there too).

  17. The_IT_Crone says:

    I agree that it was because he was using a DSLR.

    I had the exact same thing happen to me at Canterbury Downs (horse racetrack in Minnesota). We called the day before AND the day of to verify that we could bring a camera for personal use. We said that it was a DSLR, and described the camera in case they didn’t know what one was. They assured us that as long as we weren’t SELLING the photos, then it was fine.

    A very long story short we were accosted by security, who told us that only people who use cameras like that sell the photos. Even though we got the Information Desk woman to ADMIT that she said we could use the camera, we had to leave. 1.5 hour drive home.

  18. bananaballs says:

    @sketchy: If the curator couldn’t identify a zoom/telephoto, he shouldn’t have had the audacity to accuse the OP of using one. And your speeding analogy is faulty, at best. A better one would be that he was targeted for driving a Lamborghini on a road filled with Fords; he was ejected for choice of instrument, rather than doing anything wrong with it.

  19. tosca says:

    I often have similar experiences – being asked to stop taking photos in museums with my Nikon digital SLR, while all around me there are tourists snapping away with compact cameras, using the flash (which I NEVER do, under any circumstance). It just happened again two days ago… Same goes for video – I have a Panasonic DVX100 and I was using it to film the Louvre’s Pyramid one afternoon. Guards approached me and asked me to stop, while there were tourists with small videocameras happily filming away…

  20. Pylon83 says:

    Places that are open to the public are not always “public” places in the sense that the owners cannot restrict activities that the government cannot. Shopping malls, for example, can generally restrict the kind of speech that occurs within their bounds without running afoul of the first amendment. Certain states have laws that say otherwise, but generally the museum can set whatever policies it wants regarding photography, and the fact it is “open to the public” has no effect on that.

  21. lingum says:

    Well, this is San Francisco after all. He had the gall to bring his “family” out in public and it probably offended the sensibilities of the museum-going set. A mom, a dad, some kids…YUCKY! How dare they force their beliefs on the people in the museum by showing their faces in there. The nerve!

    San Francisco is Bizarro-Land. Down is up, left is right, and a bum shitting in your doorway is more valued than a tax-paying family supporting a public facility in a way their entitled to do so.

  22. Woofer00 says:

    How strange that a visitor who wishes to use a DSLR to get higher quality image in an art gallery can’t do so. How ironic.

  23. Alex7575 says:

    “bum shitting in your doorway is more valued than a tax-paying family supporting a public facility in a way their entitled to do so.”

    Wrong, in SF a bum shitting on your doorway is considered just as human as the tax-paying family.

    I failed to see your point given that you just offended the millions of people who live in SF. You’re saying that this could not have happened anywhere BUT in SF?

  24. obfusciatrist says:

    Well, I immediately dislike people who say “my art” as many times as this guy did. I’ve taken pictures int hat same spot with a DSLR and with a long lens on it (150mm) without issue and I even confirmed with a nearby guard before I did that it was ok (this would not be the first time where someone simply assumed that “big camera” means “professional photographer trying to make sellable photos in our privately owned space” so if I’m in doubt how someone will think about it I just ask).

    Also, the few times I’ve strayed into places where I shouldn’t be taken pictures I’ve just been told to stop. So I tend to think that maybe Thomas wasn’t quite so nice and polite as maybe indicated. But taking him at his word, then MOMA should make sure everybody on staff is aware of photography policies and their apology to Thomas Hawk should consist of “We’re sorry and you can have your family membership fee refunded if you wish.”

  25. splendic says:

    DSLR puts you in a bad spot. That’s all I use, and I always get hassled. I’ve been shooting in enclosed public spaces before where photography is permitted and been told I needed a press pass to shoot with a pro camera. I always point out that my GF’s PnS takes higher res photos and just walk away, snapping as I go…

  26. obfusciatrist says:

    Also, go to Flickr and search “sfmoma lobby” and you’ll find dozens of photos of that same room taken with a DSLR.

  27. iMike says:

    Blint may wind up regretting this. Google his name now; this incident, and his general if not nearly universal skewering for handling it as he did, is what you get.

  28. MSUHitman says:

    This has happened to me twice before here in St. Louis. Now the camera I have is the first Sony camera that burned to a mini-cd that I got back in 2001 (yeah I know it’s a relic.) It is very large (larger than probably the OP’s camera) and will do both pics and 15 sec video clips.

    At a Jessica Simpson concert (back when she was still married to Nick Lachey) I was not allowed to have a camera as supposedly there was no cameras allowed, even though there was no sign or notice about that. I went back and put my camera up in my car and went to my seat, where I saw a bunch of people with point and shoots, disposables, and cell phone cameras and I complained all the way up to the on-site supervisor of the arena crew who couldn’t give me a straight answer and still wouldn’t allow me to have a camera, so I tore my ticket up in their face and left the concert before it started.

    The second time was last year at the Total Nonstop Action Wrestling pay-per-view in St. Louis but I was allowed in by the supervisor there (different venue) as I explained how old my camera was and why it was so big (not mentioning the small video capability as there was a sign for no camcorders so the video wouldn’t be put on the net.)

  29. @juggler314: Wow. Death. You didn’t even go “stand with his junk in front of a microwave”

  30. scoosdad says:

    Read all the comments on his blog. Another side is starting to emerge. It wasn’t taking the picture at the top of this post that got him ejected.

    Apparently he was actually ejected for allegedly taking photographs of a female museum staffer directly below his point of view from a balcony (as in, straight down) who did not care to be the object of his photographic attention. There were witnesses in the museum who are starting to post to his blog.

    Time for an update, Carey?

  31. Caveat says:

    Shut down the museum, fire all of its employees, and give the money saved to the bankrupt state.

  32. christoj879 says:

    [] here’s the loser

  33. smartperson says:

    I like SF MOMA, but this is disgusting.

    The only answer is to create a temporary art exhibit in the Atrium with works of art which feature SF MOMA itself. Naturally, Hawk’s work would be part of this exhibit. There is no other acceptable solution.

  34. Reeve says:

    I agree with Pylon. This museum is not what the case law would classically call a “public place”. That classification is reserved for places such as sidewalks. The museum certainly has the right to restrict photography under the constitution.

  35. kathyl says:

    @sketchy: So his choice of camera means it’s okay to treat him as though he’s guilty, even after he offered to provide mounds of evidence that he wasn’t?

    Um, innocent until proven guilty? Your analogy about police officers not having to verify the type of tire on a car that’s speeding doesn’t match up. The police officer would have to have PROOF that the car was speeding before he enforced the law and gave the ticket. The jerk at the museum had no proof whatever that Thomas Hawk was doing anything that was in violation of the museum’s policies about photography. In fact, he rejected any proof that was offered to him and decided to act like a Neanderthal instead.

    There are indeed two sides to every story, but in this case, one side of it is solidly in the wrong, steeped in the kind of fear and ignorance that are eroding the quality of public life in America.

  36. Triborough says:

    Next time you go to the museum have a print out of the photo policy. If there is a problem show them the print out and if they still balk demand a refund. If they don’t give a refund take them to small claims court. It may cost more than the refund, but there are some things which should be done on principle. You pay for something, you follow the rules, the other party breaks the rules it sounds like a breach of contract.

  37. B says:

    Maybe the issue is he was taking pictures of the atrium, not from the atrium. He was either on the stairs, or the balcony that overlooks the atrium. Also, an SLR camera would certainly appear to be a telephoto lens to an untrained eye.

  38. MickeyMoo says:



    Not just “blame the OP” but “blame the city the OP was in”?


    (and as a life long SF resident – if the following comment gets me booted off consumerist then so be it)

    Go cash your welfare check, buy a couple 40’s and go back to the trailer and bang your “common law” wife/cousin/sister.

    Not so nice to be overgeneralized about is it?

  39. rinse says:

    @lingum: Not sure where you are from, but if I had to choose between living in San Franciso where different live styles are accepted, or where you are where only people who conform to your life style is allowed to live, I’ll choose San Francisco.

  40. Geekmom says:

    No offence but that sounds like bs he made up to cover his rear.

  41. varro says:

    @rinse: I would choose somewhere where a studio apartment doesn’t cost $1500/month, but you can still live a good life, like Portland.

    Frisco is the best place in the world if you have bags of money, though…

  42. Pylon83 says:

    “Good Life” is a relative term. Some people like the fast pace and cultural diversity of cities like San Francisco. Just because you’re a crumudgen and like the slow boring pace of places like Portland doesn’t mean those who live in places like San Fran are fools throwing their money away.

  43. @lingum: As someone who lives in the Bay Area who himself considers SF to be fucked-up, even I have to say to you, bugger off. God forbid we don’t force YOUR beliefs on everyone. This story has nothing to do with SF and everything to do with ignorant assholes, who inhabit every major city, town, village, and trailer park in every state and every nation, regardless of prevailing political climate.

  44. donovanr says:

    Two things. One; great picture! Two; places like MOMA are graveyards for art. They are there for rich people to fool themselves that they are making the world a better place.

    Thus Blint knows that his job has nothing to do with art but everything to do with keeping the rich people’s money flowing in. He probably thought he smelled trouble and real artists do tend to stir up trouble with their art in exposing uncomfortable truths. Hawk’s mistake was thinking that Blint would side with the art. Wrong. But Hawk being a true artist has now stirred up trouble with his art that has exposed a truth that Blint didn’t want exposed.

    So if you want to get Blint make sure that somehow this drags in some of the larger donors and Blint will throw himself in front of Hawk begging for his future.
    Hawk please post pictures of this begging. Your ultra wide will exaggerate the pleading look on Blint’s cold sweaty face.

  45. varro says:

    @Pylon83: Wouldn’t it be easier to have a life full of diversity and experiences if you had *money* to do things instead of shoveling money to a landlord because real estate is overpriced?

  46. Pylon83 says:

    I suppose living in a big city is simply a lifestyle choice that some people will never understand.

  47. LionelEHutz says:

    I suppose Mr. Blint could agree to be waterboarded.

  48. BiZarRroBALlmeR says:

    “I’m sorry, but I have a bad case of DSLR envy. The only thing to do is for you to give it here. Come on now, give it to me. Give it to me big boy”

    glad I have a point and shoot.

  49. bananaballs says:

    @B: The camera is also called the body, which is a separate entity from the lens. So no, someone with a pretty remedial knowledge of photography would understand that dslr does not automatically mean National Geographic photographer hiding in a bush taking shots of a lioness feeding her cubs. You could never mistake a 14mm wide angle lens for a 200mm telephoto.

    Check the evidence!

    14mm lens: []

    200mm telephoto: []

    One is little and stubby and the other is long and serious-looking. I have a hard time accepting that a museum director doesn’t know these things, much less his own institution’s policy on photography.

  50. Hawk07 says:

    In a city that charms its ‘patriotic’ dissent against the current administration and exposing Bush for all of his wrongs, how is this not a “violation of his civil rights”?

    I suppose being a fringe left SFer who raised hell over “warrantless wiretapping” and other bumper sticker catchphrases, your city sure isn’t doing a good job of protecting the civil and stated rights of Mr. Thomas Hawk.

    (not try to be political, just pointing out the obvious hypocrisy and the tiring Bush bash drum.)

  51. @scoosdad:

    Now noting Scoosdad’s reply, I see it is very similar to what I suspected…

  52. Ths stry snds fshy t m.

    wll bt tht shld Mr. Blnt rspnd, t wll trn t tht Mr. Thms hs hd rn-ns wth Mr. Blnt bfr.

    Wh gs t msm wth DSLR, hvng rsrchd thr plcs s thy cn spcfclly tk NLY pctrs f msm’s trm?

    m, n n?

    Ths snds lk Mr. Thms hs bn pqd by rn-ns wth th msm’s stff bfr nd dcdd t nd pk thm n th y by fndng smll xcptn tht h fgrd thy mght frgt bt nd thn h cld cry wlf.

  53. satyricrash says:


    Dude, I live in Portland, and the rent is now getting up to that range, thanks to people saying things like “I’d rather live in Portland…”. San Francisico is a wonderful city, the jewel of the West Coast, and would live there in a minute.

  54. There was absolutely zero problem with the comment you just moderated. And zero violation of your commenting rules. Scoosdad also pointed out that more facts are coming out about this story and it does not buttress the OP’s version.

    My post was:

    This story sounds fishy to me.

    I will bet that should Mr. Blint respond, it will turn out that Mr. Thomas has had run-ins with Mr. Blint before.

    Who goes to a museum with a DSLR, having researched the places they can specifically take ONLY pictures of the museum’s atrium.

    Um, no one?

    This sounds like Mr. Thoms has been piqued by the museum’s staff before and decided to poke them by finding a small exception that he figured they might forget about and then he could cry wolf.


    If you want to only moderate my post but not have a problem with a post that suggests that a museum official be waterboarded, you should call yourself a censor and not a moderator.

  55. dantsea says:

    Who would go to a museum with a DSLR? Someone who likes to take good photographs, I suppose.

    Thomas Hawk is indeed a troublemaker, but the kind that you want to have around — the kind who reminds people that “because I said so” isn’t a valid reason for prohibiting something.

    In San Francisco, he’s possibly the last person you would want to tangle with when it comes to the rights and responsibilities of photographers. When it comes to photography in public he knows the law, when it comes to photography in private or semi-public spaces, he knows the policy for that property.

    Simon Blint is going to have a few bad days ahead of him.

  56. Tijil says:

    Blint should be made to make a personal apology BY HIS BOSS, and be “re-educated” in how to treat the paying members of the museum he works for.

    There is no excuse for accosting someone for taking photos in an area where the museum specifically and publicly states photography is permitted.

    (My good camera is a DSLR – so is my other one.)

  57. Well, that kind of belies what I was saying.

    Thomas went out his way to make a scene and then presented his story as “who me? I am just an innocent photographer person.”

    He didn’t go to take museums of their atrium. He went to provoke. And he did. Which is fine. But that’s NOT how he presented the story.

  58. dantsea says:

    He provoked SFMOMA… by following their policies?

    Did I primo numero dos here?

  59. Pylon83 says:

    I agree. I’m all for provoking and challenging authority, but when you’re going to “publish” it, at least present it that way. No one buys who “Who, little ‘ol me?” bit. My gut is that he’s had a run in with this guy before, which is evinced in part by the immediate removal from the property. I doubt they would have told a “normal” person to immediately leave under the same circumstances. He’s either had problems there before, or he made such a scene that they had no choice but to kick him out.

  60. @dantsea: Well, as I said, I predict he has had run-ins with this museum before. Your previous post almost seems to celebrate that he makes sure to “remind” institutions of what his rights are.

    And that’s a good thing.

    He did, however, seem to go knowing full well that he would be provoking an incident with this museum. If you KNOW a museum’s officials probably aren’t going to remember an exception to their rules – and you go anyway – in a fashion that is sure to provoke an incident where you can embarrass them and then cry “I am a victim” …

    …well, I don’t know much what the rules have to do this any of this. He is not any more innocent than the museum. He could easily have gone, asked, and if turned down written a complaint and then arranged to take his photos when the museum’s staff was updated on the policy.

    But that wouldn’t have been what Thomas wanted. He WANTED to give them a black eye and so he did.

  61. Maulleigh says:

    I don’t buy his story at all. I go to museums all the time and take pictures and at most I get a gentle warning to stop if I’m snapping in the wrong area.

    There’s more to this story. Methinks this guy has a lot of bad run ins with security folk.

    He sounds like a defensive d*ck and I’m sure he wasn’t as well behaved as he claims.

  62. (IMHO)

  63. dantsea says:

    @twophrasebark: It is not unreasonable to expect the man with the title of Director of Visitor Relations to be up to date on the policies of his employer, with regard to photography. Indeed, ignorance of that rule, at his level, suggests a certain manner of arrogance and incompetence that should call into question his continuing professional relationship with that museum.

  64. spryte says:

    @Hawk07: Oh, FFS – apples and oranges, dude. Seriously. Obviously you think the current administration is just peachy keen and perfect, so I guess you don’t get it, but do your best not to exaggerate ridiculously and make yourself sound dumb.

    Jeez, according to you and lingum, it’s SF that’s at fault here and this could never ever happen anywhere else. Except that it probably has and does all the time, and this story simply happened to occur here. But you know what, if you don’t like my city, that’s fine with me – that means you’ll stay out of it and that works out well for both of us!

  65. BytheSea says:

    AFAIK that is one of the main reasons to disallow photography in certain galleries and museums.

    No, it’s because light damages works of art.

  66. juggler314 says:


    sterilizing yourself makes it harder, but not impossible to procreate…

  67. camas22 says:

    This guy was taking pictures of girls in the atrium, specifically one girl that works there. Wouldn’t you throw someone out that was harassing your staff?

    A digital SLR camera doesn’t make you a photographer, and posting one picture of the lobby doesn’t prove what he was photographing.

  68. Sherryness says:

    Simon should purchase the rights to the Atrium photograph and donate them to MOMA for use on brochures, postcards, etc. Nice work. :)

  69. Sherryness says:

    @twophrasebark: Your comment blames the OP – that’s against the rules to my understanding.

  70. dragonvpm says:

    @camas22: I’d like to see proof of that particular allegation. I imagine the museum should have some sort of security cameras in place? If it’s true, it shouldn’t be too hard to find proof that he was doing something sketchy with his camera.

    However, if you bothered to read some more of the comments on sfist you’d have come across this:

    Seems a bunch of anonymous folks posted on his blog about this same thing about photos down the blouse and the one here is a first time poster on SFist.

    So you have a bunch of anonymous folks smearing Hawk’s name (not that he doesn’t do enough to make himself look a bit confrontational as it is) and seriously, if you have his history of getting in trouble with security guards for photography, do you really think that he was actually trying to get cheap thrills shooting down girl’s blouses? I suppose anything is possible, but that sounds highly suspect (it’s not unthinkable that a security guard who saw him doing that might try to confiscate his camera or hold him for the police so they could get the incrminating photos).

    I wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t something being orchestrated by Blint and/or his friends to try and mitigate this fiasco. Regardless of how much of an ass Hawk may be, the sad truth is that he is highlighting a real problem for those of us who enjoy photography. Many of the powers that be in the US and Britain have a downright stupid fear of cameras they can see along with a glaring blindness to a) hidden cameras, and b) doing research by looking up photos taken by other people. If someone really wanted to use photos to plan an attack they could do so without the authorities being none the wiser. The random guy with a gigantic SLR camera and lens setup is probably not a terrorist (or a voyeur for that matter).

  71. TomCruisesTesticles says:

    @Sherryness: I believe twophrasebark’s main issue was that while his comment could be construed as blaming the OP, other inflammatory posts that attacked the SF lifestyle, and a not too dissimilar response to that, as well as a suggestion that Mr. Blint be moderated were not also disemvoweled. Perhaps you can take issue with the way he/she said it, but I think twophrasebark made a perfectly valid point.

  72. TomCruisesTesticles says:

    @TomCruisesTesticles: Eh, I meant to say a post suggesting Blint be waterboarded. Damn no edit button

  73. BStu says:

    While I’d grant that the museum should be more precise with the phrase “handheld camera” there is good reason to believe that a DSLR camera would violate the spirit of that rule and the enforcement here was based on the policy as the museum understood it. Again, they should be more precise and recognize modern trends in cameras and not assume that “handheld” will exclude any professional quality equipment. All the same, I think some skeptisism is due the photographers story. Knowing how museums opparate, his story doesn’t quite sound right. I’m not saying he’s lying, but I wonder if he is introducing his own natural bias into his statement of events. Given that the otherside here is someone working for a non-profit, I’m especially eager to reserve judgement until hearing both sides.

    Recently in Boston, a cop ran into a crosswalk and hit a baby carriage, sending it into the air and injuring an infant. The official police version of events claimed that the baby carriage struck the squad car. If a cop would blame a baby for hitting him, I’m pretty sure people introduce their own biases and perspective into the retelling of events. Its unmistakable that SFMOMA needs to better describe their intended policy, but its not unmistakable that they handled this situation so poorly until we’ve at least heard how their biases and perspectives judged the event so we can weigh them both.

  74. iluvhatemail says:

    It sounds like most of you aren’t photographers. I live in LA and quite often I go into areas I’ve been before just to get a specific photo with a better lens/setup. That is part of the hobby, to achieve the best representation of the present scene. What Thomas did is not wrong. Blint had no right kicking him out if he was following policies and until they present evidence otherwise this is an example of power turning someone into a douchebag. People who act like Blint are douchebags.

  75. Dobernala says:

    @BStu: The rule does not forbid DSLR cameras. If the camera fits in your hand, it is acceptable according to the rules.

  76. Pylon83 says:

    There is a difference between a violation of the spirit of a rule and the actual rule itself. I’m not saying I think that’s what happened here, but just clarifying BStu’s comment.

  77. eskimo81 says:

    That’s a beautiful photograph.

    Many places allow for the smaller point-and-click cameras, but do not allow SLRs or Ultra-zooms (those with an 8x-12x range).

    I think it has something to do with the fact that those cameras give the appearance that you’re a professional and that you’re going to sell your photographs without giving them a cut of the profits. They want to sell their own, so they just don’t want you to be able to take yours.

  78. D-Bo says:

    @Pylon83: Funny that you slam another fine city in defense of your own. Way to be that guy/girl…

  79. Pylon83 says:

    Point taken, and I apologize for that. I should have left the word boring out, as it was an uncalled for bash against Portland, a place I have never been.

  80. D-Bo says:

    @Pylon83: I highly respect and appreciate your apology.

  81. godlyfrog says:

    Hawk is an amateur photographer who has been wanting to take pictures of this museum for years and instead of just going inside to take pictures, also paid for a membership to support the museum. Of course, none of this means anything except that he was really excited about this chance.

    I’m not a photographer myself, but I’ve had friends who are, and they tend to spend more time behind the viewfinder than actually looking at what they’re photographing. For someone not used to this, it could have seemed a bit creepy to have a guy pointing a camera at you.

    I’m not going to defend Blint, but I imagine he was put in quite a predicament here. He has an employee who’s basically accusing a patron of sexual harassment, and a patron who refuses to stop snapping pictures when he’s asked to. It’s not a position I would want to be in, but it’s one that Blint could have handled better.

  82. TechnoDestructo says:

    I guess this makes the Sigma DP1 look that much more attractive.

  83. During the course of my interaction with Blint I told him … that I would be blogging my forcible eviction from the MOMA.

    He seems to have left out the part that he’d call Mr. Blint an “asshole” before he’d finished the blog post title, expand that he’s a “first rate asshole” in the first sentence, and conclude by calling him a “power-trippy asshole”. Commenters in the resulting blogstorm, meanwhile, would call Blint an asshole with a side of douchebag at least 40 more times before the weekend was over.

    Welcome to the Internet, Simon Blint! May you enjoy your time here in the blogosphere.

    Postscript. Mr. Hawk has since edited his post to read “jerk” instead. However, he reminds his readers that “jerk is just as accurate a description” and that “[Blint] knew this was coming.” Furthermore, Mr. Hawk has “deeply consider[ed] the impact of my blog post on Mr. Blint and his personal name and reputation” and is “at this point sorry over any negative personal impact that this incident will have on Simon Blint’s online identity for years to come.”

  84. @TomCruisesTesticles: “Moderate” is quite possible the best euphemism for torture I’ve ever heard:

    “The United States does not condone torture. We use only enhanced moderation techniques.”

  85. Thomas Hawk says:

    I’ve responded in more detail to some of these allegations here: []

  86. superchou says:

    with a 14mm from a balcony there is no way that you can do a down-shirt shot of an employee a floor down. Period.

    Secondly, Blint should be aware of this as I have seen what we beleive to be his flickr stream and if our suspicions are correct he, too, uses a dSLR camera – one of the XT series.

    Finally, as a friend of Hawk’s for about 3 years I can say that while he is not a perfect person (like anyone is) that he is not one to be unreasonable or provoke people etc. I lean to buying what he is reporting here.

  87. superchou says:

    heh, hey thomas!

  88. henrygates says:

    If it is possible to photograph the staff cleavage from the second floor, they need to rethink their uniforms. It’s a museum not a Hooters.

  89. Rachael says:

    He’s also right outside of the galleries. I’d still consider that obnxious.

    I was at the DeYoung here in SF for the first time and was absolutely shocked that photography was allowed. You can’t have your cellphone on in there because it’s a nuisance, but some jackass with a huge camera snapping away and getting huffy if you’re in his view is a-OK? I was positively steamed when I went to the Chihuly glass exhibit and could hardly stand in the various rooms because they were swarming with camera-toting hipsters.

    So yeah, I have no objection to someone kicking out a person who is being obnoxious at MoMA. Keep your camera out of art museums. If you love the art, buy a print.

  90. obfusciatrist says:

    Well, with the correct lens, if it is possible to photograph cleavage from 2 feet away it is possible to do it from the second floor.

  91. TomCruisesTesticles says:

    @Michael Belisle: I’ll send a memo to John Yoo

  92. BiZarRroBALlmeR says:

    How dare him use his camera to express himself artistically in a museum.

    Burn the witch.

    Isn’t this kind of like that scene from Dr Stranglove where it’s announced “Gentlemen, there will be no fighting in the war room”

  93. dantsea says:

    So I’m curious as to where the “he was trying to take a downshirt picture of a staffer” accusations are coming from. Is it from the anonymous comments at Hawk’s blog, or the comments from first-time posters at SFist? Or has SFMOMA or Mr. Blint released a statement as of this writing?

    Yeah. That’s what I thought.

  94. Televiper says:

    I think the blouse one is a red-herring. I believe galleries allow photography in the Atrium as a means of allowing people to take personal photos on the premises. You know the memory photo: me and girlfriend at the art gallery? So a guy with a professional looking camera (he was taking photos as an artist) snapping photos of the wider area which included the employees and patrons may have been interpreted as intrusive. Why it was handled poorly, I don’t know. It seems the aggravation comes from both sides. A clashing of egos if you must.

    In my experience, when someone asks you to leave the premises, all reason has already been put aside.

  95. TomCruisesTesticles says:

    Perhaps it was a simple communication breakdown. He was taking a picture of his brother, but Blint didn’t quite understand (but who could blame him?). “What’d I do? I was just taking a picture of Mike Hawk?”

  96. Thomas Hawk says:

    Dantsea I’d invite you to examine the photo as taken by my camera with a 14mm ultra wide angle lens and determine how “downshirt” of a photo it might have been. []

  97. dantsea says:

    @Thomas Hawk: Thanks. Yeah, I saw the picture and as before, I maintain that Bint was out of line with his actions.

  98. seth1066 says:

    A blouse perv shot from at least a story above with an 18mm lens? Like Howard Stern once famously exclaimed, “N….., please.”

  99. sketchy says:

    @Frank_Trapasso: He was reprimanded for violating a policy, and in any event was on private property – no matter what if he wants to stay he could have said ‘sorry’ and put away the camera.

    @Alex7575: AFAIK the flash reacting with paint is less of a concern than people making unlicensed copies (for postcards, book plates, etc…) , counterfeiters making replicas / prints (not possible with the output from a P&S), and the security issue.

    @juggler314: @bananaballs: @kathyl: The analogy is valid because in the OP he questioned the credentials of the curator based on his inability to properly identify a 14mm UWA lens, which has zero to do with the photography policy in the museum, just as the ability of a police officer to identify the type of tires on a speeding car has nothing to do identifying a violation of the speed limit.

    And a P&S with an f2.8 lens and glass / sensor the size of your pinky nail is nowhere near the worst DSLR for quality.

    BTW Kathyl – Not a public place. Update your indignance.

  100. thelushie says:

    @Thomas Hawk: I read your blog post. Is this some sort of publicity stunt?

    From your blog: “…horrible display of public humiliation and embarrassment…”
    Dude, if this is horrible, then you are living a charmed life. Oh my goodness, most people probably don’t even remember what was going on. Most probably didn’t care.

    There are some who have posted on your blog that say they like your work but you have some rather interesting methods. Have you had run ins with security before? That might explain the knee jerk reaction. Did you actually snap pictures on the way out? If you would have snapped one of me, you may have gotten your camera broken. Then we could have fought about it in court. (Invasion of my privacy).

    I think they had an overblown reaction, but you are also overblowing this.

    But congrats on getting lots of free publicity. You are having your 15 minutes, so enjoy it! Cheers!

  101. r4__ says:

    @TomCruisesTesticles: to paraphrase Dr. Zoidberg, your pun is bad and you should feel bad.

  102. coriona87 says:

    lets say it wasnt the camera, whats so wrong with taking pictures of boobs these days? Pff who doesn’t?

  103. lidor7 says:

    Just to reinforce, it’s not really possible to take a shot down someone’s shirt with a 14mm lens unless they’re about 2 feet away, especially with a Canon 5D. You have to be about maybe 8 inches away just to fill the frame with someone’s face.

  104. dakker says:

    …does it really matter? if i saw someone on a balcony lookin down through what looks to be a camera taking photos, and my GF happened to be sitting down there, you’d bet my arse that i’d have taken that camera and assaulted him.
    It’s about what he was perceived as doing, not what was actually going on, if your being perceived as a pervert, then you better have a good explanation and CHANGE what your doing, otherwise you LOOK like a pervert and will get escorted out for BEING a pervert.

  105. RvLeshrac says:


    Uhh… snapping a photo of you in a PUBLIC PLACE is in no way an invasion of privacy, as you are in a public place. If you fought in court, you’d lose. You’d likely also wind up in jail for assault, as well as paying for both his camera and legal fees.


    I’m also curious about the comment from the other “patron.”

    Exactly how does one ascertain where, precisely, a camera is pointed without being behind the viewfinder?

    It is, frankly, impossible. Unless Mr. Hawk was using a laser-sight.

    Especially given the distance – a change in angle of the camera of even 1 degree would cause a massive change in the view. One can also assume that an “innocent” angle of the lobby (as taken from the second story), from the onlookers’ POV, might capture the cleavage of a large number of women wearing low-cut tops.

  106. RvLeshrac says:


    I believe a police detective I used to work with said it best: “If you’re not sure someone is doing something wrong, then you need to do one of two things. Shut your mouth and keep moving, or call us.”

    In recent years, COPS has been featuring more and more of those kinds of situations. Person X does something that Person Y finds wrong. Person Y goes to stop Person X. Person Y ends up in jail, and the cops say that if Person Y had just called the police instead of taking the situation into their own hands, Person X might be going to jail instead.

  107. dakker says:

    for a simple assault like that, jail isn’t really a deterrent to some of us(it should be, but really just isn’t)

    as for the police thing, that’s exactly why mr blint did what he did when he had security escort the fellow off the premises

    which is what he was doing, protecting several people from different situations that may arise.(1 being a perceived victim, another an impugned rights activist, and the third the person who may have gone to jail to stop said activist if a person of authority didn’t step in)

  108. thelushie says:

    @RvLeshrac: Eh, yes and no. Just like everything else in life, things are not so cut and dry. Absolutes do not exist.

    @RvLeshrac: Given that he is an employee of the museum and he did call security who took it from there, the COPS illustration is irrelevant.

  109. jedipunk says:
  110. Aesteval says:

    1) Any museum allowing photography is a ridiculous belief, never
    believe it. We’ve got issues of flashes being bad and there are also
    copyright issues depending upon the work/other variables.

    2) You can’t really tell where a camera is pointed until you get
    behind the viewfinder. Assuming that the camera is directed at a
    specific person just because it’s pointed in a general direction
    doesn’t mean squat and I might recommend that anyone that feels
    uncomfortable in that situation not go outside.

    3) For all we know, the OP very well could have had another lens and
    was being a perv, but we probably won’t ever know. However, something
    which is exposed in a public place is an open invitation to have a
    picture of it taken, so maybe more thought should be given to how
    someone dresses if they’re concerned with it.

    4) A museum is not necessarily considered a public space in tradition no matter how publicly funded it may be.

    5) If it’s anything like the MOMA in NYC, then it’s run by a bunch
    of assholes that are much more concerned about image than anything of
    any true value.

  111. dakker says:

    Because you can’t tell where its pointed is why if your asked to stop, you should stop or change your actions. So your not being perceived as doing something Inappropriate.
    If perceptions of wrongs are allowed, eventually someone gets wronged. That’s where the real danger is. This whole issue became a you stopped me because “im a photographer” isn’t what happened. When it was always about the perception that he was doing something wrong and then refused to stop when asked.

    As for Blints customer service, i can’t account to that, because i wasn’t there. Sounds to me like Blint tried to sugar coat the reasoning behind why he wanted TH to stop and TH threw it back in his face.

  112. so I looked at the picture. Certainly not offensive, though I can see how the dude would think that, being on the bottom and all.

    I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, that that picture sucks.

    Why anyone would want to take it is beyond me.

  113. rwyuan says:


    Donovanr wrote: “Two things. One; great picture! Two; places like MOMA are graveyards for art. They are there for rich people to fool themselves that they are making the world a better place.”

    It seems arrogant to state that places like the MOMA are graveyards for art without feeling it necessary to state even one reason for that assertion. Museums like the MOMA, while certainly supported by rich people, are places that collect works of art and make them available to the public. Not all great art is spray paint on the side of a building (thought some are).

    Donovanr continued: “He [Blint] probably thought he smelled trouble and real artists do tend to stir up trouble with their art in exposing uncomfortable truths. Hawk’s mistake was thinking that Blint would side with the art. Wrong. But Hawk being a true artist has now stirred up trouble with his art that has exposed a truth that Blint didn’t want exposed.”

    What uncomfortable truths were exposed by Hawk’s photos? The example in the post shows the lobby with people, there’s an interesting graphic element with the columns, floor tiles, and siding. It’s certainly not going to stir a proletariat uprising against the fascist pigs. How is Hawk more “real” an artist than anyone else?

    Donovanr concludes with: “So if you want to get Blint make sure that somehow this drags in some of the larger donors and Blint will throw himself in front of Hawk begging for his future.”

    He suggests the best way of getting Blint to is appeal to the rich people who “fool themselves” supporting places like the MOMA to punish Blint whose job is to “keep the rich people’s money flowing in.” It’s being beaten down by the local Nazi apparatchik for opposing the party and appealing to Hitler to get that person fired.

    With that kind of fact by assertion logic and circular thinking, Donovanr has a future in a Washington think tank!

  114. Hawk07 says:


    Just tired of having to hear citizens in cities such as the one you live in working Bush up to be more than he really is. You’re so willing to overlook what’s going on in your own backyard, yet it doesn’t stop the liberal ideologue from getting on TV complaining about Bush’s regime.

    IIRC, Los Angelos wants the UAV drones to patrol the city. Another fairly liberal city implementing an improved police presence.

    Had the photographer been in the White House or Capitol Hill, I can’t wait for the claims by diggers and redditors that Bush was secretly behind his being thrown out of the building and what is Bush hiding.

    And don’t worry about me spending my tourist dollars in your city. It’s not exactly the safest city in the country.

  115. TomCruisesTesticles says:

    @dakker: Why do people have to be such Internet tough guys? If someone assaulted me because of a misplaced sense of self-righteousness I would file charges, misunderstanding or not.

  116. MeOhMy says:

    Tough situation for both parties.

    While I feel for Hawk about how frustrating it was that Blint wouldn’t just look at the pics for himself or sit down and have discussion about the situation, I’ve gotta be honest with you – if I thought someone was taking sneaky cleavage pics (or even just stalker pics) of one of my employees, I probably would not care to see your pics that supposedly prove your innocence. How do I know you don’t just want to show off your hot new voyeur pics? Blint’s not running a courtroom so he doesn’t have to actually prove Hawk’s guilt.

  117. TomCruisesTesticles says:

    @TomCruisesTesticles: And I wear contacts. God forbid you punch me in the eye, you’ll be paying for infection/cornea transplant.

  118. mariospants says:

    Next time, Thomas, tell him you’re photographing public places for an upcoming newspaper story. Not only will he not kick you out but he’ll probably preen himself front and center in the image.

  119. banmojo says:

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  120. AndrewJC says:

    I’m just glad somebody pointed out the fact that it’s impossible to take “down-blouse” photos with a 14mm lens. Even considering the fact that a medium-body DSLR additionally zooms the photo by approximately 1.5x (this is called the crop factor), you’re still talking about the equivalent of a 21mm lens, which is STILL considered wide-angle, though not ultra-wide.

    The people who are arguing whether or not a museum is considered a “public place” are also missing the point. It’s not about whether or not it qualifies as public that determines whether or not he can take photographs. They can ask him to stop, but I would think that they must have the authority to do so (i.e. it had damn well better be somebody who has the authority to change the policies that are already in place that’s asking me to stop). But the OTHER PEOPLE IN THE MUSEUM, by necessity, MUST expect that their photograph can be taken because they have no “reasonable expectation of privacy” in such a place. In short, a person cannot go to a museum and then complain that their picture is being taken because they do not have any reasonable expectation of privacy in such a place.

    Basically, I don’t care WHERE the guy’s lens was pointing. If they ask him to stop photographing and then accuse him of something indecent, they’d better be ready with an apology when he proves them wrong.

    As far as dakker’s comment: perception of wrongdoing is not wrongdoing no matter how much you want to believe it. And making the argument that “somebody might use that as an opportunity to do actual wrong” is bullshit. It’s the same mentality that says that we should outlaw ALL photography, anywhere, because somebody MIGHT use it for terrorism, and the same mentality that creates laws to “protect” people from hurting themselves even though it is entirely within their rights to hurt themselves if they should choose to do so.

  121. mannyv says:

    Funny, the MET in NY allows non-flash photography everywhere except in certain collections (probably traveling ones, where they don’t have the rights).

  122. @AndrewJC: perception of wrongdoing is not wrongdoing no matter how much you want to believe it.

    When you’re taking pictures of people you don’t know, perception is everything. If someone asks you to stop because it’s making them uncomfortable (let’s assume that the Director of Visitor Relations is empowered to speak for his staff) then a courteous photographer stops taking pictures with that person it it. And when an employee with reasonable authority asks you to stop taking photos inside, you stop.

    Thomas Hawk, on the other hand, gets out the 50 mm lens, takes pictures of the guy while he’s yelling at him, posts the picture on the Internet, and calls him an asshole.

    @jedipunk: People keep linking to that, and I don’t understand why. Here’s a quote from it:

    In any case, when a property owner tells you not to take photographs while on the premises, you are legally obligated to honor the request.

    Blint is not the property owner, but there’s a reasonable expectation the Director of Visitor Relations is empowered to speak for the owner. That the museum permits photography inside does not mean that you have the right to do so. So he should have stopped.

    Here’s another quote, which is just a suggestion:

    Most confrontations can be defused by being courteous and respectful.

    How did Thomas Hawk handle the situation? “I switched lenses and put the 50mm on when he was coming up after me on the stairs. Figured that he’d look more flattering with a 50mm.” Somehow, that just doesn’t sound like being courteous and respectful.

    Aside from that, he was not detained. They did not confiscate his film. He was not assualted. The SF MOMA merely exercised their right to kick people out of their museum. (And Hawk exercised his right to raise an internet ruckus.)

  123. Geekybiker says:

    I challenge anyone to find a law that says photography is not permitted in a museum. Not a “policy” a law.

    There are generally only a couple restrictions by law
    1) reasonable expectation of privacy. Yes this can even be in a public space such as an ATM on a street corner.
    2) certain buildings like nuclear power plants, military bases, etc. This is very limited though. And no airports are not on the list

    Generally in a space that the public is normally admitted such as a mall, museum, etc you are assumed to have permission to take photographs unless instructed otherwise. Even then it appears the only recourse a venue unhappy with your photography has is to ask you to leave. Feel free to take photographs on the way out. The issue of possible trespassing and photography are separate. They cannot detain you, they cannot make you delete your photos or force you to show them to them. They cannot take your camera equipment. Even police cannot automatically seize equipment (and they would ordinarily have no reason to do so)

    DSLR’s and PS cameras are never treated differently.

    And on the issue of copyright- Taking photos is almost never the issue. Its the publishing of them. As long as they’re only for personal use (no web publishing) shot whatever you like.

  124. SinisterMatt says:

    As others have said, it’s not what he was or was not doing that got him in trouble, it’s that it was making people uncomfortable.

    @Troy F.:

    Indeed. And who’s to say that Hawk would not have just skipped the offending photographs or otherwise concealed what he was doing.


    Ah, but then, if that was the case, then Blint would have more than likely asked for a press pass (which Hawk didn’t presumably have). When he didn’t produce that, he would have been asked to stop or escorted from the premises.


  125. sholnay says:

    I dont like the updated reply…

    If He was in fact using a 14mm wide angle – there is no WAY he was pointing down an employees dress – at least, not intentionally.

  126. kathyl says:

    @sketchy: The analogy is, um, crap. In one case, there is proof of wrongdoing. In the other, no proof whatever. Therefore your analogy falls flat.

    When one is operating within the letter and spirit of the policies of a, yes, private institution that the public is invited into by paying a fee and abiding by rules, it is indeed an illustration of the fear and ignorance that is ruining public and, pedantically enough, private life in our country.

    I will do what I wish with my indignation, and I will point it at those who act like bullies and wield whatever small amount of power and oversight they are granted in life to make assumptions about people and refuse to acquiesce to reason when it is offered.

    BTW, “indignance” isn’t a word. It’s “indignation”.

  127. AndrewJC says:

    @Michael Belisle: When you’re taking pictures of people you don’t know, perception is everything. If someone asks you to stop because it’s making them uncomfortable (let’s assume that the Director of Visitor Relations is empowered to speak for his staff) then a courteous photographer stops taking pictures with that person it it. And when an employee with reasonable authority asks you to stop taking photos inside, you stop.

    There’s two potential problems I see with this:

    1) Making people uncomfortable is not valid reason to ask somebody to stop. Courtesy has no bearing on it: if somebody wants to be an asshole, he has every right to be, even if he is a dick for it.

    2) We’ve already established that the Director of Visitor Relations is not authorized to ask you to stop taking photos, as he didn’t write the policy and has no intention of changing it. Written policy trumps personal opinions every single time-I work for a pharmaceutical company and that’s been drilled into my head more times than I can count. :) “If it’s not written down, it isn’t a policy: it’s a state of mind.”

  128. GrandizerGo says:

    I agree with Hawk, I too would be embarrassed to be YELLED at from 15-20 feet away in a crowded location.
    For doing what I though was publicly allowed.
    And then to not have my interpretation to be heard is another problem as well…
    Yes I have entitlement issues. If someone else is doing it, why can’t I?

  129. RvLeshrac says:

    I was going to defend my position, but it looks like everyone else has beaten me to it. Good show.

  130. eliblack says:

    Thomas Hawk has a history of generating publicity for himself by reporting incredibly one-sided accounts of his run-ins with authority while taking pictures in places he probably shouldn’t be.

    Almost every single story he’s ever posted has eventually been either debunked outright, or discredited in some way.

    Hawk, you take pretty good pictures. Just keep doing that and stop trying to be some kind of martyr for the photography community. We don’t want you out there giving us a bad name. Please :(

  131. antisan says:

    That picture doesn’t bother me, I suppose. But I have to say, I really don’t think museums should let you have cameras. Instead, the website should host an image you can download of the piece if you’d like to think more about it later. But really, why would taking a digital/analog image of someone else’s artistic work really benefit you more than a better version of it provided professionally? I’ve had some perfectly nice visits to museums utterly ruined by someone sticking his camera lens against the canvas and taking half an hour to photograph it just right, wanting to own it instead of actually appreciate it.