Burning Man

A photo from Burning Man, something you’ll no longer be able to capture on film. Photo by Miss Karen.

Well this seems harsh, if not a little odd. Organizers of the annual Burning Man Festival in Black Rock Desert, Nevada have created a long list of rules that essentially ban visitors from taking photographs during the event. While you theoretically could take photos, you’d have to first seek permission before taking any candid shots of participants and then secure a signed release form. You’d also be unable to share your photos on your blog, facebook, twitter or anywhere else for that matter, unless you had prior written approval to do so.

The reasoning behind the photography ban at Burning Man is unclear, but it does seem like more and more tourist sites are starting to prohibit people from taking pictures. While some, such as the ban at Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland have some public safety motivation behind them (the cracked stonework inside apparently raises the risk of visitors tripping while they take photos), others, such as the ban on commercial photography at Stonehenge, seem to be more financially motivated.

While most of us ultimately travel for the experience and not just the photos, it certainly is nice to have something to look at later as you recall your trip, which makes photo bans like this pretty frustrating.

What do you think? Have you come across an odd example of a photo ban? Does it bother you to have your camera confiscated when there’s no risk to your safety, to the integrity of a painting, or any seemingly logical reason? Or are you the kind of person that will sneak photos with your iphone, rules be damned?