Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

It's Just Food. Eat It.


robyn
 Share

Recommended Posts

robyn,

Given all of the exotic and luxurious locales that you visit and influential and interesting people that you meet, it sounds like you have a fabulous life. 

Since my life is less fabulous and more mundane, I will go on record as saying that I really enjoy the pics people post on eGullet.  I really enjoy them.  Pics from posters like David Ross, Chufi, Kim Shook, Dr. J, Marlene, (I could go on and on) really inspire me to be a better cook.

I agree with CDR. I think my life would be the poorer without such items as DocSconz's Peruvian Guinea Pig holocaust pictures and many of those others that I've seen here on eGullet. I enjoy seeing what's out there. Not everyone does, but they're free not to look.

If it makes you happy (and part of that is making others happy), then just follow the rules of etiquette. Don't disturb others, don't do things you're asked not to (I get very annoyed when people are madly clicking away in monasteries and mosques when they've been clearly told not to), and don't lose track of why you're doing what you're doing.

I am enjoying this discussion, I must say, as it goes to the heart of the eGullet membership. It's a sign of a healthy community.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Other people should keep their eyes off my table.  It's very rude to pay attention to what's happening at neighboring tables.  I take restaurant pictures whenever I want to, whever I want to, and unless someone is looking directly at me they have no way of knowing that I'm doing so.  If they're looking at me, they're being far more intrusive than I am being.

I can't believe you believe that.

Do you really? Or were you just trying to make a point?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yet - I have been in places that are "your cup of tea" - mostly some well known places - where photography is banned.

Are you talking about restaurants? I know of no restaurant other than Momofuku Ko that bans photography (as opposed to banning just flash), so I'd be interested in other examples.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yet - I have been in places that are "your cup of tea" - mostly some well known places - where photography is banned.

Are you talking about restaurants? I know of no restaurant other than Momofuku Ko that bans photography (as opposed to banning just flash), so I'd be interested in other examples.

I know of one place - Tommy Gunns

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

Twitter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wonder, given that restaurants are places of public accommodation (in the US, that is), whether a photography ban runs up against a First Amendment freedom-of-press issue if the photographer intends to publish the photos.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yet - I have been in places that are "your cup of tea" - mostly some well known places - where photography is banned.

Are you talking about restaurants? I know of no restaurant other than Momofuku Ko that bans photography (as opposed to banning just flash), so I'd be interested in other examples.

I can name two places in a flash:

Kadowaki in Tokyo. I asked first, and got the crossed fingers sign, so I put the camera away and made a lot of notes instead.

The waiter in T88 in Shanghai was quite rude about it, but then the chefs (we were eating at the bar onto the kitchen) told us it was no problem, as long as it was just the food. There I think it was a question of "scouting" of designs and staff that they were concerned about.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I started doing a little legal research on this issue. This research is only relevant under US law, however this is an interesting summary from USA Today:

You can take photos any place that's open to the public, whether or not it's private property. A mall, for example, is open to the public. So are most office buildings (at least the lobbies). You don't need permission; if you have permission to enter, you have permission to shoot.

The article also contains some links to more technical legal sources.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I started doing a little legal research on this issue. This research is only relevant under US law, however this is an interesting summary from USA Today:
You can take photos any place that's open to the public, whether or not it's private property. A mall, for example, is open to the public. So are most office buildings (at least the lobbies). You don't need permission; if you have permission to enter, you have permission to shoot.

The article also contains some links to more technical legal sources.

A lot might hinge on "open to the public". If the assumption is that you are a paying patron, as opposed to someone that's allowed to wander through (as in a mall), then does a restaurant fail this test of "public venue"? As would a movie theatre?

I believe there are still issues even in public spaces of securing release agreements from individuals who may be in the shots. I know this is a problem with videographers trying to build up stock footage in parks. But this is a commercial item. The police don't worry about the family with the little palm-corder, but you can be approached by the folks in blue if you're shooting the kids with a big Canon or Panasonic 'corder synched with a boom mike in Central Park.

That would explain why many restaurants are okay with you taking pictures, as long as you're sensible about not including any other patrons in the shots.

Also, I'm not certain about the US, but many malls I've been in where I've wanted to shoot, I've been told in no uncertain terms by security that cameras are not allowed. This may just be an issue about wanting to control information so that "casing" is more difficult.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Under US law restaurants are "places of public accommodation." This is a good basic definition from ADA law:

Places of public accommodation include a wide range of entities, such as restaurants, hotels, theaters, doctors' offices, pharmacies, retail stores, museums, libraries, parks, private schools, and day care centers. Private clubs and religious organizations are exempt

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

robyn,

Given all of the exotic and luxurious locales that you visit and influential and interesting people that you meet, it sounds like you have a fabulous life. 

Since my life is less fabulous and more mundane, I will go on record as saying that I really enjoy the pics people post on eGullet.  I really enjoy them.  Pics from posters like David Ross, Chufi, Kim Shook, Dr. J, Marlene, (I could go on and on) really inspire me to be a better cook.

I suppose if an eGulleter who posted photos had to stick their butt in my face to get the shot it would be objectionable but I tend to mind my own business.

I like good food photography - but most amateur stuff is pretty bad. I think you can find great food pictures if you hunt around on the internet. This is IMO a nice article about the food at GE in Chicago from Interiors Magazine (you have to click on "pictures" to see the individual pages in the digital magazine). Robyn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

robyn,

Given all of the exotic and luxurious locales that you visit and influential and interesting people that you meet, it sounds like you have a fabulous life. 

Since my life is less fabulous and more mundane, I will go on record as saying that I really enjoy the pics people post on eGullet.  I really enjoy them.  Pics from posters like David Ross, Chufi, Kim Shook, Dr. J, Marlene, (I could go on and on) really inspire me to be a better cook.

I suppose if an eGulleter who posted photos had to stick their butt in my face to get the shot it would be objectionable but I tend to mind my own business.

I like good food photography - but most amateur stuff is pretty bad. I think you can find great food pictures if you hunt around on the internet. This is IMO a nice article about the food at GE in Chicago from Interiors Magazine (you have to click on "pictures" to see the individual pages in the digital magazine). Robyn

You are right that most amateur stuff is pretty bad, however, there is a learning curve and for many, those shots that initially are pretty bad, eventually become pretty good. While I am not a professional photographer, nor are my in-restaurant photos as good as many professionals, I look back to when i started to more recent examples and the difference is significant. One doesn't improve without doing it. The biggest issue is available light. No one is forcing anybody to look at the photos, whether they be here on the eGullet forums, Flick'r or elsewhere. Many, however, find enjoyment via experiencing others photos, whether professional or amateur.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's a distinction between the artistic and informational value of a photograph. There can be a tremendous amount of information in a bad amateur photograph, even though that photograph may have little or no artistic or creative value. There is a long tradition in professional news media, of using raw amateur photography when it happens that an amateur was the only person to catch a live event.

In addition, the lines between professional and amateur have blurred in the era of blogs and digital media. A lot of folks haven't quite caught up with the implications of the new era of citizen journalism, but there's no way to unscramble the eggs now that anybody with an internet connection and the right information can bring down a president.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I started doing a little legal research on this issue. This research is only relevant under US law, however this is an interesting summary from USA Today:
You can take photos any place that's open to the public, whether or not it's private property. A mall, for example, is open to the public. So are most office buildings (at least the lobbies). You don't need permission; if you have permission to enter, you have permission to shoot.

The article also contains some links to more technical legal sources.

The law from USA Today. My favorite source :laugh: . Tell you what. Why don't you try out the theory. Go down to Washington and start taking pictures in the US Supreme Court.

Or just go a court in Manhattan. Perhaps I am out of date - but last I heard - photography isn't allowed in New York courtrooms (see this NYT article).

Here's a link to a "bust guide" written by a lawyer ("Your Rights and Remedies When Stopped or Confronted for Photography'). Even though it is written from an ACLU POV - it states: "Property owners may legally prohibit photography on their premises but have no right to prohibit others from photographing their property from other locations."

BTW - apart from places in other countries - I have most often found "No Photography" rules in some small cultish places like BBQ joints (BBQ being - among other things - a competitive sport - people don't want to give away their BBQ secrets). And I don't understand Holly's POV that if he wasn't allowed to take pictures in some places - he would just walk out (unless he is saying that he only goes to certain places for business purposes - as opposed to trying to find a good meal). Robyn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's a distinction between the artistic and informational value of a photograph. There can be a tremendous amount of information in a bad amateur photograph, even though that photograph may have little or no artistic or creative value. There is a long tradition in professional news media, of using raw amateur photography when it happens that an amateur was the only person to catch a live event.

In addition, the lines between professional and amateur have blurred in the era of blogs and digital media. A lot of folks haven't quite caught up with the implications of the new era of citizen journalism, but there's no way to unscramble the eggs now that anybody with an internet connection and the right information can bring down a president.

What kinds of information do you get from bad amateur photographs?

And citizen journalism - like professional journalism - runs the gamut from awful to excellent. Only difference is that with the internet - you have access to tons of information from all kinds of sources. And it does take a while to sort through sources of information and decide whether you like them enough to "bookmark" them and return to them repeatedly.

BTW - I agree about putting in a good word for a good local place that won't get the attention of the mainstream media. When I run across a place like that - whether I'm home or on the road - I usually post the information - basically "try it you'll like it" - on multiple websites so word gets around. Robyn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

...  And I don't understand Holly's POV that if he wasn't allowed to take pictures in some places - he would just walk out (unless he is saying that he only goes to certain places for business purposes - as opposed to trying to find a good meal).  Robyn

There are no places where I have to dine (or eat) and there are plenty of good to great meals out there where cameras are not prohibited. I've always been a tad ornery when someone tells me what I can't do. I'd rather find a meal at a place that sees hospitality as I do.

Moot in that I haven't faced this issue with photography. I have started to walk out before a meal when a place refused to relent on a service charge for six or more. Happily, we established a dollar value on their principles - the check for a table of eight. I tipped on my experience and not a fixed percentage.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

Twitter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

BTW - apart from places in other countries - I have most often found "No Photography" rules in some small cultish places like BBQ joints (BBQ being - among other things - a competitive sport - people don't want to give away their BBQ secrets).

Perhaps you'd care to name a few.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What kinds of information do you get from bad amateur photographs?

You get pretty much the same information from a photograph whether it's good or not. The world's greatest photographer and I can both photograph a dish in a restaurant and, while his will be nicer, as long as they're both in focus both will convey most of the same information about the dish.

Kadowaki in Tokyo.  I asked first, and got the crossed fingers sign, so I put the camera away and made a lot of notes instead.

The waiter in T88 in Shanghai was quite rude about it, but then the chefs (we were eating at the bar onto the kitchen) told us it was no problem, as long as it was just the food.  There I think it was a question of "scouting" of designs and staff that they were concerned about.

I'm not sure either of those qualifies as a ban or prohibition. I think if those incidents occurred in the US the appropriate response, before even looking at the freedom-of-press issues, might be, "Okay, please show me the clearly posted signage that says no photography."

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bad photography, being worth a thousand bad words, saves me from reading bad writing.

In the eGullet threads I read I rarely see bad pictures. I see, and contribute, non-professional pictures. As Fat Guy says, any picture in focus gives a sense of the place and the food. Such a photo may be all it takes to inspire a side trip, or some wishful thinking.

Within eGullet and among the food blogs there are some amazingly professional amateur-snapped pictures - and I'm not just talking Philadining.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

Twitter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

BTW - apart from places in other countries - I have most often found "No Photography" rules in some small cultish places like BBQ joints (BBQ being - among other things - a competitive sport - people don't want to give away their BBQ secrets).

Perhaps you'd care to name a few.

If you think I can remember the names of small out of the way BBQ joints in the south - you must be confusing me with Holly :wink: . Next time I am in the right neck of the woods (November) - I will see if anything rings a bell. And I will ask my favorite fair food guy - at the Gainesville Arts Festival - who makes the best smoked turkey legs I've ever eaten - what he thinks of the photography issue (I seem to recall that he competes on a local level). Robyn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What kinds of information do you get from bad amateur photographs?

You get pretty much the same information from a photograph whether it's good or not. The world's greatest photographer and I can both photograph a dish in a restaurant and, while his will be nicer, as long as they're both in focus both will convey most of the same information about the dish.

Kadowaki in Tokyo.  I asked first, and got the crossed fingers sign, so I put the camera away and made a lot of notes instead.

The waiter in T88 in Shanghai was quite rude about it, but then the chefs (we were eating at the bar onto the kitchen) told us it was no problem, as long as it was just the food.  There I think it was a question of "scouting" of designs and staff that they were concerned about.

I'm not sure either of those qualifies as a ban or prohibition. I think if those incidents occurred in the US the appropriate response, before even looking at the freedom-of-press issues, might be, "Okay, please show me the clearly posted signage that says no photography."

And if I were the chef - I think my response would be - perhaps you would care to dine at another restaurant. I guess for some people here - it is more important to get pictures (for commercial purposes or otherwise) than to eat. As far as what Peter is talking about in Tokyo - perhaps your attitude is why non-Japanese people aren't allowed to dine in many fine restaurants (and I was only able to dine at some fine restaurants where non-Japanese speakers aren't welcome by inviting Japanese speaking friends to join us). Talk about cultural insensitivity - try taking a picture of a person who believes that if you take a picture of him - you are stealing his soul. Robyn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to say, I love taking photos of food, whether in Michelin 3 star fine dining restaurants, ethnic eateries or food markets and have done so all over the country and on 4 continents. It has been the extremely rare exception that I have ever encountered anything but friendly enthusiasm from restaurants, farmers or vendors. In addition, I have noticed many others taking photographs at restaurants and have never encountered any problems or attitudes from other patrons either. Even though I use on of those "honking big" SLR's, I never use a flash and I try to be quick and considerate as I like to enjoy eating my food as well. My point here, is that I just haven't seen the negativity that you portray, Robyn, except in extremely rare circumstances and in those cases, I have respected the wishes of the potential subjects. I agree with Holly, though, that I generally avoid a place that has an attitude about it as there are simply too many great restaurants that don't.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Talk about cultural insensitivity - try taking a picture of a person who believes that if you take a picture of him - you are stealing his soul.

I said in the US. And we're not talking about photographing people. We're talking about photographing food. I'm aware of no belief system anywhere in the world that is offended by food photography (other than the one expressed in the opening post of this topic).

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Talk about cultural insensitivity - try taking a picture of a person who believes that if you take a picture of him - you are stealing his soul.

I said in the US. And we're not talking about photographing people. We're talking about photographing food.

What about cannibals who have cameras?

There are two sides to every story and one side to a Möbius band.

borschtbelt.blogspot.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to say, I love taking photos of food, whether in Michelin 3 star fine dining restaurants, ethnic eateries or food markets and have done so all over the country and on 4 continents. It has been the extremely rare exception that I have ever encountered anything but friendly enthusiasm from restaurants, farmers or vendors.  In addition, I have noticed many others taking photographs at restaurants and have never encountered any problems or attitudes from other patrons either. Even though I use on of those "honking big" SLR's, I never use a flash and I try to be quick and considerate as I like to enjoy eating my food as well. My point here, is that I just haven't seen the negativity that you portray, Robyn, except in extremely rare circumstances and in those cases, I have respected the wishes of the potential subjects. I agree with Holly, though, that I generally avoid a place that has an attitude about it as there are simply too many great restaurants that don't.

Well it's pretty obvious to me that you and your party used flash (or a tripod with the right shutter speed) at your meal at Binkley's in 2007 (unless your private room had a lighting level about 10 times brighter than the main dining room). Do you mean that you wouldn't dine at Binkley's again as a small party in the main dining room because you'd have to use a flash to get good pictures and you won't use a flash (the main dining room has pretty low lighting)? Or that you'd use flash to get pictures - or what?

I'm not being negative. It just seems to me that there are people who are more interested in taking pictures than eating meals. Robyn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you're referring to the photos in this post, the EXIF data on the photos indicates they were taken with no flash.

I opened up this photo of John's, for example

gallery_8158_4767_19232.jpg

in Photoshop and checked. I learned that it was taken with a Canon 20D camera, without flash, shutter speed 1/100, aperture f/5.6, at ISO 1600. It's not likely that a tripod was used, though that information is not part of the EXIF data.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...