Monday, 16 August 2010

Photography and the National Trust.

Over the past year or two the National Trust (NT) in England has been getting some bad press amongst photographers. Some people have fallen foul of NT rules which restrict professional photography simply by using a DSLR. Personally I’ve never had a problem with the NT despite being a very regular visitor to dozens of National Trust properties with my camera.

One thing that all NT visitors will be aware of is its policy of indoor photography. Basically, whilst you can shoot away to your hearts content outside, you have to put your camera back in the bag when you go inside.

But there seems to have been a change of heart at the National Trust as their website reveals.

"Amateur photography (including filming) without flash is now permitted in historic interiors at the Property Manager’s discretion. As with outdoor photography, any photographs taken are strictly for private use, and enquiries about selling or publishing photographs should be directed to However, visitors must be aware that at some places, there may be copyright issues, and further permissions may be required in respect of collections not owned by us. In these situations the Property Manager decision as to if photography is allowed is final."

So to put this new found photo freedom to the test, we paid a visit To Calke Abbey, near Derby, which has many semi derelict rooms alongside the usual pristine show rooms. A few of the results are below.

So now I can confirm that I was able to take indoor photos without any problems. In fact other then a few sideways glances from other visitors I was able to snap away as much as I liked.

Old bottles in the wine cellar

Semi derelict corridoor, Calke Abbey

Books in Library

Servants room


Unknown said...

That's good that they have changed their policy. I had a look at National Trust for Scotlands PDF on photography and it seems they have not updated to include indoors photography.

I think the part about you having to ask them to sell the photos you have taken is a bit rich... No doubt some tedious legal reason for it.

I know that the Sistine Chapel photography is forbidden because the chaps that restore it own the copyright to it and get royalties whenever it's used in film/tv/print. Not sure how that works in the reproduction of a building however.. ! I guess they are worried about counterfeit £1.00 National Trust postcards flooding the black market. :-P

I like the bottle photograph :-)

PietpSch said...

wonderful pictures
great ambience

LadyBizBiz said...

That was a very interesting snippet of information which I shall pass on to others.

Thank you very much Fiona.

My favourite in this batch above is the 'servant's quarters' it oozes history and atmosphere. Lovely work.

I wonder if you have any pics of Gower in your collection that you might like to enter in a competition I'm organising running from 2nd Aug - 2nd October 2010:

Happy snapping!

Regards LadyBizBiz

fosie1955 said...

Great news, but it's still better to check before committing yourself to an all day trip. Waddsedon Manor, part of the Rothschild estate, do not allow the use of tripods & all guests are restricted to a ''timed tour '' in other words, unless you're quick,no photographs.

Gavin Hoey Training said...

Cjecking in advance sounds like a good idea. Tripods are still banned indoors and I think thats the right policy.

The high ISO ability of many cameras means a tripod can be avoided if you know what you're doing. It's mildly amusing listing to other photographers long shutter clicks as they try to shoot in a darkened room as ISO 200.

fosie1955 said...

Hi Gavin, Really appreciate your comments. Learning photography as a hobby is a longer process,than you pro's. I found using iso control on my 50D @ Highley Manor seminar gave me the shots without the burden of the 'Tripod'. I suppose it's the personnel compromise in quality.
PS Great Day

Gavin Hoey Training said...

Hi Steve

I'm glad you enjoyed the day as much as Sam & I did.

Unknown said...

Hi Gavin

I have been to Calke Abbey many moons ago and seeing these photos inspires me to make a return visit soon, of course when I last visited the no photography policy was in force so it will be nice to return and take some shots myself. Calke Abbey
Is interesting from the point of view that the trust has attempted to stick to its policy of not improving or changing things so it is a real insight to how it was when it was lived in. My favourite image from the shots above is the old bottles in the wine cellar it looks really dark how far did you need to crank up your iso for that shot? And I was wondering if you used a film grain filter to help compensate for the noise generated from the need for a high iso either way the end result really gives it a great look for me I love it. Many still life photographers would have spent hours in a studio with lights and all sorts to get that very same look well done Gavin.


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