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Would you deface a piece of history for a photo?

I read an interesting article yesterday on CNN. Russian photographer Vadim Makhorov and a group of his friends apparently disregarded rules that prohibit the public from climbing the Pyramids of Giza - just to get a few photos from the top of the pyramids.

Were the photos worth it? I'm not sure. Yes, they were nice, but the idea that the photographers not only ignored safety regulations, but risked defacing one of the great wonders of the world - all for the sake of a photo - pissed me off. Now don't get me wrong. Oftentimes I do photograph a subject with the "It's better to ask forgiveness than permission" mantra. But I'm always respectful of my chosen subject, be it a person on the street, a field of wildflowers or a national monument.

Of course Makhorov says he "would like to apologize for this ascension. We didn't want to insult anyone. We were just following the dream." Uh huh. He's not apologizing for doing it. He's apologizing because he got caught. AFTER his photos were published of course. But CNN (and I'm sure other media outlets) gave him exactly what he wanted: his 15 minutes and his photos shown online. Authorities should stick his butt in jail for a few days and make him pay a nice hefty fine.

Maybe I'm being too opinionated, but is there no regard for historic monuments anymore? Have we all become so selfish that our own greed and desire for our 15 minutes of notoriety overshadows common sense and respect?

What are your thoughts?


  1. I've never understood photographers who appear to think that the rules don't apply to them. Yes, there are places where I'd like to stand with my camera that are not allowed - I get the best images that I can without trespassing.

    I wish there was something that could be done about the media outlets using these photos. It seems that the use just spreads the word that it is ok to ignore the rules.

  2. I agree, Denise. There's nothing wrong with trying to get the best shots we can from within the allowed boundaries (which are usually in place for a reason). If media outlets would stop republishing the photos, then maybe people would learn to stop endangering themselves or others (or defacing property) just to get a photo. But then again, there will always be some idiot who thinks he's exempt from the rules.


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