[Scott Kelby Blog] A Great Day For Sports Photography?

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras & Equipment' started by Grumpwurst, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. Grumpwurst

    Grumpwurst Member Staff Member

  2. Tim

    Tim Administrator Staff Member

    that is a real shame that ego and lack of knowledge ruined the winner's prize. ; i am not sure what the big deal is.
  3. Grumpwurst

    Grumpwurst Member Staff Member

    For some reason the "professional" photographers thought this other, respected photographer was going to let some newbie run around the sidelines like a kid in a candy shoppe. ; Why anyone would think "one of their own" would even allow that to happen speaks volumes to me about the mentality of the sports photographer.

    I had seen that mentality first hand when I was in college. ; A friend of mine had recently graduated from Journalism School and was working at a small newspaper as a sports writer. ; He needed a photographer to shoot one of the games for the ACC Tournament for soccer that year. ; He knew I was comfortable with a dSLR and new I could get my hands on one (my dad's Minolta), so he got me the press credentials and we went to the game to do our "jobs".

    So, here I was among a sea of professional sports photogs with their monopods and white lenses and I was there with my pro-sumer dSLR (this was pre-digital) hand held and looking grossly inadequate amongst them. ; Most of the guys were very mean to me and didn't want me there despite the fact that I was properly credentialed.

    There was one guy, much older, who heard what I was up to and did let me shadow him and gave me pointers. ; But their definitely was a big air of entitlement in the pool of photographers.

    Later I had been given the opportunity to shoot the ACC Tournament for Basketball at the Dean Smith Center at UNC-Chapel Hill, but our schedules didn't align. ; I was kicking myself because normal people don't ever get to sit as close to the court as the photographers do
  4. Tim

    Tim Administrator Staff Member

    i saw the forum post where a lot of these guys were spewing their venom and rhetoric and it really makes me happy that TMIP doesn't have those issues. ;
  5. Grumpwurst

    Grumpwurst Member Staff Member

    Every hobby that has a professional faction to it has this problem. ; Nancy sees it in the quilting community and as soon as scrapbooking becomes a business model for some (creating them not selling the supplies), you'll see it there too.

    Attitudes of exclusive membership doesn't really help in the long run. ; And with the constantly improving quality of cell phone cameras (which I hear are much better overseas where there aren't such restrictions on hardware like in the US) I'm sure photographers are getting nervous because every citizen can become a photojournalist or paparazzi
  6. goofmick

    goofmick Member

    In reading probably the same forum that Tim read, those guys were pretty tough on Scott and Mike. ; Kelby seems to be first class to me.
  7. Paul

    Paul Member

    Re: [Scott Kelby Blog] A Great Day For Sports Phot

    I was following this also, what a shame. ; I meant to enter, but forgot.

    Crazy Idea: Tim, maybe you could invite Scott Kelby to join us for Pixelmania. ; I think he lives in the Tampa area and I have read where he enjoys going to WDW.
  8. zackiedawg

    zackiedawg Member Staff Member

    I am not too familiar with Mr. Kelby or the debate, but I've certainly felt that same attitude from 'professional' photographers before, and still do to a lesser extent. ; I really started to get into photography, and began really experimenting and broadening my shooting, with an ultra-zoom P&S camera. ; Due to the excellent lens, and range of that lens, I was able to shoot daylight subjects such as wildlife and birds as well and in some cases better than those with DSLRs who had invested heavily into their system and had gone ahead with the declaration of being professional photographers. ; I never once argued that a P&S is the better tool, nor that in the right hands, the DSLR and right lens couldn't run circles around my best effort. ; But what I did find was there were quite a few who seemed to think their professional status was some form of earned right because they had an expensive camera with a big lens, and spent lots of time taking the same types of shots. ; They were immediately offended at someone popping in for a few hours with a P&S that cost under $500, and getting a close-up detailed view of the head feathers of a perturbed green heron from 100 feet. ; It was usually easiest to dismiss me as an amateur who didn't know any better, and that my shots only looked good in small sizes and could never compare to their stuff. ; I've had people tell me to give up, go home, you'll never sell anything, I'm ruining photography...all kinds of comments. ; And the comments kept up even as I'd post shots in large size, heavily cropped, and still retaining detail. ; Even as I actually got published, unsolicited. ; Even as I made money selling prints and getting publication requests. ; Even as I got several paid shoots with the camera.

    In the end, it comes down to bruised ego, and deeper down, a lack of confidence. ; All of the carping and fussing from the 'professionals' more often than not results from the fear that the amateur with the cheaper camera actually has a true skill and a good eye, that all of their expensive equipment will never give them. ; Many approach photography as a job the way the typical American approaches their job - slightly ambivalent, a little lazy, and just relying on a standard, rote procedure to churn out assembly line photographs that meet certain standards and rules. ; While good on a technical level, few can actually cross the threshhold to artisticness or creativeness. ; And if someone were to come along and have those things with a much cheaper camera, it threatens their sensibility and their confidence in their job.

    With all of the encroachment from amateurs with P&S cameras, or the tens of thousands of unskilled newbies buying DSLR systems, and even the proliferation of cellphone cams, I truly don't see much fear from the truly GOOD professional photographers. ; They know they are better than those amateurs, and are secure that they bring something to the table with their photographs that those amateurs and first-time DSLR users aren't able to bring. ; His skill, eye, and instinct keep him heads above the rest. ; It's the other photographers...the ones not sure of themselves and trying to bolster their confidence with their equipment...the ones who fear their fraud will be revealed, that maybe despite the equipment, all the time they've put into it, and all the jobs they've done in the past, someday it will be revealed that they are just following the path by a set of rules, rather than blazing a new path and forging new rules.

    I still get the turned-up noses even since moving to a DSLR...because I still haven't followed the rulebook. ; I didn't buy a full-frame, it isn't a Canon or Nikon, my lens isn't white, I don't wear a vest and spend 16 hours a day in the same spot with a tripod and a camoflauge net over me. ; So obviously, I really shouldn't be allowed to be in the same zip code as the Exhalted Ones.

    Personally, I've seen some folks deliver more impressive photographs with pocket cameras than some self-proclaimed 'pros' with multi-thousand dollar cameras. ; The multi-thousand dollar cameras are clearly the better tools for the wider range of jobs, but the person using the tool still matters just a wee bit!
  9. Tim

    Tim Administrator Staff Member

    i have said before and will say again, scott dommin ("scott" round these parts) takes better shots with his p&s than most do with their d/slrs. ; it's a shame some people have to be so snooty about things...
  10. Tim

    Tim Administrator Staff Member

    email sent...
  11. Grumpwurst

    Grumpwurst Member Staff Member

    I guess the worst thing he could say is, no thanks and the best thing, "I'm going to Pixelmania!"
  12. Dan

    Dan Member

    Well, first off I'm not too convinced by the "don't blame FSU" thing. ; I don't quite follow the logic used there. ; The guy apparently had been given the ability to pick his own assistants, and so he picked a newcomer this time, but some others didn't like it and FSU rescinded that ability based on their pressure.

    But I'm not particularly invested in the issue either way, call me callous but I'm not going to be losing sleep over this.

    However I have a guess as to what's at the root of this elitism thing. ; I don't think it's entitlement or snobbery or whatever you want to call it. ; I think it's job insecurity.

    I see hints of this all the time in forums and such. ; When an amateur is willing to do an amateur job for an amateur price you get pros chiming in saying either be professional or don't do it at all.

    I think what this is about is the fear of their sources of employment being willing to settle for paying less for lesser quality.

    I'm not saying that there appeared to be an immediate threat of that here, but I think an element of that thinking could have been at work. ; I don't mean this as criticism, as such, I'm under the impression that the professional photography world is pretty harsh as it is and I could understand people who have managed to survive in it reacting with fear to perceived threats to their security.

    It's in their interests to see their career as a difficult thing to succeed in. ; Digital photography has already encroached upon that safety zone, as has been mentioned a point and shoot camera that costs a fraction of the price tag of their hardware can in some circumstances come close or even match their professional output.

    One other thing.. what of the question of the safety risks of this?

    I don't want to make assumptions either way about the guy that won this, but I can't dismiss out of hand the voiced concerns about the possible risks of putting an amateur on the sidelines of a serious sporting event either. ; Surely we've all seen video of athletes plowing into people on the sidelines. ; Not even the pros can avoid every flying body headed their way, but could the risk be higher for a newcomer?

    I want to say that it might be appropriate at least to have a spotter on hand to look out for the guy, to keep an eye on the immediate surroundings as he's busy looking through the lens. ; In the same way that I wanted someone to keep an eye out for me when I was in Boundary Waters in case I spotted a bear and wanted to take pictures of it. ; My photography instincts would not have necessarily been in line with normal survival instincts in that situation, I'd be wanting the bear to get closer so I can get a better picture of it.
  13. gary

    gary Member

    insecurity over future earnings is driving most of the reaction, all pro photographers everywhere are finding that they have to alter the business model, most of the time it means they have to get better, if they are at the line between talented pro and lucky amateur, ( where gary seems to be most of the time, lucky amateur), then not stepping up their game means being overun by the vast crowd who now have really really good cameras and lenses available to them,at reasonable prices, and god help the pros if even just 50% of these folks move of the green box and start shooting raw and really learning
  14. mSummers

    mSummers Member

    I'm really late to the game on this one, but I thought I'd throw my 2 cents in as well. ; I think Gary's right, insecurity drove most of the reaction. ; I read the posts over at sports shooters and the way they treated the situation was totally uncalled for. ; They jumped to conclusions without knowing any of the facts or making any effort to find out all of the details before they started spewing their rhetoric. ; Fortunately it all worked out in the end since another college stepped up and is going to allow Alex to shoot.

Share This Page