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Thread: Slight rant....

  1. #1
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    Slight rant....

    Well I'm part of the safety crew at a local road race track (Crash truck driver) since I'm not gonna be racing for a few years (taking time off). Up until 2 yrs ago we had 1 (2 occassionally) photographers out there taking pics. The main guy does track days and knows how bikes react when they crash and where they will go just from experience. The safety crew never had to worry about him since he knew where he could be and where he cant.

    Fast forward 2 yrs....

    Now we have 4-5 "businesses" out there taking pics. My guess is the number of people buying DSLR's and trying to start their own "business" is the in thing.

    Last year I chewed one out who was literally next to the tire wall in an impact zone taking pics of the bikes coming towards him. I heard on the radio that he said he had permission to be there, which he didnt. We've had bikes jump the tire wall in crashes. The first weekend races here last week we had to chase yet ANOTHER photographer out of the same area and I heard they had some LAYING IN THE GRASS 30' FROM THE TRACK SURFACE!!! Well somethign was said on the club forums about this and one of the photographers on there got real defensive about it (and quite honestly he sucks at motorsport photography). I had to have security chat with 2 who were standing on the fence taking pics.

    We dont mind them coming out to the corner stands when they ask, but we are not about to let them think they can take pics anywhere they want since if they get hit by a bike or bike part, its our ass and the tracks ass. I'm not above asking security boot them out. We arent there to baby sit them, we are there to help the racers. As I said before, we usually let people take pics and video from teh corner stands BUT you have to listen to what we tell you where you can stand so you dont get in our way during a crash.

    Just needed to vent a little. It was pretty crazy this past sunday there.

  2. #2
    Pentax Forum Moderator
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    Re: Slight rant....

    Hi RP...sorry to hear about the problems, but sounds like you're trying to keep them safe. I worked some outlaw and late model dirt tracks in Phx many years ago on a friends tow truck. People just don't realize just how dangerous things can get in a hurry.
    Tell you what tho', when I get a chance to come to one of your races, I'll make sure to get your permission first and then pick your brain about the best place to get the most exciting shots...ok...hehe...
    A question, is this an established track and can't they require photographers to sign releases and ban them if they don't follow the safety guidelines? Just a thought! Glad no one got hurt from their stupidity!!!
    Ken
    Ken


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  3. #3
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    Re: Slight rant....

    Actually every one of the photographers who are there to sell pics (even if on line) are supposed to pay the vendor fee for the weekend. They can get booted for not paying. But its hard to know who is just a spectator and who is there trying to make money with a camera. Difference here compared to a oval dirt track is we dont have separate pits from teh spectator areas. Everyone is inside the track (road course). I only seen 2 guys out there last weekend with vendor passes.

    Honestly I dont know why all of a sudden we have this many "professionals" taking shots at the track. Its not like the racers here are buying alot of pics. Most racers here just wont spend alot for pics or really even care.

    Come on out. $25 on sat (which is good for sunday also) or $15 on sunday. Next races at Blackhawk Farms is June 10-11 (click on link for directions. Track is south of Beloit, WI).

    BTW one of the "professionals" tried to tell me at Byron (we were both shooting a stunt team there, I was with the team, he just showed up) that I need to have white lenses for my Nikon since that means I'm a professional. Last I heard, a white lense just means you have a Canon. hehehe

  4. #4
    Moderator Skyman's Avatar
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    Re: Slight rant....

    In Australia Motorsport photographers must be licensed by the relevant Authority (CAMS) before they are allowed in areas other than those allocated for general spectating. The track marshals and the clerk of the course allways have the final say on where they can and can't be. I have seen many a photographer "shoot the ****" out of a race in order to get a few decent shots. the true craftsmen however can read the race and to an extent predict what will happen. they also know where to stand out of the way. I don't get to my local track often enough for my liking but i usually get a few associated press and routers "gumbys" follow me around

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