WRITER RIDERS: THAT ETHICAL PERFECT SHOT
IN SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY!
OUR TAKE ON WHAT WE FEEL ARE GOOD
PHOTOGRAPHER ETIQUETTE DURING RACE EVENTS
"Err brada did I block you just now?"
Anyone (and not just seasoned shooters) have inevitably experienced this common frustration. With the tidal wave of advancement in phone camera technology and reasonably priced digital cameras – everyone's a photographer suddenly. While there's nothing wrong with being eager to snap a shot of your buddy in race action, or catching that fluke million-dollar moment, or just seeking out a prized photo in your own capacity, here is a list of good-to-knows for the sports shooter (Ed: The following good-to-know pointers centers around sports event photography):
OBSERVE SAFETY OF THE PARTICIPANTS AND SPECTATORS
Event organizers don't cordon off race lines for fun. If an area (however far fetched you may think it looks) has been marked out as a no-go zone, it means that there is a possibility of the participants riding / falling in there. By trespassing, you are posing a danger not just for yourself but even more so for the participants. Yes even if it's just an arm or a leg or some part of your camera.
STILL ON THE POINT OF SAFETY – AVOID USING FLASH
Even on a normal day, having a flash thrown in your face without warning can be a rather rude shock. Imagine if that were to happen to a race participant attempting some big hitter. You may think shooting from an angle where the flash would not meet the racer's face/eyes MIGHT be okay. But how sure can you be? What if the racer got dazed by your flash and crashed? Or just dazed enough to lose concentration which led to losing the opportunity to qualify for the Olympics? No Flashes. Even at night. Especially at night!
SHOW CONSIDERATION FOR OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPHERS AND VIDEOGRAPHERS
These people have been commissioned to do their jobs. They have most likely surveyed the entire event site and chosen the best spots possible for nice photos / videos of the participants. If you would like to use the same composition you are welcome to stand somewhere nearby (with consideration for #1 of course). You could even ask them if their photos will be available anywhere for download. However, just parking yourself where you will block their view, or force them to change spot – that's not cool. In short, there's a reason why they have been engaged. Let them do their job.
BE NICE (AKA DON'T BE AN A&&H@L3)
Wanting that perfect shot is never a good reason to push or shove others. The tricks that you learnt in school e.g. asking politely, saying 'please' and 'thank you' etc… usually work well. While we hear some laughing at us for our "naiveness" to even suggest this, and that we should be well aware that pushing, shoving and secretly stabbing each other are reporters' and journalists' daily drill. (Ed: Alright we exaggerated) We would simply ask: "Why follow the bad eggs?" Just be polite. Period.
A FEW OTHER FRIENDLY REMINDERS
This article is not for the sole purpose of being negative and preachy. It is a show of friendship to all fellow photographers and videographers. We care too! So here's some on-the-ground tips we gathered over the years …
- Be prepared for changing weather.
- Have an organized system for keeping all your equipment in check.
- Hydrate well
INVITATION! TOLD YOU WE CARE!
If you're a trigger-happy photo enthusiast who would like to share your photos on our website or Facebook page, please get in touch with us. We welcome all contributions! On the other hand, if you like to be shot at (by a camera), you may want to share your ride, bike or cycle trip photos with us too. Our Facebook group page: Bikezilla Bikers Billboard is the place to share your nice shots.
Our Facebook page here (Like us!). And our Facebook Group page Bikezilla Biker Billboard is here (Join us!). And we would love more contributors for Instagram too (Hashtags: #bikezilla and #bikezillasg)
Shoot and Share folks!