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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

"Sports Leagues Impose More Rules on Coverage" - WSJ
Brad Mangin, Photographer
Pleasanton | CA | USA | Posted: 6:39 PM on 07.17.07
->> Good afternoon everyone. This is a must read from yesterday's Wall Street Journal:

http://tinyurl.com/2xfoop

One of the highlights:

"the new rule requiring photographers (at NFL games) to wear red vests with small Canon and Reebok logos."

This is a must read for everyone as our world becomes a more wacky place every day. This also reminds us what a big business sports is.
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Sabina Moran, Photographer
Finksburg | MD | USA | Posted: 7:04 PM on 07.17.07
->> Does anyone know to whom at Canon and Reebok I should send my bill for advertising space? ;)
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Josh Thompson, Photographer
Ontario | California | USA | Posted: 7:15 PM on 07.17.07
->> Canon and Reebok....

I shoot Nikon and wear Nike. Will that be a conflict of interest??
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Drew Broadley, Photographer
Wellington | NZ | New Zealand | Posted: 7:22 PM on 07.17.07
->> Josh, just say your camera is the next MkIV and tape over the NIKON and say your shoes are the next generation Nike with Canon shutter intergration, you'll be fine.
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Michael McNamara, Photo Editor, Photographer
Lincoln | NE | USA | Posted: 7:27 PM on 07.17.07
->> Brad, thanks so much for posting this. I believe you have earned an "informative."

I know that the NFL is firing on all cylinders now, but I wonder if they (or any other league, for that matter) will ever overstep their bounds, and have it bite them in the butt.

And Josh, I own stock in Nike. I'd pull a Jordan and put something over the logo. But I'd go for gaffer's tape instead of the American flag.
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 2:50 AM on 07.18.07
->> Besides the NFL's 45-second restriction on video usage discussed in the WSJ story, a little known restriction that we were informed of at the recent MLB All Star Game is that the league has banned still photographers from recording audio for use on the Internet.

I checked with MLB and they have indicated that they consider audio recorded at ballgames to be protected by the contracts they have with TV and radio rights holders.

In other words, newspapers are not allowed to capture and use audio for their "SoundSlides" galleries.

I know many newspapers are still doing the "SoundsSlides" - thing at games. But MLB considers audio recording protected by their contracts with Fox, ESPN, local radio stations, etc.

I am not sure at all the stance the NBA, NFL and NCAA have on this issue. It'll be interesting to see how this turns out and if newspapers will fight this and other restrictions leagues, teams, schools and other sports entities are imposing to protect their own Internet sites and their sponsors' interests.
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 2:51 AM on 07.18.07
->> And ... Thanks Brad for bringing this story to everyone's attention.

As he said, this is MUST reading for everyone.
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D. Ross Cameron, Photographer
Oakland | CA | USA | Posted: 3:40 AM on 07.18.07
->> C'mon people! Embrace the new rules! We all know it's critical to have advertising on the cumbersome, unattractive photo vests we're forced to wear at some events (because otherwise it would be impossible to know who's credentialed and who's not -- unless you were to check the arm bands, colored bracelets and... wait for it... *credentials!* one is made to wear while covering even some high school sports these days).

Just more proof that, in our hopelessly consumer-driven society, there is no spot too insignificant on which to place a logo or other advertising. I mean, haven't any of you been to a chain supermarket recently? There's advertising on the floor at my local Safeway. So when I walk around, listening to the in-store "Safeway radio network" -- tuna's just 69 cents a can on aisle 2! -- I won't miss any helpful reminders to pick up a package of Nabisco Oreo cookies ("Now with ZERO transfat!"). The level of greed is just incalculable.

It's stories like this one that make me understand why, outside of Major League Baseball, I don't really care anymore about shooting (or watching) professional sports.

(Oh, by the way, this rant was brought to you by the good people at Bear Wizz Beer. Cool, clean, refreshing. When you want to urinate a lot, pick up a nice cold Bear Wizz. In your grocer's crappy beer aisle!)

Disgusted again (and I know you're shocked),
DRC
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William Hallstrom, Student/Intern, Photographer
Pasadena | CA | USA | Posted: 4:33 AM on 07.18.07
->> Every time I hear another story about this sort of thing happening, I recall how the NFL is the world's most profitable sports league. I believe they have a business model that most other leagues would probably kill for. But . . . it seems like the right thing for them to do would be to share a little of what they have. Although I suppose the reason they are so lucrative is partly in how protective they are of their brand.

Thinking about this, I found this link comparing the economics of the NFL with that of the English Premier League (soccer):

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/business/story/0,,2067670,00.html
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David Harpe, Photographer
Louisville | KY | USA | Posted: 7:10 AM on 07.18.07
->> "the new rule requiring photographers (at NFL games) to wear red vests with small Canon and Reebok logos."

At the 2007 Derby the vests had nothing but the number and big logos front and back for a betting club...not even the event logo or a date.
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Bryan Curtis, Photographer
Plainville | CT | USA | Posted: 7:58 AM on 07.18.07
->> I don't cover major league sports. We don't have MLB, NBA or NFL in Connecticut. The NHL is a sore subject. I only observe you guys at work and read about this nonsense.

The NFL wants the coverage, but within their parameters?

I'm always baffled by the rules these leagues impose. Freedom of the press is becoming less evident in professional sports. The commercial enterprise is ruining our industry and setting unfair limitations on our right to capture news.

I still can't believe the LPGA tried to pull that off in Hawaii.
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Walter Calahan, Photographer
Westminster | MD | USA | Posted: 8:04 AM on 07.18.07
->> Where in the rules does it say you can't put duct tape (or Gaffer's tape) over the logos if you wish NOT to be a walking billboard?

"Live Free or Die."

I mention this 'cause the Supreme Court ruled that it was legal for a New Hampshire resident to cover the state's motto on the license plate which tape so one can't read the motto.

I can see the red vests covered in strips of duct tape. That's a fashion statement.

Grin.
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Jon L Hendricks, Photographer
Merrillville | IN | USA | Posted: 9:14 AM on 07.18.07
->> On a similar note...everyone is selling a piece of themselves.

http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2007/07/16/ap3919176.html

Yes, even newspapers are doing it too. Don't be surprised. It makes good business sense in the end even if the news is being squeezed out.

And how is audio and video protected but stills are not protected? Can't someone buy the rights to stills and ban everyone else? I'm waiting for this to happen.

Either get in with the big agencies now or start shooting local news folks. And don't cry when there are only 6 shooters from one agency covering each NFL game. It's going to happen.
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Michael Proebsting, Photographer
Barrington | IL | USA | Posted: 9:42 AM on 07.18.07
->> The reality of the situation is this: The value of still photography was largely unrealized for many years, until this little company, (you may have heard of them) Getty Images came around. Getty was smart enough, and had the financial resources to close "exclusive" deals with the NBA and NFL for commercial usage rights. What does that mean? That means that I can't market my images to a card company, Nike, Reebok, or any other "commercial usage". Those images must now come from Getty. That also means that as long as this situation exists, the value of my image archive has just received a huge devaluation in value.

Because I cannot market these images for commercial usage, I would say my images have lost 90% of their value. But how can I say that? Recently I put up a classified ad for about 60,000 original, magazine quality slides on the ss.com classifieds. These for the most part were 1980-2000 MLB and NFL slides, all magazine quality. What would you guess was the highest offer I recieved for these?

It was a whopping 5 cents each. Basically nobody wants them because they have "editorial use" only in terms of marketing. I don't have a vendetta against Getty, as I make about 80% of my income now shooting kids action photography, in large part so I don't have to deal with this BS. I can say after speaking with people in the front office of different NFL teams that Getty is really, really pressuring the NFL to crack down on any unauthorized usage of images that they have paid "exclusive" rights for.

So even though the NFL vests don't say "Getty Images" on them, they might as well. I can say from a personal standpoint, that I am not excited about wearing one, because I know that the reason I will be wearing one will also be the same reason that everything I have worked very hard for no longer holds the value I thought it did.
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Bob Ford, Photographer
Lehighton | Pa | USA | Posted: 9:56 AM on 07.18.07
->> Tim Clayton from the Sydney Morning Herald wrote about a similar incident that took place in Australia in 1999. There were at least 2 articles in the newsletter...

http://www.sportsshooter.com/news/169

http://www.sportsshooter.com/news/170

He wrote, "We argued that we were professional sports photographers, not human billboards, we found it insulting and degrading to be asked to wear them and we pointed out that no other profession is instructed to 'advertise' a certain product in order to carry out their work."
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Chris E. Curry, Assistant, Photographer
Norfolk | VA | USA | Posted: 10:35 AM on 07.18.07
->> At a recent assignment at a golf course I had someone ask me if I could position myself so the name of the golf course was in my photo.

It wasn't enough that I was there covering the event.
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Sean D. Elliot, Photographer, Photo Editor
Norwich | CT | USA | Posted: 2:08 PM on 07.18.07
->> The NPPA has chimed-in:

http://www.nppa.org/news_and_events/news/2007/07/nfl01.html
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Steven E. Frischling, Photographer
Live HVN : Work SFO-NYC | | | Posted: 2:21 PM on 07.18.07
->> There have been red vests with a Reebok logo in use at Pats home games for years.

What was really funny is that the vests were first issued during a Pats vs Chiefs game. It made it look like there were about 75 extra Chiefs fans on the sidelines.
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Phillip Davies, Photographer
Garden City | NY | US | Posted: 3:39 PM on 07.18.07
->> I remember about 13 years ago, there were a large number of shooters in the New York Metro area that were putting black electrical tape over the Nikon and Canon logos on their cameras.

The logic was that all other professionals get paid to endorse a product, so why should Canon and Nikon get free advertising from the cut-away shots of every televised press conference or major event covered by the media.
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Walter Calahan, Photographer
Westminster | MD | USA | Posted: 4:09 PM on 07.18.07
->> Phillip

I use gaffer tape to cover the logo and name on my Leica M6 cameras. Makes the camera look even less 'professional.'

David Burnett even puts tape over the Holga name on his plastic camera.

I find subject not use to being professionally photographed are much more relaxed when the camera name is covered.
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Jody Gomez, Photographer
Murrieta | CA | USA | Posted: 4:17 PM on 07.18.07
->> The scary part is this (especially Mr. Marvez' quote):

"But Mr. Jenks and his colleagues have little leverage. While the NFL is flush with money, newspapers are having a tough time keeping readers these days. "So many of us are just trying to hold on to what we have," Mr. Marvez says."

Jody
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John Rieger, Photographer
Kansas City | MO | USA | Posted: 6:20 PM on 07.18.07
->> I just hope they have different sizes. I'm short & skinny & hate it when I get an XXXL vest !!!

Wouldn't it be nice if they'd think to put anti slip shoulders on the vest so our camera straps don't slide off ?
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Sean D. Elliot, Photographer, Photo Editor
Norwich | CT | USA | Posted: 6:41 PM on 07.18.07
->> Really, it's time for photographers and publications to take a stand against this sort of thing. If they want us to wear the vests for some sort of identification thing (like the annoying armbands at NCAA final fours) then that's fine, but they have to get rid of the advertising that we have no business participating in.

Everyone, and I mean everyone, should refuse to wear them, the employers need to back them, and the NFL will cave or they'll have NO local coverage and that translates into the goodwill of the taxpayers who paid for their stadia.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 6:43 PM on 07.18.07
->> we were made to wear kodak vests during the olympic festival here in NC back in the 90's and most of us shot fuji film. the vests were bright yellow with kodak in big red letters. several of us used a big giant red sharpie to make the circle with a line through it over the kodak logo. really pissed of some of the event officials but at that time they just tried to ignore us because apparently no one from kodak was around to raise hell. it ended up being VERY funny because when you walked through the stands people would ask why the "no kodak" symbol, we would advise"because fuji film is so much better". that kind of backfired on the kodak folks. however in this day and age where there is so much control I feel sure if we had done that we would have been tossed from the venues or burned at the stake, welcome to the great wide world of corporate control....
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Robert Seale, Photographer
Houston | TX | USA | Posted: 7:14 PM on 07.18.07
->> Bill Hicks on advertising and marketing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDW_Hj2K0wo
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Andy Mead, Photographer, Photo Editor
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 7:32 PM on 07.18.07
->> This is the second season of league issued lime green vests advertising Panisonic at MLS games.
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Mike Brice, Photographer
Toledo | OH | USA | Posted: 7:36 PM on 07.18.07
->> The funny thing is, there will be a lot of photographers who will complain, but there will always be a long list of photographers willing to wear the vest to get on the sidelines of an NFL game.

If I was the NFL, I would charge for a photo pass. What do you think is going to happen - there will be a boycott? Like the NFL would care.

TV contracts rule - money talks, and news coverage doesn't pay the players' salaries. If there were no news photographers on the sidelines what do you think would happen to the NFL.

Oh wait, nothing, because fans have 24-hour ESPN and the Internet to keep them updated and don't need to buy a Monday morning paper to see the stats, a few photos, or some post-game quotes they can see other places sooner - for free.
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Doug Holleman, Photographer
Temple | TX | USA | Posted: 8:22 PM on 07.18.07
->> Good idea, Walter. If I am fortunate enough to still be credentialed for an occasional NFL game now and then, I'll just tape over the Canon logo and write "Rozelle" on it.
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Jeff Stanton, Photographer
Tucson | Az | USA | Posted: 11:35 PM on 07.18.07
->> The owners can do that for a simple reason: They're owners. "It's our facility," says Karl Swanson, spokesman for the Washington Redskins, a team viewed by the press as particularly hard-line on this issue.

Ehhhh, wrong. The taxpayers are footing the bills for these new stadiums and facilities.
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Denny Medley, Photographer, Photo Editor
Kansas City | MO | USA | Posted: 1:11 AM on 07.19.07
->> OK, not to start or encourage any silly Cannon vs Nikon debate, but has anyone been in contact with folks at Cannon to ask them what our portion of the ad revenue they'll be receiving from all of us wearing the silly vests with their logo on them? Think we can get a piece of that "pie"?

(tongue in cheek, but wishing it were possible...)
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Jeff Gritchen, Photographer
Long Beach | CA | USA | Posted: 1:28 AM on 07.19.07
->> Lets not get Freedom of the Press confused with covering sports. Major league sports is a business, just like any other business, and unfortunately it seems they could care less about newspaper coverage. It used to be that the leagues wanted the coverage, now days it seems they think they are doing you a favor 'letting' you cover the games. Don't get me wrong - I don't agree with this philosophy - but it IS a business.

And yes, i realize that many play in stadiums owned by the city - but most pay to use the stadiums.
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Layne Murdoch, Photographer
Flower Mound | TX | USA | Posted: 1:57 AM on 07.19.07
->> the red vests make no sense at all. scorched gold, burnt earth and fox hues are the colors for this fall's fashions. what the hell were they thinking?
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Primoz Jeroncic, Photographer
Kranj | SI | Slovenia | Posted: 3:53 AM on 07.19.07
->> I'm not really all that surprised about logos on vests. It is a bit strange, but I was wondering for a while already when someone will figure out, that those bold empty vests are great spot for some sort of advertising.
Things are still a bit different here in Europe, since obviously marketing is not all that strong as it's in USA. But for example, photo vests we get at Giro d'Italia cycling race, have huge sign for Gazzetta dello sport (newspaper, but on the other side also organizer of race) for years already.
But what really bothers me, are rumors I heard from friends who were in Torino Olympics. Security personnel there was suppose to be walking around with tape and taping over manufactures on people's clothes. Of course if manufacturer wasn't right one (read: if it was anyone else then official sponsor of Torino Olympic games).
So if NFL puts their logos on photographers vest, it's their right... I guess. But if this will continue to go this way, soon you guys will be forced to wear Reebok clothes and shoot with Canon gear, if you will want to be on NFL sidelines. It might sound funny now, but I don't think it's all that impossible. And that is scary thing for me.
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Mike Carlson, Photographer
Bayonet Point | FL | USA | Posted: 8:07 AM on 07.19.07
->> Finally, something to match all of those $30 monopod covers.

(and I hope the new vests here in Tampa are as unbreathable polyester as last year...nothing like some good insulation of heat in late August...or like the smell of the vests, say, week 14)
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Pedro Diaz, Photographer
Miami Beach | FL | United States | Posted: 8:10 AM on 07.19.07
->> $12 on EBAY
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John Howley, Photographer
Circleville | OH | USA | Posted: 8:53 AM on 07.19.07
->> From the NPPA story:
"I wouldn't be surprised if some newspapers get together and seriously discuss a boycott," Cross said. "The AP boycotted the Ladies Professional Golf Association's first round of the 2006 Hawaiian tournament in protest over photo rights. The LPGA backed off."

Apples and oranges on that comparison. While the LPGA struggles for exposure, the NFL is to the point that it doesn't have to worry about it.

And for a point of clarification on Jeff's comment concerning the gentleman with the Redskins, the Redskins actually do own their stadium. They might be the only one. (I don't remember if Joe Robbie actually paid for the stadium when he owned the Dolphins.)

Do you think the powers that be on this site can get a SportsShooter sticker or pin produced that we could place over the logos?
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Sean D. Elliot, Photographer, Photo Editor
Norwich | CT | USA | Posted: 9:10 AM on 07.19.07
->> Okay, so here's a question.

Does anyone know how closely the NFL is going to look at the logo issue?

If the vests are required because they want to visually ID photographers on the sideline at a distance and the logos being there isn't the real issue, then just cover the logo.

On the other hand, if the NFL won't allow the logos to be covered, then those covering the NFL will have to decide how much of a stand is merited based on participating in sponsorship.

Or is wearing the vest the issue? It seems lots of leagues require some sort of vest.
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Steven E. Frischling, Photographer
Live HVN : Work SFO-NYC | | | Posted: 9:34 AM on 07.19.07
->> I know there had been an issue at Gillette at one point with a photographer who had his vest on inside out ......it was me and it was a mistake, I did not intentionally reverse the vest.

The issue security had with the vest being inside out during the Pats game was that each vest had a number on the back. By not being able to see the number on my back they could not quickly identify if I was supposed to be on the field or someone threw on a red vest and jumped on the field.
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Dave Kennedy, Photographer
Danbury | CT | US | Posted: 10:08 AM on 07.19.07
->> "Major league sports is a business"... further it is NOT news! It is entertainment.

It will take an effort by all media outlets that pay lipservice to "not wanting to be moving billboards" to actually have the guts TO NOT COVER THIS. If all concerned DON'T COVER THE EVENT then the NFL will get the message. Guess what if there's NO photos of the game and NO STORY in the paper...they will get the message.

There's only one way to show leagues trying to grab photos and make us into human advertisement...do NOT cover them until they change the policy.
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Doug McSchooler, Photographer, Photo Editor
Avon | IN | USA | Posted: 10:28 AM on 07.19.07
->> I don't cover major league sports all that often, so my interest isn't so much on a personal level as it is with the state of the industry.

My curiosity goes back to the whole need to wear such a highly visible "label" to identify who you are and what your role is as it pertains to the event your covering. In other words, what wasn't working with any of the previous means of identification that has led to this need for a vest?

In my past, I seem to recall that if a security official wasn't sure of an individual's authority to be on a sideline, they simply asked to see their credential (typically hanging around their neck).

I like to think that I stay up on the news pretty well, but I don't recall any catastrophic event that was caused by an individual posing as a photojournalist on the sidelines of a major league event. Particularly those carrying thousands of dollars worth of professional quality equipment.

Wouldn't you think that a 400mm ƒ2.8 (which likely says Canon/Nikon on it by the way) serves as a pretty good sense of what that individual's intentions are?
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Steven E. Frischling, Photographer
Live HVN : Work SFO-NYC | | | Posted: 10:41 AM on 07.19.07
->> Dave

All the Scottish paper (I think it was Scotland) had a photo boycott of coverage about two years ago. They ran black boxes with explanations to their readers why there were no photos.

The league reversed it's rules the next day as a "misunderstanding"
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Steven E. Frischling, Photographer
Live HVN : Work SFO-NYC | | | Posted: 10:44 AM on 07.19.07
->> "Wouldn't you think that a 400mm ƒ2.8 (which likely says Canon/Nikon on it by the way) serves as a pretty good sense of what that individual's intentions are?"

I liked having my multi-purpose tool confiscated by stadium security as a weapon while I walk in with a metal 6ft Gitzo monopod with a screw-in snow spike on the bottom.

I'd be more afraid of someone's intentions with a 6ft metal stick with a spike than I would be of a small screw driver and pliers..........but that's just me.
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David G. McIntyre, Photographer
Beijing | . | CHINA | Posted: 11:48 AM on 07.19.07
->> There was a new law just passed that each pro team must put my name or domain on public display, cause my tax payer money just helped build there new super stadium, cause they didn't spend enough of the money they made from me wearing the advertisement on my vest.
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Steven E. Frischling, Photographer
Live HVN : Work SFO-NYC | | | Posted: 12:01 PM on 07.19.07
->> David

Nice!

I like that idea. The Colorado air must have you thinking up these brilliant marketing concepts for photogs!
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David M. Russell, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 12:13 PM on 07.19.07
->> How much would it cost, I wonder, to have pants made with "N I K O N" down each pant leg?

And maybe a big foam hat that spells out my website address.



Maybe this is a stretch, but an accredited photographer wearing an advertisement could be construed to the photographer's endorsement (aren't endorsements worth money?) or, worse, the publication's endorsement (a major journalism faux pas).

Too bad nobody will have the balls to boycott.
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Bob Ford, Photographer
Lehighton | Pa | USA | Posted: 12:28 PM on 07.19.07
->> Just last season SportsShooter member Gavin Smith was told to remove his Canon monopod cover becasue of some unknown rule about sponsorships. Now this season they are going to MAKE us advertise Canon. Am I missing something?

You can read the thread about the Canon monopod cover here...

http://www.sportsshooter.com/message_display.html?tid=21503
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Mike Brice, Photographer
Toledo | OH | USA | Posted: 12:47 PM on 07.19.07
->> Jeff,

On the Redskins, the taxpayers didn't pay a dime for the stadium or the improvements to the roads/water/sewer.

The former owner Jack Kent Cooke built it with his own money so he would owe anyone, anything.

For the others, I agree there is a lot of taxpayer money involved.
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Michael Fischer, Photographer
Spencer | Ia | USA | Posted: 1:17 PM on 07.19.07
->> Boy, some of you guys don't get it - at ALL. If you're really pissed about this you need to go back and read or watch "All the Presidents Men." Why, because the solution is so simple - it screams out to you. And what was the advice in All the President's Men? "Follow the money."

You need to only step outside the box and understand that what is driving the issue is money, and what will have the greatest amount of leverage IS money.

And how do us poor, unappreciated photographers do that? Uh, it's simple: You tell Canon of your deep concern regarding this issue and how serious you believe it is that the vest with their logo on it NOT go forward.

And why would Canon care? It's simple: If they don't put heat on the NFL to back off, sell your Canon stuff and switch to another brand.

This might be a pain in the butt for some of us. Cost us.But it will work and here's why: Photojournalists buy more of those high priced high speed lenses and high end camera bodies than anybody and don't fool yourself for a minute - those are where the Camera companies make their money.

The NFL could give a rats a$$ about sports photographers - but when a sponsor like Canon goes to the NFL and says .."uh wait a minute.." you had better believe the folks at NFL corporate pay attention.

It's about money. If we put enough heat on Canon, I GUARANTEE you this requirement will be rescinded. The way one fights this thing is not by threatning a lame NFL boycott, but by inflicting financial pain. Are you will to put your money where your mouth is?

And yeah, I'd switch back to Nikon. The most important part of making a great image has nothing to do with the brand of camera.

So who wants to be the first? Who has the courage?

One last thing: I know Canon is a big supporter of SS.com and photojournalist. Please,please understand that I'm not trying to minimize all the things they do. But they need to understand, in the clearest terms possible, that this is BS and they need to decide how important the NFL requirement is to their business model as opposed to the people that buy their product and use them every day.

Enough said.
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Rick Rowell, Photographer, Photo Editor
Santee | CA | USA | Posted: 2:34 PM on 07.19.07
->> I may be wrong on this, but I think there is a reason that the logo is as small as it is. Why didn't they just cover most of the space on the front and back of the vest with Canon and Reebok logo's? I think it's a trial balloon. They are listening and want to see how much of a fuss we cause over this. Well, here we are, It's our turn at bat. Will we strike out or hit a game winning homer. I say we take a swing at the curve ball that's been thrown at us and see if we can't change the tempo of the game.
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Dave Amorde, Photographer
Lake Forest | CA | USA | Posted: 3:18 PM on 07.19.07
->> Just thank God the NFL isn't sponsored by Summer's Eve Douche.
But Michael's right - it's Canon that needs to hear your voices, not the NFL. The NFL is just doing what it perceives to be in the partnership's (between them and their sponsors) best interests. If the sponsor lets it be known otherwise, the tune will change immediately
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