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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

When is it ok to work for free . . .
Gary Chism, Photographer, Assistant
Houston | TX | | Posted: 10:04 AM on 06.15.08
->> In the community that I work, people want to know what is going on around them. They do not always care where the information comes from. If it comes from the "average Joe with a point and shoot," they are fine with that. I do think it is important that the information be accurate and balanced.

The readers in my community do not need an award winning picture to be informed. Most people are visual learners. So, a nice image helps them get the message.

Today, I am covering a World Cup qualifying match, Belize vs. Mexico. I am covering the game for a newspaper in Belize. I don't know much about the paper. But, I think it is new and probably has low readership. It is not the largest paper in the country.

If they "scoop" the larger daily newspaper, what impact could that have on their readership. Whether we want to admit it or not it is all about readership. You can have great pictures. If no one reads your paper, you will not exist long.

I am not an advocate of giving pictures away. But, I do like to help and yes "I am charging this little paper in Belize for my pictures."

I use pictures as a tool to get people to read.

I am all about literacy.
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David Eulitt, Photographer
Kansas City | MO | USA | Posted: 10:09 AM on 06.15.08
->> Here we go again....
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Gary Chism, Photographer, Assistant
Houston | TX | | Posted: 10:31 AM on 06.15.08
->> Dave - I am sorry if this has been discussed already. Is there a reason this issue discussed often? If the issue is "played-out" on this forum, I can move it to another forum. I know every community is different and we all feel like we know our community. I just want more people to read. I should retitle this post to "when is it o.k. to support literacy?"
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Ian L. Sitren, Photographer
Palm Springs | CA | USA | Posted: 10:43 AM on 06.15.08
->> Very noble. But when the rent comes due you will re-think the concept.
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Gary Chism, Photographer, Assistant
Houston | TX | | Posted: 11:08 AM on 06.15.08
->> I haven't missed a rent payment in about 15 years. If Belize wins today, it might be a while before I miss a rent payment. (No, I didn't bet on the game.)

This is not just a community, citywide or national issues. It is a global issue.

I challenge you so called "professional photojournalist" to put a "face" on this issue.

If I am off-base, then take a vote to have my SS membership revoked. I will stop posting.

Go ahead... make it the next poll on this website for "professionals."

I am all about LITERACY!!!
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Rob Ostermaier, Photographer
Newport News | VA | USA | Posted: 11:26 AM on 06.15.08
->> What does giving away your photos have to do with literacy!

I'm sure you can figure out many ways to promote literacy without contributing to the downfall of an industry.
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Clark Brooks, Photo Editor, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 11:26 AM on 06.15.08
->> FWIW . . . . .

"when is it o.k. to support literacy?"

When you need an excuse to justify giving your work away.

Want support literacy? Get dirty and sit next someone who can't read. Teach them how. Give them a picutre and they might remember it for a day. Teach them to read and they'll enjoy the words for a lifetime.
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Gary Chism, Photographer, Assistant
Houston | TX | | Posted: 11:50 AM on 06.15.08
->> Ian - you should really support literacy. I saw the pictures on your SS site. Do you think I am going to keep that article because it is well written?

Clark - I am a teacher during the day. I meet people that can't read on grade level everyday. 'show them my pictures? ' You obviousy have not see my SS page. My pictures are horrible. I am afraid I will scare them.

By the way ... what ISO should I use when I take Belize's victory picture after they beat the tar out of Mexico.

Ya'll don't hear me. I am all about Literacy.

Clark...is that a vot 'yes' for me to retain my SS membership.
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Gary Chism, Photographer, Assistant
Houston | TX | | Posted: 11:54 AM on 06.15.08
->> Rob - Don't worry my pictures are bad. They will have no impact on the industry. What will hurt the industry is if you recycle your old DSLR's. Give them to your local high school journalism department.

I am all about LITERACY.

Put a face on it.
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Randy Tobias, Photographer
Wichita | KS | USA | Posted: 12:00 PM on 06.15.08
->> This has all been said before, but it gets the point across. Ever tried calling a local plumber and asking him to repair something at no charge? Or maybe dining out and when the bill comes, asking them to comp the meal so you can spread the good word about their restaurant? It really is strange to me why this industry has so many willing to give away the store. Regardless of the level a shooter is in his/her career, the work justifies compensation. The dollar amount is up to each individual, but in my opinion, it is never okay to give the work away. Consider what goes into becoming a professional photographer. If anyone can honestly say there is no investment in that process, then by all means, deliver the product at no charge. Outside of that, you should be building a comfortable life with income from your work.
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Gary Chism, Photographer, Assistant
Houston | TX | | Posted: 12:12 PM on 06.15.08
->> Free. Free. You want to talk free. public education is free. we have great public schools. people send there kids to schools where you have to pay.

we all can't afford to buy pictures.

At my school, Vince Young was arguebly the best quarterback to play football at James Madison HS. He not the only great one. I am the the greatest 3 period journalism teacher at Madison.

float like a butterfly sting like a bee...let's fight illiteracy. (I know that was cheesy...you get my point)

I am all about literacy.
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Gary Chism, Photographer, Assistant
Houston | TX | | Posted: 12:29 PM on 06.15.08
->> Last week, I worked for the City of Houston as part of the A+ Challenge teacher externship program. I should have suggested to Mayor Bill White that he declare Monday 'Read Your Camera Manual Day.' That would help the industry. Especially me.

I am all about Literacy.
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Rob Ostermaier, Photographer
Newport News | VA | USA | Posted: 12:41 PM on 06.15.08
->> How about this.

You keep being "all about literacy" and leave the photojournalism to those who are "all about photojournalism".

I am all about Photojournalism.
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David Eulitt, Photographer
Kansas City | MO | USA | Posted: 1:06 PM on 06.15.08
->> When I saw the topic of this forum, I clicked on it because I thought FOR SURE someone was going to write about the good feelings on donating their photographing talent and energy to photograph foster kids looking for homes or portraits at a battered women's shelter for the shelter's brochures or SOMETHING that is truly worthy of the joy of pro bono work. I'm not sure shooting soccer for a South American newspaper really falls under that category.

And one more thing, public schools aren't free. Public schools are funded on property taxes on real estate, cars, sales taxes and/or state levies.
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Brian Shirk, Photographer, Assistant
McCall | ID | US | Posted: 1:11 PM on 06.15.08
->> Public education is not free. You pay for it with taxes.

If you can't afford to pay for someone to take pictures, then take them yourself with the camera that you BOUGHT and the skills that you've trained yourself with.

A paper publishing your photos isn't about literacy. Everyone else in the process is being paid by the company making money from the business model oriented around the need to make a profit to sustain itself.

If you have the opportunity to make a profit off of Belize winning, it's not for literacy, now is it?

If you really care enough to start a fight over literacy, dump everything you have into it. Everything. Then come talk to us. As it is, you haven't given up anything comparable to what most people have risked for their line of work on this message board. Please understand that we aren't reacting this way because it's a good cause. We're reacting this way because it's for survival.

And I'm all about survival.

The work of both you and the guy next to you on the sideline is worth money - at least charge enough to take SOME KIND of profit. Otherwise you're just causing the market to fall in and lower people's expectations of professional photographers as a whole.

If you don't want to charge money as professional photographer does, call yourself an amateur photographer and cancel your sportsshooter membership.

Please understand, I don't care about the philosophical debate. I care about being able to eat, and the end of your philosophical debate is to undermine that.
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Gary Chism, Photographer, Assistant
Houston | TX | | Posted: 1:22 PM on 06.15.08
->> Boy this is like a press conference. questions are coming from all directions. i promise will answer all of your questions. but you have to ask them one at a time and give me the opportunity to respond. i tell my students that all the time.

If you want to learn about literacy and how it can lift you out of poverty. talk to mr. nunez at Ambergris Today. Just Google it.

I have a hard time with comprehension. My press pass to the game says 'still photographer.' does that mean i have to be still on the side line. i like to move up and down the sideline when i shoot a game. ask my student. when i get to Reliant Stadium i am going to see if i can trade it in for a 'roving photographer' press pass.
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Gary Chism, Photographer, Assistant
Houston | TX | | Posted: 1:32 PM on 06.15.08
->> i am in church right now the pastor just told us to get on our knees and pray. I have a secret. i tell people i shoot from my knees because it flattens my horizons. But, i am really praying that other 'professional' journalists will follow my lead.

I am all about literacy.
I am all about literacy.

I said it twice caue. i forgot to say it after my last post.
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Brian Shirk, Photographer, Assistant
McCall | ID | US | Posted: 1:38 PM on 06.15.08
->> We get the idea that you're about literacy. What you don't understand is that we are too.

We've read your messages.

What doesn't make sense is how literacy and someone else's starvation are equated in your mind. That's why we're standing up against you.

Our education and training has value. This is the point of literacy. To remove the value from education and training (AKA literacy), is to go backwards.

Even if you aren't the world's best photographer, your work still has value. The same applies in every field. Because of your literacy with a camera, even if you aren't the equivalent of Shakespeare, you should hold that at a value, and not to do so is an insult to yourself, and to us.
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Scott Mallon, Photographer
Bangkok | N/A | Thailand | Posted: 1:49 PM on 06.15.08
->> I am a US citizen living in Thailand with my Thai wife and two children. Both our children are enrolled in a private school. This costs money as does their many needs. I personally like to be paid for my photos.

As a teacher you need to get paid - as a photojournalist I need to get paid too. You either don't know or care about what a sensitive subject this is. Your photos aren't helping newspaper readers become more literate, I'm all for you understanding that pal.

The money earned from the photos I sell help pay for my kids tuition, books, and school supplies, and their excellent teachers (paid), my wife, and I are all helping my kids become more literate - in three languages. And international schools are expensive pal, even in Thailand.

BTW - I vote to revoke your membership and call you an amateur photographer. Take your photos and give them all away. Or wait, better yet, please teach school for free.

When a customer, promoter, TV station, airline, manager, magazine or newspaper ask me for photos, they know full well they're going to have to pay for them.

Those who ask for free photos are dealt with in the following manner:

"Sorry, we all need to eat and pay our bills, thus I need money for my work." Otherwise they're not getting my photos.

When HBO comes to me for photos, do you think I tell them, "Ok, I want your viewers to become more literate so I'll give my photos away." Or better yet, "even though you're a huge company making millions of dollars, I will live off handouts - no need to pay me!"

C'mon pal, what percentage of your income comes from your photojournalism?

I'm all for you understanding that while you're preaching we should give away our photos, I'm spending my time trying to market and sell my photos so I can make sure my family doesn't ever end up on the street. But maybe you're not literate enough to understand this though...
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Gary Chism, Photographer, Assistant
Houston | TX | | Posted: 1:51 PM on 06.15.08
->> i just took all the money out of my pocket and gave as offering. a church will make sure i goes to the right place.
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Scott Mallon, Photographer
Bangkok | N/A | Thailand | Posted: 1:55 PM on 06.15.08
->> Dude - do you have something to say about photography? I don't want to hear your church talk, or your talk about literacy. I am on this site because I am a Sports Shooter who cares about my profession. If you care about literacy - as I do - that's great but I suggest you find another forum to talk about it. This is not the right place for it IMO.
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Michael Proebsting, Photographer
Barrington | IL | USA | Posted: 2:02 PM on 06.15.08
->> I am all about the literacy as well, but reading some of the stuff on this message boards is now making me question my own literacy.
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Michael McNamara, Photographer, Photo Editor
Phoenix | AZ | USA | Posted: 2:09 PM on 06.15.08
->> Sorry Gary, but for being all about literacy, you're not much about copy editing or proofreading.
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David Eulitt, Photographer
Kansas City | MO | USA | Posted: 2:09 PM on 06.15.08
->> You're posting messages on a photography website from church? I may have heard it all now. Tough to listen while you're texting.
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Debra L Rothenberg, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 2:12 PM on 06.15.08
->> Gary,

If you are "all about literacy" and you are a teacher by day, what is wrong with this sentence that you wrote:
"Free. Free. You want to talk free. public education is free. we have great public schools. people send there kids to schools where you have to pay."

I can find several mistakes.
If you are going to go on a rant, back it up!
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Blaine McCartney, Photographer
Columbus | NE | USA | Posted: 2:24 PM on 06.15.08
->> Gary,
You said you are a teacher, you have a job that supplies you with a steady paycheck. Many of us here are freelance photographers and work their ass off to meet their needs and is their only source of income. The less they work and/or money received from their images means means the tougher it is for them to put food on the table for themselves.

I challenge you Gary to quit your teaching job and dive into the freelancing world. I bet you'll sing a different tune when you miss your first rent payment and that "When is it ok to work for free . . ." is not a good idea.
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Bob Ford, Photographer
Lehighton | Pa | USA | Posted: 3:42 PM on 06.15.08
->> "If I am off-base, then take a vote to have my SS membership revoked."

Maybe the admins can put up a poll on this subject. I know how I'd vote.

By the way, I'm all about earning a living as a photographer.
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Mark Loundy, Photo Editor
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 4:37 PM on 06.15.08
->> A useful forum is not just a bunch of people agreeing with each other. All points of view are valuable.

--Mark
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Patrick Fallon, Student/Intern, Photographer
Torrance | CA | USA | Posted: 4:42 PM on 06.15.08
->> "My press pass to the game says 'still photographer.' does that mean i have to be still on the side line. i like to move up and down the sideline when i shoot a game. ask my student. when i get to Reliant Stadium i am going to see if i can trade it in for a 'roving photographer' press pass."

Dude... really? Its still photographer vs. Video., they don't want you using one of those new-fangled movie cameras.

You go on the internet during church? Wow.
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Craig Mitchelldyer, Photographer, Assistant
Portland | OR | USA | Posted: 5:06 PM on 06.15.08
->> I've read all your posts like 10 times and I'm still trying to figure out what the hell your talking about. Are you saying that we should give photos to small newspapers for free because they help people learn and cannot afford to pay? Wow. Your just silly. No offense, but its people like you (day job, takes photos for fun, absolutley no concept of how a business works, gives photos to people to help "literacy") that make it pretty tough for people who actually do this for a living. I agree with others, tell your school you will teach for free next year, you know for "literacy". Good grief you have just made the message board hall of fame with this crazy rant.
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Chase Smith, Student/Intern, Photographer
Costa Mesa | CA | United States | Posted: 5:24 PM on 06.15.08
->> I'm sorry Gary, but are you on drugs? Aside from the creepy religious overtones, your posts are filled with contradictions. You start the topic by announcing and then defending your position on cheap pictures claiming, "I use pictures as a tool to get people to read." The you go on to say "'show them my pictures? ' You obviousy have not see my SS page. My pictures are horrible. I am afraid I will scare them." So if your pictures are not promoting literacy, why is this even a discussion? You refute the entire point of your rant in a single sentence.
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Jeffrey Haderthauer, Photographer
Wichita Falls | TX | USA | Posted: 5:28 PM on 06.15.08
->> I don't understand what is going on here. What are you trying to say, Gary?

For a teacher, your spelling and grammar are atrocious.
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Mike Ullery, Photographer, Photo Editor
Piqua | OH | USA | Posted: 5:47 PM on 06.15.08
->> Chase..you took the words out of my mouth. I fail to see any useful dialog in any of this post. Gary, your ranting hits me more as taunting those of us who make a living doing photography rather than someone asking a realistic question and expecting a response.

I wonder how much you would still be "all about literacy" if one of us came down to the school where you allegedly are employed and offered to teach your class for free so that at least a portion of your so-called "free public eduction" would really be free. They could then donate your entire salary to the Literacy Council somewhere.

Geesh.
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Ric Tapia, Student/Intern, Photographer
Santa Barbara | CA | USA | Posted: 6:47 PM on 06.15.08
->> This was the BIGGEST waste of my time!
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Mike Brice, Photographer
Toledo | OH | USA | Posted: 7:26 PM on 06.15.08
->> This is too funny.

Gary, if you are all about literacy, why are you giving pictures away - make the newspapers print a longer story without photos so there will be more words for the subscribers to read.

I am not sure about in Texas or even South America, but in Ohio, we capitalize the first word of a sentence.

I can't fault you for posting during church - I don't even bother to go.
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Bryon Houlgrave, Photographer
Waukesha | Wi | USA | Posted: 7:32 PM on 06.15.08
->> Not mine, Ric. This made my day. It's been a long time since I've laughed so hard.

I want to like Gary. I really do. Because I'm all about liking people. But I get the same feeling from this thread as Mike, which is that Gary seems to be starting an argument with professionals as opposed to starting a helpful conversation in which he can glean useful advice. Gary seems content with alienating the industry with his condescending remarks and daring to accuse it of not supporting literacy?

Just because we don't advocate giving away our work doesn't mean we don't support literacy, Gary. We're all communicators to some extent, we all know the game.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 7:52 PM on 06.15.08
->> gary, stop drinking the kool aid!
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Denny Medley, Photographer, Photo Editor
Kansas City | MO | USA | Posted: 7:54 PM on 06.15.08
->> Wow...
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Adam Vogler, Photographer
Emporia | KS | USA | Posted: 8:14 PM on 06.15.08
->> "They do not always care where the information comes from. If it comes from the "average Joe with a point and shoot," they are fine with that."

Sounds like what some bean counter will say when he's telling me I'm fired from the small paper I work at because someone's willing to shoot for free.

"Most people are visual learners. So, a nice image helps them get the message."

That’s what a lot of us here do for a living.

Then again what do I know I'm just some "so called professional photographer"

"i am really praying that other 'professional' journalists will follow my lead."

And do what, Gary? I'm sure I'm now the only one here. trying to figure out what the heck your talking about.

Seriously dude, spell check, learn it, love it, live it.
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Jeff Martin, Photographer
wellington | OH | usa | Posted: 8:41 PM on 06.15.08
->> "I am all about literacy.
I am all about literacy."

Gary, what do pictures have to do with literacy?
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William Maner, Photographer
Biloxi | MS | USA | Posted: 8:45 PM on 06.15.08
->> Wow....what a thread...sounds like an idea for a situation comedy(?) show on TV.

Curious about Gary's statement: "You obviousy(sic) have not see my SS page. My pictures are horrible. I am afraid I will scare them.".. I checked his page out.. He's honest!!

I also noted that he's been a member since mid-March, 2008. Do you have to be sponsored to join SS these days? I haven't looked at the membership requirements lately, so I don't know. I have seen threads concerning SS membership on other message boards that one has to be sponsored by a senior member.

You have to love America, a place where Gary has the right to speak his mind, no matter how off the wall it might be.
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Michael Granse, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 9:00 PM on 06.15.08
->> Gary, this sort of public meltdown is not the answer, whatever the problem may be. Problems can often be solved, embarrassing yourself is not going to help.

By the way, Mexico just beat Belize 2-0 on goals from Carlos Vela and Jared Francisco Echavarria Borgetti.
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Wesley R. Bush, Photographer
Nashville | TN | U.S. | Posted: 9:06 PM on 06.15.08
->> I'm sorry, but I just can't understand what you're trying to say.
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Mike Carlson, Photographer
Bayonet Point | FL | USA | Posted: 9:15 PM on 06.15.08
->> I think I am dumber now after reading this entire thread than I was when I started...so much for literacy.
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Eric Isaacs, Photographer
Santa Barbara | CA | USA | Posted: 9:20 PM on 06.15.08
->> Gary:

With all due respect, it sounds to me like you are having a manic episode. I don't mean to be offensive but please take my suggestion into consideration.

Regards,

EMI
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Nina Zhito, Photographer
bay area | CA | | Posted: 9:26 PM on 06.15.08
->> well, gary, that's all very nice but when work is given away for free, an expection is created that i too will work for free.

if you can't think of yourself, then think of your colleagues whose struggles are added to immeasureably in your concern about "literacy".
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Jason Ivester, Photographer
Springdale | AR | USA | Posted: 9:34 PM on 06.15.08
->> BEST. THREAD. EVER.
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Andrew Miller, Photographer
Bridgewater | NJ | USA | Posted: 9:46 PM on 06.15.08
->> lit*er*a*cy

noun

the ability to read and write
competence or knowledge in a particular area

Gary, I challenge YOU to explain to the "so called "professional" photojournalists" on this site how literacy applies in any way to the nonsense you have posted on this thread today.
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Rodrigo Gaya, Student/Intern, Photo Editor
Miami/Ann Arbor | FL/MI | | Posted: 9:53 PM on 06.15.08
->> I think Gary is just trying to get more hits on the hit counter of his profile. Just like I am right now.
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Adam Vogler, Photographer
Emporia | KS | USA | Posted: 9:54 PM on 06.15.08
->> DONE
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Patrick Fallon, Student/Intern, Photographer
Torrance | CA | USA | Posted: 9:57 PM on 06.15.08
->> Adam, its not over until I say it is over! Haha.

This thread is over, for reals, I don't think it should continue... but for related reading...

http://www.sportsshooter.com/message_display.html?tid=29739
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