Monday, November 1, 2010

Scurvy, Who's Who & the Art of Photography

The cure for scurvy--a disease that in western history typically affected sailors--was lost for a period of time between the time when the British Navy began issuing rations of citrus in the 18th century and the arctic expeditions of the early 20th century. By virtue of an incomplete understanding, irregular scientific practice and a few incidents that inspired wild medical conjecture a disease nearly eradicated among the English prior to the American Revolution was killing upper class English children in the Victorian Age. (To read more, look here.) Knowledge once acquired can be lost along with history unrecorded--which is why I want to recommend you check out the Who's Who? over at the Big Bullet. If you see yourself or anyone you know I encourage you to get involved. Knowledge of paintball's history and personalities isn't a matter of life and death but if we don't preserve it, it will be lost with no one to blame but ourselves. Besides, the photos currently posted are a real rogues gallery of freaks, weirdos and malcontents likely to make the most hapless dweeb swell with new-found confidence. Preserving paintball's history is a project bigger than a Who's Who but it's a great start. Check it out. Offer suggestions. Contribute. Get involved.

There's a thread in the PSP WC forum regarding an incident (of sorts) in which the thread starter chides the league for its parochial behavior with respect to some anonymous highly credentialed fellow photographer. Normally this would elicit a yawn--at best--but I'm bored--nothing much else is going on--and criticizing the PSP (or the NPPL) is kinda my turf and while I'm willing to share there are standards to follow.
I'm going to post the majority of the original post sentence by sentence [uncorrected] and suggest you read the post in its entirety at PBN if you give a rodent's posterior. At that point I will entertain myself at this fellow's expense (and enlighten the knee jerk crowd while I'm at it.)

"One thing that I think you guys should highly consider not doing again is denying the President of the National Press Photographers Association and Professional NFL photographer,(who has the contacts with people at Fox sports) of getting a Pro fields pass when he has shot the past events with no problem."
Here is the NPPA. The other two relevant points are A) nobody was denied anything and B) the anonymous photographer has shot PSP events in the past. So he should known the process in advance.

"He was working on a story for his friend who is the Fox Radio Announcer at the Fox HQ."
And this is meaningful how? A paintball story? A PSP story? To appear when and in what market?

"He tried contacting you guys weeks before the event but no reply, when he arrived at WC he was told he couldn't have a Pro Media pass, and If he wanted one he'd have to BUY one!"
Is the suggestion here that since he's a bigtime credentialed photographer that he--and his pal (the post writer)--should receive special treatment that other photographers don't get? Or that it's somehow in the league's interest to give this guy the VIP treatment? Based on what? From everything stated so far all we know is this guy has shown up before, had his fun, but where is any evidence it has contributed in any way, shape or form to the betterment of paintball or the PSP?

"PSP please think over this again if you want to try to get the sport of paintball to grow."
Yeah PSP, grant special favors to my friend, and me, that other photographers don't get.

"This is not good for our sport, when a rep for a highly respected press photographer association and representative comes looking to help out but you reject it."
What help exactly was on offer?

"He finally got a pro media pass on Sunday, when our friend Kirill from RL had him added to the team roster under their team media."
Interesting given that NPPA has a fairly strict code of ethics and #8 reads: Do not accept gifts, favors, or compensation from those who might seek to influence coverage.

"I will end this rant now, when we finally got the passes all was well! The event was great and we had a blast!"
[Emphasis added] Looks to me like the real issue was the expectation of special treatment whether monetary or procedural. Since when does membership in a professional association confer unique privileges? And why aren't the other photographers who paid for their privileges up in arms over this abuse? And what, if anything, has the post writer or his credentialed pal ever done for paintball or the PSP?

What a joke. A tiny little passive aggressive joke.


Anonymous said...

Something else that's interesting... look at his website

Nothing exactly pioneering in terms of photography. His son's is worse.

And the fact that he was shooting for a friend who is a radio announcer is even more perplexing. How's he going to get those photos over the air???

houdini said...

"Continued shooting the Russian Legion games. I’ve had a great time with the Legion since I first shot them in Chicago last summer. They are pros in this game that is looking for recognition. If more teams would approach it like the RL, they might get recognized as a sport."

oh please...

Janek said...

I'm not worried about scurvy...I have sauerkraut...

BTW, did you know that the slang term for German sailors "krauts" originates from their use of sauerkraut to avoid scurvy while their british equivalents were called limeys becuase of the mandatory use of lime juice on Royal Navy ships?

Don Saavedra said...

I was at a PSP event, and DEMANDED my pro field credentials for being a member of the Deadbox Puppet Army and was denied because the PSP hates paintball and doesn't want to see it grow. So I got some cigs and sodas for Geoff Waterman and he cut a hole through the netting and I was able to steal Oliver Lang's favorite pod, and then everything was great and we had a blast!

Anonymous said...

the problem isn't denial: the problem is expecting the press (legit press) to PAY for the dubious privilege of covering an event. Passes required - sure. Credentials vetted, sure, no problem.
But charging the media for access? Idiocy. 68Caliber refuses to play that game, as, among other things, it runs counter to the non-bias philosophy that the press is supposed to bring to the table. That's like asking one to be 'fair' after paying to get kicked in the nuts. Getting kicked is one thing - s*** happens, right? But paying for it? I think my opinion of the experience might just be a bit influenced, you know?

abc said...

Your opinion of an event could not possibly be influenced in a positive way by paying for it. Unless they used that money you paid to directly lavish you with stuff.

The more likely result is you would be pissed off about XYZ even more so because you had to pay for it.

I know very few people who complain less about their hamburger because they paid for it. It's more likely you complain about your meal because you expect to get your money's worth.

So paying for the coverage would tend to have a reporter (do we have these in paintball?) look at it a bit more carefully.

Don Saavedra said...

Some of you people need to learn the percentages of how much professional sports make off of ticket sales, merchandise sales, concession sales... and media buys. Seriously. Look at the media deal just for covering the Yankees. You won't be so worried about a $500 fee to cover pro paintball anymore.

Baca Loco said...

Anon #2
You make an important distinction and then slide right past it. Legit press. What distinguishes between legit press and commercial photographer? The majority of photographers at any MLP event aren't "legit press" on a specific assignment.
And since you bring up the Big Bullet does that mean that 68 intentionally doesn't cover events like World Cup because they can't get a free press pass to take pictures? How legit is that?

The bulk of those seeking media passes these days are commercial photographers and videographers working on spec and/or contracting to shoot players/teams for a fee. Since they are looking to make money taking their pictures why shouldn't the league charge them for access?
On the other hand do any of you really think the league charged Sports Illustrated for media passes? Of course they didn't--but SI followed procedures, is legit sports media and sent accredited and pre-identified persons to represent them with respect a specific assignment. Is it really that hard to grasp the difference between SI and Joe & Billy Bob showing up their official Fox HQ lanyard and laminated ID expecting something other peeps LIKE THEM don't get?