In a very special The Monday Poll VFTD examines the troubling rise in belligerence amongst photographers of tournament paintball. Case in point: the angry thread in the NPPL forum over at ***, oops, I meant PBN. (VFTD doesn't have a policy of denying the existence of certain other paintball-related websites.) It seems that someone within the NPPL hierarchy modified their league policy with respect to so-called media. In this case, photogs. Part of the problem seems to have arisen when the changes in policy were dictated to a seven year old for dissemination on the league's website. Or wherever.
The larger issue seems to be that the league has scaled their media pass fees in accordance with whether or not the photogs in question make their photos available to the league. (Apparently.) Hordes of angry photogs have gathered their metaphoric pitchforks and are gathering around the metaphoric curtain walls of castle NPPL--along with their torches--they present quite a metaphoric sight. [Enough already.] (Sorry about that. Got carried away. Not literally. Or metaphorically even, but you know ...) Given that VFTD recently raised the issue of vanity photography at tournaments I couldn't let this pass without some comment.
So here it is: Right now all the "professional" photogs at events are cutting their own throats competing with each other for the attention (and cash payments) of mostly a bunch of broke ass kids. Which is their right. (But if they intentionally "under"-value their own work why so upset when the league does the same thing?) If however the league was to limit the number of photogs allowed at any event that scarcity would do a couple of things; keep everyone from tripping over hordes of photogs and increase the value of the ones who are there. Which might be a win, win sort of situation.
It also seems to me that in general the raging photogs are confusing their interest in signing up teams willing to pay for pictures with the general promotion of paintball much less the promotion of the league everyone is participating in during such an event. If 100 photographers take a combined 50,000 photos of an event is the promotional value greater than if 5 photographers take 100 pictures each? Suffice to say it's a weak argument. (And, no, the aesthetic value of the photographs isn't particularly relevant. I know, it's a sad indictment of our culture & times but true nonetheless.)
What's your view? Check out this week's The Monday Poll (sidebar, d'oh!) and choose the option that best represents your point of view--or, as usual, feel free to post up in the comments. (But you won't 'cus you're a--say it with me now--lazy slacker.)