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Author Topic: Professional / DSLR Cameras forbidden at events  (Read 9060 times)

Halfrack

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Re: Professional / DSLR Cameras forbidden at events
« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2012, 06:07:09 PM »
I'm a huge fan of the 200/2.8 with a set of tele adapters.  I've shot a lot of soccer using that with any body - mostly because it's under the 6" rule they have here.  I'm going to push it a bit this season and per their website, as long as it's not greater than 200mm I'll be fine.  Then again, that's with a full frame camera without tele's attached ;)

Now I've had a camera pass a few times and taken in more than enough camera gear, and I'll say that I like some of the higher shots looking down on a pitch - which no shooter who's making a living will catch.  I'm fine with standing at the back with big glass.

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Re: Professional / DSLR Cameras forbidden at events
« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2012, 06:07:09 PM »

awinphoto

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Re: Professional / DSLR Cameras forbidden at events
« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2012, 06:11:11 PM »
It really depends on the venue, the event, and the access... For instance, I have been denied access going to my local universities NCAA division 1 football games with my 7D... BUT, i have heard of others who have gone to final four basketball games and get in as long as the lens is 6" or less... I have been gone to music venues and been hired by the band and still had to go through strict security just to get into the knitting factory, but if you have any doubts, always contact the venue before hand before you get turned down, or request a press pass. 

p.s. The first time I turned away from the NCAA football game I got the response that due to all the unauthorized photos that has been taken (by everybody) it's been impossible to manage/track so they have to limit who can photograph at the events... Of course a powershot such would be let in just fine...
« Last Edit: January 27, 2012, 06:17:35 PM by awinphoto »
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gmrza

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Re: Professional / DSLR Cameras forbidden at events
« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2012, 07:03:54 PM »
This is probably even more of an issue at theatre events, where the producers don't want idiots' flashes disrupting the production. - That problem probably applies more to owners of P&S cameras, who actually don't know how to turn their flashes off!

Exactly, let in DSLRs and ban the P&S! (or even inspect the cameras to see if they know how to use a camera without the flash turning on automatically. If the dial is turned to "P" or the green square, stop them, if it's on Av, Tv, or M, let them in, 5D and 1D owners can just walk straight in...)

We make jokes about this - when I was at the Platypus House and Seahorse World in Tasmania last year, the staff there were more concerned about the people with P&S cameras turning off their flashes, than they were about me and my wife armed with big white lenses.  - I still had to throw away 3/4 of my frames because they were spoiled by other people's AF assist lights.
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Tijn

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Re: Professional / DSLR Cameras forbidden at events
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2012, 05:47:53 AM »
It really depends on the venue, the event, and the access... For instance, I have been denied access going to my local universities NCAA division 1 football games with my 7D... BUT, i have heard of others who have gone to final four basketball games and get in as long as the lens is 6" or less... I have been gone to music venues and been hired by the band and still had to go through strict security just to get into the knitting factory, but if you have any doubts, always contact the venue before hand before you get turned down, or request a press pass. 

That was going to be my next question. How are the chances of succes requesting a press pass? Does that cost you anything, and how likely are they to supply you with one if you're not actually a press photographer?

Also, do those press passes commonly come with (contractual) limitations on what you're allowed to do with your pictures?

Thanks everyone for all your input thus far, it's all very valuable and interesting material to me!

briansquibb

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Re: Professional / DSLR Cameras forbidden at events
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2012, 05:53:24 AM »
The 70-300L is under 6 inches if that is of any use?

celliottuk

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Re: Professional / DSLR Cameras forbidden at events
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2012, 06:39:04 AM »
I've given up taking anything that looks vaguely pro to the many rock concerts that I go to. The spurious, ever changing rules, and the "Conversations" with security staff have just worn me down.
So I bought a panasonic G3. It looks like a P/S, but with a long lens on it, I can get the shots without arguments.
The best excuse that I ever heard as to why they have the non-pro camera rule is that in the event of a fire, a long lens could hurt someone. Oh well, at least it's a creative load of BS!

ferdi

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Re: Professional / DSLR Cameras forbidden at events
« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2012, 08:29:22 AM »
Sometimes it's no problem if you ask for the event or press manager on site, even if you're not a pro. Just be patient and friendly, and if they are hesitant you might be able to persuade them with a promise that you will send them some pictures ("some" being the keyword, don't say "all" or "full-res"). Or be bold and directly ask for their e-mail address as indirect approval. Keep business cards at hand (get them free or really cheap on the internet).
For closed (i.e. not public and/or not free) events you should contact the organisation at least 2 weeks beforehand, the earlier the better chance of getting a guest photographer's spot. For example, I already booked an event in August last September.


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Re: Professional / DSLR Cameras forbidden at events
« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2012, 08:29:22 AM »

willrobb

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Re: Professional / DSLR Cameras forbidden at events
« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2012, 08:44:09 AM »
Here in Japan it's all about controlling what gets out in the media. For events with celebrities/sports stars/models who are contracted to groups who financially contribute to events, everything has to look perfect just as the PR people want it to be, so photographers and their publications have back ground checks for each event they apply to cover and often have to sign legal contracts stating what they can and can't shoot, so if someone in the crowd takes a pic and that gets out there and can't be controlled peoplesee the truth see something they aren't supposed to and that can cause issues....


EOBeav

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Re: Professional / DSLR Cameras forbidden at events
« Reply #23 on: January 30, 2012, 01:13:48 AM »
I went to a concert summer '10, and the lady who denied me entrance with my 70-200mm said it "looks like a professional lens."  Her words, not mine. So, I took that one off, put on a 50mm, and got in just fine. Gee, don't you know, that 70-200 managed to find its way back onto my camera before the end of the show. I wonder how that happened? ;)
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Terry Rogers

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Re: Professional / DSLR Cameras forbidden at events
« Reply #24 on: January 30, 2012, 01:30:43 AM »
I was at a rollerderby event last year and was ultimately told I could not use my camera. I had a rebel Xsi, 50mm 1.8 and a 70 - 300 4.5 - 5.6. At the gate, the attendant asked if I had any pro camera gear (as I had my camera bag on). Of course I said no and was let in. However, later that night a security guard saw me and said I couldn't take pictures with a pro camera. Point and shoots are okay, but apparently a DSLR (even Xsi) was not. To be fair, I would not expect a security guard at a local area to know the difference between pro gear and an entry level DSLR with cheap lenses.

If any of you have been to a roller derby match, they are typically very dark venues with fast action. My gear was not equipped for professional quality shots and I took no professional quality shots as I was shooting from the stands, through hockey arena plexiglass, with slow lenses and high iso.

I got one great shot that night, and it wasn't even during any of the action. It was before the match while introducing the ladies. You can check it out here if you like.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/terryrogersphotography/6056952989/#

Cheers
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WillShootPhotos

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Re: Professional / DSLR Cameras forbidden at events
« Reply #25 on: January 31, 2012, 06:49:54 PM »

That was going to be my next question. How are the chances of succes requesting a press pass? Does that cost you anything, and how likely are they to supply you with one if you're not actually a press photographer?

Also, do those press passes commonly come with (contractual) limitations on what you're allowed to do with your pictures?

I've only really worked professional cycling w/ a press pass so can only comment on that. The press pass itself is free, the question is what level of access do you get.  In cycling - the pre-race venues (where the team busses, cars, etc line up) are open to the public to encourage fan interaction with the teams/riders. The riders usually come out, sign a few autographs, head to the start line to sign in for the stage, come back, hang out on the bus, then roll over for the start.  Pretty much anyone can walk around that area and get photos. 

The first level is a the press credential. You have to go to the press office and let them know who you are shooting for (team(s), publication(s), sponsor(s), etc.). The larger multi day races sometimes ask for a letter of asignment from the team/publication/sponsor if you're not a "regular" on the circuit. Sometimes they don't. Up in Canada when I shot a pro tour race (an international top level race) I had to also present credentials from a professional association (I'm a member of an international press writers/photographers association AIPS - and also the NSSA - the US version of the same association) to get my credential. It really varies between events. Most larger races have online signup where you can submit most/all of the above several weeks/months before the event and you'll get an email about a week or two before the event to let you know if you were approved or not.

The photo credential helps you get in behind the barriers before the start.  It gets out inbetween the crowd and the sign in stage. At the finish, a photo credential will get you into the "photo area" near the finish. You'll just have a barrier between you and the course, you won't have to fight the crowds who have been waiting all day, but the placement of this area isn't always in the best photo spot for the finish.

The next level of access is also free - it is a "course vest" - it allows you out on the course itself, inside the barriers where allowed, etc - this is a bit harder to get as there are a fixed number that can be handed out - some are given for the week, others for the day, depending on the "assignment" length, etc. At the start, you can move around a bit more freely near the sign in table, etc. There isn't too much advantage at the start over just the photo credential. At the finish, this bears fruit. You can be on the road, beyond the finish line as the riders charge towards the line (if it is a pack finish) or as the rider on a mtn finish crosses the line. They tape out areas on the pavement at least 30 meters beyond the line - usually more - and varying by setup (narrow, etc).  The photogs are held off the course till the course marshalls let you out, then all race to a spot in the taped out "pens" and you line up your shot.

The premium access in a pro cycing race is to get a ride on one of the photography motorcycles. This can have an associated fee per day ridden to help offset the cost of the organization having to hire, feed, and house these drivers for the week. These motorcycle drivers are "vetted" and work their way up to these larger races. They know where they are allowed to take you, are briefed on road hazards on the day's stage, and know when they have to clear the course for the finish and will then drop you off at the finish line. There are usually 7-10 of these in a multi day race, and of these (like the course vests) some (3-4 depending) will get a ride for the week, others are doled out a day at a time to those with course vests (they get a temp "moto" vest for the day) based on assignment and need.  You get to use the moto as transport along the course and while you're the lowest priority on the road (riders, safety/docs/medical/neutral support/officials, team cars, etc... ) you can go ahead and scout scenics, let the peloton pass and then work back up through the pack (the moto can only go the direction of the race on the road, no back tracking), can pace the head of a pack or breakaway to get shots so long as you're not providing aerodynamic benefit to the riders, etc.  Tis a sort of "you're the director" type control.  Tho you risk getting caught behind the riders if the road narrows, or if they are descending a steep mountain, etc... it is all about knowing the race, the options, the situation, where specific riders are, who's winning overall, who's gunning for a single day victory, etc...  Then, at the finish, there are usually a few spots set aside for the moto photogs as they couldn't wait at the finish all day to get their best spot...

As for restrictions - just those I mentioned in my earlier post in this thread (sorry - I'll save my fingers and won't bore you with a repeat... (chuckle)).

Folks can work the circuit for years to get a ride on a moto at all, let alone for a week. I'll admit it is the best seat in the house.  Perhaps even better than sideline access at NFL - well, if you know how to position yourself to be where and when the decisive move is going to happen on any given stage... I've had days when I've "nailed it" and been at the right place all day and got shots that no other shooter got. Others I've gotten bubkis... just part of the territory.

eeek

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Re: Professional / DSLR Cameras forbidden at events
« Reply #26 on: January 31, 2012, 09:58:54 PM »
Really depends what you are shooting and who you are shooting for. If I shoot the NFL, it has to be for a written press. They won't let you shoot for just a website. If I shoot an arena concert, I can shoot for a magazine, newspaper, website or even the arena itself. The
 key is press passes are free.  But, you have to offer them something, too. You taking pictures generates publicitly locally and nationally and that is why they let you do it. I started shooting small concerts, high school sports and other small events. That allowed me to build a portfolio and apply to the newspaper. That opened a ton of doors for me to get to shoot sports and concerts.

Many events and shows you are obligated to use their photos in certain ways. For example, wrestling will only allow you to shoot if you give them full copyrights. Some sports won't even let you post their pictures to your own website. Regardless, I spend a lot of time reading to see where my copyright will end up. It's pretty rare for me to give those away exclusively. Many musicians do not allow you to do anything with your pictures other than the paper/website/mag you are shooting for. It can be pretty bad a lot of times. You have to be careful with what they ask. For every rocker that wants to own every picture you take, there is a hip hop band that gives you 100% ownership and selling rights. Sadly, the latter is getting tougher to find.

awinphoto

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Re: Professional / DSLR Cameras forbidden at events
« Reply #27 on: January 31, 2012, 10:24:52 PM »
It really depends on the venue, the event, and the access... For instance, I have been denied access going to my local universities NCAA division 1 football games with my 7D... BUT, i have heard of others who have gone to final four basketball games and get in as long as the lens is 6" or less... I have been gone to music venues and been hired by the band and still had to go through strict security just to get into the knitting factory, but if you have any doubts, always contact the venue before hand before you get turned down, or request a press pass. 

That was going to be my next question. How are the chances of succes requesting a press pass? Does that cost you anything, and how likely are they to supply you with one if you're not actually a press photographer?

Also, do those press passes commonly come with (contractual) limitations on what you're allowed to do with your pictures?

Thanks everyone for all your input thus far, it's all very valuable and interesting material to me!

Passes are generally free but require written requests with enough advanced notice for the venue to respond... some times that's a day, others could be months.  For the college I was trying to get into to shoot for instance, preference goes to those who are shooting for newspapers, magazines, etc... then they trickle down to websites/blogs/etc assuming there isn't a high demand for the passes...  Some may welcome you freely, others may be more stringent than others.  Contact the venue you are wishing to shoot before hand to discuss their requirements and go from there. 
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Re: Professional / DSLR Cameras forbidden at events
« Reply #27 on: January 31, 2012, 10:24:52 PM »