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Old May 30, 2011, 5:44 PM   #1
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Default A New Location Now Seemingly Off-Limits To DSLR's....

....Just slap me....

Back during my visit to the track the weekend of the Kentucky Derby, a security guard had me move from the last turn, saying I was too far down there by myself. A walk to the security guard window and a talk with the supervisor took care of it for the rest of that day.

Last weekend I left the bag in the car and just walked in with my E5, accessory grip and 50-200 SWD. As I was inside looking at the race card a man in a suit and security guard walked up to me, asking if I was selling my images, to which I, truthfully, said no. They left me alone after that, but did take down my name, address and telephone number.

I decided to go today and just play around with the E-PL1, VF-2 and 40-150 micro Zuiko and was stopped at the gate by the guard who said no lens longer than 3 inches(!) could be taken in. I asked that they call the security office, which they did. Someone came out , saw what I had and I was let in.

I think what has happened is the official photographers for the track have seen me among others shooting down at the end of the track with our DSLR's and they've asked security to crack down more on what's let in to protect their proprietary commercial contract with the track, so I'm sad to say it looks like this is yet another venue where DSLR's are no longer allowed.

After 3-4 races I finally got the system down to where I could shoot, re-focus, get another shot, re-focus, etc., etc. and get as "many" as 3 images(!) with the Pen over the same period of time I could capture as many as 8-10 useable images with the E5.....but.....that's 3 more images than I would have captured had I had the E5 today. I even played around with shooting a movie during one race.

Doesn't really matter whether you have an E5 or the latest and greatest Nikon/Canon/Pentax if you can't get 'em in.
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Old May 30, 2011, 6:11 PM   #2
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Hey Greg

Mate, sorry to hear about that and even more so having to get hassled over a Pen. I think its defiitely going to get worse with any number of excuses being used to prevent someone with an honest interest in photographing sports for fun being hassled more and more.

If that was bad, from what I've been able to find out the Olympics here in 2012 have banned all DSLr and the latest I had heard was that they were looking to stop superzooms as well. Its even more annoying for me as I'm witin 15 mins walking distance to at least 3 of the venues - the field hockey and the velodrome for example. If they stop superzooms.. then whats the point .. you might as well stay at home and take pics of a large screen LCD!

Cheers

Harj

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Old May 30, 2011, 8:22 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarjTT View Post
Hey Greg

Mate, sorry to hear about that and even more so having to get hassled over a Pen. I think its defiitely going to get worse with any number of excuses being used to prevent someone with an honest interest in photographing sports for fun being hassled more and more.

If that was bad, from what I've been able to find out the Olympics here in 2012 have banned all DSLr and the latest I had heard was that they were looking to stop superzooms as well. Its even more annoying for me as I'm witin 15 mins walking distance to at least 3 of the venues - the field hockey and the velodrome for example. If they stop superzooms.. then whats the point .. you might as well stay at home and take pics of a large screen LCD!

Cheers

Harj

Well said! It is often to $ommercial interest who takes over
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Old May 30, 2011, 8:40 PM   #4
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.......new track ownership too (finalized a couple weeks ago) and we all know what casino owners make of security & cameras. Maybe it isn't a part of it, but it seems coincidental when there have been no issues with cameras there before now.
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Old May 31, 2011, 5:33 AM   #5
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Greg, this really sucks. You take the best photos of racehorses I have ever seen, and you put a lot of time into developing that skill.

Ted
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Old May 31, 2011, 6:10 AM   #6
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Hi Greg,

Yes, it does really suck as Ted pointed out, but it doesn't surprise me as the owners of sports venues try to squeeze every penny out of their business. The last time I was at Fenway, they had photogs in the stands, offering to take photos of your "Fenway" experience for a fee.

Pretty soon, we may not be able to take along a camera to any sports venue.

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Old May 31, 2011, 11:14 AM   #7
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You may be right Zig.

The positive side to this was, I did get a chance to play with the Pen while there and got some nice shots. Definitely not as easy. It took me three races to just figure out what did and did not work with the Pen+VF-2. That process pretty much meant wasting those three opportunities, but it made the ones I was able to capture more pleasurable.

I also took the E5 profile I've been using and adapted it for the Pen. I figured a lot of the settings would be similar due to the two cameras using the same sensor and it turned out that was correct. Had to make some color tweeks (blues and greens mainly, both the hues and saturation) and have been testing it using several of my prior RAW shots under varying conditions to see how it works and now think I have a great profile for processing E-PL1 files.
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Old May 31, 2011, 11:32 AM   #8
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I really think about 70% of it is BS that the "security guard" takes it beyond his scope of authority. I ran into a similar situation with a metro cop telling me I couldn't take a shot of an office building. All I did was say, "I'd like to speak with your supervisor, please." Immediate back-down. He said, "Uh... uh... never mind". At that point, I *insisted* for his sergeant. He said no need for that. "Fine," I said, "I'll call him myself. I've got your badge number and last name." At that point, sweat started popping profusely and he called the supervisor on scene. I told him what happened, the cop even backed up what transpired, and was reprimanded on the spot and I was apologized to for a "over-zealous rookie". I have all the respect in the world for cops. I would NOT want their job. But, some of them get just a little stupid sometimes and need to know that not everyone is ignorant and complacent.
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Old May 31, 2011, 11:48 AM   #9
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I guess I have mixed feelings. As a hobbyist photographer, I agree that it stinks. There are plenty of concerts I'd love to have my DSLR at, taking photos but it's rarely allowed. But, I also understand people trying to protect their business interests as well.

Let's take Greg's example - the racetrack. Now, I know zero about how photos are utilized for horse racing. But, assume for the sake of discussion that there are 2 main uses:
1) media - newspaper/trade publications etc
2) smaller sales to owner/jockey

Now, let's assume there are 3 people shooting the sport as hobbyist. Assume one or more agents that account for the sales in 1 & 2 above start contacting those 3 people. 1 or 2 of those people are so thrilled they will have their images desired they give them away for free or for access. The photographers that spend their time, effort, money trying to build a business now lose out. Why shouldn't they WANT to protect their business interests? Now, I am in no way insinuating Greg is doing anything to undermine business. Not my point at all. I am merely latching on to Greg's thought that the contracted pro(s) might be behind the tightened security.

After all, if you brought in 10 cases of beer and were selling beer for $2 (vs. the $7) and the event stopped you, no one would think they were unjustified in looking out for their financial interests. Why should photography be any different?

Now, don't get me wrong - every situation is different and there are lots of reasons behind banning cameras. But sure, part of that is protecting financial interests. Just like they protect the financial interests of their concessions business.
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Old May 31, 2011, 1:07 PM   #10
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I have no opinion one way or the other but I think the problem is that amateurs have stepped it up a notch in part to digital photography coming in, and in many cases there is no competitive edge to be professional if the amateur is talented with decent equipment. Before being professional meant more intense training, spending money and or time in the dark room etc. Who really wanted to shoot 200 shots at a horse race and spend the money to have them developed unless you were getting something out of it. Today you can shoot 1000 shots and toss 999 of them if you want. Different world.
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