Flat Earth News

The truth about sports photography

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Tagged: / Posted: 28 February 2008

"Sport has become little more than a marketing tool for goods and services... What happens now is that where newspapers have cut their budgets, they have made the photographers part of that. They therefore rely on free photographs because they won't even pay the agencies for their photographs. The people who provide these photographs are paid by the public relations agencies for the events we are covering... What they are told to take is photographs which contain prominently the brand name or logo of the sponsor of that event. They would be in some trouble if they started distributing photographs which were great sports photographs rather than great brand photographs... I would ask the bean-counters to give the sports desks back some of their freedom to spend money."

Sports journalist, You and Yours, BBC Radio 4, 26.2.08

Sports Photography

Added: 31 May 2008

I'm making this comment reluctantly because I feel I may be breaching a confidence but there is a lot more amiss with sports photography than mere product placement.

I have a friend whose job it is to move the ball in football photos to enhance the action. As a graphic designer myself I know how easy this is but I was surprised at how surprised I was to find this out.

I've often felt like blowing the whistle (if you will pardon the pun) but I can't blame my mate for putting food on the family's table.

www.flamesong.com

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