I think I have just witnessed the worst account of professional event photography ever. Living in rural England, the East to be precise, there is an annual agricultural show every June. The show is pretty popular (not as once as it used to be but it still attracts several thousand visitors) and there are several local businesses and the like there promoting their stuff, trying to exploit the general public and get them to part with their hard earned cash – you know, the kind of stuff that happens at all shows like this.
The show is widely photographed by the press, as you’d expect, who post photos of different things happening at the show on their site throughout the day. This is all pretty normal stuff right? Anyway, I got a Facebook notification from a “Facebook Friend” saying that after several years of trying she had finally hit the big time and was famous. I, like anyone else in my situation, was intrigued (after all everyone wants to know a famous person or at least have the chance to say “I sat next to her in Geography at school”, so I clicked on the link to see just how famous this old school acquaintance had become.
The link took me to the BBC Norfolk website where there was a photo of said girl standing next to one of her colleagues. I was disappointed that this girl (woman now – we are all grown up) hadn’t made it to the big time, but was disappointed me more was the photo. The photo was terrible and looked like a total amateur had taken it even though the BBC use professional event photographers.
The photo was under exposed, the faces were in the shadows (both were wearing large brim hats for the ‘ladies day’), the (distracting) background was in full focus, it wasn’t sharp…… the list goes on and on. The photo was so wrong it should have been immediately deleted – not put up on a website for the world to see!
Out of interest, I thought I would take a look at the other photographs of the show that were on the site, and all of them were just as bad. There were significant exposure issues (both over exposure and under exposure), the composition was terrible (although I appreciate event photography composition can be tough), there were no specific focal points, photos were blurry, there was movement blur, skies were blown out……… I had never seen such poor photos taken by a supposed “professional event photographer”.
Maybe the photos weren’t taken by a professional event photographer (and that is what the problem was – the BBC is feeling the financial pinch and hasn’t got the budget) but then the BBC thought they were good enough to put up on their website – which is just as shocking. It’s like the BBC lost all love for the Norfolk Show coverage part of their website and as such there is no pride in it at all. It is an absolute shambles.
I would have happily photographed the Norfolk Show (for free – I would have even paid my own entrance fee and car parking charges for the day) if the BBC would put my photos on their website. All I would have asked was something above (or below) the photos saying something like “photos provided by………” and a link to my website and I would have been happy – money can’t buy that sort of advertising. I wouldn’t have even wanted to try and sell the photos to third parties or post them on my print on demand store either. Oh well……………………
Keen photographer addicted to cameras, lenses and everything photography related. Feel free to follow me in my photography ramblings, and if you have any thoughts, comments, queries or anything else to add I would love to hear from you.
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