What Were They Thinking?

Rick1323
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Thu Jul 09, 2015 9:25 am

A friend recently picked up the SI cover with AP winning the TC at Belmont. I was so busy looking at the horse, that I didn't notice that nearly everyone in the crowd was holding up a camera or phone. But she noticed it and commented "Wouldn't you think that if you were a witness to such greatness, you wouldn't want even 1% of your focus to be off that horse?"

Certainly if I were in that crowd I wouldn't be happy with a thousand hands suddenly raising up and either distracting me, or blocking my view. But then I am from a different generation than most of you. I even wrote an E mail recently after having an Elton John show at Caesars in Vegas virtually ruined by the constant, non stop use of recording devices in an otherwise dark showroom.

So I'm wondering what you think. You have a chance to witness one of the most memorable events of your lifetime. Do you risk losing focus and not seeing it in all its glory while you snap a picture? Or do you relax and let your eyes take it all in?
Everyone come home sound.....
gravano
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Thu Jul 09, 2015 9:30 am

Incidentally SI recently fired all of its photographers.
peeptoad
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Thu Jul 09, 2015 9:38 am

Rick1323 wrote: So I'm wondering what you think. You have a chance to witness one of the most memorable events of your lifetime. Do you risk losing focus and not seeing it in all its glory while you snap a picture? Or do you relax and let your eyes take it all in?
Relax and let my eyes take it all in... but then again I am middle-aged (officially as of next Monday) and have never been one to snap photos, etc. constantly when at sporting and other events anyway. Can't say that anything would have distracted me either, unless a catastrophic natural event happened to occur right as AP was crossing the finish line.
Somnambulist

Thu Jul 09, 2015 9:57 am

I don't need a shitty photo from my phone or a crappy video. My memory is enough. Until dementia, anyway.

Everyone on their phones was the first thing I noticed about that photo. I don't even know where my phone was when he was running.. and then the only thing that happened as he was winning was my heart attack.

I see a tremendous amount of music live, and I'm really pretty much in a sea of people recording the entire thing and being one of the only few who just doesn't bother. Why are you paying money for anything if you're going to spend the whole time on your phone? I go to football games and everyone is taking photos to show they were there, without ever actually being there. I'm out eating nice dinners and people are sitting on their phones.

I've never really taken photos though... but I don't belong in my generation. They're terrible. And addicted. I love my phone, and I love technology.. I'd have no one to talk with racing otherwise, but sometimes enough is enough. No one cares about what you ate for dinner, what you look like without a shirt, or really, overall about you.. but it is the self-absorbed millenial generation..

And why I'll be single forever...
Tessablue
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Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:19 am

None of them were looking through their phones, they were just holding them up and hoping to get lucky. See it with your own eyes (if possible, I doubt anyone in that crowd could see anything), and hope to catch a lasting photo of the memory. Where's the harm in that?

My mother watched Slew cross the Belmont finish line through a camera- she has a great picture, but still regrets not watching it live. Things don't really change.
Somnambulist

Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:21 am

Tessablue wrote:None of them were looking through their phones, they were just holding them up and hoping to get lucky. See it with your own eyes (if possible, I doubt anyone in that crowd could see anything), and hope to catch a lasting photo of the memory. Where's the harm in that?
It's not really a harm. No one is committing genocide here.

I don't know, I guess for me I'd rather just see it with my own eyes. It's probably personal preference to an extent.
Admin
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Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:44 am

Tessablue wrote:None of them were looking through their phones, they were just holding them up and hoping to get lucky. See it with your own eyes (if possible, I doubt anyone in that crowd could see anything), and hope to catch a lasting photo of the memory. Where's the harm in that?

My mother watched Slew cross the Belmont finish line through a camera- she has a great picture, but still regrets not watching it live. Things don't really change.
Most look at the screen to see if they're getting the photo, so I'd doubt that many were fully focused with their eyes on the actual race if they were also snapping a photo.

I've taken many videos and photos of horses working, racing, walking, standing, etc. and Rick's absolutely right -- you miss a ton by not just watching with your eyes. With walking and standing photos you have the opportunity to look first then take video or photos, but that's not true of works or racing, you do lose the experience.

As for what people were thinking, I ask that a lot when I see people who are addicted to their phones and Facebook, Twitter, etc. Perhaps most mind-boggling is why so many play music on their phones -- talk about terrible sound.....
"This is how we roll in the Shire." -- Leonard
Somnambulist

Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:52 am

Admin wrote:As for what people were thinking, I ask that a lot when I see people who are addicted to their phones and Facebook, Twitter, etc. Perhaps most mind-boggling is why so many play music on their phones -- talk about terrible sound.....
Well you buy headphones, and it gets a little better. ;)

I have to be the only person alive who still buys music.. but the sound quality is pretty ok with the right ear pieces. Way better than CD quality which you can't trust not to skip.
SunKing
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Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:54 am

Admin wrote:
Tessablue wrote:None of them were looking through their phones, they were just holding them up and hoping to get lucky. See it with your own eyes (if possible, I doubt anyone in that crowd could see anything), and hope to catch a lasting photo of the memory. Where's the harm in that?

My mother watched Slew cross the Belmont finish line through a camera- she has a great picture, but still regrets not watching it live. Things don't really change.
Most look at the screen to see if they're getting the photo, so I'd doubt that many were fully focused with their eyes on the actual race if they were also snapping a photo.

I've taken many videos and photos of horses working, racing, walking, standing, etc. and Rick's absolutely right -- you miss a ton by not just watching with your eyes. With walking and standing photos you have the opportunity to look first then take video or photos, but that's not true of works or racing, you do lose the experience.

As for what people were thinking, I ask that a lot when I see people who are addicted to their phones and Facebook, Twitter, etc. Perhaps most mind-boggling is why so many play music on their phones -- talk about terrible sound.....
You mean like play or listen to music on their phones? Because there's nothing wrong with listening on their phones.

I go to a lot of live music too and I almost always have SOME video. I know people who Facebook at concerts during the entire concert and I seriously DO NOT GET IT. You're spending hundreds of dollars to go these shows and you're going to sit on Facebook and post pictures and video from each song?

I have plenty of video from a few of the 10 Fleetwood Mac shows I've been to, but I'm always so intent on taking everything in that I don't use my phone nearly as much as everyone else.

As for the SI cover, I don't see anything wrong with people wanting to capture history in a picture or video. Plus, you can hold your phone up and be looking at the horse or whatever you're taking a picture of and still get a good photo.
barbaro111
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Thu Jul 09, 2015 11:12 am

we live in a society where people are so focused on getting a picture they aren't actually paying much attention to the actual event; we have all seen people taking pics of fights; they just stand there with their cell phone recording the event; nobody bothered calling the police. what does this tell you?
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Insane Crazy
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Thu Jul 09, 2015 11:22 am

When I'm in the paddock for a big race or something else, like when I saw Pharoah, a lot of my energy is put toward taking photos -- it's something I enjoy and get a lot of satisfaction from. I'm generally using my DSLR, not my cell phone, and I'm usually trying to capture a photo I'm proud of. I wouldn't want to take cell phone photos/videos just to have one, so was also confused by all of the cell phones in the SI image as well. Realizing they're probably just sticking their hands up so they can record while they try to watch ahead of them explains some things, but it is weird. However, if it helps people hang onto a memory, all the power to them.

Granted, even when I walk away with a photo I love, I can sometimes feel a bit of remorse for not being "in the moment," and I make active efforts to be present and absorb what is going on around me between photos. I can't imagine spending the whole part of a race on my phone or only taking photos, that just sounds wild.

In the paddock I often feel like I have a chance to get a nice photo. For the race? In my case, no way will I get something salvageable. A phone even less so. For a race as big as a TC winning Belmont, I'd let the pros do their thing.
Not a wholesome trottin' race, no, but a race where they sit down right on the horse!
Like to see some stuck-up jockey boy sittin' on Dan Patch? Make your blood boil? Well, I should say!
Rick1323
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Thu Jul 09, 2015 11:30 am

I really don't think it is completely foolish. But then again, this is a uncommon happening, and you are there in person to witness it. I agree that you don't need to be looking through the device, you can simply hold it up and snap. But you did have to get it ready to shoot the pic. The horses were turning for home, you are in a crowd and it isn't easy to see anyhow. Why would you divert you attention for even an instant?

You are about to witness history and you are worried about a picture that will be horrible anyway. There will be millions of pics available afterwards all over the net, but you already know that. Most of these pics were done by professional photographers with a much better vantage point than you had. Besides the fact you are holding up your arm and blocking someone vantage point.

I'm going to sound like the miserable old bastard that I am, but your self centered need to record every event of your life is wearing on me. You are not the center of the universe. If your lack of respect for those around you ever interferes with my ability to enjoy and event, expect me to call you on it.....loudly enough to create the attention you seem to need.............
Everyone come home sound.....
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pointgivenfan
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Thu Jul 09, 2015 11:40 am

Admin wrote: I've taken many videos and photos of horses working, racing, walking, standing, etc. and Rick's absolutely right -- you miss a ton by not just watching with your eyes. With walking and standing photos you have the opportunity to look first then take video or photos, but that's not true of works or racing, you do lose the experience.
Probably what will end up my equivalent of "I was there with x horse won the Triple Crown" is when I was at Longchamp for Goldikova's 2010 Prix de la Foret (and the Arc, but priorities). The fact that I saw her winning move (on ground she didn't like, reclaiming the lead from the pretender Regal Parade who had passed her earlier in the forever long stretch) through my camera lens does nothing to diminish my memories of the experience and did not suppress the excitement I felt at the time.

Goldikova was the entire reason I went to Paris* and she won. That's not something a camera is powerful enough to diminish.

The winning post was moved about a furlong past where I was standing at the normal post location, so I saw the end with my own eyes, or rather on the screen because Paco Boy and Dick Turpin were charging on her outside and Goldikova might as well be a pony, so she was not visible. So I guess I got the best of both worlds.

Speaking for myself and, I'm willing to guess, at least some other photographers, seeing an event through a lens and fully enjoying the moment are not always mutually exclusive. I do understand where that sentiment comes from, though, and I have no arguments with the idea that our society's addiction to our devices/ourselves is a huge problem.

*I was studying abroad in England at the time - my dedication levels aren't high enough to fly to Europe just for a race. ;)
Last edited by pointgivenfan on Thu Jul 09, 2015 11:42 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Avatar: Goldikova - 2010 Prix de la Foret, copyright yours truly. =)
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SunKing
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Thu Jul 09, 2015 11:41 am

Oh, I scope out a spot by the paddock 2-3 races beforehand just so I can get a good picture. Especially since i'm only 4'10 so if I get there early enough, I have a front row seat. When I saw Chrome at Philly last September, I took video of Victor on him walking around the paddock and a few pictures but I was fully aware of everything going around me and wanted to watch it all. I'm going to attempt to do that again at the Haskell with AP. I will most definitely want pictures of him in the paddock. But during the race, I usually don't take photos.
Somnambulist

Thu Jul 09, 2015 11:47 am

Rick1323 wrote:I'm going to sound like the miserable old bastard that I am, but your self centered need to record every event of your life is wearing on me. You are not the center of the universe. If your lack of respect for those around you ever interferes with my ability to enjoy and event, expect me to call you on it.....loudly enough to create the attention you seem to need.............
I'm not old and I feel this way..
SunKing
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Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:04 pm

Wow. I didn't realize taking pictures was self centered. Thanks for clearing that up, Rick. I guess people should never take pictures of their kids and always just spend money on photographers?

My iPhone takes amazing photos, better than most cameras out there and better than most of the photos on the internet.
Somnambulist

Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:07 pm

I guess you missed the part where he said every second.

And personally I've love it if people stopped taking photos of their kids and posting it every 3 seconds. Children are really not that cute.
Admin
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Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:09 pm

Somnambulist wrote:I guess you missed the part where he said every second.

And personally I've love it if people stopped taking photos of their kids and posting it every 3 seconds. Children are really not that cute.
Puppies are fine though.
"This is how we roll in the Shire." -- Leonard
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canvasjockey
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Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:11 pm

ITA w/ pointgivenfan and Insane Crazy. I have a unique perspective, though, if it's a race interesting enough for me to see in person, it's a race I want to have the chance of creating a painting of, and ideally I work only from my own photos (as nice as the professional photos are, I wouldn't be able to use them for paintings). I would honestly have been miserable if I had been there to see AP win the TC and couldn't get any pics.

That being said, having been at the Derby in '13, it was annoying all the hands going up blocking the view with cell phones during the race - I like to try to shoot between people to avoid blocking anybody's view (was only a few rows from the rail). I didn't get great pics of the Derby itself (which was also in part due to the overcast weather and my not-so-great position on the first turn). Didn't bother me as much because I got some great pics of other equine "stars" in other races over that weekend, and Orb didn't go on to win the TC or do much of anything else. I almost feel like I got the wrong year, last year or certainly this year would have been much better to have been there.

I can understand the desire to capture it on film (even cell phone) beyond my painting needs, though. The only thing that might have been better than having been there to witness Secretariat's Belmont win would be having photos or video I took to to enjoy and share - and cell phones make that possible for more people.
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Rick1323
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Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:15 pm

SunKing wrote:Wow. I didn't realize taking pictures was self centered. Thanks for clearing that up, Rick. I guess people should never take pictures of their kids and always just spend money on photographers?

My iPhone takes amazing photos, better than most cameras out there and better than most of the photos on the internet.
There is nothing wrong with photography. Holding up a cell phone in a crowd is hardly photography. It is self centered to think your photo is more important than my view of an event. If you do it, expect me to raise a fuss about it. And if you are doing it, you need to do a little self examination......
Everyone come home sound.....
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