Use of video and still cameras at comps?

debmc

Well-Known Member
I just checked out a website for a competition my pro suggested, and it said that not only private video is prohibited, but private still photography is also prohibited. Do you think this is a general direction where things are headed?
Are you referring to posed pictures by a backdrop, or photos of someone while they are dancing? I was under the impression that the latter was always prohibited at comps.
 

JudeMorrigan

Well-Known Member
Are you referring to posed pictures by a backdrop, or photos of someone while they are dancing? I was under the impression that the latter was always prohibited at comps.
The latter has been permissable at every competition I've ever been to, including the various NDCA ones I've done. Sometimes there are explicit restrictions on where in the ballroom the photos can be taken from, but they've never been entirely verboten.
 
Are you referring to posed pictures by a backdrop, or photos of someone while they are dancing? I was under the impression that the latter was always prohibited at comps.
The latter is typically allowed, but not at the one I just researched. It specifically stated that all still photography is also prohibited (with or without the flash).
 

flightco

Well-Known Member
Even during the early heats of a comp (e.g. at 10 am) Blackpool Festival does not allow the use of private video cameras, at which early hour professional filmers will not be recording. No doubt management do not like to encourage private videoing at 10am, in case private filmers get the taste for blood and become impossible to bar at 3pm.

Apart from protecting professional video-makers' sales I think it possible that management do not like amateurs holding poor jerky cameras and filming from bad angles, recording attrociously distorted music sound. Such travesties would be posted on YouTube en masse giving a bad impression to fans who have never seen the glory of Blackpool in person.
I cannot tell if you are saying this in jest or are your serious? Have you seen the quality of the professional videographers?
 
I cannot tell if you are saying this in jest or are your serious? Have you seen the quality of the professional videographers?
Some professional videographers are bad, some better, the same with home movies posted free on YouTube.
If you say freebies are better then no-one will buy from professionals. Any evidence?
 

flightco

Well-Known Member
Some professional videographers are bad, some better, the same with home movies posted free on YouTube.
If you say freebies are better then no-one will buy from professionals. Any evidence?
Some professional videographers are bad, some better That is really the point I was making, some are bad and if it is your only option, well too bad, the pictures of your (or your children's event) su.. and if you didn't take some of your own video, that is as good as it is going to get.

If you say freebies are better then no-one will buy from professionals. Any evidence I didn't say freebies are better than the professionals, but I will say this, video you take yourself is often better than the professionals. The DVD's I have purchased have been SD, at best they were taken in 720P and reduced to fit on the DVD. The video I take myself is all taken at 1080P because I don't have to worry about quickly transferring it to a DVD and I carry several 64GB memory cards so I don't have to worry about running out of space. I also get the video I am looking for when I am holding the camera, not what the photog thinks I am looking for.

However, if the freebies are better than the professional, why would anyone want to buy from them?
 
Freebies focus on a personal perspective and undoubtedly are more interesting to the video maker's family and circle. However once rule and floodgate is liberalised there is no limit to the quality and content of freebies which assuredly will flood onto Youtube including mocking clips. Undoubtedly there are pros and cons about laissez faire.

One compromise could be for private individuals to pay professioonal videographers ensconced in superior posistions with best equipment to focus on nominated couples of particular interest -- like a professional videographer at a wedding. This already happens with professional photographers who sit in the front row and take thousands of still photos nonstop. These are sold downstairs next day to eager buyers at £10 a time.

Not suggesting 89-year-old Blackpool Festival cannot change the status quo. I emailed one constructive suggestion to the head honcho and it was quietly adopted in Festival 2014.
 

JudeMorrigan

Well-Known Member
At least here in the States, the paid videos focus on a personal perspective as well. (I'd actually be delighted with a less expensive option that didn't focus on a single couple.) In theory, your second paragraph describes exactly the situation here. The problem is that the quality is ... hit or miss, in my experience. And it's just not about the relatively low resolution of the videos, although that certainly factors in.

And I'll reiterate that private video IS allowed at USA Dance competitions, but it hasn't put the video vendors out of business yet or resulted in a flood of mocking videos on youtube.
 
Probably fewer than 500 American dancers came to Blackpool 2014, and certainly fewer than 500 Brits went to the US national comp. These are two very different comps and have always been.
 

JudeMorrigan

Well-Known Member
Nolo contendere, nor did I intend to suggest otherwise. I was simply explaining how things were in the States. (At least as far as the setup goes. My opinions on the value and quality of the professional video I've seen here is very much only my own opinion.)
 

Miss Silly

Well-Known Member
I have mixed opinions about allowing still photography, since I am an 'amateur photographer enthusiast' myself. I love being able to take pics at comps. But i definitely understand why professionals (or even organizers) would feel like that's infringing on their territory. However, since i'm also often dancing (which makes it difficult to shoot at the same time LOL) I often miss many heats. And on top of that, when i am taking photos, i'm just looking for arsty my-point-of-view stuff rather than trying to 'accurately' photograph every dancer I see. I like that i have the artistic freedom to catch what i feel like (and if it turns out, yay. If not, oh well). I don't have to worry about making sure that I have at least a couple decent shots of every competitor. So i'll still never take the place of an 'event photographer' if i just show up and take some pics for sh*ts and giggles.

As for videography, I haven't seen a lot of good videography :-/ and in my own personal preference, i would rather the event not have a videographer, and just let people take whatever vids they feel like, be it a gopro or an iphone.
 

debmc

Well-Known Member
I have no idea what it costs to be a video vendor, but I do know when I have to pay $300 for a handful of heats to be recorded...that does seem to be expensive.
 
As for videography, I haven't seen a lot of good videography :-/ and in my own personal preference, i would rather the event not have a videographer, and just let people take whatever vids they feel like, be it a gopro or an iphone.
For me the main purpose of getting a video is to look at my own dancing, and a secondary purpose is to share it with my parents. I can't tape myself while I dance, and I don't necessarily have someone in the audience whom I can burden with a job of taping me. So I prefer there to be a videographer, but if they want to charge me $200 to tape 2 scholarships, they'd better do a good job.
 

JANATHOME

Well-Known Member
As my pro's home state is Canada, we compete there. First comp I was taken back that for the photographer to take pictures you must pay a fee, without this fee, they simply they will not take pictures of you...

At first I thought well NO I wont do this, but the more I thought about it I came to terms with this and thought this is not such a bad thing. The photo guy could take ton of pictures in which you "might" buy one... Yet to pay this fee he earns a living and for the dancer he is more concentrated on the dancer who has paid for the service....... While this is not the norm in the US, I think it is ok afterall. For upcoming comp I paid the $50.00 fee and feel good about it.
 

Miss Silly

Well-Known Member
For me the main purpose of getting a video is to look at my own dancing, and a secondary purpose is to share it with my parents. I can't tape myself while I dance, and I don't necessarily have someone in the audience whom I can burden with a job of taping me. So I prefer there to be a videographer, but if they want to charge me $200 to tape 2 scholarships, they'd better do a good job.
I agree, and if it were a more reasonable price I would be purchasing them too. I've been to a comp where they didn't have any restrictions so we had a friend just use our iphone and it did the job just fine. Of course if you don't know anyone else at the comp who can spectate while you're up, then it's hard. Maybe I'm bitter from the time i got videography for somewhere around the $250 mark and some of the heats the videographer didn't even get me in frame :-/
 

Miss Silly

Well-Known Member
As my pro's home state is Canada, we compete there. First comp I was taken back that for the photographer to take pictures you must pay a fee, without this fee, they simply they will not take pictures of you...

At first I thought well NO I wont do this, but the more I thought about it I came to terms with this and thought this is not such a bad thing. The photo guy could take ton of pictures in which you "might" buy one... Yet to pay this fee he earns a living and for the dancer he is more concentrated on the dancer who has paid for the service....... While this is not the norm in the US, I think it is ok afterall. For upcoming comp I paid the $50.00 fee and feel good about it.
I think it may depend on the competition. I primarily compete in Canada and for our local ones (westcoast), none of us have ever had an issue doing still photography as non-official photographers. But they are on our case about video (except for the kids' categories which is okay to video). There may be an exception for the Snowball since it's our biggest one (if i remember, only the 'pro' photographer was allowed to take pics at the nightime open champ stuff). All other cases, I've ran around with my honkin' DSLR without any problems.

Some of the non-official photographers even run their own sites where if you happen to like what you see you can buy one of their photos (and often times I think we don't have an official photographer, but we usually have official video services). I haven't competed in Eastern Canada yet, so perhaps the protocol out for some of those are different (the larger comps are usually the ones that may have tighter rules).
 

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