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T. Adams
09-17-2002, 09:55 AM
What is the criteria for getting a press pass. I ask because on Saturday I was parked in the $7 Boy Scout lot right up front near the gate. After the day was over I saw more than a few people with the press stickers on their shirt walking back to cars parked in the general population lot. After Sunday I saw a whole lot of people out around the planes on the flight line again with press stickers, but to me it seemed like they were just regular hobby photographers, like me who just happened to get press passes.

Scotty G
09-17-2002, 10:54 AM
Mr. Adams,

Wayne, hopefully, will back me up on this... I've been covering Reno since 1986 in one way or another, and have had press credentials since then. There *are* two or three different types of press out there during the races. Here's how I see it...

1. There are the guys and gals like Chuck Aro, Neal Nurmi and Jim Larsen that have been covering Reno for years and years and years. They are our historians, and Keepers of the Photos. Their contributions over the years have been great and many. They are the "real deals."

2. In my humble opinion, the next rung down the ladder are the guys that get something published every so often, and are making a great effort at covering the races. They try to get the great shot, the story, and really make a great effort to get a air racing story published. These guys/gals will become the next "real deals."

3. Now we get to the fluff... There are people that get credentials that appear to be, as you said, "hobbyist." Although appearances can be decieving, some of them are legitamate, and some are not. I remember a few years back... The Japanese girl at the pylon in short shorts, a tank top and high heels. This is great to look at, but she took up the space for another real journalist.

I saw that RARA issued around 800 press credentials this year. They have said that this is cut down from previous years. I believe that they are being pressured by the FAA to keep the numbers reasonable, or have hard and fast numbers to limit the "expendable" people that get to go across the show line.

Overall, I know RARA is trying to do their best. But some do slip through the cracks.

Scotty G

T. Adams
09-17-2002, 11:07 AM
That's cool with me. Just thought I'd ask. Hell if it was real easy to get them, I would have had them. I have just in the past couple of years tried to get real serious with my photo hobby. It's real hard though without the press access. I do understand that they just don't want any idiot out there though.

Scotty G
09-17-2002, 01:25 PM
Well, they do let some of those guys in..! LOL... I hope I didn't come across with furrowed brow; I was just trying to give you a rundown as I saw it.

We all start off with photography as a hobby it seems... I sure did. But I figure it takes opportunity + access + experience to equal good images. And trust me, not all of mine are good!

The real criteria kind of comes down to this: we provide RARA with free publicity. As long as you have air racing material published, you pretty much can come back next year. They have made efforts to keep the riff raff press out, which helps the guys that give better and more coverage.

T. Adams
09-17-2002, 05:36 PM
Thanks, I'll keep trying. Unfortunately I have never had anything published. RARA did display some of my pictures I sent them after the 2000 races. I have also received some great feedback on my drag racing stuff, and sold a few to the racers. I have never gotten around to starting my own website to promote my stuff. I just post stuff on the free hosting site webshots.com, and let people know in forums and message boards that they are out there. I should have my Reno 2002 stuff up sometime this weekend. As for always having great pictures, I took over 350 pictures this weekend for two reasons, I'm always looking for that "perfect" picture, and I can never seem to take the "perfect" picture. LOL:D

Unregistered
09-17-2002, 11:37 PM
Well...there are also the wives of the "Real Deal" ...which we saw on a few of on the busses out to the pylons...taking up a seat for a legitamate shooter...

Scotty G
09-18-2002, 12:52 AM
Really? I can only think of one or two husband/wife teams that come to Reno. One, in particular - Brigitta Nurmi - is an outstanding air racing photographer and is regularly published.

AAFO_WSagar
09-18-2002, 10:54 PM
The requirements for press passes are, at least on the surface, pretty strict (as they should be) but at times, we've seen them go wrong in both directions. Some people that are never published are out there with either no camera or a small camera that would likely produce nothing usable, while other people who fall into the same category as Chuck, Neal and some of the others who have been there "forever" are denied credentials.

For one, Gary Williams, who provided the stats for the RARA website and who publishes the great stats book was denied a couple of years ago, at least until some of us complained that he needed to be on the list, for another, Sue Petersen, who has contributed photos to various publications over the years, including this one, was denied last year and this year due to the technicalities of the rules (she has not been published in the last year, sort of hard to do when you get denied, and, there are no races for a year or more)

Many of us who are granted access work year round to bring attention to the sport, sometimes this leads to us having a photo that someone needs and we get published, or, we labor year round to get the story out on the net..

It is not a perfect system by any means, no system ever is. I personally would give up the food we are graciously provided by RARA in order to bring more out there who actually should be there. I would also like to see greater access to the other pylons for us shooters. During the latter part of the day, neither of the generally accessed pylons are very good for lighting. Due to the problems with getting us out to the other, better lit, pylons, I doubt this will happen soon though. RARA does have a lotter for pylon 4, this year, I was not lucky enough to win it.. One year, unfortunately, before I had a really good camera, I did win a trip to old 4 for the Sunday Gold race.. quite an experience!

Only a year to go for our next shot at it..!

Wayne

T. Adams
09-19-2002, 08:19 AM
Since I'm new at this stuff what exactly is the definition of being published. I have had web sites ask if they can use my pictures and I have said yes. RARA also posted some of my stuff that I uploaded in 2000. Did I get paid for this, no. The way I see it if your published you are getting paid for your pics. Am I right to assume this??:confused:

Unregistered
09-19-2002, 04:25 PM
I happen to be one half of another "husband and wife" teams that gets issued press credentials. After reading the implication that some of the wives are taking up seats on the buses that would better be filled by "legitimate press", I'd just like to ask for some more clarification on your part. Just "who" exactly would qualify to be more "legitimate press"?

I've been going to Reno since 1971, and was first issued my press credentials in 1986. My other half has only been coming for the last three years, but believe me, her inclusion has made my job much easier. I do the writing, she does the photography.

I write for a legitimate aviation magazine, and have a regular air racing column, which allows me to cover air racing subjects throughout the year...not just immediately prior and after Reno, like about 75% of the media members which are present.

Since each media outlet is allowed two credentialed members, what difference does it make if it's a husband and wife team or not? We both work hard to justify and EARN our credentials each year. If we didn't, RARA wouldn't issue them to us. More important, the magazine I work for wouldn't ASK both of us to go back. The comment about wives being "hangers on" is a bit out of line, if you ask me.

It's a lot of fun to be out at the pylons...nobody can deny that. But it really is for work. I video tape the races. It's fun to sit back and watch/share my "Bradfire" tapes with everyone after the fact...but the lowdown about it is, videotaping allows me to go back and "recreate" a race...both visually and aurally...so I can recount it for my stories. Just because I don't market my video, does that mean it's not justified?

I can't video and shoot stills at the same time, so I have a photographer with me too...which happens to be my wife. She's very good at it, and doesn't just take pictures of airplanes. She takes pictures of people, pictures of events, pictures that TELL STORIES. Pictures that illustrate my articles throughout the year. Just because she's not an air race nut like a lot of us, does that mean she doesn't deserve to be out there? I don't think so. She certainly does a wonderful job for me and the magazine.

Am I a "hobbyist"? Yeah, I am. And I'll admit, I have a rather extensive 'private' photo collection from all my years at Reno. But I'm also "legitimate" press, and those photos and videos have been put to good use BEFORE they become part of the 'hobbyist' collection.

Guys like Wayne, Scott, and Mark, who work hard putting together great websites to cover racing year around will agree. Getting press credentials is not about "fun"...though it is fun after the fact when you've had a chance to sit down and relax. But getting there is a lot of hard work. And virtually all the people who are afforded credentials by RARA really DO have legitimate reasons to be out there.


Brad Haskin
Air Racing Editor
World Airshow News

Unregistered
09-19-2002, 04:32 PM
I believe her name was Sarah...and she watched one race before she got bored and went back to sit in the bus(for the other 2 races)..she had no interest, nor a camera to cover the race from the pylon.....

There were also people out at the "private" press area that did not have cameras that would be able to see anymore than a dot..
Just my $.02....
Later..................

Unregistered
09-19-2002, 05:00 PM
But do you know if "Sarah" served in some other capacity than just a photographer?

How do you justify that her being there took up a seat for someone that was "more deserving", if you don't even know WHY she was there in the first place? She may have had every reason in the world to be out there...it just wasn't obvious to you. And that wouldn't make a difference whether she was "bored" or not, would it?

I may be dead wrong on this, and you may be 110% right about "Sarah". But you shouldn't jump to conclusions about people just because, to you, they don't seem right out there.

Just MY .02 worth.

T. Adams
09-19-2002, 05:03 PM
Every post I seem to make eventually winds itself around to tick someone off.

dkittle
09-19-2002, 05:05 PM
I have been a "hobbyist" for many years - now I have pics
and video (digital and 35mm) that are pretty good. Every race
they get a little better, maybe someday to get published -
and I'll get a press pass too!

Mark Johnston
09-22-2002, 06:02 AM
Originally posted by AAFO_WSagar


For one, Gary Williams, who provided the stats for the RARA website and who publishes the great stats book was denied a couple of years ago, at least until some of us complained that he needed to be on the list

Not quite right in my opinion. Gary was given press access at my request for a couple of years after he sent me a copy of the notes that I believe later became his book. The stats for the Unlimited Class database that's on the airrace.org Web site were taken directly from hardcopies of official race results from RARA. I should know - I typed every durned one of 'em into the database.

AAFO_WSagar
09-22-2002, 01:30 PM
Originally posted by Mark Johnston


Not quite right in my opinion. Gary was given press access at my request for a couple of years after he sent me a copy of the notes that I believe later became his book. The stats for the Unlimited Class database that's on the airrace.org Web site were taken directly from hardcopies of official race results from RARA. I should know - I typed every durned one of 'em into the database. Mark, first, let me state for the record that I'm very much in appreciation of the work you did on this database, I believe most of us refer to it and Gary's volumes regularly to keep the historical record "honest"

Let me also state that I did not intend to take any of the deserved credit away from you with my statement about Gary providing records for that databbase.

However, in explanation of any confusion on the subject, I refer to this message, quoted from your database results pages, "Grateful acknowledgement is given to Gary Williams for reference to his notes
during the construction of the database."

Further, I reference my mental notes from a conversation with you at pizza night at either PRS 2000 or 2001, regarding the fact that Gary had been denied his credentials for that particular year. I asked you if Gary had provided information for the results, to which you responded in the affirmative. When I mentioned that Gary had been denied credentials, you and I asked Ellen, who happened to be right in front of us, if there were anything that could be done, she looked at you and you said something to the effect that he should be in, to which Ellen responded in the affirmative, and I subsequently told Gary that he shoulld re-apply and he did.

Again, I do not wish to degrade your credit for a well done and valuable historic reference body but do feel the need to clarify both my initial statement and your response by posting this message.

Also, for the record, I believe Gary's books have been out for several years and did preceed your very good searchable database by quite some time.

Sincere thanks for all that you do,
Wayne Sagar

Mark Johnston
09-22-2002, 03:37 PM
Originally posted by AAFO_WSagar

Further, I reference my mental notes from a conversation with you at pizza night at either PRS 2000 or 2001, regarding the fact that Gary had been denied his credentials for that particular year. I asked you if Gary had provided information for the results, to which you responded in the affirmative. When I mentioned that Gary had been denied credentials, you and I asked Ellen, who happened to be right in front of us, if there were anything that could be done, she looked at you and you said something to the effect that he should be in, to which Ellen responded in the affirmative, and I subsequently told Gary that he shoulld re-apply and he did.


Did we have beers in front of us at the time? That explains that. :-)

I'm happy to go with your mental notes in this case, and will just say that although I referred to Gary's notes during the building of the database, the great bulk of the information came from RARA's own records.

Best regards,

MJ