A massive debate between old-school sporting purists and a generation of fans who gre up seeing sport on social media has erupted after a photographer slammed a team employee for running onto the field, ruining his pictures.
Photographer Brad Mangin, a veteran snapper who has spent decades covering Major League Baseball, was irritated when his shots of two Houston Astros players celebrating a 10-5 win over the Oakland Athletics was ruined by an MLB employee, who dashed onto the field with phone in hand to capture video of the players up close.
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Some of Mangin’s photos hang in the Baseball Hall of Fame, and his work has appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated multiple times - and he was angry at the prospect of iconic shots in the future being sullied by league employees looking for cheap engagement online.
“This MLB employee who sprinted out to centrefield to get social media video and ruin the photographs of Getty Images photographer Kevork Djansezian and everyone else at Dodger Stadium today shooting the Astros and Athletics is everything that’s wrong with covering sports today,” Mangin wrote on Twitter.
His tweet prompted fierce debate about how sports should be covered in the future.
In the replies to Mangin’s tweet, some argued that photographers using long lenses would be prioritised less over time, favouring those who were approved to run onto the field.
Others said this was simply the reality of covering sports in a social media driven environment, and that while traditional photography still had a place it would need to adjust.
“Everyone is doing their jobs. Sucks a photo was ruined but it is what it is at this point,” Twitter user and photographer Ryan Kang wrote.
“I could fill a book with my photos that have random people running into a great frame.”
He later defended Mangin in a seperate post.
Seeing people light up Brad on this. Here's the deal:— Ryan Kang (@rkangphoto) October 6, 2020
1. The photo is ruined, plain & simple
2. Everyone has a job to do, even social. If it was an ump, we would've just screamed and dealt with it
3. Put some respect on Brad's name. He's a sports photography legend, esp baseball https://t.co/B0j6OHWx8U
Derrick Spencer, a photographer employed by the Arizona Cardinals, said it was unfortunate the shot had been compromised, but that it was simply the reality of sports coverage in 2020.
“Dude shooting with a (600mm lens) from the stands does not get priority over the tier approved MLB employee on the field getting his shot,” he wrote in reply to Mangin’s post.
“I'm sorry, but that's just how that works. Look at the shots their field shooters got. Infinitely better solely because of the access.”
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