US Open Of Surfing calls photog "Sick"
I received a report from a photographer that was shooting photos of the competitors and spectators at the US Open of Surfing at Huntington Beach, CA this week.
Here is a bit of it:
"...Two staff guys from the surfing contest walked up to me on the beach and asked who i was shooting for.
One of them "knew" i was taking photos of women's butts and called me "sick". i told him i'm not taking pictures of women's butts and showed him pictures of guys. He said "you're even more sick". i told them the pictures were perfectly legal and went about my business."
The photographer handled himself perfectly in this situation, however the officials from the event were far less professional in their behavior.
There are several things that jump out at me in this story that make it interesting,
1. The official led off with the "who are you shooing for" question. Does this imply that shooting photos of women's butts is OK as long as you are shooting for a reputable magazine??? However if you are just shooting photos as a hobby, you are "sick"?.
2. When the photographer showed the officials his photos (which he was under no legal obligation to do) they saw that they were in fact all photos of men at which point the officials declared that the photographer was "even more sick". I'm not sure what qualifies an event official to make determinations and or comments about a photographer's mental condition or to imply that a male photographer taking photos of other males is more "sick" than a male photographer taking photos of females... or any other gender combination.
Shame on you US Open of Surfing, your officials are out in public acting like idiots and most likely violating peoples civil rights and making judgements about them as people. Is that the job of a surfing competition official?
Some facts to be noted:
The US Open of Surfing is held at a public beach.
The event is open to the public and is attended by hundreds of thousands of people.
A huge majority of the attendees have cameras or camera phones. there is no prohibition on photography at the event.
Huntington Beach has a reputation of being the place where the "beautiful people" go to be see and be seen, many photo hobbyist go there just to shoot photos of "the beautiful people"
Note: This is one side of the story, the photographer's side. I will write to the USOS and see if they would like to offer their comments on this story and I will post their response here.