Christopher Wright is the publisher of dpi,
Australia's online digital photography magazine
Sydney Cashes in on Pro Photographers
Olympic Games have started in Sydney and I guess for most
of us it hasn't come soon enough even if my
reasons are different to those of the athletes. The
previous, and only, Olympics held in Australia were in
1956 when I was still a schoolboy and the dreadful behind
the scenes machinations of officialdom went over my head.
This time round they are hard to miss. Ranging from the mind numbing arrogance of IOC members to the total incompetence of both elected and paid members of the major Games organising bodies. To balance the equation, there have been some wonderful examples of altruism and community spirit from members of the public and small business.
Surf boat racing at Bondi Beach. If there's a big sea running you could shoot some of the most spectacular photographs you will ever take.
the overwhelming impression I am getting from the local
media coverage is that everything is driven by the
dollar. Its not so much a matter of passing the
buck, as of grabbing as much of it as you can and not
letting go. Fast food will cost more than normal. Trains
will cost more. Taking photographs will cost more.
That last report got my attention. The gist of it all is that it is quite expensive to take pictures in Sydney. Not for amateur photographers but for professionals, especially TV crews. For example, to shoot at Sydney Airport and within the Airport Terminal costs $A200 an hour for stills and $350 400 for film. If you plan to shoot in Taronga Zoo using it as a backdrop expect to pay $300 an hour, but work the Zoo into the script and the fee is waived.
What about Bondi Beach, that most iconic of Australias icons? Stills will set you back about $70 an hour and film, $120. If youre the type who doesnt plan ahead expect to pay another $150 if your application is lodged less than five days in advance.
In fact all of this is to some extent another example of media hype all of these fees have been in place for quite a long time. Waverley Council which administers Bondi, applies the charges to all areas within the municipality. The city media centre for the Olympic Games, the Sydney Media Centre, is trying to organise free access for the Olympic Games period, and all media should liaise with them as soon as possible for updates on the situation.
I thought the whole reason for having the Games was to gain international publicity. Charging the media to give it to us wouldnt have crossed my mind but maybe theres a new type of public relations company lurking in there.
It's only professional photographers and pro film crews which are being asked to pay to shoot practically all of Sydney's tourist icons. When all of this started some years ago, the charges were for documentary coverage, not for news ... but it seems that during the Olympics even new crews are going to have to pay.
How do they tell the professional photographer from the amateurs? I suspect its all down to counting the number of cameras hanging around the neck. If you are wearing a couple of Leicas and a Canon EOS with a 1200mm lens someone is bound to ask if you are a professional. And if you are a card carrying member of the media, out will come the receipt book. If not, you may even have a pleasant chat.
Wright is the publisher of dpi, Australia's online digital imaging magazine,
now in its fourth year on the internet. A native of
Sydney, Wright spent almost eleven years in England
returning to Australia 13 years ago. Last fall he left
the city to live in Mudgee NSW, one of Australia's
fastest growing wine producing areas and a 3.5 hour drive
(261 km) from Sydney.
A former professional photographer he branched into editorial in the late sixties and has edited and published magazines and books on photography and motorcycles. While dpi is supposed to be an activity for semi-retirement, Christopher admits he's probably never worked so hard in his life.
Visit Australia's dpi.
Return to the contents page of ACE Camera photography magazine. Go
Photo Magazine Photo Equipment Photo Labs Repairs Manufacturers ACE Forum
Authors for ACE Camera Photography Magazine retain full copyright to their words and images. Entire Contents, including all text and original artwork, Copyright (c) 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 ACECamera Web Services, All Rights Reserved. Trademarks, brand names, and links are the properties of their respective owners. Thousands of hours of labor went into research, preparation and writing of this compilation and online magazine; statutory copyright protection has been filed with the U.S. Copyright Office, Washington D.C. No part of this web site may be stored in a retrieval system, reproduced in printed or electronic media, or posted in whole or in part elsewhere on the World Wide Web. ACECamera Web Services, 2442 N.W. Market Street, Suite 522, Seattle WA 98107.
Published September 15, 2000