A. Car and Motor photography Safety
I will mention a number of safety and responsibility tips that may be important, With a view to car photography,Here I see points for improvement. Based on my own experiences. That does not mean that there are more rules or others, But for myself I use these as the basis. And then you have to deal with the rules of the location (circuits) and sometimes some in adapted form of the Event Organizer, who in his turn hires the circuit.
Consider examples of:
- 2.Safety for yourself
- 3.Safety for drivers
- 4.Safety for bystanders
- 5.Possible training sessions (mandatory or not)
- 6.Notifications & responsibilities
1a. Permission. Everything starts with the official permission, usually through the official website of the Event or owner of the location. Hereby you fill in all requested information. Try to do this as long as possible in advance, otherwise you run the risk that all Media Accreditations have already been granted or the registration date has been exceeded. After registration you will receive all documentation back by email including your Media pass and other documents. This usually includes: the house rule manual, floor plans, the agenda of the day and a copy of your registration. Print all this documentation and incorporate it carefully. In many cases it also happens that you have to attend a safety 's session at the location (Circuit) in advance (so be well in time) In addition, I always have this at my location as a reference (and keep it digitally as well) on my mobile phone). If I do not know the location, I often try to explore the area at an earlier time in order to minimize surprises from the day of execution. And by minimizing surprises I mean: looking up the suitable photo locations and the surrounding variables. At that time you could also take a number of test photos at the same time. You can then remember or write down these camera settings, times, light and distances. It is also of great importance the time of day, this has everything to do with the light (so that you will be able to photograph against the sun or not later on. The most shadowing of your subject will be most present in the morning hours and from the late afternoon hours.This also gives the best chance of a warm glow from the sun on your photos.Also after visiting (pre-inspection) you immediately know which tools are useful: Think of a staircase or I often have a piece of plastic or bag in my backpack to keep my clothing dirty when wet, or to put on my photo equipment during cleaning, etc
2a. Safety for Yourself. This is how selfish it may sound the most important point, safety for your self. For me, safety is number 1 because I grew up with it and I am still in contact with it every day. I regularly see a lot of room for improvement at many different locations, I mention a few: clothing regulations (mandatory or not, but to your advantage) the right protective (safety) shoes, so no sneakers , no flip flops, long pants, safety vests, hearing protection, glasses, gloves and warm clothing in the winter, and when it is rainy it is always handy to have a transparent poncho in your backpack (so your safety 's clothing remains more visible and your registration number) The sun can also play tricks on you, Dehydration and burning, Fatigue and glare from the sun. Have a bottle of water in your backpack and possibly a headgear.
2b. Safety for Yourself. Very important to indicate is also the following if you use medication or have a disease. Report this to the organization in advance (in writing) and how to act in an emergency and ensure that you always have this medication with you. And an emergency contact telephone number of your neighbor and / or doctor. I also think you should always let someone know where you are, In addition, always try to work in groups of 2, or try to stay in sight of a 2nd photographer and if necessary you can support each other. So never enter the circuit alone or out of sight of others. Most locations are extensive and sheltered by trees and guardrails, so you will go unnoticed if you stay behind.
2c. Safety for Yourself. You will also be able to find barrels and jerry cans at the locations. These can contain various chemical, oils and combustible substances. Stay away from this and never use an open flame and respect the non-smoking signs. Also wash your hands regularly.
2d. Safety for Yourself. Familiarize yourself with location where are the calamity collection points(muster stations). Where are the escape routes in the buildings or along the circuit to fence the flight. Where is the medical service located and what are the local emergency telephone numbers (write them down for yourself, Usually these are also visible on different locations) there is an AED present and where are the fire extinguishers, Also next to the job where you yourself state, and visually check this by date and for pressure via the pressure gauge. And is this suitable for the purpose? You can see that on the available images, A, B, C type extinguishers. You are explicitly not going to use it yourself, You are not a trained firefighter, You only use this in case of your own safety and escape! Always report a calamity immediately.
2e. Safety for Yourself. If you take photos of your subject (cars) always think of your and others' dynamic environment! Do not sit behind cars, without the driver being aware of this. Keep a safe distance when the engineers are working and do not get in the way. Keep working in the safe indicated zones, follow the indicated lines and always follow the instruction signs. Never take to the track during a race, crossing is only done with the express permission of the present marshall / Officer or other authorized person.
In addition, it is true that everything you know so far has been learned and for which you have received written permission lapses if a marshall / Officer or other Authorized Officer has another reason to deviate from this. His word is dominant. Always cancel yourself when leaving the location (administration of the circuit / event) and hand in your vest with your back number.
3a. Safety for Drivers. Show that you are present as a photographer! Do this by using at least the right high visibility clothing that you are required to wear. Always stay in the indicated safety zones. Never cross the job. In case of any kind of doubt, first contact the nearest Marshall / Track Officer, and then carry out your planned action. Be alert with loose papers, plastic, your cap on the circuit! They can blow up the track and cause accidents. Do not get in the way in the workshops and stay at an appropriate distance. These people are focused and need to focus on their race. You as a photographer must not be a disturbance factor.
4a. Safety for Bystanders. Discuss with bystanders any inappropriate behavior. Speak to them if they do not comply with the site's safety rules or code of conduct! Always report this problem immediately if it (may) pose a danger to others, At the Marshall / Officer. Also consider the environment (dumping of waste) and reputation damage to the disadvantage of the location. Help bystanders with any problems or illness (become unwell). As a returning photographer of the location, you often have more knowledge about the First Aid location, and extinguishers, AED, than the standard visitor. In addition, I regularly see in practice that some visitors with an expensive bought or received VIP Pass (and therefore have official permission) to be present in the Pitlane's and Boxes, walk free and present themselves as a loosely beaten and unguided group of dangerous chickens. My personal preference would be that they also have to wear a High-Vis Vest as a minimum! And like all others, they should also behave according to the rules and respect them. But some think with owning a VIP Pass, that they have bought or own the event. I personally call it anti-social and intolerable behavior. I am also certainly not a fan of alcohol use or presence in these closed zones than the standard audience.
5a. Training. I with a high sense of responsibility can sometimes talk to much about safety, but I would still like to ask you a few things to think about. Would it not be good for you as a photographer or others who have close or indirect links to a circuit to consider following at least the basic first aid certificate and basic fire extinguisher training? I also own these and many more extensive variants. This is separate from my photography, but is very useful. This in the first place to save yourself and also bystanders, also in your private life. I also see in other industries outside motorsport for a kind of basic safety certificate that is made mandatory by the work and clients, Maybe according to some I am now breaking through and getting into armor, But I would certainly be in favor of a (mandatory ) Safety certificate specially for photographers along the track. Perhaps this is a task for, for example, the KNAF / Knac National Motorsport Federation (https://www.knaf.nl is recognized by NOC * NSF / VWS / CIK / FIA) that sets up an online learning module. In some countries around us, a first aid certificate is required to obtain your basic driver's license. My "Safety" s tip is also to the KNAF to put their current website on the internet in an English version. The latter also applies to many Circuits, where I regularly only see the local language, which is used in the country of origin, this while motorsport is international! I also sometimes see starting (hobby) photographers under the age of 18, independently present at the locations. I myself am in favor of a minimum of 18 years and preferably also in possession of a driver's license, so that you can better estimate where the blind spots of a car are. Or under the guidance of a more experienced photographer in the vicinity.
6a. Notifications & Responsibilities. I think that a photographer (and everyone involved in the event) has the obligation to report deviations on location (most of them do this too). Imagine you discover a cut fence through which unpaid visitors can come in. You report this, if you do not, you are also responsible in my eyes if later an unpaid and ignorant visitor accidentally enters the road and causes an accident! This is no telling, but taking your responsibility. Also report any other things that could pose a hazard, such as defects or status of maintenance of local equipment that you would notice or inspection labels and dates on fire extinguishers. But it may also be that you find loose parts of cars on the track or in this danger zone, (without the Track Authority) noticing them. (Since these locations are so extensive, there can always be things that are overlooked, that is human) Or damaged asphalt surfaces, loose stones, guardrails, defective signal lights, loose and non-insulated electrical cables, litter etc. Take pictures directly with your mobile phone and leave this to the nearest circuit authority see. You can also email this immediately afterwards (to the circuit location itself) always mention here: subject, time, location on the circuit or track, building and possibly the solution or action. All this is also in the interest of the safety of the photographer present.