NBA Player Picks Up Photographer's DSLR and Snaps Away

 NBA Player Picks Up Photographer's DSLR and Snaps Away

How would you react if someone grabbed your camera and started taking photos without asking you? What if that person was a professional athlete? Would that change your opinon? The question comes up due to an event during today's Bulls game. Bulls power forward Carlos Boozer accidentally kicked a photographer’s DSLR (complete with a pocket wizard on the shoe) onto the court at the same time as Raptors player Terrence Ross drove to the basket and got fouled. When he noticed the camera on the ground, Raptors power forward Amir Johnson picked it up and fired off a few shots of his teammates before handing it off.

Below is a video of the incident at the Bulls game (you can see the camera skid across the floor in the lower left of the video at 0:27):

At the London Olympics Usain Bolt did what amounts to the same thing when he commandeered a photographer's camera to photograph the excitement of his moment from his perspective. Those photos went viral and maybe these will too, but the question remains... How would you feel about this happening if it were your gear?

Via PetaPixel

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Previous comments

Copyright laws apply to the photographer, not the gear. So no matter who's camera it is, the person who snapped the shot is the creator. However, he probably has his copyright written into his metadata, and he could easily get it officially copyrighted in his name, but TECHNICALLY it's supposed to belong to the player in this case.

I'd laugh as the commentators [is that the word? :D ] do!
if I was that camera owner, I'd probably have an insurance. but then again, it was just a funny moment, no hard feelings, of course. maybe a chance to connect with the athlete, and who knows..

It's harmless. The camera slid onto the court and he picked it up. It's not like he snatched it from the photographers hands.

I'd be stoked. If the exposure was good then you'll have photos on your card from a game perspective and I'm willing to bet that player might get in touch with you to get some of the photos so yeah, new client perhaps?

I might initially have a freak out moment, but I would just laugh it off. I am curious to see what kind of shots he got.

richardsonad's picture

Rob Bironas asked for one of my cameras at an NFL game once and he snapped a few pics. Back button focused and everything.

If i Ruled the World's picture

i wouldn't mind... next morning i'm viral! Yeah Baby!

seriously, what's the problem. that guy picked it up and fired about 5 shots ind 4 seconds with it. after that he gave the camera back. it's not like the guys ripped it out of the hands of the photographer AND the photographer would have otherwise had to get the camera....also it looks like he knows what he is doing in some way. he uses the viewfinder and doesn't try to use the lcd on the back, so it's not a total noob. how many guys from the family have used your gear, which don't have a clue to use a camera?!? now the photographer has a story he can tell for all his life "a basketball player from the Bulls picked up a camera of mine in 2013...."

Watching it, it doesn't even look like he pressed the shutter... He picked it up, aimed it in a couple random directions, and then handed it back. Who cares?

Jayson Carey's picture

the last time he clicked it, you could see the pop of the overhead lights.

ScottWu's picture

the question is - how did the camera get out on the floor. As a part time sports photographer that would love to one day shoot an NBA game, it is appalling to me that a photographer would lose control of his camera like that - it didn't even seem as if any of the photographers were knocked over.

Mark Kauzlarich's picture

Have you ever used a floor remote? I'm thinking not, and you should really consider it if you have the spare camera/lens. They're not mounted to anything. If a player runs out of bounds or tumbles, he's likely to bump into a person or a camera, which is part of the reason why the NBA REQUIRES all lenses (minus 300+ length lenses I believe) to have a rubber hood. I got away without one once, but they can remove you if you don't have a rubber hood, which is supposed to protect the athlete. It's likely someone fell and bumped the camera and it went on to the court.

Straps hanging everywhere, multiple bodies, huge athletes bumping into everyone, holding a heavy camera for several hours, sweaty palms, close quarters, awkward positions. Ya, how dare he let a 6'8" 200lb athlete knock his camera from his hands

I would hope that any pro on the sideline would not only have equipment insurance, but also a liability policy. As a a pro, I'd be less worried about him picking it up and horsing around than landing on it and getting injured. A team lawyer could make the case can be made that even though Boozer kicked it onto the court, the photog should have prevented it from happening. I think he did the photog a favor!

Dan Lubbers's picture

I think it's awesome Press for the athlete, photog and team. It lends an interesting perspective of what the athlete sees. Besides if any damage was done it was the photog dropping the camera in the first place. Nothing the athlete did would have harmed the camera. I'm for it!

It seams like a lot of people are pretty (over)protective of their gear. It's one thing for somebody who saved all their pennies for a year to get their first dslr, it's a totally different thing for a working pro. I would be shocked if he didn't have insurance on it.

The thing that nobody has mentioned, is the copywrite issue. Johnson owns those photographs.

Pixyst's picture

Apparently Usain Bolt knew (or at least had previously met) the owner of the D4 during the Olympics - so it is not exactly the same thing - there was some relationship. In neither case (this one or that) has any harm been done. I do think that Nikon was pretty dumb in not capitalizing on the Usain Bolt event to get him to endorse their products - now Samsung has done that. Typical slow-minded Nikon management.

David Arthur's picture

I would have been more worried about it when Carlos Boozer kicked it across the court!

matt kleinmann's picture

Makes me wonder what LeBron wearing a pair of Google Glasses streaming in 3d could do....

Pro bodies are made of magnesium alloy for a reason. Even if this player went psycho and dropped it, chances are the camera would be ok.

And the photog was using 3 camera bodies, this one was just lying on the floor.

Chris Floyd's picture

How could any body see a negative in the situation?!

Tyler Kaufman's picture

That's NBAE photographer, Gary Dineen.