For those of us that photograph motorsport events throughout the year, this short video may be rather disturbing. In the clip, a photographer can be seen standing on the outside of a sharp turn as he photographs an oncoming race car before he's hit by the car as it loses control.
Disclaimer: the following contains graphic footage and language that some may find disturbing.
The race car loses traction and slides out of control, hitting the unfortunate photographer. The graphic footage shows the photographer being thrown through the air and into the woods. The photographer was reported to have broken both his scapulae and lacerated his liver.
While capturing an exciting action image with mud flying may have been this photographer's goal, it’s never advisable to position yourself in harm's way. I’m not able to tell if the photographer was wearing any sort of safety vest (not like it would have helped in this case) or anything identifying him as an event official, but he was clearly on the other side of the caution tape obviously used to hold back the other spectators. It's unclear if safety officials warned him to move before this terrible accident occurred.
Action sports and auto racing can be exciting and rewarding genres to be a part of, but risking your life for an image is something else entirely. I've photographed desert racing events throughout the southwestern United States for years. Over that time, I've witness photographers breaking the rules set forth by safety officials just to try to get a shot they probably wont even be able to sell. Is this risk worth it?