Photo ‘everything that’s wrong with sport’
Eight separate times Brad Mangin's photographs have graced the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine.
His work is in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
But the 55-year-old senses he's fighting a losing battle in the never-ending pursuit of the perfect shot because of the rise of the league-employed social media producer.
Known for taking some of the greatest shots of Barry Bonds in his prime, Mangin delivered a shot of a different kind after an almost-perfect photograph emerged from a recent game between the Houston Astros and Oakland Athletics.
A photographer was in the right spot to capture Carlos Correa and George Springer leaping to celebrate a 10-5 Astros' win in game one of the American League divisional series, but unfortunately they weren't the only ones in the frame.
"This MLB employee who sprinted out to centrefield to get social media video and ruin the photographs of Getty Images photographer Kevork Djansezian and everyone else at Dodger Stadium today shooting the Astros and Athletics is everything that's wrong with covering sports today," Mangin tweeted.
This @mlb employee who sprinted out to centerfield to get social media video and ruin the photographs of @GettyImages photographer @KEVORKD and everyone else at Dodger Stadium today shooting the #Astros and #Athletics is everything that’s wrong with covering sports today. pic.twitter.com/dVxIrQXs2N— Brad Mangin (@bradmangin) October 6, 2020
His comment ignited a heated debate between veteran snappers and the new wave of content producers who get better access because they're paid employees of the teams.
Mangin was branded a Boomer and told to evolve with the times.
"Face it, we're out there," one opponent said. "The number of times I've had old-school photogs jump in front of my shot is countless. Adjust and keep shooting. Pretty simple."
"Both were hired to do a job, I don't think this is the moment to be 'job shaming' per se," added another. "Just so happens in this specific situation the MLB's guy had better access, angle, and shot."
Others suggested Djansezian should have just cropped or photoshopped out the videographer, prompting other photographers to explain that's against journalism ethics.
At the end of the day the more jobs that remain in sports and sports media the better, so old school photographers like Mangin should probably just buck up and do the best they can.
Djansezian did, by filing another shot taken a split second later that to be fair wasn't as good as his first one could have been, but was still pretty nice.
And as long as the league employees are taking photos as good as the one the Astros posted below, the fans are still winning.
Originally published as Photo 'everything that's wrong with sport'