One of the reasons I love photography comes from capturing a tiny slice of time when it tells a story all at once. Those true images that tell you more than a 1000 word essay could ever convey. These kinds of images can not be staged, they cant be planned, they really are true happy accidents. You can plan for them and increase your chances of getting one of those happy accidents though. A lot of professional event photographers have perfected this. They can see when something may happen and start firing off rapid fire shots in hopes of getting that diamond. In motor sports, it’s usually following the driver that takes the most risks or drives very aggressive. Because he is where the action will happen, the crash, the near miss, or the spinout. While in other sports it may be at the goal, the endzone, or with a specific person on the team. It’s about knowing your subject to increase your chances of getting that one spectacular shot.
Event photography also has it’s risks. Race track photographers can get injured, once when I was photographing motorcycle ice racing I had leaned out to get a better shot and almost was hit in the head by a passing racer. My face was covered in ice from his tire and I felt the wind of his elbow as it passed my face. You have to know your safe zones. Even non dangerous event coverage can be dangerous. I cover Motorcycle Events and taking a photo of a Hells Angels member or other Outlaw Motorcycle club member without permission can get you into major trouble. Sometimes times it’s just the loss of your camera, if you are unlucky you can be hurt badly. It is knowing your subject and knowing the dangers. Once when covering an automotive show a lady wanted a photo of her kid next to a dragster, she put the kid in the hood and I pushed her out of the way and pulled her child off. The car was running and the child had his hand near the inlet of an exposed turbo, It would have ground up that child’s hand into hamburger. Know the danger, and look for it and you will not only keep yourself safe, but you can also help to keep others safe.