Photographer's Perspective

This brief Indianapolis Star article  provides the interesting perspective of a photographer covering early auto races. Published August 29, 1909 it is part of the wrap-up coverage of the the first auto racing meet at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It is a story even today's motorsports photographer can relate to.
As was Nathan Lazarnick, F. Ed Spooner was one of the leading sports photographers of his time and did pioneering work in the nascent years of motorsport. He snapped a lot of the images including, I believe, these of the devestating wreck involving driver Charlie Merz which took the lives of three people. This accident occurred during the third day of the Speedway races.
The attached article not only describes the photographer's working conditions at a track but also quotes Spooner. Here is an excerpt:
"We men of the camera sit apparently without thought of the races, yet our eyes are on the crowd rather than on the racing cars and their nervy drivers. An accident is shown quickly by the crowd and the camera man jumps to his feet, turns around several times and starts the way he happens to be headed when he stops. If that is not right, he goes another way, grabbing a means of conveyance if possible, or, if not, taking 'Shank's mare' to the point."
Shank's mare is a phrase used more frequently in Spooner's time than now. It simply means by foot. The article notes that photographers frequently ran across race courses during the event, timing their sprints to avoid being struck by speeding hulks. To the seemingly callous nature of many photographers Spooner has the following comment:
"Your camera man is also cold-blooded. He does not stop for pity because men may be lying dead around him. That side of the matter does not strike him. It is the picture that he is after, and, once that is taken, he is ready for the next. During the Indianapolis races my man and myself took more than 500 views showing everything and everybody."

Spooner082909.pdf585.67 KB