I've long said that while I don't like baseball, I do love baseball highlights.
They can be hard to capture in still photos, though, especially since spectacular plays happen very fast and in unexpected ways. It's easy to get lulled into a stupor while shooting baseball on warm afternoons as the dugout chatter rattles from both sides of the field.
An easy grounder here.
A routine pop fly there.
And suddenly you're a few innings in with nothing interesting to show for it.
If only I was talented enough to eat hotdogs and nachos while I shot.
The only time I get amped with anticipation is when a possible play at home plate develops.
Most of the time, the inning ends without excitement, but even an uncontested scoring slide can look kinda cool:
Of course, conflict and emotion make for much better frames,
though things don't always line up like you hope they will:
Some of the Little League fields offer elevated shooting positions, but the faint safety net is a bit distracting:
I ran into the same problem with a much worse angle on the action at a recent playoff game when an umpire kicked me off the field and out of the dugout:
And even when things line up OK, the photo doesn't always work with the game story. Wenatchee catcher Nolan Johnston tagging out Richland's Nate Zapata didn't make sense as the Bombers dominated both games of the doubleheader:
The same went for Hanford catcher Whitney Nash's error at home that allowed Eastmont's Megan Lavagnino to score in Hanford's 8-4 playoff win:
Unfortunately for the Falcons, I had another assignment early in their game, so my gallery is full of photos that don't reflect their winning performance.
Maybe one of the most frustrating things is that my best frame at home plate was more than three years ago:
I still wish I had shot from a few degrees to the left to minimize the butt factor and get Tyler Morfin's expression in there, but it was good enough to get me a clip win.
There's always another game, though, and with high school season wrapping up, it'll be up to the Dust Devils.
I'll just have to stay alert until then.
There's nothing boring about these links...
Check out this video demo of David Alan Harvey's creatively edited and assembled book (based on a true story). Who needs words, right?
Oh, you do? Well the recent news that USA Today would be sending U.S. Presswire stringers instead of their talented stable of photojournalists caused a stir online. Joining one "well regarded USA Today photographer," according to John Harrington, are shooters who are often derided as weekend warriors who are cannibalizing the sports photography market.
The London-bound string team also includes USPW Senior Contributing Photographer and Technology Consultant Richard Mackson's teenage daughter. I'm not sure which staff photographer is going, but a good guess would be Robert Hanashiro, who founded SportsShooter.com. That's where angry discussion spilled over into a second message board post. If you like Internet arguments, you can see where it started here.
Randy Scott Slavin's surreal 360-degree panoramas are more worth your time, though.
Who needs digital HDR techniques when you can use a 112-megapixel sensor with enough dynamic range to capture the sun and stars simultaneously in broad daylight. Apparently Spectral Instruments, which makes the you-gotta-CCD-to-believe sensor, is also gauging public interest in bringing the technology down to earth.
And what's old is new again as Instagram is looking to capitalize on its $1 billion Facebook windfall by developing the Instagram Socialmatic camera, complete with built-in printer. Maybe André 4000 will sing about shakin' it like an Instagram picture.