This past weekend I had a chance to challenge myself and try something I’ve never done before; shoot a baseball game. And for my regular readers, as you already know, when I do something, I go big! So for my first attempt at shooting America’s favorite pastime, I didn’t go to the local park or high school, I went straight to the Majors and didn’t stop there. I didn’t shoot just any MLB team, but got a chance to shoot the World Series Champion San Francisco Giants!
It’s been a while since I’ve gotten butterflies and felt completely out of my element, but when I walked up to the gates of AT&T Park, they were fluttering in full force. And I had a million questions. Where do I pick up my pass? (Giants Business office) Where is the elevator to take me to the Press Box? (Down the hall, first door on the left just past the double doors, elevator to the 2nd floor) Is there food? (3rd floor…$4.50 for cold food, and $9 for hot food…free drinks!) How do I get to the field? (Back down the elevator, down the hall to the right, through the tunnel on the left…walk towards the light) Which dugout is the Giants? (On the third base line you idiot…is this your first time here? Oh it is? Hmmm..continue.) Can I go on the grass? (Um, no!) Where can the photographers shoot from? (To the left and right of each dugout and three overhead baskets on the upper decks) Is my lens long enough? (You need at least 300mm to get the tight shots…so the 100-400mm it is!) Is my lens fast enough? (F/2.8 buddy…so no. Better crank up the ISO!! Oh and you will probably need a camera that shoots at least 10 frames a second) What shutter speed do I need so the pitchers don’t look like Gumby? (1/2000 or faster…see, told ya you needed a 2.8 lens.) How do I get from the 1st base side to the 3rd base side? (Wait till inbetween innings and don’t go through the dugout!) Yeah, no pressure at all.
But the rest of the questions I was asking had only one answer…. experience. I was struggling all game to anticipate the play. If I was shooting the pitcher, I’d miss the guy trying to steal second base. Focus on the hitter and I’d miss the outfielder catching the pop fly. 9 innings did not seem long enough to get all the shots I wanted. Soon after the game started, I ended up really lowering my expectations to one simple goal. Just get the ball in the frame. And believe me, that little white ball moves REALLY fast! Out of the 1,600+ images I shot think I ended up with maybe 30 images with the ball visible in the picture. Not a great keeper ratio, but it definitely gave me a respect for those who are there every game and getting beautiful pictures.
Below is a set of images from my day at the Ballpark. Comment below and let me know what you think of my first attempt at baseball photography. And Go Giants!!!
For the full set of images click HERE