The major league baseball season is about a quarter of the way over already so I figured I would do a post highlighting some of my favorite images from the season thus far.

Sorry for the long delay between blogs, PC users have recently mentioned experiencing viruses when they would go to my site (no complaints from Apple users!) so I have been working to fix the issues with the help of photographer Andrew Weber whos been working on fixing all the issues.

Ok enough about that, lets get on to some images.

The Diamondbacks stadium, Chase Field, is a dome with a retractable roof, however for most day games the roof is closed due to the Arizona heat. At the beginning of the season its still cool enough (below 85 degrees) so they have a few day games with the roof open that typically makes for some nice looking images that we normally don’t get.

Below, Arizona Diamondbacks baserunner Gerardo Parra is tagged out at the plate by Chicago Cubs catcher Chris Robinson at Chase Field.

Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 320iso, f4, 1/2500th, Manual

The below frame of Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton is a photo I really liked because it has a very monochromatic look to it with the exception of the bright green gatorade cup. (Hey Gatorade marketing people, this would make a good advertisement….hint, hint!)

Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 640iso, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual

Here is a good example of some of the cool light we can get during a roof opened day game. Below, with light hitting Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Josh Ellis but the background being in shade it really makes the player pop as he throws a pitch.

Nikon D700, 400mm, 400iso, f4, 1/2500th, Manual

Chicago Cubs catcher Michael Brenly against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field, below.

Nikon D700, 400mm, 400iso, f4, 1/500th, Aperture Priority

Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Esmerling Vasquez is rim lit by the late afternoon sun as he throws a pitch late in a game, below.

Nikon D700, 400mm, 400iso, f4.5, 1/3200th, Manual

Using the multiple exposure feature on the Nikon D700 I shot three frames in one to produce the below frame as Diamondbacks pitcher Dan Haren throws a pitch.

Nikon D700, 400mm, 250iso, f4, 1/1000th, Manual

Normally I shoot the batters instead of the fielders but I wanted a few stock type shots of Diamondbacks third baseman Mark Reynolds in action. I ended up getting lucky  (below) as he made a diving catch to a line drive. If you look closely you can see the ball inside his glove. I would have rather had the ball about a foot outside his glove but I don’t always get what I want!

Nikon D700, 400mm, 250iso, f4, 1/2000th, Manual

In the late afternoon shadows slowly take over the field. If you time it right you can use it to your advantage.

Here is a great example of how fast light changes.

3:31 pm

Shadows consume the bottom half of Diamondbacks pitcher Dan Haren as he throws a pitch.

Nikon D700, 400mm with 1.4 convertor (550mm), 400iso, f4.5, 1/6400th, Manual

3:34 pm

San Diego Padres pitcher Edward Mujica is completely silhouetted as he throws. The difference in the light just three minutes apart is pretty drastic.

Nikon D700, 400mm with 1.4 convertor (550mm), 400iso, f5, 1/8000th, Manual

By going down to field level I exposed for the full grandstands to contrast against a silhouetted Dan Haren (below) as he throws an inning later.

Nikon D700, 400mm with 1.4 convertor (550mm), 400iso, f5, 1/8000th, Manual

Below, San Diego Padres second baseman David Eckstein goes airborne as he throws to first to complete the double play above sliding Arizona Diamondbacks base runner Mark Reynolds.

Nikon D700, 400mm, 800iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

Whenever I am shooting a batter who gets walked I like to keep an eye on him and shoot when they throw their bat on their way to first. Normally it doesn’t make for much of a photo but once in awhile the flying bat will fly through the frame and add an interesting element to a very boring moment.

The bat of Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Ryan Church flies through the air as he heads towards first base after being walked, below.

Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 400iso, f2.8, 1/2000th, Manual

A nicely lit field with a shadowed background provided a nice look in the below photo as MLB umpire Mike Reilly looked on as Arizona Diamondbacks baserunner Justin Upton slides safely into third base ahead of the tag from Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Delwyn Young.

Nikon D700, 400mm, 250iso, f4, 1/2000th, Manual

Below, St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols reacts as he puts his helmet on in the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field.

Nikon D700, 400mm, 1600iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

Plays at the plate are the signature photo I always want to get at each baseball game.

Below, Milwaukee Brewers baserunner (2) Joe Inglett is tagged out at home by Arizona Diamondbacks catcher John Hester in the fifth inning at Chase Field.

Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 2500iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 2500iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

I typically shoot one or two games per series and was sitting at a bar editing stock images on a game day that I was going to take off but something popped into my head telling me to go shoot the game. I am far from a superstitious so normally I would tell the voice in my head to shut the hell up but for some reason I listened and cruised over to the stadium to shoot the game.

Since I didn’t really wanna be there I decided prior to getting to the stadium that I would shoot for the first few innings from the field before heading up to the press box and shoot the remainder of the game from there. (The pressbox is the easy way to shoot a game and I only shoot up there when I wanna be lazy and half ass the shoot)

On the field prior to the  game beginning I caught a nice light pocket on the edge of the field providing some dramatic light as Milwaukee Brewers infielder Alcides Escobar warmed up, below.

Nikon D700, 400mm, 500iso, f4, 1/2000th, Manual

Below, I exposed for the sunlit grandstands in the background to silhouette Arizona Diamondbacks right fielder Justin Upton as he stood in the batters box preparing to bat in the third inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Chase Field.

Nikon D700, 400mm, 2500iso, f2.8, 1/8000th, Manual

Once up in the press box I shot the below overall view of the field.

Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 2500iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

After the safe shot I went for a more artistic look and held the camera above my head to get it close to the folded up press box windows to produce the below reflection shot.

Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 2500iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

I was happy with how the shot looked so I got ready to go back to shooting normal action stuff with long glass, however a few minutes later between innings they opened up the roof, which allowed some nice light in which completely changed the look of images. With that in mind I slapped on the wide angle lens and went back to the windows to reshoot the reflection shot, below.

Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 1600iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

A few days after the shoot I was rewarded for going to the game when I got a Leading Off doubletruck in Sports Illustrated, below.

Below, Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks leaps over Arizona Diamondbacks base runner Augie Ojeda after forcing him out at second to start a double play in the fifth inning at Chase Field.

Nikon D700, 400mm, 1600iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

After the sun set I did another wide angle shot of the field to take advantage of the rapidly darkening dusk sky, below.

Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 1600iso, f2.8, 1/640th, Manual

Prior to the final game of the series vs the Brewers I held the camera down on the ground to shoot wide looking up as Milwaukee Brewers shortstop Craig Counsell warms up (below) prior to the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field.

Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 2500iso, f2.8, 1/1600th, Manual

I have shot at numerous MLB stadiums but I have to say that the photo position at Chase Field right near the dugout enables you to get really close to the visiting team.

After hitting a home run, Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder headed back to the dugout so I held a wide angle above my head into the dugout to shoot the below frame as Fielder was congratulated by his happy teammates.

Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 2500iso, f2.8, 1/640th, Manual

In the ninth inning of the game there was a small light pocket on the field between second and third base, by exposing for the highlights it produced very dramatic light as Arizona Diamondbacks base runner Stephen Drew runs towards third against the Milwaukee Brewers at Chase Field, below.

Nikon D700, 400mm, 1600iso, f2.8, 1/6400th, Manual

Whats a baseball photo blog without a photo of my favorite player Manny Ramirez, below.

Nikon D700, 400mm, 2000iso, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

We will end this blog with the below frame of Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman Kelly Johnson leaping into the air as he throws to first base after forcing out Los Angeles Dodgers base runner (55) Russell Martin in the sixth inning at Chase Field.

Nikon D700, 400mm, 2000iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

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Posted in Baseball, Diamondbacks, MLB, Sports, Sports Illustrated   | 6 Comments

6 responses to “Random baseball action from first quarter of season”

  1. Ted says:

    Mark, awesome photos as always. Congrats on the SI doubletruck photo, I knew it was yours before I looked at the byline. The silhouette and the sunset wide angle shots are a fantastic. Great job as always and thanks for the explanation of the photo.

  2. steve says:

    Reflections….Yes reflections. Like Ted above, without looking at the byline I thought it was your work and I was pleased to be able to issue congrats on the doubletruck. thanks again and no virus on our end. Steve

  3. Juan Alonso says:

    I always enjoy the way you write your blog. Thanks for posting the shooting information below each pic and how you got the shot.

  4. Ben Nelms says:

    Hey Mark,

    Have always been a fan of yours. Great job, and please keep the inspiration coming.


  5. Shannon Frost says:

    Creative as usual. Great shots.

  6. Love your shots as always and I was happy for you when I saw your SI double truck!

    I noticed you shoot at f4 on bright days. Have you considered the 200-400 f4 from Nikon for the day games? Just wondered. You probably have the selection of gear you want now, but the zoom adds versatility and I’m loving mine.

    Love the photos! Keep them coming, please!

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