27
Aug

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With football about to get in full swing and baseballs regular season coming to a close in a month its about time I post some of my favorite photos from the baseball diamond this summer.

In the below photo, Arizona Diamondbacks base runner Chris Snyder slides safely into home ahead of the tag from Washington Nationals catcher Wil Nieves. The photo was shot from the press box as I sat in a comfortable chair eating ice cream that the provide to the media.

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Nikon D700, 600mm, 3200iso, f4, 1/800th, Manual

While I am super jealous of my friends who shoot in stadiums without roofs due to the nice light they get on the field, us photographers who shoot at Chase Field do, on rare occasions, get some interesting light pockets that bathe the players in some really nice sunlight while the backgrounds are black such as the below photo of Washington Nationals pitcher Julian Tavarez as he winds up for his pitch.

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Nikon D700, 600mm, 3200iso, f5.6, 1/5000th, Manual

When you have dynamic light even the most mundane action, like the below shot of Diamondbacks catcher Chris Snyder running to second base, looks cool.

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Nikon D700, 600mm, 3200iso, f5.6, 1/4000th, Manual

I still await the day that I get good action in that light. It has yet to happen for me but I am confident that I will eventually get something cool from it.

The best action you can hope for at a baseball game is a play at the plate where you have a sliding player and a catcher attempting to tag him out. While the below shot of Diamondbacks base runner Justin Upton sliding safely into home ahead of the tag by Cincinnati Reds catcher Ryan Hanigan isn’t what I would call great action, it still is a decent frame that I would gladly shoot.

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

One thing the Arizona baseball shooters have grown accustomed to this season is errors, whether its fielding errors, base running errors, or throwing errors life never gets too boring when shooting baseball.

Below, Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman Felipe Lopez dives for a bad throw as Cincinnati Reds base runner Jay Bruce slides safely into second base.

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Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

When covering a baseball game there is typically TONS of downtime and boredom so sometimes instead of cruising around Facebook on my phone I look for stuff around me that might make for an interesting and/or funny photo.

Below, Cincinnati Reds first base coach Billy Hatcher blows a giant bubble.

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Nikon D700, 400mm, 2500iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

Another thing to do during a break in the action is to shoot head shots of the players, whether in the dugout, or standing in the on deck circle. Clean head shots of the various players is something photographers often overlook.

Below, San Diego Padres batter Adrian Gonzalez stands in the on deck circle prior to his at bat.

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Nikon D700, 400mm, 1250iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

Sometimes being over lensed can work out for you to isolate up close on the action like the below shot of Diamondbacks baserunner Chris Young barely sliding into third base ahead of the tag of an infielder.

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

The below two photos were a scene I saw while sitting in the photo well about 20 minutes before the start of the game. In the visitors bullpen I saw a shaft of light hitting Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels as he warmed up. I quickly grabbed a camera and walked along the dirt towards the bullpen. I briefly stopped and fired off a shot of him in the corner of the frame with the sun shining on the gate.

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Nikon D700, 400mm, 2000iso, f2.8, 1/2500th, Manual

Then I was able to walk into the bullpen to fire off a few shots of him pitching (below) before I saw a security guard coming towards me to kick me out of the bullpen.

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Nikon D700, 400mm, 2000iso, f2.8, 1/2500th, Manual

When shooting baseball there are numerous people on the field who can get in your way and ruin shots, umpires, bat boys, base coaches, naked fans, you name it. The below photo of an angry Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton has red from the uniform of someone walking in the foreground. I kind of like the red as it goes along with the anger in his face.

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

One of my favorite baseball shots of the season has got to be the below shot of Philadelphia Phillies base runner Shane Victorino sliding safely into third base with the stolen base as Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman Mark Reynolds leaps to catch an errant throw from the catcher. I was damn lucky to even get the shot since out of nowhere the catcher threw to third to try and pick the runner off. Dumb luck baby!

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

Shooting from the concourse level I shot the below frame of Arizona Diamondbacks base runner Justin Upton as he steals second base under a leaping Philadelphia Phillies infielder Chase Utley.

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Nikon D700, 400mm, 2500iso, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Below is an example of a play at the plate thats crap since the catcher isn’t making a tag.

Arizona Diamondbacks base runner Miguel Montero slides safely into home to score against the New York Mets.

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

Newly called up Diamondbacks player Trent Oeltjen (below) flies like superman as he dives into third base.

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Nikon D700, 400mm, 2500iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

After safely sliding into third base Trent Oeltjen took a foot to the back of the head from New York Mets third baseman Fernando Tatis. His facial expression doesn’t look like he likes it too much.

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Nikon D700, 400mm, 2500iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

In the dugouts if a player is sitting at the other end from the photo position you can get a nice and clean red background that looks good in photos. Below, New York Mets outfielder Gary Sheffield spits tobacco.

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Nikon D700, 400mm, 2500iso, f2.8, 1/500th, Manual

Below, future hall of fame Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre gives me the stare down from the dugout.

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Nikon D700, 400mm, 2500iso, f2.8, 1/500th, Manual

The below shot was another photo taken from the press box shooting position. Its where I shoot from when I get lazy. It is a nice angle though so whatever.

Los Angeles Dodgers base runner (14) Juan Castro slides safely into home to score in the eighth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field.

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Nikon D700, 400mm, 2500iso, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Up in the top corner of the stadium I saw a young boy practicing his swing (below) so I underexposed by several stops to get a silhouette against the nice blue sky through a window.

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Nikon D700, 400mm, 2500iso, f16, 1/1250th, Manual

By the end of the games the dugout is usually littered with empty cups, dirt and sunflower seeds.

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Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 2500iso, f2.8, 1/500th, Manual

I will close out this baseball blog with a view of the photo well showing Getty Images staffer Christian Petersen (left) and I as we edit photos during the game.

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Photo by Jon Willey

Here are some tear sheets I have found throughout the season:

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Posted in Baseball, Diamondbacks, Me, MLB, Sports   | 8 Comments

8 responses to “Random Baseball Images from the Summer”

  1. Love the two pitchers on black!

    Exactly how many naked fans have ruined your shots?! I take it you’re saving those for your next post…

  2. Kyle Pochek says:

    Amazing as always

  3. Sazzy says:

    Mark,
    Been following your blog and photo work for more than a year now. Great work and great inspiration for us aspiring sports photogs. I am based out of Las Vegas and would love to take you to lunch the next time your in town. I believe you will probably be here for NASCAR weekend, or sooner. I am currently working on my sports portfolio and looking for a sponsor to apply to sportshooter.com. I also am the secretary/treasure for The Las Vegas Photographic Society. Our photo society is based on the premise of paying the art forward. If your intown during one of our meetings(second thursday of every month) I would like to invite you to speak to the group. Please contact me at your earliest convience.
    Thanks,
    Sazzy

  4. Rookdick says:

    Thanks for the blog. I enjoy it.

  5. Rob Hammer says:

    that image of the Nationals pitcher with the black background is sick. thanks for sharing.

  6. Frederic says:

    Nice recap of your baseball summer.
    I always like the you play with lightpockets when they are available.

  7. Benjamin Vargas says:

    these are sick pics man!

  8. zac says:

    Just found this site and really enjoyed the photos–great work!

    The Hamels’ shots were my faves.

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