All Star Game finally comes to Phoenix

Ever since Phoenix was announced as the host of the 2011 All Star Game a few years ago all of us local photographer have been looking forward to the game. Not because of all the star players but because the grandstands would actually be packed and make for better looking photos. We would not be disappointed as a capacity crowd would fill Chase Field in Phoenix as the stars of MLB came out to play.

The day before the All Star game I would be on the field to shoot the arguably more popular Home Run Derby.

Below, former Orioles great Cal Ripken Jr throws out the ceremonial first pitch.

Nikon D3s, 400mm with 1.4 convertor (550mm), 3200iso, f4, 1/800th, Manual

The photo positions we were allowed to shoot from where insanely close to the field. When I say close I mean close enough that a fair ball down the line would be wizzing just a few feet from the photographers heads.

Here is cool photo by buddy Christian Petersen shot of me hard at work…hamming it up for the camera.

Photo by Christian Petersen

Im not gonna lie, I was scared. All the smart photographers formed a second row behind those of us at the front. Operation Human Shield…

Below, St Louis Cardinals player Matt Holliday smacks his bat to the ground after a lackluster round of the home run derby.

Nikon D3s, 400mm with 1.4 convertor (550mm), 4000iso, f4, 1/1000th, Manual

Below, dreds fly as Milwaukee Brewers batter Rickie Weeks swings during the home run derby at Chase Field.

Nikon D3s, 400mm with 1.4 convertor (550mm), 5000iso, f4, 1/800th, Manual

Weeks (below) tosses his bat after his final out.

Nikon D3s, 400mm with 1.4 convertor (550mm), 5000iso, f4, 1/800th, Manual

Below, American League players cheer as they watch David Ortiz (not pictured) of the Boston Red Sox compete during the 2011 home run derby at Chase Field.

Nikon D3s, 400mm with 1.4 convertor (550mm), 5000iso, f4, 1/800th, Manual

Below, American League second baseman Howard Kendrick (middle) of the Los Angeles Angels and American League pitcher C.J. Wilson (left) of the Texas Rangers take photos during the 2011 home run derby at Chase Field.

Nikon D3s, 400mm with 1.4 convertor (550mm), 5000iso, f4, 1/800th, Manual

Even this oversized bat could help Boston Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez win the home run derby, below.

Nikon D3s, 400mm with 1.4 convertor (550mm), 5000iso, f4, 1/800th, Manual

The big winner of the night would be New York Yankees player Robinson Cano. Here are some photos of him hitting a home run and celebrating after clinching the victory, below.

Nikon D3s, 400mm with 1.4 convertor (550mm), 5000iso, f4, 1/800th, Manual

Nikon D3s, 400mm with 1.4 convertor (550mm), 5000iso, f4, 1/500th, Manual

Nikon D3s, 400mm with 1.4 convertor (550mm), 5000iso, f4, 1/640th, Manual

Nikon D3s, 400mm with 1.4 convertor (550mm), 5000iso, f4, 1/640th, Manual

While waiting at home plate for the posed shot of Cano with the trophy I noticed the mass of photographers around me, below….

… I wanted to incorporate them into a shot so I got off to the side and shot wide as Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees posed for photographers after winning the 2011 home run derby at Chase Field.

Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 2000iso, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual

After shooting the wide shot I quickly ran around to shoot the standard tight vertical shot of him holding the trophy, below.

Nikon D700, 70-200mm, 2500iso, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual

Ok that wraps up the Home Run Derby, which I gotta admit became rather redundant and boring to shoot after the first 10 minutes.

Time for the All Star Game!

Below, San Francisco Giants pitcher Brian Wilson and his beard make their way through the crowded field a few hours before the game.

Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 2500iso, f3.5, 1/800th, Manual

Below, American League outfielder Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers jokes with fans before the 2011 All Star game at Chase Field.

Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 2500iso, f3.2, 1/1250th, Manual

Below, Caricatures of former Arizona Diamondbacks players Randy Johnson and Matt Williams work their way through a massive crowd of fans in the concourse before the 2011 All Star game at Chase Field.

Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 6400iso, f2.8, 1/400th, Manual

Below, American League infielder Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers shields his eyes from the sun as the players are introduced prior to the All Star game.

Nikon D3s, 400mm, 2500iso, f4.5, 1/8000th, Manual

Local hero Justin Upton greets the fans as he is introduced prior to the game, below.

Nikon D3s, 400mm, 2500iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

Below, I went wide to incorporate the windows atop Chase Field into the shot as the National League all stars are lined up for introductions before the 2011 All Star game.

Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 2000iso, f2.8, 1/1600th, Manual

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halliday throws out the first pitch of the 2011 All Star game.

Nikon D3s, 400mm, 2500iso, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

For the first few innings of the game there were a few random light pockets around the field that I would spend time working into my shots.

The play of the game happened early on as American League outfielder Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays made a sliding catch during the second inning of the 2011 All Star game at Chase Field.

Nikon D3s, 400mm, 2500iso, f2.8, 1/3200th, Manual

The below shot of Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee looks like your standard pitcher throwing ball in a light pocket shot but the funny part about it is the shot was taken just after he picked the ball up to warm up and did a slow motion throwing motion towards second base. When he was actually pitching his back was towards me so I got really lucky to end up with this random shot in perfect light!

Nikon D3s, 400mm, 2500iso, f2.8, 1/2000th, Manual

Below, American League first baseman Adrian Gonzalez of the Boston Red Sox is bathed in sunlight as he plays first base during the All Star game.

Nikon D3s, 400mm with 1.4 convertor (550mm), 3200iso, f4.5, 1/3200th, Manual

Probably my favorite light pocket shot of the game would be of hometown boy Justin Upton chasing down a fly ball in the outfield, below. Without dramatic light this is a photo that would be useless but with him being in a razor thin light pocket which I was exposed for it completely eliminated the details in the background which made for a really dramatic looking shot.

Nikon D3s, 400mm with 1.4 convertor (550mm), 3200iso, f5, 1/5000th, Manual

Below, American League first baseman Adrian Gonzalez (28) of the Boston Red Sox hits a solo home run during the fourth inning of the 2011 All Star game at Chase Field.

Nikon D3s, 400mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

Nikon D3s, 400mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

There would be a decent play at the plate during the game but due to a third base coach who decided to run home behind the player I would be blocked.

Below, American League outfielder Jose Bautista (19) of the Toronto Blue Jays is tagged out by National League catcher Brian McCann (16) of the Atlanta Braves during the fourth inning of the 2011 All Star game at Chase Field.

Nikon D3s, 400mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

The biggest moment of the game would occur courtesy of Prince Fielder as he would hit a three-run home run during the fourth inning of the 2011 All Star game at Chase Field, below.

Nikon D3s, 400mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

Nikon D3s, 400mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

Below, National League first baseman Prince Fielder (28) of the Milwaukee Brewers is congratulated by Justin Upton (10) of the Arizona Diamondbacks after hitting a three-run home run during the fourth inning of the 2011 All Star game at Chase Field.

Nikon D3s, 400mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

The cool light pockets from earlier in the game were all off the field but they still put some cool light on the crowd so I shot a few more frames of that. I’m such a nerd for lightpockets, I fully admit it.

Nikon D700, 70-200mm, 2000iso, f4.5, 1/5000th, Manual

Nikon D3s, 400mm, 3200iso, f5, 1/8000th, Manual

Below, National League shortstop Starlin Castro (13) of the Chicago Cubs steals second base ahead of the tag of American League second baseman Howard Kendrick (47) of the Los Angeles Angels during the fifth inning of the 2011 All Star game at Chase Field.

Nikon D3s, 400mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

Below, National League shortstop Starlin Castro (left) of the Chicago Cubs is tagged out by American League catcher Alex Avila (right) of the Detroit Tigers on a fielder’s choice during the fifth inning of the 2011 All Star game at Chase Field.

Nikon D3s, 400mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

National League second baseman Rickie Weeks (below) of the Milwaukee Brewers steals second base ahead of the tag of American League infielder Jhonny Peralta of the Detroit Tigers during the fifth inning of the 2011 All Star game at Chase Field.

Nikon D3s, 400mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

In to close the game for the National League was “The Beard” aka Brian Wilson, below.

Nikon D3s, 400mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

After closing out the game Wilson would do his trademark X with his hands.

Nikon D3s, 400mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

Below, National League players from left Pablo Sandoval , Justin Upton , Starlin Castro and Clayton Kershaw celebrate after defeating the American League in the 2011 All Star game at Chase Field.

Nikon D3s, 400mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

Thanks to his big three run home run the MVP award went to Prince Fielder, below.

Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

That wraps up my first All Star game. It was a big hassle compared to shooting a normal baseball game but it was ultimately a fun event to shoot!

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