Stepping outside the box
By Rick Madonik, Staff Photographer
Familiarity, for a photographer, produces better pictures. This, I find, is especially true of sports'. Assign me to one or two season games to any particular sport, and I'll come back with "safe" pictures that feed the machine which churns out a newspaper everyday. Send me often, and not only will I produce the "required" photos to cover the action as it develops, but I might be inclined to try something different
Sports is like that because it helps if you know the game. This is especially true of baseball where a slight shift of the infield gives you an idea of where the ground ball is more likely to go. Watching Jose Bautista slug 3 home runs in 2 games also gives the advantage of knowing how he reacts when he makes solid contact, and what type of "jubilation" to expect. Today, and yesterday, (and now tomorrow) that was important as he is one dinger away from tying George Bell (47) for the franchise record in HRs hit in a single season.
So, whether it's trying a different lens, or a different shooting positon, or different composition, or simply knowing a player's habits, helps to breed a little new life into pictures that are shot over and over. This last week I got to 4 games in a row - something which hasn't happened in several years - and I found the pictures got more interesting as the days went on.
Here's a few which made it to files, but not to print.
Jays 3rd baseman Jose Bautista must go high in order to save the throw as Carl Crawford slides into 3rd. This is creative cropping since most of Bautista is in the frame except his glove - which is wear the ball is.
Home ump Mike Riley signals Vernon Wells is safe after pitcher Jeff Niemann tries to cover the plate on a passed ball and Wells sneaked home from 3rd. This was shot with a medium zoom lens, when normally I use a long lens at homeplate.
Shortstop Yunel Esocbar unloads under the sliding Carlos Pena but can't get the ball to pitcher Kevin Gregg who covers 1st base on a double play. I've never been able to sandwhich a double play ball like this before but the pitcher covering 1st had to reach back to the ball.