13 July 2008

*The (real) "Boys of Summer..."

I've shot a few Little League Baseball games the past two weeks or so. (translation: lots of Gatorade & an occasional bad hot dog on the run...) It's actually a lot of fun, kind of interesting, and still a challenge to make good images, even at this level. Working in shorts & sometimes my fav sandals is an added bonus. Still gotta bring my "A-Game." Fun to interact with the players, coaches and parents. One young player even went out of his way yesterday to shake my hand and thank me for coming, after his team won their divisional title game. That kid is going places. (Can't imagine Carlos Delgado or Alex Rodriguez thanking the press for coming out to cover one of THEIR playoff games.) Found myself muttering and cursing under my breath for missing a few good pictures during yesterday's playoff game. Realizing now what would really be cool is if our local team makes it through their state tournament games beginning next week and then gets a shot to play in Williamsport, PA in the national / world tournament. Can you say 'road trip...?'
*On a side note; I shoot these games with the same mental preparation and intensity (see: remembering to bring plenty of chewing gum) as the big kids, and even the pros when I covered them in the NYC market years ago. I religiously shoot with a fast 300mm f/2.8, usually with a 1.4 TE as my "long" camera body, with a 70mm - 200mm zoom on the "short" second body, and have even clamped up a 3rd. remote body on the fence down the third base line last week for potential plays at the plate. (that camera view got blocked by players leaving the dugout & the third base coach on the only play at the plate from that game, which I forgot they do. That doesn't happen in MLB, as the players rarely leave the dugout or bench, unless it's Game #7 of their "Championships-of-Whatever-Series..." You usually have clean views of the key points on the field at that level.) I digress. That's right; THREE digital SLR's to cover a little league game! LL baseball offers plenty of opportunities for good pictures. The players' reactions are immediate and right in front of you; exemplary "jubo" or "jubee" (jubilation - above.) and dejection (see: tears) are usually always a factor in the games, especially in the playoff rounds. I also like that the games are played with new baseballs and on well maintained fields for the kids. *(Geez, we never had those perks when I was a young slugger, but then again, I only managed to play in a local CYO / Park League growing up in Newark, NJ. That my friends, is a story for another time...)

*The (real) Boys of Summer...  July 2008 *The (real) Boys of Summer...  July 2008 *The (real) Boys of Summer...  July 2008 *The (real) Boys of Summer...  July 2008 *The (real) Boys of Summer...  July 2008

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