"I must be in the front row," said Bob Uecker in that once famous commercial. Well I got news for you Bob... The second row is just as good! As anybody who's read this blog more than a few times knows, I'm a big San Francisco Giants fan. In fact, my whole family is. That means that not just me and the people who live in this house, but my parents and my in-laws are big fans too! Well, although we've been to tons of games at AT&T park (where the Giants play) and many with my parents, my in-laws have never been. With them living in El Dorado Hills (about 2 1/2 hours away from San Francisco), they’ve actually never made it out to AT&T park for a game. Well, we were gonna fix that. We were at their house visiting a few months ago (and had a bit to drink, which is an important fact in this story) and Joanna, my wife, decided it was time they went, so she was determined to find them good seats. After a little bit of searching, she found 2rd row, right behind home plate for $100. An unheard of price for that location, right? She decides to buy those tickets for me too for my birthday (it’s the day before the game), cause who could pass up those seats for that price?! So we’re all going to see the Giants play in the best seats I’ve ever had and for my in-law’s first time.
Well, fast forward a few weeks and my Father-in-law calls to say he knows why the tickets were so cheap... They're away game tickets. Before we could say "wow, that was stupid of us" my wife had already found us flights and hotels in Milwaukee for the game. So last week we all boarded a flight and headed to Wisconsin to see a baseball game. Pretty awesome, right?
I decided to bring my Lumix micro four thirds camera which I have been using a lot lately. I don't like the quality of photo it takes, or the speed it focuses nearly as much as my Canon 5D, but it's really easy to travel with and that was important for this trip.
So after a day of travel and some good midwestern beef and beer, we went to the game. The seats were incredible and I knew there was going to be some great photo opportunities. Once the players started coming out of the dugout, I started shooting and I didn't stop until the game was over. Shooting sports is much harder that shooting, say, portraits, cause the subjects seem to be always moving, but you get used to it pretty quick. Since the sun was out and the dome on the stadium was open, I had plenty of light so I could shoot pretty fast. This really helped with the sharpness of the photos. Focusing was another problem cause the players are moving from one place to another all the time. It really helped to predict where the subjects were moving, so I could focus on where they would be as opposed to where they were. If you know a runner is going from 1st base to 2nd base, focus on 2nd base so you're ready for the shot when he gets there. If you're shooting the pitcher, you know he's going to go through his motion and fall forward toward the plate. So instead of lining up the pitcher along the left side of my photo, I lined him up against the right side, so when he was done with his pitch and he had fallen forward, he was right in place along the left side of the photo.
You can see some of my favorite photos from the day below.
Best story ever, right?