Friday, April 30, 2010

In Sports, the key is paying attention

In covering sports, especially baseball, it’s easy to fall into a rut or to become inattentive during a boring game. There’s always the “safe shots” a photographers seems to get of plays at first, second, third bases and home plate. In a recent high school game between the South Kitsap Wolves and Central Kitsap Cougars, I notice a series of signals between the Cougars’ catcher, pitcher, second baseman and shortstop used in trying to pick off the Wolves base runners.

It always helps in being in the right place as well. Sports photographers have to fight the habit of shooting from the same location. Normally, I start out near the home plate, this allows me to get shots of pitchers throwing, a good play at first base, third base and home. Once a runner reaches first, I move down the first base line and in hopes of capturing a double play at second, pick off throw by the pitcher at first or a different angle for a catcher tagging out the sliding base runner trying to score. Also moving around, keeps your attention on the game focused by looking for plays in different locations.

Having already capturing a few “safe shots” I started to pay attention to the signals being communicated between the pitcher and catcher. By focusing on the pitcher, and hoping to get something out of the ordinary, I knew I was going to make a picture of a base runner being picked off at second base. It took a few innings, but as you can see, it made for a great picture.