Luke Scott robs Matt Holliday of ninth inning homer.

"Baltimore Orioles left fielder Luke Scott brings back a home run from St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday in the ninth inning of an interleague baseball game Tuesday, June 28, 2011 in Baltimore."

"A crime scene body outline with Baltimore Orioles left fielder Luke Scott is shown on the left field wall at Orioles Park at Camden Yards Wednesday, June 29, 2011. The image was drawn the day after Scott's home run saving catch against St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday."

Here’s a before and after of Luke Scott’s catch in the ninth inning of Tuesday’s game. Check out the highlight here!

One of the other players created this masterpiece the next morning, but it was taken down before the game that night. If I had to guess, I’d say either Felix Pie or Adam Jones was the mastermind behind this operation.

The photo I took of the body outline was tweeted on Birdland Insider. If you’re on Twitter, check out the post here!

Baltimore Orioles Photography: Tuesday, June 28, 2011 vs. St. Louis Cardinals

"St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Ryan Theriot turns a double play over Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Wieters in the fourth inning of an interleague baseball game, Tuesday, June 28, 2011 in Baltimore."

"Baltimore Orioles left fielder Luke Scott shows the ball after robbing St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday of a home run in the ninth inning of an interleague baseball game, Tuesday, June 28, 2011 in Baltimore."

The Orioles lost this first game of their interleague series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Here is the box score

This series had a lot of hype. Baseball’s best hitter, Albert Pujols, was supposed to come to town with his team for the first time in Camden Yards history. Yet an untimely injury last week left him sidelined and left spirits rather deflated around the park. 

Tuesday was a strange game. A strong rainstorm came and caused a delay a few innings in. That delay only lasted about ten minutes, though, and by the time we had gotten upstairs to the office, the grounds crew had already pulled off the tarp. 

I had fun shooting anyway. I got to use the 400 mm lens for a few innings, which was a nice change from the usual 300 mm I shoot with. I was also lined up perfectly for Luke Scott’s spectacular display of home run robbery in the ninth inning, which I’ll post more about soon.

This game’s “Thing I Learned”: It’s much easier to shoot baseball with a 400 mm lens. There’s far less room in your frame for error. That being said, I love shooting with both.

PLAY Clinic.

"Kids from Howard County, Maryland participating in the Promoting a Lifetime of Activity for Youth (PLAY) Capmaign run along the warning track at Oriole Park at Camden Yards Tuesday, June 28, 2011."

I shot the PLAY campaign’s now annual event at Camden Yards this morning. This year, Matt Wieters came out and spoke to the kids about living an active and healthy lifestyle.

I covered this event last year as well as an intern for the Baltimore Sun. I shot, edited, and produced a video of the clinic, which you can view here. You can also read my thoughts about that day. It’s interesting how they compare to this year. 

Video is a much more captivating medium for this type of event. Some of the lines these kids drop while they’re running around the field are too funny.

One of them told me he liked my tie.

Baltimore Orioles Photography: Sunday, June 26, 2011 vs. Cincinnati Reds

"Baltimore Orioles second baseman Blake Davis scores off a Nick Markakis single in the third inning of an interleague baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds, Sunday, June 26, 2011 in Baltimore."

"Baltimore Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy tosses to second base in the seventh inning of an interleague baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds, Sunday, June 26, 2011 in Baltimore."

"Baltimore Orioles pitcher Brian Matusz (left) and teammates stand during the singing of 'God Bless America' during the seventh inning stretch of an interleague baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds, Sunday, June 26, 2011 in Baltimore."

The O’s took the rubber game of their interleague series against the Reds yesterday. 

You never know what kind of conditions you’ll get for a day game. Yesterday, when the sun was out, shots looked blown out, and when the sun was behind the clouds, everything looked dry and flat. This inconsistent lighting called for tedious and repetitive exposure adjustments throughout the game. 

Regardless, I was happy to update my portfolio with some crisp frames of the players the Orioles have acquired since I was last there. 

This game’s “Thing I Learned:” Using the camera’s microphone while shooting to record game information accompanying important images saves considerable time and energy when captioning later on. I don’t shoot for a wire, so there’s no urgent deadline, but I’m going to start recording regardless. Should a time come when I actually need to, I’ll be ready. 

Seashells from Sarasota.

"A boy picks out a seashell from a representative of the Sarasota Convention & Visitors Bureau at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore Sunday, June 26, 2011."

Here’s an example of the type of assignments I shoot off the field. This was a table set up along Eutaw street with representatives advertising vacationing during Spring training in Sarasota, Florida. 

This woman ended up throwing out the ceremonial first pitch later that afternoon. 

Dusty Baker.

"Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker looks on during an interleague baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Saturday, June 25, 2011 in Baltimore."

I had to get one shot of good old Dusty Baker while he was in town. 

Here he is, chewing his toothpick as usual. 

Baltimore Orioles Photography: Saturday, June 25, 2011 vs. Cincinnati Reds

"Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones blows a bubble after hitting a home run against the Cincinnati Reds in the first inning of an interleague baseball game, Saturday, June 25, 2011 in Baltimore."

"Baltimore Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy throws to first base in the fifth inning of an interleague baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds, Saturday, June 25, 2011 in Baltimore."

Camden Yards certainly has an irreplaceable atmosphere, particularly on warm summer nights like Saturday when the ball flies of the bat. The Orioles lost in a slugfest in which every run recorded came off of a home run. 

Despite the loss, it was another enjoyable game for me. I’m glad I had the opportunity to shoot on back to back nights. It’s a good way to really find your rhythm. That’s part of the beauty of the Major League Baseball schedule: during homestands, it’s a daily grind, so there’s ample opportunity to build off the previous day. 

Here’s two that I thought turned out well. 

This game’s “Thing I Learned:” The pictures are never as good as they look on the camera screen. Don’t get too excited about what you think is a good shot until you actually see it on a real monitor.

I made that mistake with several frames from this game. 

Baltimore Orioles Photography: Friday, June 24, 2011 vs. Cincinnati Reds

"Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Wieters tags out Cincinnati Reds' first baseman Joey Votto at home plate in the 12th inning of an interleague baseball game, Friday, June 24, 2011 in Baltimore."

"Baltimore Orioles pitcher Koji Uehara pumps his fist after recording the final out in the 11th inning of an interleague baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds, Friday, June 24, 2011 in Baltimore."

"Baltimore Orioles first baseman Derrek Lee celebrates after hitting a walk off home run against the Cincinnati Reds in the 12th inning of an interleague baseball game, Friday, June 24, 2011 in Baltimore.

"Baltimore Orioles first baseman Derrek Lee is surrounded by teammates after hitting a walk off home run against the Cincinnati Reds in the 12th inning of an interleague baseball game, Friday, June 24, 2011 in Baltimore."

Back at it at the yard and it feels so good. 

It certainly took me a few innings to get my timing and rhythm back, but like anything one does over and over again, shooting truly is like riding a bike. I felt comfortable by the third inning. 

I couldn’t have asked for a better environment for my first game back. The Cincinnati Reds made their first ever visit to Camden Yards for a 1970 World Series rematch, the stadium was nearly sold out, and the Orioles won in dramatic fashion after a twelfth inning walk off home run by Derrek Lee. There were even fireworks after the game. 

Be sure to keep checking in here throughout the rest of the season! I’m going to post at least one photograph from every game I shoot, and hopefully some from the other assignments I get sent on as well.

I’m also going to include a “Thing I Learned” section from each game I cover so that my skills as a shooter keep improving. 

This game’s “Thing I Learned”: Don’t get too excited during walk off wins. It’s better to focus on one subject and get a great reaction shot rather than to try shooting everything that’s happening on the field at once. 

Back at it tonight.

"The sun sets behind Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore Maryland Tuesday, June 9, 2009."

I’m shooting my first Birds’ game of the season tonight! This is a view I’ve missed dearly. 

Be sure to keep checking in for photographs from this week’s Interleague homestand!

Mayor of Ashkelon, Israel visits Baltimore!

"Benny Vaknin, Mayor of Ashkelon, Israel, awaits his introduction at a reception promoting the Baltimore-Ashkelon partnership Wednesday, June 15, 2011."

Tonight I was invited to a dinner reception honoring the Mayor of Ashkelon, who is currently visiting Baltimore from Israel to continue growing the already strong partnership between the two cities. 

It was a nice gathering that brought me right back to my time in Israel and has me thinking of my friends from Ashkelon. Benny seemed to have a warm and calming personality, which made it easy to get some cheerful portraits like this one. He also happened to choose the seat right next to me, so I enjoyed listening to his Hebrew chatter over salmon and hummus. 

This dinner also reminded of my “camera as an extension of me” philosophy. It’s funny how people you haven’t seen in awhile recognize you simply because you’ve got your camera over your shoulder.