A broken bat shot.

"Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Wieters breaks his bat in the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox Tuesday, September 27, 2011 in Baltimore."

I’ve been waiting all season for one of these to happen. Go figure it took me until game 161 to get it. I wish the bat had broken more, because I was all over this at-bat. This doesn’t look like much as far as broken-bat shots go, but I’m still happy I got one. 

Baltimore Orioles Photography: Saturday, September 17, 2011 vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

"Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Wieters stands on home plate during the National Anthem before the start of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Saturday, September 17, 2011 in Baltimore."

"Baltimore Orioles designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero jokes before the start of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Saturday, September 17, 2011 in Baltimore."

Again, there wasn’t much high action to be shot during last Saturday’s game, so I fooled around a bit and tried to look for something new.

This game’s “Thing I Learned:” After I take pictures of whoever is singing the National Anthem before each game, there’s always an awkward minute or two where I’m caught behind home plate with nothing to do but wait for the anthem to be over. So, this time I decided to make myself useful and try to make another picture to avoid yet again standing on the field doing nothing but awkwardly staring at the ground. 

Baltimore Orioles Photography: Wednesday, August 10, 2011 vs. Chicago White Sox

"Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Wieters walks toward home plate after a mound visit in the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox Wednesday, August 10, 2011 in Baltimore."

"Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones bats in the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox Wednesday, August 10, 2011 in Baltimore."

"A woman walks through the left field upper concourse at Oriole Park at Camden Yards Wednesday, August 10, 2011."

"Chicago White Sox first baseman Adam Dunn and center fielder Alex Rios warm up in the on deck circle in the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles Wednesday, August 10, 2011 in Baltimore."

"Baltimore Orioles teammates congratulate left fielder Nolan Reimold as he runs toward home plate after hitting a two run walk off home run in the bottom of the tenth inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox Wednesday, August 10, 2011. The Orioles won 6-4."

Nolan Reimold lifted the Orioles to an extra innings win on Wednesday, hitting a two run walk off home run in the bottom of the tenth inning to beat the Chicago White Sox. 

I had a great night shooting from start to finish, so that’s why I’m posting this many photos. I’ve been noticing the sunlight a lot as of late, so these are some variations on some of the other images that I’ve made recently.

Most importantly, though, this was the first walk off finish I’ve been at in which I’m truly satisfied with my celebration shots. This time, I stayed calm, didn’t try to shoot too many things at once, and came away with a nice set of images. It also helped that the players, particularly Robert Andino, went overboard with their reactions. 

This game’s “Thing I Learned:” The camera I shoot with delays if you fire off too many shots in a row. Towards the end of the dog-pile at home plate, I wasn’t able to shoot any more because all the previous frame I had snapped didn’t load fast enough. So, next time I have to shoot that many frames, I’ll make sure to pace myself.  

Baltimore Orioles Photography: Friday, August 5, 2011 vs. Toronto Blue Jays

"Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones rounds the bases after hitting a home run in the first inning of a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays Friday, August 5, 2011."

"Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Adam Lind grounds out to second base in the first inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles Friday, August 5, 2011 in Baltimore."

"Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Wieters tags out Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Colby Rasmus in the eighth inning of a baseball game Friday, August 5, 2011 in Baltimore."

The Orioles are back in town for a ten-game home stand against Toronto, Chicago, and Detroit. Here’s the box score from the first game. 

Sporadic patches of sunlight crept through the shadows through the first few innings of this game, which made for some really nicely lit shots. You can see that patchy light in the first two frames I posted here. 

There weren’t many other pictures to be made throughout the rest of the game, though. I ended up shooting about three innings worth of high definition video, which is going to be used for some new highlight reels and sequences put together by the Orioles Productions crew. 

This game’s “Thing I Learned:” This was the first time I’ve shot video at a baseball game. While the same shooting principles apply, video forces you to approach your shots with a different frame of mind. Rather than shooting to document a single moment in time, you’re looking for clips that’ll hold for several seconds. I found myself noticing things that I normally wouldn’t while shooting stills. 

I think it’s of the utmost importance that a photographer not just be a photographer, a writer not just be a writer, or a videographer not just be a videographer. In the fast-paced, digital-everything age we live in, the best journalist is the one who can do it all. I’m excited to see how the video looks in a professionally edited package, which I’ll be posting soon!

Baltimore Orioles Photography: Friday, July 15, 2011 vs. Cleveland Indians

"Baltimore Orioles left fielder Nolan Reimold is congratulated by teammates after hitting a home run in the second inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians Friday, July 15, 2011 in Baltimore."

"Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Wieters throws to first base in the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians Friday, July 15, 2011 in Baltimore."

The Orioles weren’t able to rally to win this one. Here is the box score.

Friday night games are always fun. Bigger crowds bring more energy and, usually, more excitement to the games. As a shooter, I certainly feed off more crowd involvement. It makes me wonder what it’s like to have that day in and day out for 81 plus games a season. 

Some nice light fell on the Orioles’ dugout early in the game, which comes through nicely in this image of Nolan Reimold. I had to post this frame of Matt Wieters as well just because it’s so similar to the shot I made in 2009, which is still used on all kinds of Orioles advertising and promotions. 

This game’s “Thing I Learned:” Eating sunflower seeds while shooting is a great idea. 

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: 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. 

See The Resemblance?

"Wednesday, June 30, 2010 was Matt Wieters Bobble Head Night at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The bobble head was modeled after the above photograph."

The latest appearance of my widely used photograph of Baltimore Orioles Catcher, Matt Wieters, came in the form of a bobble head.

The bobble head is modeled after my photograph.

I bought two tickets to the game vs. the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday. It was a trip watching all the people react as they received their bobble heads at the front entrance to the stadium. Several people (myself included) simply bought their tickets, took their bobble heads, and left without staying for the game.

It comes in a nicely packaged box on which the actual photograph is printed alongside a cartoon caricature of the Wieters pose.

Apparently these are collectors items. I saw some people leaving with bags full of them. At this moment, there are bids for the bobble head on eBay as high as $39.99.

There is one notable difference between the two versions. Wieters wore number 15 on his jersey last season, when I took the photograph. During the off season, however, he switched to number 32, which he wore during his college career at Georgia Tech. They used 32 on the bobble head.

Overall, it’s an iconic pose, and I think they reproduced it well. Your thoughts?