Magazine Cover Photo: Nick Markakis

"Young Harris College 'Echoes' alumni magazine: Fall/Winter 2011 Cover."

Here’s my first formal magazine cover!

While I was working as a photographer for the Baltimore Orioles this summer, editors of the “Echoes” alumni magazine at Young Harris College in northern Georgia contacted me requesting photos of Orioles right fielder, Nick Markakis, for a cover story they planned to run about him. If you weren’t aware, Markakis played his college ball at Young Harris. 

Click here to see the rest of the magazine, as well as the article itself, which includes more photos. 

This is a low resolution version of the cover, so I’ll be sure to post a better image once I get a hard copy of the magazine. Regardless, this is a great addition to my portfolio!

Hopefully this will be the first of many covers to come. 

Reflections: Year two at the Baltimore Orioles

"Baltimore Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis hits a home run during a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians Saturday, July 16, 2011."

I’m here at the yard for the last day of my second year as a photographer for the Baltimore Orioles. What can I say? It was another amazing summer consumed by two of my favorite things in life: photography and baseball. 

I did a lot this year. Since I got here in mid-June, I shot 30 home games. I also traveled with players to various community outreach events throughout Baltimore City and County. Many of my photographs were published in this year’s third edition of Orioles Magazine, as well as several Baltimore newspapers and community publications. I also worked tirelessly on the Orioles photography archives, which are in the ridiculously long process of being categorized and converted to digital format. Over these past several months, I scanned, in their entirety, the files of 60 players dating back to 1954. In total, I scanned over 4,000 images, but likely closer to 4,500. I also fulfilled image requests from other departments, local media outlets, and other teams throughout the league. 

It’s a little bittersweet now that it’s over. I love every second of being out there on the field right where the action is, and for me, shooting the games never gets old. At the same time, though, this job is intense, and can be extremely time consuming. Needless to say, I’m excited for a bit of a break after lots of hard work. I also know that I won’t miss much action during the offseason (besides the annoying sound of the scanners next to my computer all day long.)

What I will miss, of course, are the people who make this such an incredible experience for me. I owe my most sincere thanks to Todd Olszewski, the team photographer, for calling me back this year, imparting his photo expertise on me, and constantly inspiring me with his work. I also owe thanks to all the photographers I work alongside at each game for making work such an enjoyable place to come to every day, and for their advice and wisdom about this profession. 

I’m not quite sure what’s next, but I know something great will come up. Until then, here’s to two seasons!

Baltimore Orioles Photography: Wednesday, September 28, 2011 vs. Boston Red Sox

"Baltimore Orioles first baseman Mark Reynolds is tagged out at home by Boston Red Sox catcher Ryan Lavarnway in the fifth inning of a baseball game in Baltimore."

"Baltimore Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis looks on in the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox Wednesday, September 28, 2011 in Baltimore."

Here’s two that I liked from Wednesday night’s dramatic final game of the season. These were taken, of course, before the ridiculous 9th inning walk off win, which I’ll show in a separate post. 

Baltimore Orioles Photography: Monday, September 26, 2011 vs. Boston Red Sox

"Baltimore Orioles designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero tips his helmet to the crowd after hitting a single in the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox Monday, September 26, 2011 in Baltimore. This was his 2,587th career hit, moving him past Julio Franco as the all-time leader in hits by a Dominican-born player."

"Baltimore Orioles outfielders (L-R) Matt Angle, Adam Jones, and Nick Markakis, celebrate a victory over the Boston Red Sox Monday, September 26, 2011 in Baltimore."

"Baltimore Orioles second baseman Robert Andino reacts after receiving a shaving cream pie to the face after defeating the Boston Red Sox Monday, September 26, 2011 in Baltimore."

We’ve reached the last three games of the 2011 regular season at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. This is always a busy week around the stadium, but there’s a particular buzz in the air this time around. The American League Wild Card chase is on, and the Boston Red Sox, in the midst of an historic end-of-season collapse, play their final three games in Baltimore. This year’s playoff scenarios are coming down to the wire, and I’m pumped at the possibility of them being decided in Baltimore. 

The Sox were unable to beat the O’s last night, moving them into a tie with the Tampa Bay Rays for the AL Wild Card spot. I’ve got lots of good photos from last night, but I want to be careful about what I post, as there’s still lots of baseball left to be played. 

Last night’s game had a bit of everything: Playoff implications, a Dominican baseball record broken, a drunken fan running across the field, an inside the park home run, and a pie in the face, to mention a few.

This game’s “Thing I Learned:” Last night’s lesson will carry over for the entire week. Big time games call for big time photos! I shoot better pictures when there’s something at stake. I like the added pressure. 

Time for game two!

Baltimore Orioles Photography: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 vs. Tampa Bay Rays

"Baltimore Orioles third baseman Robert Andino jumps as he throws to first base in the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays Tuesday, September 13, 2011 in Baltimore."

"Baltimore Orioles second baseman Ryan Adams attempts to tag Tampa Bay Rays center fielder B.J. Upton in the sixth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, September 13, 2011 in Baltimore."

"Baltimore Orioles right fielder slides into second base in the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays Tuesday, September 13, 2011 in Baltimore."

Yesterday I hopped off the bus at Penn Station in Baltimore and headed straight to Oriole Park to shoot the game against the Tampa Bay Rays. I can’t remember beginning any other day shooting at the top of the Empire State Building and ending it shooting a professional baseball game in Baltimore. 

After looking at so many pictures over the past two weeks, I was excited to be shooting again, and I got some frames I was really happy with. I was only gone for two weeks, but it felt like I hadn’t missed a day. 

This game’s “Thing I Learned:” I left the photo pits and shot action from the concourse for the first time this season. We’re at the point where we’ve only got a handful of games left, so I want to mix things up and shoot from some different angles. I’ve shot from above before, but I was reminded last night that it’s important to get some different looks, especially when you shoot the same thing day in and day out. Shooting from above really accentuates a baseball field’s clean lines. 

Baltimore Orioles Photography: Sunday, July 24, 2011 vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

"Baltimore Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis waits on deck in the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Sunday, July 24, 2011 in Baltimore."

"Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones hits a two run home run in the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Sunday, July 24, 2011 in Baltimore."

"The Oriole Bird holds an American flag during the singing of 'God Bless America' during the seventh inning stretch of a baseball game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Sunday, July 24, 2011 in Baltimore."

"Official Major League Baseball game balls are shown Sunday, July 24, 2011 in Baltimore."

I had a bit of trouble editing this set of images down, so what you see here is a hodgepodge of different types of shots I got from Sunday’s game

I enjoyed fooling around with still life, and focusing on the small, everyday objects of the game: balls, helmets, bats, etc.. I’ve got a few more that I was happy with. I think overall, my group of shots from Sunday mostly tell a story about the Orioles’ dugout. 

This game’s “Thing I Learned:” I was thinking along the same lines as I was during the previous game. There’s a lot going on off the field, so I continued to keep that in mind while shooting. 

Orioles’ Nick Markakis records 1000th career hit

"Baltimore Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis singles to left field in the third inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians Friday, July 15, 2011 in Baltimore. The hit was the thousandth of his career."

The night before I shot this, a Major League Baseball game ball authenticator sitting next to me near the Orioles’ dugout pointed out that the next hit recorded by Nick Markakis would be the thousandth of his career. 

So here it is – number 1,000. 

Late June light at OPACY.

"Baltimore Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy walks to the on deck circle during the fourth inning of an interleague baseball game in Baltimore Wednesday, June 29, 2011."

"Sun shines through the lower concourse at Oriole Park at Camden Yards as Baltimore Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis bats during the fifth inning of an interleague baseball game in Baltimore Wednesday, June 29, 2011."

"Sun shines on the warehouse at Oriole Park at Camden Yards during an interleague baseball game in Baltimore Thursday, June 30, 2011."

I wanted to make this post to wrap up my first month back with the Orioles. There wasn’t too much action during the final three games of the last homestand, which allowed me to add some stadium shots to my portfolio. 

We had absolutely perfect baseball weather, which produced some beautiful mid-summer light falling upon the stadium every evening. We really do have a stunning ballpark, and it’s these type of nights that I find myself thinking “This is really my job?”