*”Winners…” August 2013

A sports photograph of mine that I’d made back in the Spring while covering a high school baseball game was just awarded a second place in the New York State AP (Associated Press) contest for 2012 – 2013. An award like this always means an awful lot, especially since my image was judged against other working photographer’s work from across the state. It’s always nice and at times humbling to be recognized by your peers…  ~cg.

Goshen shortstop Tyler Eisenbacher (#2) dives but is unable to stop a base hit by Burke batter Stephen Cushing during their Boys Varsity baseball game against Burke in Goshen, NY on Tuesday, May 14, 2013.  CHET GORDON/Times Herald-Record

I’d also written earlier about how this image came about at a routine high school game and how it compared to another award winning image with similar peak action at a high school playoff baseball game two years earlier. Here’s that earlier post here again:

Baseball is a wonderful game. It really is. Just sometimes, it’s boring as hell. Doesn’t matter if it’s MLB (Major League Baseball) or LL (Little Leaguers). As a photographer (and former player) I pay attention to the flow of a game, and anticipate good plays or game changing moments, and like to work to make these kind of images: Peak action. Sharp focus. Good light. Clean backgrounds and good composition. Having the ball and / or other players in the frame, like a collision, hard check or a hard foul in basketball is an additional bonus. Just can’t be asleep and miss plays like this. No talking to fans, coaches, etc. In a sense, all the factors of a good sports photograph have to come together to make an image like this one from yesterday at a relatively meaningless high school game. In fact, the only reason I was “sitting” on this kid playing shortstop was because my paper is doing a Sunday piece on him. I wasn’t too happy with the game images I’d made of him earlier in the game (at right), so I reminded myself to stick with it for another inning or so, and then everything just clicked when he dove for a routine ground ball up the middle. Basically, it’s the same setup I like to work with for outdoor sports: A fast motor-driven body, a fast 300mm f/2.8 lens or in this case, a 420mm (the 300mm + a 1.4 tele-extender), a rock solid mono-pod, and my trusty little folding camping stool. A prime shooting position just inside of first base, and no talking to the team’s assistant coach… ~cg.

These two images (below) were made two years ago during a high school playoff game with the same setup, although I was seated a little further up the first base line. When the shortstop left his feet, you just sort of lay on the shutter and make sure you’re in focus… ~cg

(2) Livingston Manor shortstop Ken Fisk (#14) dives but can’t make the play on a ball hit by Tim Steffens (#9) of Smithtown Christian during the fourth inning of their New York State Class D regional final at Pine Bush High School in Pine Bush, NY on Tuesday, June 7, 2011. Livingston Manor defeated Smithtown Christian 5 -3. CHET GORDON/Times Herald-Record

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