I was out to shoot another cover for the Modesto View. The theme for this month was Baseball, but kinda built around spring training. I definitely came up with some strong ideas on how to approach this.
At first I thought about producing the classic “Hero” shot with guys standing on the mound.
Then I kicked around something retro, almost scrapbook collectible. Something with a slight sepia patina to it.
I also considered a more editorial fashion look. Something from a Men’s health magazine. A little higher key maybe. More lifestyle influenced.
But when the ideas were “Pitched” (Pun intended), the decision was to go with a simple close up of a pitchers hand, mid-throw, with enough space to get the autographs of Hall of Famer’s (that played in Modesto), Photoshopped onto the ball.
So after a call to my CD, we arranged a time and a place to meet. There was a small window of time and we decided to meet at the local Jr. College’s ball field. I was using the CD’s hand to model the ball because we couldn’t get the minor league franchise players lined up until after everything went to press.Thus, the hand became “Plan B”.
As I pulled up to the field I saw that the Jr. College team was just finishing up a game. It looked like “Plan A” was still an option if I could get some of the players to cooperate.
After talking to the coach I was able to secure a pitcher, an infielder and a coach.
My first shots were the “bank” shots I was needing to get for the “Plan B” cover. To get
the shot of the ball “Mid-pitch”. I had to climb to a higher vantage point. I got my shot by laying on top of the dugout shooting down on the pitcher from the dugout roof. To get the white background I bounced a light off of a white fill card I had laying on the ground directly beneath the ball.
A second shot was required too. One looking to the scoreboard like we looking from the vantage point of the batter. Again, this was a really tightly cropped zoom so there would be mostly ball on the cover. We found a spot somewhere around shortstop that gave us the frame we wanted. After grabbing a handful of shots and getting what we needed, I talked to the Coach and lined up my final shot.
After getting everyone lined up and getting the lights positioned and balanced for the crepuscule and overcast skies, I fired off maybe a half dozen shots and found my image.
The only problem was that they had already rolled the infield tarp because of an incoming storm. So I ended up reshooting an infield and adding it in Post, after the fact.
.Everyone was thrilled with the final image, which was my original thought. It came to fruition. All it needed was a matter of timing.