Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Opening Day Pix -- Cheney vs. Safeco...

I definitely don't want to bump Marc's recaps of the first few games at Cheney down below the fold, so you should read them first. After all, this post is almost a week late...

While JFro, G_Moneyball (Mariners Minors), and Jason Churchill (Prospect Insider, Inside the Park) probably have the M's blog-o-sphere market on the Rainiers and minor-league baseball cornered, considering his proximity to Cheney Stadium, I'm really, really hoping Marc continues to find the time to write up the games he attends on a consistent basis. It'll be nice to have another perspective from someone who was actually there. As you very well know, seeing a game in person is much, much different than watching it on TV or reliving the play-by-play on GameCast/GameDay.

I'm quite certain I'll get up there again for games throughout the year -- and it's quite possible with Corco attending UPS and all, that we could have 3 of the 4 Mariners Morsels authors in attendance at a game (provided we can't complete the sweep and convince Citizen K to head westward and come out of baseball semi-retirement for a cheap game at Cheney). The first-annual MarinersMorsels baseball get-together? Hmmm. That'd be sweet.

This was the first time I've attended Opening Day at Safeco and Opening Day at Cheney Stadium. Considering it was only my second Opening Day at Safeco, and my first Opening Day at Cheney, it's not surprising that this was the first time those universes collided.

Here's a few things I saw:

Adam Jones getting hit.

Kenji Johjima, too.

Tacoma Players lining up:

Seattle Players lining up:

Home Run Swings:




(Here's Choo again, but it isn't a Home Run as I'd previously thought)

And, finally, we come to Atch:

That just looks like it hurts! Ouch, Atch - Watch That Pitch!

If you haven't already seen them, here's the photo albums (with over 200 pictures each) for each of the Opening Days. Mind you, I've only published about 1/7 th of the pictures in each photo album, so I do have more. I shot a lot of sequences (5 fps, give or take, because of a slow shutter speed negatively-affected by a crappy, old lens) that I didn't publish. Here's what I did publish:
With my new camera, and because a picture indeed says 1,000 words, I'm going to try and make myself more useful by contributing to the M's baseball blogosphere with my photos, moreso than my words. I enjoy writing, and I enjoy taking pictures -- I'm probably a better photographer than a writer, so hopefully the quality of material you see 'round these parts will increase. I'm also in the midst of reading a new book that I'll talk about later (I've promised the publisher I'd write a review), that's totally changing the way I watch a baseball game. I'm going to attempt to take pictures that capture what I'm watching, and explain what I'm seeing in them. This first post is kind of lame that way, but I promise I'll put more effort into it.

I probably should care more than I do, but for now, I'm OK with people pilfering the photos around here, provided you don't say that you took the picture. If you're makin' money on my pictures, though, I'll likely find out, and be quite upset. That wouldn't be cool...

Rather than set up royalty payments, or go through the hassle of setting up something super formal, I'm going to start a lens fund, so I can take even better pictures. I will probably set something up soon, and even give people the option of ordering prints in exchange for a lens-fund donation. For example, I printed and framed an 8x10 of this Clint Nageotte photo, and it will look totally awesome in my cubicle at work. This will be cool, and better than a Cafe Press t-shirt. Heck, if you want, I'm sure I could get a photo uploaded there so you could buy a t-shirt if that's what you really, really want.

Fortunately I've cut down the price of taking pictures since I don't have to blow through dozens of rolls of film to take the hundreds of pictures I like to take at one time. I've got a fair amount of hard drive space, and well over 50 gigs of web hosting that's relatively cheap. But I'd really, really like to get a professional lens, since the pictures I'd be able to take through it would be noticably better. And, since I'm paying for the web hosting, hard drive space, ballpark tickets and contributing the countless hours of time it takes to sift through thousands of pictures and upload those that I believe you might find useful (and even build some cool Flash animations showing pitcher motions, batting swings, etc...), I don't feel guilty asking you to help me reach my goal.

I'm being realistic, too. While I'd certainly love to have one of those lenses you see the professionals use on the field, those things cost more than what my wife & I pay for day care annually. I'm not THAT vain. While I'd love to get into the photography business (it was one of the options I was exploring after high school, and even into college), I have a pretty decent salary now that I couldn't realistically touch by charging people for my photography. So, I'm stuck with a very limited photography budget, and a huge desire to improve my photography skills. People have told me I've got a decent eye for it, too.

If you don't feel like contributing financially, of course, that's totally fine. Most importantly -- your feedback is truly beneficial. That would help me darn near as much as a new lens would. Certainly a pat-on-the-back "nice photo!" keeps me motivated, but I really like constructive criticism. Compositionally, if there's something you wish I would've done, I probably need to hear about it. What appeals to me most certainly may not appeal to you -- and vice versa. If you see a photo that captures something you've tried to explain, by all means link to it, and talk about what you're seeing. That'll certainly help me (and hopefully others) enhance my ability to keep an eye out for those things in the future, as well as watch a game I truly love in a different way.

And, if you'd like for me to shoot something specific, I'll try my darndest to do so. I'm definitely more likely to make it up to Tacoma than to Seattle, but I'm definitely going to do my darndest to get good seats for a Felix outing. I've got other pictures that have nothing to do with baseball, too. I try to keep my Photo Blog updated, but it's been awhile.

If you're interested in purchasing a print of something I've shot, let me know (my e-mail's on my profile). The samples I've published have been tweaked and compressed, so they're not really suitable for printing in and of themselves. I do have the "negatives" that are much better suited for printing. With some Photoshop work, too, I can get some rather large prints, in spite of my dSLR only being 2.7 megapixels. Remember that Clint Nageotte picture -- it blows up just fine as a 12x18. My wife won't let me put it in our bedroom, so it's going out in the music studio/baseball room.


At 4/11/2006 8:49 AM, Blogger Terrence O'Leary said...

Not sure if I have ever said so, but I have enjoyed your photography quite a bit. As a fellow photo hobbyist (I guess that is what one would call it), I appreciate all the hard work that goes into taking a quality photo. So keep up the great work - and post something when you get the details together - I will be happy to participate.

At 4/11/2006 9:23 AM, Blogger marc w. said...

Keep up the great work, Boss.
I'm hoping to get a digital SLR before my trip to the World Cup this june, so if/when I do, I'll probably bombard you with questions. For now, just keep 'em coming.


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