Photos Are More Than Just Aiming the Camera
“ Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph” -Matt Hardy
It has only been a handful of years since I again began to systematically fall head over heels in love again with the complex configuration of trying to catch eye-popping game day images of players, concerts and even every day life that I could morph from a stylish snapshot into an impressive photograph.
I still remember the first time I held a real camera, a 35mm back in Junior High and taking photos all around the campus trying to develop a image that would evolve while it was developing in the classroom’s dark room into poetic black and white celluloid magic.
To this day I still try with every single snap of the camera lens to produce that elusive significant photo, possibly of the missed tag, a blurred image of a Home Run ball as it explodes off the bat, or even the insane catch in the outfield in all its glory. Some days I do catch lightning within the lens, but I am still honing my craft little by little and even with my last breathe, I want to find more beauty within the viewfinder.
Maybe it is the perfectionist in me, but I am always hungry for more. Always trying to catch that one photo that will make someone bewildered that I could capture a moment with clarity and emotion. Some might say I am seeking the “Holy Grail” of sports moments, the deciding factor of a game, an inning or the precise moment a player takes his game to that next level.
But the real beauty of taking photos is that sometimes you get the raw emotion of the moment, the simple actions of a player’s personality and character frozen within the lines of your 8×10. From the comedic, to the frustration to the sheer emotional outburst as a walk-off leaves the stadium, those are the moments I seek.
Hundreds and thousands of these unique moments click by without a hint of notice or celebratory fan fare within the mind boggling parade of live action within the game. Where do you point? Do you try and catch the spin of the ball as it leaves the pitchers’ hand? Do you lie in wait for a runner to make the break for a steal? Or do you get everything in order hoping for a 6-4-3 double play and catch a magical moment as the pivot is made?
Sometimes just trying to catch that lightning in the bottle can be more mind numbing than the game itself. More than once I have remained focused in, fully concentrated on catching that historic moment and blinked and it was beyond me. But that is the beauty of photography and the images of the game, lightning can strike several times, sometimes simultaneously on consecutive plays and you have to ready for it.
Some times I take 300+ photos during the course of a game and find myself constantly erasing or tightening up shots for analysis later. During a Rays post game concert shoot I can discharge my camera battery in only 3 songs, then it is off to Rightfield Street to begin editing.
Hundreds of images begin to dance through my eyes as I search for that one diamond within the hundreds of sparkling cubic zircona gems. When that one photo enters your retina, produces a sparkle that emulates a million of the Sun’s rays, that makes it all worth it. I am still trying to find that photo that pushes me beyond and through that barrier of simplistic imagery.
Camera…..check, Telephoto lens…check…..Imagination…double check. Now it’s time to find the “Grail”.