My 10 Favorite Images From the 2017 Minor League Baseball Season
This year I really did not cover the MiLB season like I thought that I would. I had a long road trip down south planned, but paying jobs got in the way. That is a great thing for me, but bad for my baseball photography. For some reason baseball photos are like a dime a dozen. I still enjoy photographing the sport, and I would love to do it again next year. This list comes from the two games that I shot when the White Sox Triple A team came to town this past May. Normally picking ten images from two games means that I will have a couple iffy shots at nine and ten. I was pretty inspired both games though, and everything seemed to work for me. I seemed to constantly be in the right place at the right time. I had not thought about putting a list like this together, but while putting some images together for a MiLB season in review it seemed like a good idea. Here are my favorite ten images from the 2017 MiLB season.
10. I always will have a soft spot for a good bucket on the player shot. Here Joey Terdoslavich gets the treatment after a good game against the Charlotte Knights. My career took off a bit after my shot of Josh Bell getting an ice bath won the MiLB photo of the year award so I will always make this photo. The key in the future is to do something different with it.
9. I love photographing catchers. They have all of the extra gear, and they just look cool. Here is a tight shot of Indianapolis Indians catcher Elias Diaz in the dugout after an inning. I love the tight nature of the photo, and I really need to do more of this.
8. In the first MiLB game that I shot this season both Jose Vinicio and Austin Meadows kept popping up in my photos. Sometimes one player can really take over a gallery for some reason. Here they both appeared in the same photo during the game. The early afternoon light really helped make the dirt flying pop, and probably is the reason this photo made the countdown.
7. Sometimes you can sit on a player waiting for them to field a ball forever and they will have nothing hit to them. The odds are that usually right after you move your lens the ball will go right to them. Here I was lucky enough that the ball went to Anderson Feliz when I was on him. The concentration is what makes this photo for me.
6. In 2016 the Indians staff was stacked with pitchers, and I was lucky enough to get to photograph them. This year they had a good staff as well, but I was not on staff to get access to them all summer long. Here is Clay Holmes one of the pitchers doing his thing.
5. Yoan Moncada was the real draw when I went to see Charlotte play. He was the #1 prospect in the minors at the time, and he was fun to watch play the game. Being a top prospect I wanted to make some shots of him during the games. The ball seemed to come to him, and I was able to make some nice action shots of him during the game. When that is your goal you walk away with a great feeling after the game.
4. Here is Jose Vinicio once again. He just did things during the two day stretch that made for good photos. Here I camped out low near first base in case he would dive back in, and I was rewarded when he did so. The flying dirt and facial expression make this photo for me.
3. Here is yet another Yoan Moncada shot. The first day I went out he did not play. I needed to make a couple of candid shots to get him in my gallery. On the second day he more than made up for that with some awesome play. Here he slides hard into second under the feet of the second baseman. This is my favorite action shot of the 2017 MiLB season. It has everything that I like about baseball in one photo.
2. Sometimes the good photo is right in front of you. Joey Turdoslavich was having a good game, and as the game was nearing its end he was leaning on the dugout near me. He was in the perfect place to make a candid portrait so I did so. The colors here are what I have always liked. It is the photo that I need to make more of.
1. When I was thinking about what to do different for the game I wanted a new way to shoot the players signing autographs. I have tried both sides and over the top. I have tried up close and far away. None of that did anything for me. I decided to try and go under the player with a little fill flash. I was worried that the bright sky and players face would not be near the same exposure. Of course when Yoan Moncada went out to sign my flash was in the other dugout. I still went through with my plan and through the power of the RAW image I was able to make my favorite baseball photo of the year. If I end up doing a countdown with all baseball involved this will still be at the top. It is not the normal image for me, and there is something here that I love.
So there are my ten favorite images from the 2017 MiLB season. I love baseball, and I love photographing baseball. It is weird how it works out that I don’t get to photograph it as much as I would like to. Part of my thinking for 2018 is to put myself in more situations to photograph the sport that I love. I won’t sign bad contracts to do it, but there is a path to making baseball photos.