It isn’t often I get to head down to Detroit to do photo work, even though I’m from the metro area. I don’t think I’ve been in the baseball stadium since I was about ten or twelve. Barring the last Clash of course, which got rained out after a few innings of play. Talk about a miserable ball game.
This year I was shooting with another photographer who was stationed on the Central side of things for the first half of the game. I knew he would take some solid action photos, so I tried to really hone in on the dugout experience. Of course, since I’ve shot so many of the MSU games, the players recognized the camera and started to play around a little bit.
I’m pretty used to photobombing in photos. Pretty much everyone I come across is really camera aware. But shooting the bigger MSU sports, like football or basketball, there isn’t too much room to breathe when it comes to player access. That’s why I volunteer to consistently shoot hockey or baseball. The players are super cool, super interesting. They’re pretty much ridiculous, and it shows in their personalities.
Typically when I notice it, I snap the photo and then give them an arched eyebrow look. Something that says “I see what you’re doing and it’s slightly amusing.”
But after the game starts their attentions return to the field. Only occasionally will I be shooting dugout features and have someone look directly into my camera, become aware that I’m taking their photo, and then look away awkwardly. I can pretty much turn invisible when I feel the need to. But when they are distracted by the game, the reactions and interactions are always very interesting.
The one reaction I was upset I couldn’t run was between one of the outfielders and one of the boys of one of the coaches. No one could tell me which twin he was, but I thought the photo was almost comical.
The starting pitcher, Chase Rihtarchik, when he was relieved was the only one to react rather visually in the dugout. I missed the shot right after he walked off the field when he more or less banged his glove against the bench three or four times, but caught his reaction just before he sat down.
But after a while, reactions tend to get pretty similar and not very mind blowing. So I started to experiment a little.
The photos that made the cut can be seen in the posted gallery here.