High Socks

Photo of Hillsboro Hops baseball player at bat

Baseball returned to the Portland metro area this summer in the form of the Hillsboro Hops, a class A short season affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. The late afternoon, early evening natural light at Hillsboro Ballpark is a photographers dream. This is my favorite photo shot during a game I attended in July.

The interplay of light and shadows were appealing. Notice the woman in the stands using a program to block the sun while those just a few rows above her seem quite comfortable and many didn’t bother with sunglasses. Bright sun or not, the fans seemed in good spirits.

In sports photography intense selective focus is usually employed. On this occasion I was a fan in the seats and did not have the proper lens to blur the background at this distance. Sometimes it’s okay to bend the rules, and in this particular moment, the faces in the crowd are just as interesting as the game being played.

 

USA vs Belize

USMNT huddle | Paul Ottaviano Photography
USA vs Belize. 2013 Gold Cup. Portland, Ore.

Based on upon the fact that my lens selection was small and not suitable for good stop-action photography, relative to my seat location and lighting, I decided to focus on set-pieces and still moments such as the one you see here.

Working Men

baseball photography hillsboro hops
So how do you like your job?

There is no major league baseball team in the Portland, Oregon area and for two years we’ve been without professional baseball of any sort until this year. Now there is a short-season Single A baseball team called the Hillsboro Hops who have just begun play.

I went to a game recently with a friend and brought along my Nikon D5100 with the goal of capturing some quality baseball photos from a fan perspective. We were sitting down the right field line and in a minor league baseball stadium that is very close to the action. The northwest summer sunset was behind us.

The lighting was perfect for a still like the one you see, although from our seats it was not so good for stop-action. Plus the first base coach was often blocking the view of home plate. I went looking for other opportunities and decided to focus on in-between innings, which often is a world into itself.

I love the shadows and the simplicity of the interaction in this photo.