Sports Workshop – A’s Baseball Game

Photo: Dave Peaks

On June 19, I traveled to Santa Clara, California for a Sports Photography Workshop. I was fortunate enough to have signed in right away as the workshop filled up quickly. The workshop was limited to 16 photographers. The event was hosted by Canon U.S.A. and led by Sports Illustrated photographer Peter Read Miller. Three sporting events were to be covered in the workshop – an International swim meet, an Oakland A’s/Boston Red Sox game, and a high school field hockey game.

The first evening was spent looking at a collection of photos taken by Peter and having explain what makes a good sports photo of various sporting events. Also that first night, a Canon rep went over the features of their 1D X camera which is used widely by wildlife and sports photographers. After the review, we were able to sign up to use a variety of equipment ranging from fisheye lenses to 800mm lenses. Canon had brought enough cameras for participants to use one.I personally asked to use a camera body and a 500mm lens.

The second event was an Oakland A’s / Boston Red Sox game. Here again, I was not familiar with shooting photos of this sport. I would say I didn’t get the best shots but I learned a lot about what to be looking for. The group was told that we were fortunate that the A’s organization allowed this many photographers into the ballpark to shoot the game. Peter has many connections in the sports world and it paid off. We were given quite a list of do’s and don’ts. Being to a major league park shooting a game was super neat. Just watching the activity in the park was cool. One thing I need to work on is taking photos of things other than the action. I have to admit that I was pretty focused on action shots. I need to take more “color” shots. It’s all a learning process. Watching the players warm up and interact with the fans was very interesting. One thing I found interesting was every foul ball, every broken bat, virtually everything regarding the Oakland players is gathered up, cataloged, labeled to be sold later to fans. I stood by the gentleman responsible for this activity. At first, I tried to figure out what he was doing. This was a very enjoyable evening watching and photographing the action. I hope to be able to shoot a few of the Oregon baseball games this coming season.

The workshop ended with Peter critiquing some of our photos. All-in-all, the workshop was well worth the time and expense. I learned a lot about what to shoot in these three sports. What makes a good photo and what doesn’t. I’m new to the sports photography game so I’m looking for any opportunities I can get. I enjoy the activity and the challenge.

I am a photographer that loves to shoot action. I have been a wildlife photographer for many years and recently decided to become a sports photographer. I love sports and to be able to capture the height of the action and the expressions on the players faces. It's a work in progress. I hope to shoot many sporting events in the years to come.

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