Put me in coach, I'm ready to play

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This is one of the best photos yet of our nine-year-old, taken as his official baseball photo. (I cropped it to just his head for the website.) Kevin Bender, a dad at our school, took the team and individual photos this year.


Good looking kid, isn't he?


sbtulsa said:

so what league does he play in? competitive or rec?

It's a recreational league. His team did pretty well this year -- they finished fourth, behind a couple of teams that probably should have been playing in a competitive league. One of the things we appreciate about this team and its coaches is that they want the boys to learn and to play their best, but winning isn't an obsession. Some of the teams in the league practiced a couple of times a week in addition to two or three games. Our team practiced twice a week before the season, and had occasional practices to keep the kids fresh when there was a week-or-longer gap in the schedule.

Dan Paden said:

FWIW, there are two books that I found tremendously useful when my oldest was playing ball: Ted Williams' The Science of Hitting and Coaching Pitchers by the former coach of one of the Arizona universities' baseball teams (unfortunately, I forget his name). Following the directions in both books made a great deal of difference. Bubba wound up being a superior fielder, an excellent hitter, and an overpowering pitcher before he dashed all my hopes and dreams by not wanting to pursue a career in Major Leage Baseball.

Not that it still bothers me.

Bruce said:

After seeing your son's baseball photo - Now we all know what you look like without the beard!

jb said:

Great looking kid for sure. I have 2 boys of my own and can't wait until they are old enough for sports.

Not trying to be a jerk here, but the photo is not all that great. The subject (your son) did his part, but the direct flash is too harsh and makes the photo look over-exposed. The light is too flat, plus there is a pole coming out of his head. I'm sure the pictures didn't cost much since they came from a player's dad, but sometimes you get what you pay for.

jb, I hadn't even noticed the pole until you mentioned it, as it's part of a chainlink fence which out of focus and obviously in the background. It'd be pretty easy to photoshop out, if I wanted to. It's not as if it's a sharply focused telephone pole.

What I like about it is that it captures his smile, but you can still see his eyes. It may look overexposed to on your screen, but the prints from the photo are really a pretty good representation of my son's coloring. The light has a summer evening quality to it. It looks like the sun was off to the left of the picture (subject's right), so he's not squinting because he's looking into the sun, and the photographer used a flash fill to eliminate the shadow from the cap. As I mentioned, I cropped the original photo, which was a waist-up shot.

I was just blown away when I saw the photo for the first time. It's far, far better than any of the recent studio photos we've had done. For all the importance of lighting, depth of field, etc., the most important skill of a portrait photographer is getting a natural, relaxed expression out of the subject, and Kevin did a great job of that here.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on June 25, 2006 1:30 AM.

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