Orlando-based photographer Preston Mack recently had a Sporting News photo shoot with Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Matt Joyce.
I love when the Sporting News calls because they always have a great assignment for me. In late May it was a portrait of Tampa Bay Rays All Star outfielder Matt Joyce. The story was about how in certain MLB stadiums, the intricacies of the stadium make playing there very challenging. In Tampa, The Trop’s big giant ceiling is the issue. Many outfielders complain how they cannot see the ball once they look up into the roof. Matt Joyce told me that if he doesn’t see the ball clean off of the bat, he will not be able to track the ball at all. My initial idea for the photo was a pan motion blur of Matt as he ran back tracking the ball in the outfield. I thought that it would be a great pseudo action shot and interesting because you NEVER see a wide angle shot of an outfielder playing his position. My safety shot was a lit portrait of Matt with the roof in the background. When a batted ball hits the catwalks up there, controversy ensues. In a playoff game, the umpires had to determine which catwalk was hit to determine if the ball is in play or a dead ball. So , of course, the backup photo ran. It made much more sense (in a photo editing stand point) to run the batting photo since every other photo in that Sporting News feature was an outfielder. A good lesson to remember is to shoot as many different ideas you can get done. You never know what they will pick!
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