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Friday, November 12, 2010

Jumping for Joy

This award-winning photo shows powerful foreground emotion, symmetrically framed by players in the background each raising their arms in a "v" for victory.

Little League Pitcher Davey Lyons jumps off the mound in victory as left fielder Mike Moriconi, left, and shortstop Gary DiSarcina, right, join in, raising their arms in victory after their Billerica (Ma.) National team won a Little League Tourney game 7-4 over Andover (Ma.) National (© Michael Maher, The Lowell (Ma.) Sun).

The Photo:
So far, none of the photos I had taken fully captured the intense happiness, excitement, and emotion of the local Billerica players and fans at this regional Little League Tournament game. The players were jumping for joy, the parents were cheering avidly, and most of the spectators were yelling in support. When the last pitch was about to be thrown, I squatted down on the first base line to keep the sunlight behind me and take advantage of a clean background of trees. Using a 180MM lens and a shutter speed of 1/500, I concentrated on photographing a reaction shot from their star pitcher, who had been very animated and emotional throughout the game. The game ended as the last opponent struck out, and the winning Billerica team went crazy with joy, celebrating wildly. The pitcher leaped high into the air and was perfectly framed between the left fielder and shortstop, who both raised their arms in a “v” for victory sign. The pitcher’s arms went out of my viewfinder briefly when he leaped, so I almost missed the photo, but by waiting for the pitcher’s ecstatic, full-body leap to be in the center, symmetrically framed by his teammates, I got the picture. The shortstop, Gary DiSarcina (R), later played for the Anaheim Angels and the Boston Red Sox.

I was very fortunate both fielders raised their arms in victory and stood in the perfect spots to frame the happy pitcher. Several years later, at a college baseball game, I saw this photo again, and lined up the shot the same way. This time, however, the pitcher looked away when he cheered, while the player on the left ran out of my frame. While we can line up a potential photo, we can’t control whether the players react perfectly to create the best possible image.

3 Tips:
1) Emotion photos are usually far better than action photos.
2) Focus on the most emotional, expressive player.
3) Position yourself and aim your camera to get the best lighting and background before the moment and photo occur.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Michael. That's me in left field. Thanks for capturing such a great memory.