Standing out

Photography is a funny thing to me. The more I learn what it takes to make the types of photos I enjoy, the harder it seems to get.

Many people see photos they like in magazines or online and are surprised that their own photos don't look like that, but when they learn just how much thought and effort goes into making those pictures, they say something like "I'd never do that. That's way too much effort."

I find myself feeling the same way occasionally, just opting for the quick snapshot from a bad angle with the wrong gear because it is easier. But when I see those photos after I take them, I hate them and get mad at myself for taking the easy way out.

When I had the chance to photograph the 8-year-old All-Star baseball team in town, I pushed myself to make the photo I wanted to make, regardless of how ridiculous I may have looked in front of the team, coaches, parents, and whoever else was at the field after one of their games.

I picked the one evening game left on the schedule to ensure the daylight was fading and controllable, then I went for a little over-the-top look (they are All-Stars after all) with my choice of a wide-angle in-your-face lens, the down low hero perspective, the overhead key light with dramatic back-lighting.

Was I the only parent crazy enough to hang a 5-foot softbox over the top of the dugout fence (which produced some interesting reactions from the parents)? No doubt, but I was also the only one who got these pictures - a trade I'm definitely willing to make at this point in life.

Were the kids were into it? What do you think?

Strobist info: The key light is an SB-800 with a 1/4 CTO gel in a Photek Softlighter II, boomed overhead (and over the fence from camera left) on a C-stand, zoomed to 24mm and fired at 1/4 power. The back / separation light as an SB-25 with a 1/2 CTO gel, zoomed to 24mm, and fired at 1/2 power.