Carlos Beltran in Sports Illustrated

Posted on October 20, 2012

Carlos Beltran of the St. Louis Cardinals homers against the San Francisco Giants during NLCS Game 1 at AT&T Park on October 14, 2012 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Brad Mangin)


I wrote earlier about the awesome photo position I have been shooting the 2012 San Francisco Giants home playoff games from. My front row seat just to the right of home plate, at ground level, allows me to shoot some cool wide stuff at AT&T Park that shows off the many characteristics of the ballpark that make it so unique. On Sunday I was back in my spot for Game 1 of the NLCS against the cardinals on assignment for Sports Illustrated. Since the magazine was closing the next day this would be the only game we could shoot that would make it into this week’s magazine. Our editor Nate Gordon told us they wanted to put some of the playoff baseball from both league championship series in the Leading Off section in the front of the magazine. This meant we needed some nice horizontals that would make our Monday deadline.

Since I was in a prime spot to shoot the pretty wide picture I needed to take advantage of it. I learned many years ago from Nate that pretty pictures are nice, but they do not mean anything unless some story-telling action was taking place in the frame. I thought of this as Cards slugger and red-hot hitter Carlos Beltran came to the plate in the top of the 4th inning against struggling Giants starter Madison Bumgarner. I had a feeling Beltran might take him deep so I went wide with my full frame Canon EOS-1DX and my Canon 16-35mm lens. The light at dusk, 6:30pm PDT, made the sky a pretty blue. I fired off my fast motor as Beltran connected. By the groans from the crowd and the sound of the ball hitting the bat I could tell he hit it good. The white ball became smaller and smaller in my frame until it disappeared over the left field fence for a home run giving the Cards a 6-0 lead.

If this had happened a little earlier in the game the sky would have been white and I would not have had a picture. You need to be lucky for things like this to happen at the right time in the right light, and on this night the luck was on my side.

The rest of the game pretty much sucked. There was no real good action. Since Beltran is a star player and his homer was the game-winning hit I was hoping that the story line would hold up and the editors would pick it to run in the magazine. Just like the week before all the planets lined up and my picture made it into the magazine as a Leading Off in this week’s issue.

With the Giants big win in Game 5 in St. Louis tonight I get to go back to my spot for Sunday night’s Game 6. With any luck I will finally get a nice action picture from the Lexus Dugout Club. What can I say? I am greedy and want to get published again!

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