Pitch perfect picture

November 4, 2010

Photographing the pitcher is the bread and butter of baseball coverage, especially in the playoffs. But photographs of the pitchers are important when two of the teams’ aces face each other.

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Tim Lincecum delivers to the Texas Rangers in the first inning during Game 5 of Major League Baseball's World Series in Arlington, Texas, November 1, 2010.   REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Generally, the moment you are looking for is when the ball has just left the tips of the pitcher’s fingers. But in a game where the pitchers are likely to be a big part of the story (and therefore there will likely be demand for more images of them), you need to look for other moments in their delivery that look interesting. A pitcher’s motion slowed down to a series of still images can look very strange indeed. Their limbs can look as though they have been disjointed and strange looking pieces of skin can seem to poke out. Remember too that the pitcher’s motion will look completely different from my angle as opposed to another photographer’s view farther out the baseline or closer to home plate.

Watching the delivery of the San Francisco Giant’s Tim Lincecum, I noticed a moment early in his windup where, from my perspective, his face was framed by his arm. All that was left was to time my shutter to capture that point in his delivery.

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