Sunday, July 19, 2009

aaah... summer... means more bayzboll!

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“Passion, it lies in all of us, sleeping... waiting... and though unwanted... unbidden... it will stir... open its jaws and howl. It speaks to us... guides us... passion rules us all, and we obey. What other choice do we have? Passion is the source of our finest moments. The joy of love... the clarity of hatred... and the ecstasy of grief. It hurts sometimes more than we can bear. If we could live without passion maybe we'd know some kind of peace... but we would be hollow... Empty rooms shuttered and dank. Without passion we'd be truly dead.”

- Joss Whedon
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Sorry about the prolonged absence... shit happens. Like computers having issues at really bad times. Like... you know, WHEN YOU NEED THEM! Damn...

My last post was on the Ems and the opening -- again -- of their season (my 3rd). And when the Ems season starts, my summer workload goes up. Going to the games, shooting the action, the fans, that is an act of love. I'm happy, nothing exists beyond the local environment. I'm focused on what's around me and shooting at Civic Stadium... sigh... how can I go wrong?

With this being my 3rd year I know the light, the sweet spots for photographing the action... and I have fun. Shooting. The work comes when I am sitting here at the 'puter and editing all those images. Unless...

... unless the computer has issues. And mine did. I'm on a humble eMac. 20 Gigabytes and just the software installed, no additional anything. I don't use PhotoShop and I hardly use much beyond the word processing and iPhoto. Of course I'm on the internet and I have my duties wwwebwwwise, but this computer has served me and my kids for about 6 years now. Faithfully, day in and day out, this little dynamo has served my family well. But...

... but, like anything else, a little rain must fall. And as happens for many of us, when it rains it pours. First my CD burner died. A critical tool because I burn CDs for the Ems and for my files of every game I shoot. Well, ok, I think "I'll get that fixed" but then my day job kicks into overdrive because it's summer and I can't get the computer to be fixed because I'm short on time and short on dollars after a really sparse financial winter and spring. And of course there is always Murphy.

When I worked in lumber I learned that not only did Murphy work in the lumber industry I came to believe he was born in a lumber yard. Because... well... because shit will go wrong in the lumber biz. Friday afternoons it's guaranteed that someone will come in when it's close to closing and what they want is now buried, in the back and at the bottom. Or when a truckload of lumber comes in and the forklift gets a flat... Murphy gets around.

Anyway, I tried to download all my Ems shots and store them on my external hard drive but pushing all those photos onto my backup caused my iPhoto to freeze up. So now I'm really stuck. Not only can I not burn CDs I can't even process the images! I'm screwed. And of course my bud and boss, Bryan Beban, the Ems general manager and director of operations of Civic Stadium is getting... mmm... agitated. He basically tells me that he has folks waiting for photos and where the heck is his stuff. He says he's put his faith in me and dammit I better produce. Of course the next game he sees me and says "sorry I sounded like a dick but..." and I have to assure him that I understand, I've been an employee for a long time and understand the need for production and I wasn't producing. Bryan's a good guy, a bit on the OCD side but that's ok, someone has to be neat and tidy (becuase it's sure not me!). I only have trouble understanding his love of '80s music. Gack...

Anyway... the 'puter is fixed, $90 (including labor) for my new CD burner. But the iPhoto thing... first I tried updating but for some reason I was now down to less than 500 megabytes of available memory and I couldn't update. So then the search began for more memory. I cleaned out files dumped pics, cleared 1700 emails out of my email program... and I now have... not much more memory . But then... digging deeper I find the stash of my daughters iMovies shot with the 'putercam. Well she won't miss 'em and certainly doesn't need 'em... to the trash! And lo and behold, like a giant vat being emptied, whoosh! I now have 19.5 gigs and holy moley, I'm fixed. I upload iPhoto update and damn... mine is still stuck. But it's not stuck on other users' desktops. Ergo...

... here I am. I've spent the last two days processing (editing for brightness, contrast, dumping the bad, keeping the good) and burning close to 1,000 images from Ems games. So guess what you're getting from me today (photographically speaking)? And topmost in my mind was getting the team pic done in time for deadline. The games could wait, but I had to have that team photo done!



Yep, more bayzboll. But for me? It's photography and I'll be darned but, damn, I'm pretty good at this. And I enjoy it. People smile. Usually... some not so much, but really at an event like this, most are there for a good time. And as always there are those who are just... not happy and not much to do but not catch a case of grumpies.

Baseball at this level is a hometown thing. And for us in Eugene, we're blessed with the beautiful and historic Civic Stadium. A facility in serious need of a million dollar upgrade. For a lot of fans I've talked to, from conversations overheard... it's not so much the Emeralds as it is the atmosphere of Civic that draws people. Framed with the tree covered south hills in the background and holding around 6,000 people Civic is a fine facility. But it's old and needs a Phil Knight to throw a million bucks at rebuilding the substructure, upgrading the lighting and leveling the field (from left field it's an uphill climb to home plate).



This possible loss of Civic Stadium is truly an important issue for Eugene. I'm going to be doing some writing on this along with Ems' photos on my Ems blog.

And if you're a bayzboll fan, please see more from me and my Pentax at my Ems' photography blog: Eugene Emeralds - baseball photography.

What I'm posting here are images that I probably won't post there. Of course a few may be in both places, but hey, they're my blogs. Besides, these aren't schwag photos, these are gleaned from hundreds of shots.

Enjoy. These are from about 5 different games...

Starting with a few of those who open the games:







... moving on to fan warm-ups:





... and of course no players, no game:



... but the fans... the fans are everything. No fans and professional sports isn't...

















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“Sports do not build character. They reveal it.”

- John Wooden

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