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Dustin Snipes

Baseball Stadium Photoshoot

Sometimes assignments can happen very quickly. I only had a few days notice before my shoot with Major League Baseball player Scott Kazmir.

I was in Seattle Washington visiting family when I got the call that I would be photographing the Oakland Athletics pitcher. So, seeing as that I was out of town, I arranged for one of my local Los Angeles assistants to meet me in Oakland with all the lighting equipment I needed. This was very helpful because I only had 30 minutes for setup and 20 minutes for the shoot, so I wanted to make sure that I had an assistant on my team that I regularly worked with. Having a good team is vital on any photoshoot, especially one with little room for error.

I arrived in Oakland late the night before. Knowing that I would be leaving immediately following the shoot, I booked a hotel very close to the airport and the stadium (which was about 5 minutes from my hotel).

Whenever I have a photoshoot at a baseball stadium or a big sports venue I always give myself a lot of extra time because there is always security that you have to go through and usually you can’t just drive onto the field (or court) like you can with a studio. Most of the time you have to navigate long, very confusing halls underneath the stadium to get to the field, court, or media room and this time was no different. 2 elevators, 3 security checkpoints, and what felt like a lifetime of cement walls we finally made it to the field with our 2 carts of grip and lighting equipment.

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We were told to wait in the tunnel until after batting practice and the field maintenance was completed but luckily we were able to set up equipment and stage it there until we were given the OK to bring it into the field where we were shooting.

Once they gave us the green light, myself and assistants rushed everything onto the field and in place. I took a few test shots with my one of my assistants in front of the camera and knew I was going to be battling a very powerful 1:30pm sun so I doubled up on my lights in each location. I then turned down the power on each head. This gave me a faster flash duration while keeping the power output high enough (because of the multiple lights) to keep up with the bright sun.

Scott arrived on time and I did a quick overview of the shoot with him before we started so we could be on the same page. I then asked him to break down his pitch so I can find some key moments that I wanted to capture for our first set up.

When ever I am shooting action with lights and I'm only shooting one frame per second I always go over the movements with the athlete to better identify the key movements.

After we completed the action portion of the shoot we hustle to the outfield wall for a quick 5 minute portrait.

The shoot lasted under 20 minutes, just enough time to get the double page opener, a table of contents shot, and another smaller secondary shot.

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Pitching shot

2 MobiLED heads pointed into a Para 88 for the main light
1 P65 and 1 P45 with MobiLED heads connected to a MOVE 1200L pack for a rim/kicker light on the camera left side with the sun providing the camera right kicker.

Green Wall

1 Para 88 with mobiLED head and para88 and move 1200L pack