The thing I think I will remember most from the 15 days is the celebration the day after. We landed in Portland and had two busses, along with two limos for the players to ride into a rally at Pioneer Courthouse Square. I did not ask, I just hopped into the second limo to get photos of the celebration. It was an enchanting ride. People in cars were stopping to honk and wave. Players were hanging out the windows, waving and enjoying every moment of the trip. Pioneer Courthouse Square was packed with fans in orange. Early on I decided that I was going to shoot the fans and not the ceremony. I ran around shooting from every angle I could think of. I knew I needed to get up high to shoot an overall of the whole crowd. As soon as the ceremony started, I quickly ran from building to building until I found one that I could get into and up the elevator. It was amazing to get up about ten floors and watch a sea of fans dressed in orange. It was beautiful. The ride from Portland to Corvallis was just as fun. I skipped the limo and hopped in the bus which was a great decision. We followed the limos down I-5, traffic was slow, of course, so that gave the players a chance to hang out of the top of the limo's sunroof and celebrate with motorist almost the whole trip down I-5. When we turned on to Highway 34, things got crazy, people on both sides of the highway were pulling and over honking their horns and getting out of their cars to and wave at the team, and the closer we got to Corvallis the more people there were, and the slower we drove. The players soaked it in. When we got to Goss Stadium, the plan was for the team to park and walk on to the field, but someone at OSU made the brilliant decision to drive the limos with the team on top on to the outfield of Goss. The place went crazy. It was an incredible moment to be a part of.
The celebration on Friday was a highlight for me. When we won the game on Thursday night, of course, I was ecstatic, but I also had to work. I did not have time to celebrate because I was taking photos and sending them as fast as I could to my great friend and fellow photographer, Ryan Gardner, who was editing and sending the images to Hank Hager, Kylie Murphy, and Trevor Creamer at OSU so they could get the photos out as fast as possible. When the celebration was over, and we were back at the hotel I was almost too exhausted to celebrate. I did, of course, have a few gin and tonics.
These are the notes for me to help me improve the next time I shoot one.
I put up a remote-controlled camera every game trying to cover a different angle, I put them low to shoot home plate, high to shoot the whole field, I tried everything. I Did not get any good photos from the remotes. Two reasons, the remotes did not fire well at TD Ameritrade Park. Talking to other photographers who were there and also set up remotes informed me that no one had great success with the remotes. We concluded that there was too much metal in the park and that interfered with the signal. I need to figure out how to get the remote cameras to work before next year. The other reason was just the luck of baseball. For most of the games, I had them set to shoot home plate, to get that great play at the plate photo. For all the great plays at the College World Series, none happened at home plate. I have to keep setting up remotes at events. It is a pain sometimes and I would have to get to the ballpark at least 3 hours before the game to set them up, but I have the equipment and no excuses not to do it.
I tell myself all the time that it is okay to miss photos. When I look back, there are so many photos I'm angry for I missing. Two, in particular, I wish I had. First, after the dogpile freshman pitcher Kevin Able, who pitched an incredible game to win the series for OSU, had the trophy in his hands and his teammates lifted him up on to their shoulders, and he lifted the trophy above his head, it was very quick, I was in a bad position and did not get the photo. I wish I had that, I am still beating myself up. In game two vs Arkansas, the Beavers had tied the game in the top of the ninth, and Trevor Larnach came to the plate. Before ever batter, I go over in my head all the possibilities of what to shoot if they get a hit, home run, bunt, etc. It depends on who is batting, the situation, the photos I have already shot, and the score of the game. When Trevor came to the plate you knew he was going to get a big hit, the Arkansas fans in right field were taunting him the whole game, chanting "Trevor sucks, Trevor sucks" it was too perfect, I knew he was going to get a big hit to win the game. Trevor is not a big celebrater, so I told myself to shoot the benches reaction, When Trevor launched the ball into right field, I shot the bench, got a great photo of Adley Rutchman jumping and celebrating, I really like the picture. When I watched the replay of the game, Trevor celebrated around the bases. I wish I had those photos.
During the games, I need to move around the stadium more to better capture the atmosphere and more photos of fans in the stadium. I did a much better job of this last year. This year I have a lot of excuses, I am disappointed in myself for not pushing myself harder. I am thankful for the opportunity I had to document this journey and I hope I will have the chance to do it again.
Cameras D5, D850, D4, D3
Lenses 400 2.8, (2) 70-200 2.8, one on remote one on me, 24-70mm, 50mm, 20mm, 14mm,
Two magic arms, four super clamps, six pocket wizards, Tethertools Case relay
One NCAA vest that I wore for 12 of the 15 days, bad luck to wash it so it is a stinky, sweaty mess, but I keep it