The baseball and softball season is over for our reading area. This was my first time covering baseball or softball. I had never taken photos of either sport. I've watched enough baseball over my life to get an understanding of the game, but still when it's your first time covering a sport, it can feel a little daunting.
My first day on the job here at the Pilot-Tribune was going to a Storm Lake softball/baseball game. My editor showed me the best spots on their respective fields to get a good shot and then I found myself on my own. I was nervous that first night when I returned to the office with the photos I took. After years of looking at photos in sports magazines I figured it was easy to just get a good shot.
Boy, was I wrong. I wasn't expecting the fences to get in the way as much, the lens flare because of the sun, and figuring out what to focus on. It was difficult. A lot more difficult than I had imagined. So, I got back to the office and my editor began to point out what I needed to look for to get a good shot. To capture the ball in the photo as much as you can was one of the biggest talking points. Try to get their face into the shot for the parents to see.
It was an interesting crash course on everything. So as the season went along I feel like I improved my photo taking at the games. Although it was annoying when an umpire would suddenly get right into the shot and block off a play at the plate. Too many times I said some unkind words under my breath because of it.
The learning experience I had taking the photos over the span of a month was really nice though. Yes, it was hot, but I kept telling myself I had it easier than the players out on the field who had to do a lot more than stand around taking photos. Putting that into perspective usually helped me get back on track of thinking of how hot it was.
It was a great time going to Fort Dodge last week for State Softball. Meeting up with fellow journalists is always a pleasure at a huge event. It's a chance to learn from men and women who have been doing it for a long time, to pick up a few more helpful tips to use in the next baseball/softball season.
So my first month here at the Pilot-Tribune was consumed by these two sports. It was a nice introduction into the area. The coaches were helpful with sending in information for us to run. They were prompt in returning phone calls if they were busy or away from their phones. So thank you to the coaches for being so open this season.
Now I have a bit of time until the fall sports season begins. Football, volleyball, cross country, and probably one or two I'm forgetting off the top of my head. I've written about these sports before but, again, my photography experience is limited at them. I helped a friend last year shooting high school football so I have a good idea of what to expect from that at least.
I expect it to be another fun run of watching our high school athletes going into their respective sport to compete against their peers. Too often, I think, we lose sight as fans that high school sports should be fun for these kids.
As I continue to dive deeper into getting to know the area, the coaches, and the players, I look forward to seeing what the future holds. I look forward to my first fall in the area. The summer sports were a blast to go out and cover. Now we'll all be able to bundle up in a couple of months on a Friday night. We'll be able to relax in a gym for volleyball.
So, until we get to the start of fall sports, if you have a sports story that you'd like to see covered in the sports section, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.