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Best Seat in the House

Photography, sports and life as seen through the lens of Seattle Times photographer Rod Mar.

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March 11, 2008 11:51 AM

Springing Forward to Peoria...Or Tucson, In This Case

Posted by Rod Mar

Arrived in Phoenix on Monday for spring training with the Mariners.

Being the expert traveler and scheduler that I am, I planned my trip weeks in advance.

On Sunday, while packing, I looked up the Mariners' schedule for the week, and saw that their games for the first two days of my trip were in...Tucson.

Tucson, for those of you who don't know, is a two-hour drive from the team's training facility.

Way to go, Rod.

So I did what any responsible photographer would do and I called up a reporter I know who's also covering Spring Training for a national outlet.

Me: "Where you going tomorrow — what game are you covering?"

Him: "Dunno. Haven't decided. Why?"

Me: "Sweet. I arrive at 8:30am. Pick me up at the airport and we'll go to Tucson together. A road trip! It will be fun!"

Him: "No way in hell."

After some further negotiation and a few guilt bombs by me ("I was in your WEDDING!"), he assented.

So, my first day was spent shooting the Mariners vs. the Chicago White Sox, and two hours in the car each way.

New Mariner pitcher Erik Bedard got roughed up in the first inning, but I managed to make some photos of him.

At Electric Park in Tucson, there's room to shoot from behind home plate, so I took full advantage of the front-on view (, front-on is not a word).

The umpire kept getting in the way, so I had to maneuver around and was able to frame Bedard in the triangle formed by the batter's arm. It's a very fleeting moment when he's visible, so it takes a number of frames to make it work.

Finally, I found one that worked (I should mention here that I'm glad for digital in situations like this. If I was shooting film, I'd have shot four or five rolls, and still not have been sure I got the photo. But with digital, I was able to look at the screen and have reasonable confidence I had an image that worked.

(Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF 400mm/f2.8 lens + EF 1.4x extender, ISO 400, 1/1250th sec., f6.3)

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