Jose Canseco and the T-Bones

August 3, the Kansas City T-Bones sponsored a home run derby featuring Jose Canseco, formerly one of the two bash brothers of the Oakland A’s, author of Juiced (a tell all book about steroids in baseball and his personal use).  The T-Bones are Kansas City’s independent minor league baseball team playing out of Kansas City, Kansas, with a slogan – “Fun … Well Done,” apt for the land of beef.  Jose appeared just after a celebrity softball game and just before the T-Bones game began.

He strolled onto the field, bigger than life and almost as buff as when he played big league ball

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He talked to the media,

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warmed up a bit,

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and then got serious – hitting a softball some 450 feet over the left field wall and into the nearby parking lot.  Are you serious – a 450 foot softball blast?

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He mingled with some dignitaries:

Former major league pitcher Diego Segui, who, like Jose, is of Cuban descent, and Frank White, former Kansas City Royal and currently the first base coach for the T-Bones:

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Then, after the T-Bones game ended, Jose came back for his home run derby for charity – Harvesters.  He took his swings as well as a group of guys who volunteered to take their shots as it got dark.

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Afterward, he checked the scoreboard.

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For me, a great chance to sit 7 feet from Jose with my D4 and a 70-200mm lens and capture some of the man.  After all, he was a 40 home run, 40 stolen bases champ, a slugger for the A’s, who loved and still loves baseball and still sounds like a kid playing stick ball in the street when he talks about the game; a guy who can still hit the ball, hard or soft, a mile, a guy who is still a physical specimen and as a result, fields legitimate questions about continued juicing; a grown up big kid who is funny, warm, engaging, and who also did things and promoted a lifestyle that came to dominate baseball for more than a decade in ways that still challenge the veracity and propriety of our national past time.

And then, he strolled off into the night, and off to the next barnstorming stop on the minor league circuit.  The dichotomy that is Jose.

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Thanks for stopping by my blog.  Mark

 

do : : or : : diso — the first 4 months

do : : or : : diso, my monthly sports photography ezine is now 4 months old.  It has been a labor of love . . . mostly love.  Thanks to Jason Lillie for all the help in making the ezine so simple to create each month that even I can do it without too many hitches.  True, I had to re-learn some basic html code and master ftp for the covers each month, but it is live, and hopefully interesting.  Next month, I will cover the process of shooting the 2 Rs of summer – Rugby and Roller Derby.  In the meantime, here are the covers for the first 4 months:

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May 2014 cover

June 2014 cover

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Visit the site at http://disosports.com, subscribe for free, enjoy, and get out and shoot some sports shots.

Mark

do :: or :: diso, a monthly sports photography magazine, is now live

My latest project a monthly sports internet magazine called do :: or :: diso is now live.  Visit it and subscribe for free at http://disosports.com.

My goal is to offer a monthly, short, to the point, on-line magazine of sports photography, post processing techniques for sports photos, insight, and the occasional interview.  Each month, if you subscribe, you will get an email to your inbox of the magazine cover advising that the new issue is out.  Just click on the cover and you are transported to the article.  This month’s article is about three post processing techniques to add light back to the image to better reflect what your eye really saw at the match, game, or event.

Many thanks to Jason Lillie for helping make the design idea in my head a reality on the web and to Tom Bol, Cindy Akehurst, and Lisa Thompson for their critiques.

As it turns out, there are so many moving parts to launch this kind of project:  (a) how to make it look less like a blog; (b) how to keep it relevant and informative; (c) who is the target audience: (d) how to send out a mailing ( I settled on Mail Chimp ) ; and my favorite (e) how to pick a logo.  Here is the evolution of the logo:

cool, but too dark:

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creative, but a little bulky

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getting closer

 

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loved it, but  . . .

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. . . here was the winner, by my buddy Alex Peak

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The first post is up and after all the planning, the copy was easy.  Now for the hard part – creating content every month!  I am taking guest author pieces ( :

thanks for stopping by my blog. . . Mark

 

diversions from sports photography – Tokyo at New Years 2014

The wonderful thing about making images is that I can decide to shoot sports and I can decide not to. When I decide not to, I call those moments temporary diversions. A diversion might be a trip or an idea or a model or an assignment. Fulfilling a dream, my family and I spent 11 days, including New Years, in Japan. By day and night we walked and road the trains, soaking in the city, the culture and the people.  I found the people there fascinating and returned with many images of the Japanese people living their lives. In particular, New Years (this year the year of the Horse) is a time of great celebration. I shot no sports, but came away from the trip with the belief that in Tokyo, people compete for space,  love to shop, and during the holiday time, they dress up, hit the streets, and thoroughly enjoy seeing and being seen. Mostly, I did the street photography “shoot and scoot” thing, as we tried to see as much as possible.  Here are a selection of Tokyo folks on New Years day and January 2 browsing, keeping order, shopping, touring, interacting, and relishing life.  And now, back to sports!

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Thanks for stopping by my blog.  Mark

sports photography and the human spirit

The time fast approaches when we remind ourselves each year of our desire to achieve the long shot of peace on earth and goodwill toward each other.  I am just a lowly  sports photographer in Kansas City and have come to believe I can affect this long shot goal in only minimal ways.  So, I choose to use my camera as a reminder that sports can be a forum to compete without politics, where victors and vanquished can coexist without loss of life,

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and where differences can be resolved by finite measurements of skill,

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strength,

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speed,

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strategy,

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and a little luck.

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My camera offers no insights into mayhem and insanity and filibusters and politics, but rather just glimpses into the human spirit.

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Somewhere, mayhem and insanity and politics each purport to intersect with something as fundamental as the human spirit in ways that make no sense.  But in sports, understanding and appreciating that spirit is so much less confusing and images of the spirit are so much more sincere and genuine than the evening news images, and at least in the moment of competition, it all makes sense.

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For me, sports is the plan; roll out and throw the pass into the flat; trust your teammates; follow the plan.  Make it so.

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If you follow the plan, just maybe, they (who are also we) will too.

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Ok — enough of my deep thoughts.  The tree has now arrived at Rockefeller Center,

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and from a distance the world below seems so peaceful . . .

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So, thanks for visiting my blog today and this year.  Hopefully you have enjoyed my images.  Have a very satisfying December.  Look for new things from this blog in 2014…  something that I hope to call “Do or DISO”

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Be safe.  Mark