Trying to Evolve…My Rays Way


They say that a “picture can speak a thousand words”. That a simple image from even a Polaroid camera can set the tone and the mood of any event especially a Major League Baseball game. And I can definitely attest to that fact with flying colors. So this season I have invested what little coinage I have in gaining some new sets of eyes or visual images that could enhance or tell the story without me writing a chapters worth of paragraphs each entry. But then again, maybe I am also advancing in my journalistic ventures to include a photo essay or two to prove to myself that I am not as one-dimensional as I think my blog is most nights.

So I have gone the way of providing every photo for my blog posts so far this season from my little Fuji digital camera, and I know they are not as sharp or as professionally poised and postured as the old Associated Press or Getty Images photos I have used in the past, but they are free and mine to use in any way I desire this year. And with that, you will see my photos hopefully improve and get extremely better over the course of the season. But they will all be taken from one vantage point in the stadium, my Season Ticket blue seat. That’s right, the one blue seat within Tropicana Field that has a warm body in it every Home game will also try and provide a few timely and game action shots.

But the problem with learning “on-the-fly” like I am this season is sometimes I will also be coloring outside the lines , and hopefully they are mostly in some kind of focus range. This is the biggest obstacle for me since I can not take a lens larger than a foot into the stadium without the proper Rays photo credentials, and I am still trying to get on “double-secret probation” with the Rays to even stand in the back of the room taking panoramic views during any type of team event. But that is also fine because I know I have a few mountains to cross and a few rivers to swim before I can say I even remotely “get it”.


And another reason I have come to trying and getting my own photos is the recent decisions by some of the photo agencies to offer limited “royalty-free” photos to people like me who write small “Mom & Pop” blogs posts and usually only want 2-3 photos to accent the piece, not bury it in a visual jungle. But those same “free” photos are not the kind I would post on my site anyways as they are more still action shots not even of the baseball nature. The sports shots I might desire are now considered “rights-managed” images, and being unemployed and a blogger who doesn’t submit to a site where I can gain income from advertising or even selling my printed products on , my options are limited.


But this is not a rant on the tightening of the grip by the photo conglomerate so that even us little guys have to squeeze out some greenbacks to get great photos. There are still a vast majority of photos on websites or even local newspaper media Sports sections that we can still “right-click” with our computer mouse and save to our computer files. But I think that free practice might come to a quick halt soon as the general media is also aware of the royalties and the provisional monies lost by people taking their ” copyrighted” images and throwing them up as their own photos.

That is one of the reason I started to post “by-lines” under each photo a few years back to at least show that I am trying to give the proper credit where credit is due. No matter if it was “Joe Shmoe” on, or Associated Press photog Steve Nesius, I have tried to give them at least a form of photo credit acknowledgment over that span of games. And I truly think everyone should do the same online, but it all starts with one person doing it until someone else does it and soon enough you have a revolution heading in the right direction. I loved writing stories and taking pictures as far back as Junior High School and always wanted to work at a newspaper or magazine.

I am still not sure what disillusioned me when I was working as a Sport Correspondent and occasional Sports Copy Clerk at the now defunct Evening Independent afternoon paper in St. Petersburg, Florida back in the early 1980’s. To this day I am seeing an ex-Dixie Hollins graduate Rick Stroud still employed by the St. Petersburg Times and I wonder if I too could have stayed on the path any maybe be the one in the Rays Press Box ( not knocking current Rays beat writer Marc Topkin). But then again, I am a bit more relaxed and pressure-free considering I write what I want and there are no political battle line or subject limitations on my blogs posts. But still, I find it simply ironic that the National media journalists blast bloggers, but have the smug audacity of calling their own postings “blogs”.


But I am not going to digress into that segment right now but instead sit here at the bottom of Section 138 at the Trop. with a direct shot of the Batter’s Box and a clear view (but a wide angle) of the entire Tropicana Field playing surface to partake in seeing, shooting and hopefully capturing some exciting Rays moments in 2010. Evolving as a person and a more consistent writer was one of the main goals I set for myself personally on New Year’s Eve. I have begun that journey, plus added a new notch in trying to gain some photographic cubbyhole for myself. I will probably never be considered more than a closet sports photographer, but then I am also not trying to be a provocative modern day sports “Anne Lebowitz” either.



Maybe it is my next evolution as a fan too to make some awesome photos and treasure the games with a few odd or wild shots such as the entire Rays Bullpen wearing Rays Manager Joe Maddon’s black rimmed glasses, or the bad angled shots of fireworks going off within the confines of Tropicana Field. My photos submitted and posted on several photo storage sites along the Internet Superhighway will never have a place in the annuals of Sports Illustrated or even a moments notice in ESPN, the Magazine, But then again, it is not someone elses work I am not acknowledging here, it will be mine, all mine and if I pop it up online for the world to see you can bet the byline will read “RRCollections“.



Price was spot on last night. but then again….We do know Javier Vasquez pretty well from the past.
I just decided to try something different this year and try and add to my resume as a multi-tasking journalist. It is fun, plus it keeps me deep into the game way more than I ever thought.
But then again, that is a good thing.
And since my 3.5X telephoto lens came in today, hopefully I can get a few more clearer shots in the coming day without a 2 foot lens on my $ 500 dollar camera (lol).

Rays Renegade

So you’re adding photographer to your many talents? Why not? Annie Lebowitz: watch out! Congrats on a stellar performance last night by David Price. Your guys looked as tough as always, as they kicked the Yanks to the curb.

Good for you! I think having your own photos posted gives the blog more charachter and shows your own personal view of the game. We don’t care if they are not SI quality; they show people another side of you, which is a good thing :O)


Thanks for that, but I guess it is all a pipedream thanks to a careless New York POS who knocked it off the railing today and busted the battery compartment lid off my Fuji camera.
Sure I can but another one, but I need a job first.
Sure it was my fault I was sitting in my seat and he reached over me and the railing to yell at a Yankee player.
And sure it was my fault my right knuckle met his throat and he went down like a sack of potatoes.
But I will use duct tape, masking tape or whatever I can find ( maybe even rubber bands) to try and get it working again…Hopefully.
Sometimes it is just not your day!

Rays Renegade

Double R ~ You in particular should not reduce the typed word of your work for a token picture, unless it’s truely your want. Then, by all means do so. This is an honest editorial I know you can appreciate….and that is, this country’s dwindling ability to write, in all manners of speaking. Writing requires thought not many people are willing to put effort into anymore. I’ve always said if you have complete mastery of the english language one can achieve genius. We’re too impatient and spoiled AND dumb-downed by technology. Too many are loosing the abilty to simply sit with pen and paper, and write…, and write well. Having said that, I have taken 4000+/- pics since December alone. LOL! Photography screams for my attention more and more these days.
mike BTB

It is not for lack of want, or ability, but I took my first photography class back in Jr. High and I loved it so much I concentrated on Mass Communications in my class load all through Jr and Senior High.
Even branched out with a journalism minor in my Mass Communications degree that is worth as much as the paper it is written on now.
Just wanted to evolve the blog into a one-man band thing. Writing, photos and comments all done by one entity…Double R.

Rays Renegade

Your own pics are awesome i think, things you can capture in your own photos are sometime removed from stock images or the AP type images….

Phillies Outside

In 2008-2009 I did use a lot of AP and private photos, but I always gave photo credits to the one they produced and gave my own my credits.
They do pop up on Twitter and some other blogs sometimes, and I notice I do not get any credit on their posts, but that is fine.
I am not a media multi-million dollar conglomerate that can have a bushel of legal beagles ready to bite your head off either (lol).
Competitve business this simple picture taking.

Rays Renegade

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