Giants Baseball and Panoramas

Willie Mays' Gate

Willie Mays' Gate


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While stuck in traffic on the Embarcadero coming home from my rather short walking tour of San Francisco’s Chinatown, I’m sitting in my car humming along with [Metallica/Slayer/Linkin Park/Insert something from my Ipod playlist here] and I started thinking back to being at the ball game last week as AT&T park comes into sight. I had my camera with me at the ball game and I got some good stuff, but the shots that I wanted of the outside of the park just weren’t happening that night. Thirty thousand of my closest friends all trying to cram our way in to the park through a few entrances does seem to obliterate any oppurtunity to pitch a tripod on the sidewalk to get a good shot. Besides, that would preclude my favorite crowd activity of moo-ing like a psychotic bovine whilst crammed up against said 30K people in the labyrinthine passages of most public venues. Sometimes even the crazy people think I’m nuts.

The Say Hey Kid

The Say Hey Kid

So, when the rest of traffic won’t let some guy in from a parking spot that has his signal on, I jump on the oppurtunity to grab a space and walk a block and a half to the entrance to the park unencumbered by a throng of people. I couldn’t believe it when the parking meter only gave me something like 29 minutes for the 60 cents that I put in! How do people work and park in the City?

With limited time, I quickly walk to the front entrance of the park and go right for the statue of Willie Mays. When I was there during the game, everyone (of course) wanted a pic next to this statue. Being that it was night under harsh lighting, hand held HDR just wasn’t going to work and the pics came out horribly that night. With tripod in hand I set up to properly grab this image without having to worry about the crowd. I only needed to work quickly enough to keep the meter maid away from my car.

Working quickly for a necessary lens change, I managed to grab the shot of the front gate above and another (not displayed… HA!). I packed up and made it back to the car with little time, if any, left on the meter. As luck would have it, whatever clog there was in the great traffic artery seemed to have cleared and I was well on my way home in just a few minutes.

I didn’t really know if it would come across well here, but one other thing that I’ve been doing a lot of lately, besides HDR, are panoramic images. While not quite as dense as the result from a gigapixel image, I’ve been making multiple row panoramas using telephoto lenses up to (heh, that was my favorite phrase when I was in sales… “up to”) 200mm. The image below is pretty detailed when viewed in full size. Just click it, go to my Smugmug panorama gallery and check it out. You can clearly see individual faces of those sitting in the outfield. I have a few other panos there including the outfield shot (bottom) from Giants spring training in Scottsdale, AZ.

Levi's Landing

Levi's Landing

Giants’ Spring Training Outfield

Giants’ Spring Training Outfield

HDR Info: The two AT&T park pics were both 5 exposure HDR images shot on a tripod with a Canon 40D. The Say Hey Kid pic was shot with a 24-105mm L lens and here is the complete EXIF. The Willie Mays Gate image was taken using a Sigma 10-20mm lens and here is the complete EXIF.

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