It’s been a long time

It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything about baseball or youth sports in general. Several years ago I made a promise to myself to stand aside and keep my mouth shut as my kids entered their high school programs. That was four years ago and for the most part I stopped posting much of anything, instead I focused on supporting their teams using what I know about photography and video production.

For those of you who know me or read much of anything on this site – none of this should come as a surprise. I think parents get way too involved in youth sports, and when it comes to high school – how do I put this politely? Well, it’s time for the kids to learn how to do it “without” you.

I think for the most part I kept my promise. Admittedly I got involved a couple of times when I saw my son’s catching skills going down hill, I don’t mind telling you that was a struggle for me. I watch and waited for his technique to be corrected, but when that wasn’t happening, I knew it was time to offer some advice and point out a few things. I did that by showing him some video I had shot of him and pointing out a few things. Occasionally, offering a bit of advice on his swing, but generally trying to keep it very low key. After that he pretty much knew what to do to fix things.

All-in-all I know it was the right decision. Yes, I missed actively coaching them the way I did when they were younger, but I’m not going to college with them. For me it was more important for them to develop their own style, their own ability to correct themselves, and their own mentors who can help carry them forward. Sorta like the mother bird kicking baby out of the nest so it can learn to fly. I’m happy to say, both my kids are flying on their own these days. They no longer rely on me like they did when they were younger – which is both wonderfully fulfilling and sad at the same time.

Good Times Video

This year we opted for something a little different than the dramatic and tried to capture a bit of the softball vibe in Jefferson City.  The girls as always we’re a blast to work with. And it’s been an amazing four years full of “Good Times”.

2011 Lady Jays Softball Photos

OK kids – I know you’ve been waiting awhile, but now that the season is done, videos completed, awards celebration complete – the photos are posted.  You’ll find them in the gallery as usual.

Now folks – the photos are provided for the girls and their families – in no way shape or form should you feel entitled to use these images on your website or for commercial purposes without getting my written permission.

Questions or comments? Feel free to contact me.

2011 Lady Jays Softball

Just finished another video project. Pretty simple edit, but lots of fun never-the-less. Shot on the Canon 7d and Sony Nxcam, assembled with Adobe Premiere. Huge thanks to the coaches and girls for allowing me into their world for a bit. I had a blast with you all. All the best and GO LADY JAYS!

We’ll miss you Ricochet

It’s probably been the most difficult decision related to our kids and their youth sports teams that we’ve ever had to make. Unfortunately, and after weeks of thought, Sheri and I have decided that Megan will play on a different team in 2011.  We had a blast in 2010, Megan, Sheri and I, probably the best softball year ever… the coaches were great, the girls awesome, and the parents a blast too.  You guys, in my book, revival some of the experiences we’ve had with my son’s teams over the years.

I know you guys will do well in 2011 and we’ll always remember the Ricochet friends we made along the way.  Know that we’re rooting for you and we’ll miss you.  GO RICOCHET!

Video production

Been knee deep in video production the past week or so for the upcoming Lady Jays Softball banquet.  I’ve replaced Final Cut Pro with Adobe’s Premier Production Suite, After Effects, etc., and feel as if I’ve climbed Everest this past week – learning new tools and scrambling to meet deadlines.  It’s pretty much just your basic slideshow at this point, perhaps one day my skills will match my vision, assuming there’s enough time to complete the project.

That’s the thing with video… it really takes a long time to produce.  Yes, I know there are easier tools, automation and alike, iMovie for one, but you give up so much control in the process.  In Premier, nothing is automated, every single pan and zoom is deliberate, every photo’s placement is deliberate, every transition, every effect is deliberate.  Forty-something hours invested in this so far – almost done.  Yeah!

I had plans for a really great 6-7 minutes video with lots of effects and video intermixed with stills, but settled for a 16 minute slide show, without any video.  There just wasn’t enough time and I couldn’t bring myself to cut so many photo.  Previous years videos have been 30 minutes or more (from another person), but I still have the idea and over the winter I’ll work on putting it together, just for fun and practice.

Lightroom, as always was a big help in categorizing, sorting and selecting the 240 photos out of 6000 plus this season.  Without Lightrooom, just the selection process of what makes the video would of taken forever.  Oh, I forgot to mention – photo collages – those too – 27 individual collages.  Man, I just love Lightroom – it’s a life saver for quickly putting together projects like these.

Anyway – that’s about it – haven’t been up to much otherwise.  Softball season is wrapping up this weekend and so is baseball.  None too early I might add.  Hopefully within a few weeks we can dig our house out from the chaos of this year’s ball season.  I can barely walk through the garage and I think we still have mail we haven’t opened.

Lady Jays Softball photos posted

Lady Jays photos from picture day are finally posted – sorry for the delay.  You’ll find them in the Gallery as usual.  Season photos will be uploaded in the coming weeks.  Yes, I know you’re anxious to see them, but I have to save something for the video.  Hang in there and keep your shorts on.

The Gallery uses a cart system, but the photos are free for you to download and print as you wish – you can take them to Walgrees, Wal-Mart, etc., to have them printed.

P.S. The downloader is working again.

Ricochet pictures uploading

OK, OK, OK…  I know, but finally I’m uploading some of the better Ricochet photos from last weekend’s world series.  It’ll probably be a few hours yet before all of them have been uploaded, but it’s in progress.  I think I got some of everyone – I hope.  Anyway, keep checking the Gallery or wait till the morning.

Go Ricochet!

Weekend summary

I ate too much… exercised too little… got way too much sun and 800+ pictures to sort through.

It was the first road trip of the summer sports season – softball is officially in full swing.  Another new team for Megan this year – Ricochet.  She almost joined this team last year (and should have), but for some reason decided against it, that was a mistake.  Anyway, a pretty good showing for team Ricochet to kick off the season with a fourth place finish in the KC Sonic Invitational.

I’m pretty sure it’s Megan’s first trophy/medal in competitive softball and she was given a MVP medal in one of the pool games for a triple she hit on Saturday.  Sunday she was sick and found out what it’s like to be on the road, playing in a tournament with only nine – you just gotta suck it up.  Ricochet’s motto – “Rub some dirt on it.”  Ah, the life of an athlete.

Next weekend, both a softball and baseball tournament – can you tell it’s summer at the Atkinsons?  I’ll get the picture posted as soon as I can, hopefully later this week.