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Safety Issue: Editing and transmitting from MLB games
Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 2:27 PM on 09.10.14
->> The Los Angeles Dodgers have started hard-enforcing a rule that prohibits using a computer to edit and transmit from field level photography positions while games are in progress.

Are there any other MLB teams enforcing a similar policy? It would be interesting to read about that and what your workflow is to shoot and make deadlines.

The Dodgers had not been enforcing this until recently and have just set up a small workroom behind home plate, downstairs from the field level box seats. Working there requires photographers to leave the game and you can't go back to the photo positions until the end of the 1/2 inning. So depending on how fast you are editing, captioning and uploading you will miss at least an inning or two of the game.

I have always been a bit concerned about bad throws and foul balls going into the field level photo spots. Early in the season I even looked into protective headgear to wear during games.

The way I have worked since this rule has been enforced is to shoot the first couple of innings from a field level spot --- my permanent rotation for shooting pitchers from behind home plate is the second inning.

Depending how much action there has been (besides the obligatory starting pitchers), I might shoot the 3rd inning from field level. At that point I run upstairs to the photo platform behind the first section of seats and edit and transmit from there while keeping an eye on what's going on in the game. It is not perfect, but I am at least able to shoot something while editing in necessary.

Obviously this is a safety issue. But balancing that with the rigors of covering a game and making deadlines can be pretty tough...

(Unless you're Mark Terrill and have 3 remote cameras feeding images to a computer so you have immediate access to them. THAT is the way to go!)
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Stew Milne, Photographer
Providence | RI | USA | Posted: 9:17 PM on 09.10.14
->> "while the game is in progress..." Does that include the time where the pitchers are warming up between 1/2 innings? That's when I usually edit and ftp. I keep my head up when the game is in progress.
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Peter Aiken, Photographer
Manhattan | KS | USA | Posted: 3:55 PM on 09.11.14
->> In Kansas City the photo work areas are right behind the first and third base photo bays. You can set up your work area behind the photo bay and move easily between your work area and your shooting position in the photo bay without missing much game action. The KC Star and AP sometimes transmit from their shooting position but only when they are on a very tight deadline. The Royals haven't put out any information about not transmitting from your shooting position, so I assume it's a team decision and not a MLB decision.

You made mention of protective head gear when shooting from the field photo bays. I think that's a good idea. I now wear a batting helmet when in the photo bay, had a few close calls this season and I'm glad I now wear a helmet.
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Kiyoshi Mio, Photographer
Redondo Beach | CA | USA | Posted: 5:51 PM on 09.11.14
->> As Peter mentioned, KC has a great set-up for us. I shoot 29 current MLB stadium, only one missing is Nationals, and KC is one of the best.
Work areas are right behind the photo position, easy access and you can go in/out while game is playing on the field.

Rangers had prohibited shooting from the field few years ago. Only way to get in/out from the field position is from a stair located next to inside 3rd position. You can go back to inside 3rd while play is going on, but need to wait for 1/2 inning break to move to other position. Work room is near the stair, so you can go back to inside 3rd position real quick if you need to.
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Troy Taormina, Photographer
Houston (Richmond) | Tx | USA | Posted: 6:36 PM on 09.11.14
->> In Houston, the work rooms are difficult to get to in the middle of the game. Possible, but takes a lot of time. This year, just about all the photographers edit from the field level positions. I'm concerned about safety too- lemme know when the SportsShooter helmet goes on sale. :)
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Michael Chow, Photographer
Phoenix | AZ | United States | Posted: 9:26 AM on 09.12.14
->> In Phoenix, the shooting wells are inside of both dugouts so you're close to the plate and the work area is right behind the first base positions. This year they put up a mesh screen that you pull across, separating you from those positions to help keep you safe. I still don't like working down there with my head turned away from the action. I try and work from upstairs in the press box as much as I can even though there's a net obstructing your view of third base and home. The field positions are too close but they converted the outside wells into suites years ago.
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Steve Russell, Photographer
Toronto | ON | Canada | Posted: 1:31 AM on 09.16.14
->> No computers in the photo pits for the Blue Jays as well.
The filing area is close by though (1st base side) and you don't have to wait for the half inning to access it, but you do have to wait for the half inning to get to the third base side.
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 2:07 AM on 09.16.14
->> Thanks all for providing your local info!

THIS is what is all about ... sharing information.

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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 8:04 AM on 09.16.14
->> I had the opportunity to shoot a STL Cardinal game with one of the team photographers (Dan Donovan) several years ago. I don't recall anyone transmitting in the photo wells. Everything seemed to be done in the media room behind home plate. (The food was located there as well) :)

OT - I will always be grateful for this opportunity to learn from some of the best in the business and for their willingness to share their valuable time and thoughts with me. Photographers that are able to shoot great images and transmit during the game (without assistants) are my hero's.
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Scott Rovak, Photographer
St. Louis | MO | USA | Posted: 10:31 AM on 09.16.14
->> Here in St. Louis, all of the wire photographers do transmit from the wells. In the outside spots there is a shelf for laptops and the photographers backs are to the field, not very safe, but the angle is pretty steep when the guys are transmitting. There is usually a heads up or some kind of reaction that gives a little bit of time to react. It seems like the laptops have gotten hit more than the photographers over the years. In the inside wells, the photographers are usually sitting down on the platform that they stand on to shoot that keeps them out of harms way. There is usually more of a danger there while shooting than there is when transmitting.
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Tim Vizer, Photographer
Belleville | IL | USA | Posted: 10:36 AM on 09.16.14
->> Scott, show them the Fun Pix photo you made of me from your position when I was in third base photo well, with the ball coming at me....TV
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Ed Wolfstein, Photographer, Assistant
Burlington | VT | USA | Posted: 12:17 PM on 09.16.14
->> At Nationals Park, the rule has been no editing in the wells - since day one. The photo room is just down a tunnel - not too far for the wire guys (and gals) to zip out between innings. No netting at the wells either. Most are using helmets now for good reason. Last week, we had a lens hood smashed to pieces on a liner. Luckily, no one was hurt.

At Citi Field in NY, I recall there being little shelves specifically for laptops in the shooting wells. I believe laptop tables are also there at Wrigley Field when I visited many moons ago! Don't know if that has changed recently, perhaps if rules are being tightened up these days.


- Ed.
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Justin Berl, Photographer, Assistant
Moon Township | PA | USA | Posted: 1:17 PM on 09.16.14
->> At PNC Park in Pittsburgh, the outer boxes each have a wooden box workstations with a hard plastic cover that closes when box isn't in use. Your back is towards the field when working so it isn't very safe. What I do when I keep my computer outside is I try to work when someone else isn't, that way one of us in the box will have their eyes on the field in case a ball comes our way.

The workroom is up some stairs and down the tunnel so you will miss quite a bit of the game if you choose to work inside (Which I did on Sunday and missed the Pirates turning a Triple Play arghhh)

Citi Field in NYC every spot on the top deck of the wells has a little table and an outlet nearby for power.
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Sean King, Photographer
Aurora | IL | USA | Posted: 12:14 PM on 09.17.14
->> Earlier this year while covering a minor league game. I saw a foul ball wiz above a fellow photojournalists head by about 6 inches on the 1st base well. He was so busy chimping that he had no clue he almost got nailed in the head by a foul ball. You defiantly need to keep your head on a swivel when covering baseball at ground level.
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Ben Krause, Photographer
Minneapolis | MN | United States | Posted: 12:12 PM on 09.18.14
->> At Target Field in Minneapolis nobody edits in the photo wells except perhaps during playoff games when the well positions are assigned and deadlines are even tighter (although there haven't been any playoff games since 2010). The photo work room is 30 or 40 feet beyond a few stairs at the inside 3rd position. Really easy access. Access to the photo work room is available during play any time from the inside 3rd position and can be accessed between 1/2 innings from the other field-level positions since getting to and from the other positions requires walking on the field. The elevated positions at Target Field don't have transmitting access, but if it was a playoff game or something you could probably figure out a way to do it.

There is no netting on any of the three field-level, non-team photographer photo wells (team photographer has access to an inside 1st position attached to the home dugout). I've been hit by foul balls 2 or 3 times (one time cracked a lens hood, another time I was surprised my hand didn't break) and had many more close calls.
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Rick Yeatts, Photographer
Dallas | TX | USA | Posted: 9:42 PM on 09.22.14
->> The photo wells in Arlington are mini photo work room.
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Thread Title: Safety Issue: Editing and transmitting from MLB games
Thread Started By: Robert Hanashiro
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