Photographing Pro Baseball Games

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

From 7pm to 10pm, I checked out a slideshow presentation about photographing baseball games at Canon Experience Center. Photographer Brad Mangin displayed many baseball photographs display the history of baseball from 1860 up to the present. Although I don’t really like baseball, I enjoyed checking out the changes in the baseball uniforms from the early times until the present. Most of the photographs were in black and white because most were photographed by newspaper photographers. But there were still colored photographs, in which still looked vintage. All these photos are considered to be rare photographs, never seen before, such as the Red Sox photograph of Ted Williams.

As expected, most sports photography involved a lot of action shots as well as portraits. There were few colored photographs from 1939. But lots of these action shots told a story about the particular game, which includes photographs before the game, during the game, and after the game.  When taking photographs for sports, it is therefore to set the time and history in order to tell a story.

Between 1860 and 1900s, it is interesting to check out the old fashioned clothing and cameras. The photographers dressed very formal in tweed suits, and their cameras were huge, which looked like square boxes. There was also a chin piece on top, where they lay their chin on when they photograph. There were also some Cooperstown rare photographs.

In one black and white photograph, I notice a young and thin Frank Sinatra hanging out with a baseball player. In another black and white photograph, I notice a happy baseball player posing by a huge, but vintage television set, which was a given to him as a gift for his excelling in the sport. There were also lots of promotional pictures, where many baseball players posed on the field for photographers, as well as in dugouts and scenes inside the photo work room.

It is interesting to note the colored photographs in blue tone were after the war in 1945 in order to bring out the patriotic red, white and blue in the photographs to support the soldiers. They eventually went back to orange and black toned colors in colored photographs.

Big Bertha Super Tele Cameras was around $745 to $795, in which was used in shooting baseball games. Two photographers were seated up high with their huge cameras, in which one has very long and huge lens that was used to shoot fast action shots.

During 1960s, photographs were taken at different angles and heights. Colored silhouettes were popular at the ballpark in order to create drama. I also noticed that many baseball players used to wear a baseball cap under their helmet cap. Some pictures were in a telephoto vignette photographs.

In 1958, the Japanese photographers used colored film.

Many baseball players had a sense of humor, in which they posed in various funny scenes. Catfish Hunter was soaking his arm in a bucket of ice. About four baseball players climbed into a small metal tub filled with water, and they were sitting on top of each other in order to fit in the tub together.

The first game in Anaheim Stadium was in 1966.

Wrigley Field in LA was being torn down in 1969, which was depicted in a scene, where two young boys were playing by the rubble. It looked more like a war zone.

In the 1980s, the colored photographs looked like your typical but vintage eighties, which are vibrant colors, and the simple scenes took place during spring training. There were interesting scenes of players interacting, hanging out, joking around, and celebrating together on the field, which looked candid.

Photographer Ronald C. Modra did action and portrait photographs. he is now retired, but lives in Florida, where he enjoys deep sea fishing.

There was a snapshot of Nolan Ryan in 1989. (The only reason I noticed that is because my cousin and her husband named their son after their favorite baseball player, Nolan Ryan).

There was an interesting scene inside Pia Zadora’s private jet, where Tommy LaSorda, Chuck Connors, and three other men are hanging out together.

You can check out a shorter version of this seminar on youtube,



  1. Pat Z Anthony

    Some shots are worth a considerable amount of money from what we have seen on certain TV programs. It would be interesting to be a photographer at some of these baseball games.

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