The Sort of Hope Who $u<k$ at Basketball

Basketball moves fast. Very fast. Much faster then my broken lens and I were prepared to handle.

Natalia just started her High School cheering season for basketball and I thought I’d give basketball photography a go.

HAHAHAHA. Ya, no.

Indoor lighting + bad lens + fast moving sport = disaster.

However, never being one to back down from a challenge, I am going to learn how to do this by the end of the season. Not master it, mind you ( though that would be amazing, wouldn’t it? ) I am going to learn it. Goal = set.

I came home that night and spent the evening reading everything I could find on what I was doing wrong , and some of what I had done right. Bearing in mind that much of my challenge is a faulty lens.

Many thanks to my secret helper who sent me all the reading I did that night. I won’t disappoint you. I’ll get this.

Normally, I ‘d be much too vain to post photos that I’d consider anything less than good. This time, though, I thought it would be in my best interest to post my baseline. Then I can look back in a month or two and see how far I’d come. I will admit that the majority of what I shot that night was unusable. I was able to salvage a few good shots. Some of which I shared here.

I know my lens won’t fix itself so it’s up to me to do the best I can with the handicap of the broken lens.

I figure, in a way, my camera and I are a bit alike. We both have handicaps that I have to learn how to work around. And so far, though at times they both frustrate the dickens out of me, neither one has really managed to get the best of me. Yet.

Game on.

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The Sort of Hope that is Passionate

Passion.

It is a quality I both admire and respect in athletes. My kids have it in abundance for their respective chosen sports. Their friends have it, too. My husband still has it for his first love- baseball. I think I’ve found it for photography.

Rather than try to write about it and fail miserably, I thought I’d share my weekend full of passion-the rated PG (for language, not content) kind of passion- with all of you. The passion for what you do, accomplished by using my passion for what I do. I hope in every photo the passion for what these kids are doing is evident to you. Their story… their happiness, their success, their sadness and their failure. I will finish by sharing my very favorite quote about passion…

Passion, it lies in all of us, sleeping… waiting… and though unwanted… unbidden… it will stir… open its jaws and howl. It speaks to us… guides us… passion rules us all, and we obey. What other choice do we have? Passion is the source of our finest moments. The joy of love… the clarity of hatred… and the ecstasy of grief. It hurts sometimes more than we can bear. If we could live without passion maybe we’d know some kind of peace… but we would be hollow… Empty rooms shuttered and dank. Without passion we’d be truly dead. ~ Joss Wheadon

(I have another blog entry called “the mood of the moment” that I try to update semi-regularly with some of my other favorite quotes and favorite self portraits-check it out)

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The “I’m at a baseball game again” sort of Hope

There are three things in my life which I really love:  God,my family, and baseball.  The only problem – once baseball season starts, I change the order around a bit.  ~Al Gallagher, 1971

That’s the way things are in this family, too. In fact, in my kitchen hangs a wooden sign that rather proudly announces to all who enter ” We interrupt this family for baseball season. ”  Only thing is, baseball ‘season’ now runs Jan- Nov. But hey, we are at least off for December. December flies by so quickly we barely even notice that we aren’t playing.

Good thing I love baseball. I have always loved baseball. Long before I met my husband, my father and I would sit in our living room, with one of those big round metal Good’s Chips cans in between us, happily crunching along  as we watched the Phillies play. Tug Mc Graw was my favorite back then. Mike Schmidt. Pete Rose. (Am I dating myself?) I am a disappointment to the sport I love, though. I couldn’t remember a single statistic if my life depended on it. My brain simply won’t work that way. If you know anything at all about baseball, you know that you must be able to come up with any given stat at any given moment. You must know a batters’ avg against every pitcher from every team in all sorts of weather and under every circumstance. You must know what he ate for dinner that night , too. What type of bat he prefers, and where he shops.

Oh wait..

When I found my husband he was traveling our country playing men’s major fast-pitch softball. He was quite the baseball player in HS , too. Which his father would be more than happy to tell you about. That’s another thing I’ve learned (at least in this family) about baseball players, have they got the stories! Every game is relived countless times and no detail is ever forgotten. Every player gets better as time goes on, too. No one ever struck out and everyone always threw strikes “back in their day” (which confuses my brain sometimes how it is possible to have such perfect pitchers and perfect hitters at the same time).  It amazes me that the world isn’t filled with hundreds, nay, thousands of senior citizens who are all retired major league ball  players that have thrown countless perfect games and are all tied for the major league batting titles.

But my husband was good and so was his father ( as was mine) so it would only stand to reason that our son would be a natural, too.  By the age of 2 my son had full catcher’s gear. He could throw a ball before he could walk. He was “wow-ing” people in little league already. I love to watch him play.  I love to watch him do what he loves just as I loved watching his father play , too. They both give it all they’ve got and play with a passion that is obvious to anyone who watches. I’ve never washed one clean uniform after any of their games. “Dirty baseball players” – that’s a whole other blog.

I always feel like each season is going to be my favorite. High School, Legion, Fall Baseball. His freshman year of high school he was on the Varsity team and the team won Districts. That was a pretty special year. I fell “in love” with his first Legion team this year , too- the Oley Topton Patriots. Called them my “Summer Love” Those Patriot boys were something special too. So much talent, so much heart.  It was a very sad day for me when that season ended all to early. Now Nick is  playing for an 18U Showcase team with Berkshire Baseball. Traveling. Sadly I was forced to miss his first travel weekend because of a treatment but I’m hoping to catch the next one.

We have big dreams for our son. What parent doesn’t? We are hoping for a scholarship for him. He has good grades..works hard and plays harder. More importantly to us, he’s a great kid. But there is nothing he wants more than to play baseball. So if that’s what he wants, of course we want it for him, too.

Somewhere along the way, my love of watching he and his friends play this game that they love turned into my new hobby that I love. – Photography. I was about to pack it all in the other day when a father of one of the boys from my Summer Love wrote to me to thank me for sharing my photos and showing baseball “my way” and allowing his family from far away to follow his son’s Legion season.

Sooooo, for now, I will stick to sharing my love of baseball with you, with everyone. Jan-Nov. It’s hard to quit. I ‘ve tried before but 99.9% of the time I’ve failed. When it rains.  Whether I’m away or “at home”.

Oh Ballz

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If we are going to get to know each other , there is some thing you need to know. I’ve got a confes sion to make.. It’s balls. I am obsessed with them. I am not exactly sure when this obsession began.. but I’ve got it bad.

I’m not selfish in my lust. I’ve gotten my beautiful sisters and my niece and my daughter hooked too! I’ve even gotten quite a few friends in on my compulsion to ball. We’ve made it a quest for all things Ballz.

It’s become a game. To post the ballsiest pic you can find. But you can’t pose them. All balls must be photographed in their natural environment. They are more glorious that way.  Just like any good 40 something teenager , I still giggle every time I hear an umpire shout ” 2 balls”  or especially ” NO BALLS on the batter”. I just can’t help myself. I hope my inner teen never stops finding that funny. Balls are just fun.

And hey, it’s almost the busiest season for balls– so I invite you all to join me and grab your fav camera and BALLz Up!