The last week has been really busy in Toronto, covering three Major League Baseball games and one Major League soccer. Tuesday and Wednesday saw me at back to back baseball games with the Toronto Blue Jays hosting the Boston Redsox. The Blue Jays are desperate for wins to stand any chance of extending their season into the playoffs. Unfortunately on Tuesday the were given a lesson by Boston who came out 11-7 winners, although the game went into an 11th inning, the fourth time in a row that extras have been necessary to get a result. Wednesday saw Toronto get their revenge with a 5-2 win, but frankly time is running out for the Jays. Both of these were night games and I was once again able to put the Nikon D4s through it’s amazing high ISO paces.
Nikon D4s, 500mm f4 lens on Gitzo carbon fibre monopod, 1/1250 @ f4, ISO 3200, exposure set manually
I set the exposure manually for all night games. The D4s at 3200 ISO renders an image quality similar to the D3s at 800 ISO
Regrettably, I had to hand the D4s back to Nikon on Friday, but I hope to have one in my hands permanently before too much longer.
Nikon D4s, 500mm f4 lens on Gitzo carbon fibre monopod, 1/2500 @ f4, ISO 1000, exposure set manually
Nikon D3s, 16mm f2.8 fisheye lens, 1/640th @f5.6, ISO 500, handheld
I wanted to take advantage of the amazing evening light falling onto the CN Tower before the game and decided this was an ideal opportunity to get out the fisheye – a lens I don’t use too often but this was a natural choice for this shot
Saturday was the start of a long weekend in Canada with Monday being Labour day. Today was back to major league soccer for me and frankly my worst experience of shooting sport in Toronto, although this had little to do with the game itself.
First it was a good job I left myself plenty of time to get to the game, I always like to arrive early to ensure the technology is all working correctly and to shoot any pre-game images. Paid my $3 token on the bus at for what is normally a 20 minute ride to BMO field for the game. 30 minutes and 400m later I got off again and decided to leg it. Traffic was at an absolute standstill and actually walked past 4 other busses by the time I got to Exhibition where BMO field is located.
Now, imagine having a 20,000 seat soccer stadium with a premier league match and plonking it in the middle of the biggest fair you can imagine! I hadn’t realised that the event causing all the traffic chaos was the Canadian National Exhibition, one of the ten largest fairs in N. America, attracting 1.4 million visitors, most of which I think were there today! Then,to make matters worse, I discovered that because I didn’t have a ticket to the game, as I collect my accreditation at the ground, I had to pay $30 to get in to the exhibition grounds, one expense claim going to USA Today! So, instead of arriving 45 minutes before the game as planned I got in about 5 minutes before kick off so I didn’t get any pre-games photos. To cap it all it was the worst footie game I have ever seen, Toronto played like a bunch of schoolkids, giving away the first two goals in the first 5 minutes. Finally, as the second half began it started to rain. Who says sports photography is glamorous?
Nikon D3s, 200-400 f4 lens at 240mm on Gitzo carbon fibre monopod, 1/1600 @f4, ISO 1600, aperture priority automatic
The 200-400 is now my standard lens for soccer for daytime games, I switch to the 300 f2.8 for night games where I need the extra stop of speed
My final shoot of the week was today’s baseball game at Rogers arena which was important for a reason other than the game itself. This was the last game that all time baseball great Derek Jeter of The New York Yankees will play in Toronto. Jeter is estimated to be the richest player in Major League Baseball with a net worth of some $185,000,000. although the web is full of articles about his net worth, his many glamorous girlfriends and the fsct he built the largest house in Tampa Florida it his extraordinary exploits on the filed that will remain his major claim to fame.
Nikon D3s, 500mm f4 lens on Gitzo carbon fibre monopod, 1/1000 @f4, ISO 500, aperture priority automatic
This season is his 20th in Major League baseball for the New York Yankees and he is both their captain and a major figure in all the Yankees recent sucesses. Throughout the season each opposing team has provided a gift to Jeter, Toronto presenting a check for his foundation for young sports development. Jeter did not score today and the Jays finished the series with a win.
Nikon D3s, 200-400 f4 lens at 400mm on Gitzo carbon fibre monopod, 1/2000 @f4, ISO 1000, aperture priority automatic
Post match I was sitting sorting images and transmitting to USA Today when news came in of the firing of Toronto FC Manager and the whole coaching staff – what a surprise! It has subsequently become apparent that star British player, and the man who was supposed to bring glory to Toronto, Jermaine Defoe may be on his way back to Europe possibly to London club QPR.
While all this is going on in Toronto my wife Jean is in Normandy France covering the World Equestrian Games (WEG) or, as it’s become known, Worst Games Ever! To read of her exploits in Caen go to www.jeanllewellyn.com