Spring = baseball

Sports is in my blood, just like photography.  In my previous career, I was a professional sports writer for 11 years in the newspaper business.  Along the way I covered everything from Texas high school football to the NBA and the NFL, including Brett Favre's amazing 2009 season with the Minnesota Vikings. Living here in Tampa, there are a handful of baseball teams that come to this area for spring training.  I took my son to the opening game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Toronto Blue Jays.  (Unfortunately, my favorite team, the Dodgers, no longer come to Florida for spring training.)  I wanted to enjoy the sunshine and the atmosphere that day, so I took only a few shots from the stands. Here are a couple.

Are you ready for some football?!

I love shooting football! There's so much action and intensity. I made these shots at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers home game against the Houston Texans on Nov. 13 at Raymond James Stadium. I shot these from the stands, but I think they turned out pretty well. This is just the second NFL game I've ever shot. Please let me know what you think! Do you have a favorite?

The next photo is a wider crop of the first one. I'm not sure which version I like better.

Texans QB Matt Schaub inside the huddle.

Some of my other favorites from the game:

I wish the punter was in focus but I'll include it here because of the timing involved with the ball on his foot.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers pumped up against Dolphins

I was lucky to shoot pictures at a Tampa Bay Buccaneers preseason game last month against the Miami Dolphins. Thanks to my friend Steve at work for letting me have his tickets! I wasn't sure whether to take my camera because I had no idea if I would be close enough to the field to get good shots. But after I arrived, I was excited that the seats were fantastic. I was so glad I brought my camera and my 70-200 f/2.8 with a 1.4x teleconverter. I had so much fun shooting the game, which the Bucs won. It was even better because I took my 8-year-old son Evin with me. It was his first NFL game! Here are some of my favorite shots from that night. UPDATE 9-28-11: For more pictures from the game, click here.

Escaping the rush

Tampa Bay's Michael Bennett