In June, 2012 I was contacted by ESPN The Magazine through the website about doing a piece on collections and the evolution of the baseball glove. We corresponded back and forth for months, traded some pics and then they said they would send out some photographers to shoot the gloves. (I could have saved them a lot of time as I’m the world’s worst photographer – no brainer.) They asked me to pick out 20 so I did. The piece, called The Collection, was to be their biggest spread to date, four pages versus the typical one page and focuses on different types of sports collections. I chose a few of my favorites and some others I thought would appeal to the typical sports fan and reader like a two finger, a three finger, WWI & WWII gloves, a Winchester and an Abercrombie & Fitch as most people wouldn’t know they made gloves way back when. So, they sent out three professional photographers led by Timothy Hogan to shoot the 20 gloves front and back. Then came the equipment…
I could not have imagined the production involved in shooting a few gloves. I usually throw a poster board on the floor, drop a glove on it, turn on the flash and hit a button, then flip and repeat. That’s the extent of my mad photography skills. Not these guys. Each side of a glove took time to stage and then 20 minutes of actual shooting time. They would hit a button and walk away. The camera would take 20 pictures of the glove and overlay one image on top of the other over the 20 minute period. The resulting image was a whopping 500MB file (made up of 20 shots). When we amateurs snap pics, the file size is about 1 or 2 MB. These big files could be blown up, projected on the side of a building and not lose resolution and they were only going into a magazine.
Great guys Tim and his crew. They shot for two full days. It had to be expensive. After they were done on a Friday evening, Tim staged them into a collage on a whim. He wanted more gloves so they took some off the shelves in my office. Those gloves were just great feelers that I like to put on when I’m on the phone and otherwise aren’t too special and ended up rounding out the collage.
When it was all said and done, ESPN had sold more advertising space then they had planned and decided to use the one collage shot instead of the 40 other pics. It made the March 4, 2013 Spring Training issue.