BRADENTON, Fla. — OK, Lunatics. We’ve been down this road before. It’s the road where I look for photos I’ve taken and I strip them of color, but add something to them by doing so. There have been a couple ‘black and white baseball’ posts, I’ve walked the same path in Latrobe and on the sidelines at Heinz Field, and I’ve certainly shared a fair share of black and white conversions on the company and on my personal Instagram accounts.
Black and white has never been a ‘phase’ for me. I’ve loved it since I got my Canon Rebel 2000 in 1999 when I would abuse the free rolls of film awarded to members of Peters Township High School’s ‘camera club.’ I shot skateboarding on it, I shot people with it, I shot pretty much everything on it.
Even though I started shooting on film, though, I missed the period where I could have really learned to work in a darkroom. It wasn’t something that we did at the school — rolls were sent out for processing — so I never had the chance to stand paper deep in chemicals while dodging and burning to turn my black and white passion into something more than CVS 3×5’s with an accompanying photo CD.
In the digital world, though, I obsess over my ability to shoot in color as I document sports and then endlessly strip the bands of color until I’m left with far more satisfying shades of gray than you get at Cinemark or Carmike.
Bradenton, especially Pirate City, is the perfect place to exercise my love for limiting color. While our Lance Lysowski spent his mornings at Pirate City in the clubhouse, speaking to players and gathering story ideas (great ones, if you’re keeping up with the Buccos), I spent mine lingering around the batting cages hoping for perfect morning light to kiss the skin tones of Venezuela, the Dominican Republic and Cincinnati, Ohio.
So on this, a rare day off for the team and those covering it, I’ve collected a series of images — many of which are in the collage above — for this article. It was tough to narrow what’s up there to what you’ll find below, but I think I’ll share a number of those that didn’t make the cut on social media, so keep an eye on the @DKPghSports Instagram account if you aren’t already.
See you guys in the comments.