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May's Featured Photo of the Month!

Title: Batter Up

Taken: April 25, 2015 in South Kingstown, Rhode Island.

Shot with: Nikon D-3S camera body,

Nikon 80-200mm Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8 zoom lens.

Shot at: 200 mm, 1/1600 sec at f / 4.0, ISO 200

The best and worst thing about shooting for a community newspaper is that, after about a year or so, you start going to the same events over and over and over again.

Now, what's terrible about that is pretty clear: These events, the more you attend them, get boring. But what's great about that, at the same time, is that this boredom challenges you to do something different and find a way to be unique.

It's that struggle that makes these events so much fun, especially if you can somehow manage to find a different angle or pull off a different photo of an event you've shot dozens of times before.

And that's exactly what happened this year when I was tasked with shooting the South Kingstown Little League Opening Day ceremonies at Tuckertown Park for the South County Independent Newspaper.

I knew going into the event exactly what to expect. There would be cute kids being cute with Little League uniforms on and, chances were, not much else.

And considering the night before I walked away with not one but two Rhode Island Press Association awards (See the blog post above,) I knew there was a little more pressure on me internally than usual.

So, when I saw this young kid competing in the "home run derby" (Which was, honestly, more like a pop up derby given that he was batting from the midway point between the pitcher's mound and second base,) I knew I had to photograph it in a slightly different way than usual.

So I stood right next to the pitcher throwing the balls his way.

Now, was this dangerous? Perhaps. But I can't imagine a 10-year-old kid connecting on a cupcake underhand throw would have hurt all that much even if he knocked the snot out of the ball.

But the end result is exactly what I was looking for. If the idea was to get a photo that captured the spirit of Little League and Little League Opening Day, I can't think of anything better than seeing a determined kid making contact with the ball and sending it flying.

And that, in essence, is why photographers have to go to the same event each and every year. Because once in a while, we find a new way to tell an old story.

And that challenge is what motivates us to keep going ... even when we're otherwise creatively uninspired.

Beyond the Lens: A blog by Paul J. Spetrini

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