Saturday, August 09, 2008

Night Games

Peter Pan in Fantasmic! (camera phone, 7/27/08)

I can't believe it's been two weeks already since the last Round Robin Photo Challenge! What a busy time I've had! Two weeks ago tonight, I was packing for Disneyland, posting my RR entry, and trying unsuccessfully to get more than 3 1/2 hours of sleep before heading out to the airport. As you may have gathered, I had a wonderful, exhausting time at the Happiest Place On Earth (my left leg is still sore from all that walking), and a trying time connecting with transportation to get home again.

Here comes the Mark Twain! (camera phone, 7/27/08)

I went back to work, and was plunged right into the worries and the difficult decisions of Tuffy's last days. Then there was a new dog to be adopted, taken to the vet, renamed and taught not to eat napkins. And suddenly it's time for a new Round Robin entry, based on the theme Night Shots, as suggested by Steven of (sometimes)photoblog and (sometimes)blog. Oh, my! Already?

Fortunately, I got a call today from Proscovia King, the nice lady who trains and manages the acolytes (crucifers, servers, torchers and lectors) at St. Michael's. She had a couple of tickets going unused for tonight's church outing to a Tucson Sidewinders baseball game. Did I want them? Hmm. Good question! I didn't really want to go without John or Kevin or somebody, so I called John. He wasn't interested. John and I have issues with the Sidewinders going all the way back to the last days of the old Tucson Toros, when they changed the name, the mascot, the major league affiliation, the ballpark and the general manager, all for the worse. I've already ranted this rant several times over, but here's one example of the causes of our discontent. In the old days, the team mascot was Tuffy the Toro, that friendly bull character after whom I named my timid little dog. Now the mascot is Sandy Sidewinder, a snake with arms and legs. We will never name a dog after that monstrosity! I suppose after all these years we should give the current version of the team a fair chance, but somehow we've never managed to enjoy a Sidewinders game.

Sidewinders scoreboard at sunset

So John didn't want to go, but I believe in rut-breakers, so I offered to take Kevin, my friend from church. He said yes. At 6 PM we were standing in the parking lot at St. Michael & All Angels with Father John and Father Ed, the senior warden and some other folks. Kevin and I rode in Father John's SUV to Tucson Electric Park.

As this long preamble wraps up and we finally get to my pictures, I'm going to admit right off the bat that I messed most of them up. See, when I pull the camera out of my purse, I don't always remember to check the settings, which sometimes change by themselves when I'm not looking. Is it set on flash, no flash, or automatic? Is the macro on? The wheel of different modes, from video to portraits to night shots with distant focus, is particularly susceptible to getting turned to some wildly inappropriate option. And because most of the time I deliberately leave it on automatic (other options usually have disappointing results), I don't always notice right away that for it's set on macro, no flash, bright sunshine beach scene, when I'm trying to photograph the moon over distant mountains at midnight.

Revenge of the macro! Father Ed and Father John head out.

That's my excuse, and I'm sticking with it. I'm not saying that every shot here was on some crazy setting, but it was definitely on something odd for a while in the TEP parking lot tonight. And when I got home I noticed the macro was on. Macro! For wide shots of an entire ballpark, and later for fireworks!

Oh, well.

Okay, this shot of TEP isn't too bad.

The game was every bit as dull as the last several Sidewinders games I've attended: too many walks, two HBP, lots of fouls, hardly any hits or runs for most of the game and oh, yeah, the 'Winders lost. The crowd was much bigger than average, well over 7,000. If the turnout were this good every night, the team might not be leaving town after this season due to financial losses and lack of support. Even with that many people, hardly anyone clapped or cheered or sang when prompted. Not that there was much to cheer about, but still. Half as many Toros fans would have made twice as much noise at the old ballpark.

Fireworks from the parking lot.

Chances are excellent that half the people were there mostly for the fireworks the franchise shoots off after Friday night home games. I took dozens of hurried photos as Kevin and I searched for Father John's vehicle. Turns out we were the first ones to reach it. The building in the background of this shot is UPH, formerly Kino Hospital, next to the ballpark. The main psychiatric ward in town is there.

I like the reflection off the car roof.

For most of the fireworks photos I either had the camera on automatic or ISO ("shoot without flash in low light reducing blur"), but it got changed by accident at least once, and the macro may have been on at least part of the time. Still, some of the pictures are better than anything I got at Disneyland two weeks ago (granted, I was using the camera phone) or outside my house on the Fourth of July. I would have taken many more shots, but half the time the camera didn't go off, presumably because it failed to find anything bright and stationary to focus on.

The back door beckons

Back home afterwards, I turned the macro emphatically off, and took one last picture under more controlled conditions.

Now let's go see everyone else's night visions!

Linking List

Steven - Posted!

Carly - Posted!

Vicki - Posted!

Gattina - Posted!
Keyhole Pictures

Karen - Posted!
Outpost Mâvarin

Celeste - Posted!
C's Life

Jennifer Robin - Posted!
Robin's Woods

Molly - Posted!
Return of the White Robin

-rRose - Posted!

Jama Hameed - Posted!
Sweet Memories

Robinella - Posted!

TJ - Posted!
T.J.'s Photo Expressions

Letting Crazy Take A Spin

Photographs & Memories Too
Photographs & Memories

Sandra - Posted!
Strong Chemistry

Annie - Posted!
Pictures of Craziness

Gina - Posted!
Gina's Space

Momma - Posted!
Sandcastle Momma

Sahvvy - Posted!
The Instantaneous Existence of Me

Ourhomeschool - Posted!
... Through The Eye Of My Camera

Em Dy **Welcome New Member** - Posted!
Captured Beat

And, well, you know, you're welcome to join in too! Check the Round Robin blog for details.



Molly said...

All of your photos are intriguing, but you saved the best for last. The "Back Door Beckons" is grand.

Carly said...

Hi Karen

It never stops amazing me how full some weeks can be, and how dreadfully slow others are. Anyway, wonderful night shots. You did good with the fireworks, I would like to see more of those from you, and the ball game was a nice change. It sounds like it was a relaxing way to spend a Friday evening!


TJ said...

That BACK DOOR! Wow..loved it.

Sandcastle Momma said...

Even with camera setting mishaps you managed to get some fine shots! The fireworks turned out really well as did the stadium shot. I love the last photo - there's no place like home!

Sandra said...

now that's some good fireworks shots, love the reflection off car. Door was the best, I agree.

Steven said...

Excellent! Love your baseball story, reminds me of an episode of the Simpsons. Game photos are great.

The local AAA team is called the Iron Pigs here. I gota get me a shirt or a cap.

Wammy said...

Your last shot is my all time favorite. Love the dark and light contrast. I'm going to be trying that tomorrow. Thanks for the idea.

Gattina said...

The pictures came out very nice and you said you have the same camera as I !

MyMaracas said...

You have a lot of "happy accidents" there, and all your shots have a wonderful sense of life and motion. But I agree with the others -- that back door is awesome!

Ourhomeschool said...

I love the last shot of the door. It is so inviting! To think something so simple could be a work of art? Neat.

gina said...

you've featured some wonderful selections here, but that back door really grabs me. wonderful!

Celeste said...

The backdoor was special.