I came back from a shoot in central California photographing wineries, to find a package from Sports Illustrated. I was fired up to see my photograph of Tony Gwynn on the cover for their special S.I. Presents, Hall of Fame issue. This image of Tony is from Spring Training in Arizona in 1997 and was shot with a 4x5 view camera. There is also one of my images of Tony with his silver bats on the inside. We did the “bats” photo in my studio for No Fear years ago. At the time, Tony had 6 batting titles.
Tony Gwynn could only hold 3 bats in his hands and had to add the rest in Photoshop. We added them each time he won a new title.The reflection of the baseball in the tops of the silver bats was created in camera. I photographed a baseball in the studio and made a large, 3x3 foot, backlit print. This print was placed over a large light source in the studio and reflected into the bats. The ends of the bats are cropped out in this issue of S.I., but here is the uncropped version which appears in the Sports Illustrated Baseball Book.
By the way if you like Vino, check out Peachy Canyon, Linne Calodo, Firestone, Sterling and Via Creek. I had the chance to photograph these wine makers in Paso Robles and they are making some tasty stuff.