Photographing sports in the rain

This is written for baseball, but you can apply these comments to any sport.

If the game has a rain delay, you still have a pass for the new time. You are still responsible for being there. You can make amazing photos when it’s wet! Look for features in the stands, look for players goofing off, look for action shots with big splashes as people slide into base.

The school has rain covers for the long lenses and some cameras. Ask for them at the window. We also have a GoPro camera with a waterproof case. It’s very small and it might make some fun features.

Some places in the stadium that are covered. Check  out the other photographers who are at the game. Especially the photogs  from The State newspaper. Or find Alan Sharpe and/or Mary Ann Chastain.  They cover a lot of games, they are very professional, and they love to  mentor our students. They’ll have good tips, too, and maybe even plastic  or something you can borrow.
There are lots of ways to use plastic bags to cover your lens, but use  rubber bands or gaffer tape to make an opening so you can see. Be sure you  have a raincoat for yourself. Bring chamois clothes or towels to dry off
you and your gear. Bring a small cloth to wipe your lens often. Bring  extra socks or shoes if you don’t like to be squishy.

Here are a couple web sites I found really quickly. I’m sure you can find  more. You don’t need to buy a lens raincoat, but you can see how to rig  something on the cheap.

7 Steps for Taking Photos in the Rain | Yanik’s Photo School
Rain Protection| B&H Photo Video
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Photographing SC Baseball

Reach out to the media coordinator to request a pass, at least 3 business days before the game or tournament. For a weekend event, request a pass by the previous Tuesday, or Wednesday at the latest.  There are a limited number of passes for each game, so plan ahead and request ahead of time.

If you get a pass, you are COMMITTED to covering that game. If it’s delayed or rained out, your pass applies to the game whenever it takes place.

Arrive at the stadium 90 mins. prior to start of the game. Pick up your pass at the Media Will Call Gate. Be sure to bring a photo ID. 

At the game, make contact with the Media Relations contact for any questions on site. Be sure to get a roster for both teams. They can give you a tour and hand out meal vouchers. Yes, they feed the media at games, because you are supposed to be there working.

You can set up your computer and store your things  in the  media work room. This is a good way to meet other photographers and professionals, but remember they are all working on deadline.

There are three official photo-specific places to stand. Two are next to the dugouts in a box marked out by red bars, and there is also a photo box above the seats by the walkway near concessions (first base side). You are also allowed behind home plate, again as long as you can find a spot where you are not in the way. Unofficially, you can pretty much shoot from anywhere around stadium as long as you’re not in the way of fans.

Remember that you are representing the J-school at this event. You are there to work. Dress in a professional manner: no skimpy clothes, wear close-toed shoes and dress for the weather. Do not wear Gamecocks logos or cheer for the home team. You’re supposed to be a journalist. 

Take the longest lens you can get your hands on — 300 mm or 400 mm with monopod– as well as a 70 – 200 mm. Don’t forget to have fun!

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