Assignments Blog

Sep 24th

Assignment Ten: “The Boys of Summer”

Posted by with 3 Comments


Assignment Ten


Baseball… played the world over, this game is one of heroes and villains, intrigue and skill.

“The Boys of Summer” is a term used for baseball players, and I think a play or movie too. No matter, we are using it as the title of this assignment.


“Ray. People will come, Ray. They’ll come to Iowa for reasons they can’t even fathom. They’ll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they’re doing it. They’ll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. “Of course, we won’t mind if you look around”, you’ll say, “It’s only $20 per person”. They’ll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack.

And they’ll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They’ll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they’ll watch the game and it’ll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they’ll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come Ray.

The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good and that could be again. Oh…people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.”

— Terrance Mann – “Field of Dreams”

Just read that paragraph again for visual ideas. And that is where you draw your inspiration, your muse so to speak. I want you to dig down deep and make a photograph that illustrates this paragraph, or a line in the paragraph or something YOU think SHOULD have been in the paragraph.

It’s about baseball, summer, ‘the game’, competition and the mystical allure of a green grass field and a small spherical object.

Specifics… oh yeah, there are specifics.

1. The shot must include a baseball somewhere in the frame.

2. Still life or a portrait.

3. Color.

4. Vertical.

5. This is to be a “Made” shot, not a taken one. Please no grab shots at little league… MAKE this shot happen.

This will be an easy assignment if you let go of preconceived notions and false parameters. You must make a vertical color photograph that contains a baseball and is either a portrait or a still life. I would say ‘think outside the box’ but… you guys are pretty good at that. So I will say… knock my socks off. Knock the socks off of the other contenders… make this shot the one where you break out if you have been challenged lately. And if you have been hitting it pretty well, swing for the fence and hit a homer.

Europe and South of Equator:

For you folks, baseball may not be a reality at all. And you are moving toward winter sports in the northern climes while the folks below the equator (Jon and the crew) are beginning summer.

This then is a poster for the beloved sport that your summer sports teams work with… Soccer or tennis or whatever it is in your part of the world that people really love to visit.

In Season issues: There are none. We are commercial photographers and shooting things out of season is simply a part of what we do. From design and production issues to budgets and bureaucracies, to scheduling, there are myriad reasons why we shoot winter stuff in the summer, and summer stuff in the winter. For instance, it is very difficult to get an athlete who is in season for a studio shot or advertising shoot. Schedules and training…

So they are usually shot off season.

If you are somewhere where the season has just ended or hasn’t started yet, that is no problem. You will have to create an image that speaks to the sport you have chosen.

Thursday Webinar is on October 3, 2013. Register to be reminded.

Saturday Webinar is on October 5, 2013. Register to be reminded.

Images are due by 6 hours before showtime. Thanks.


{UPDATE: If baseball is not played in your region, choose a sport with a ball and use that as your image material. It must have a ball though. If you are not sure if that game exists in your area, let me know and we will work it out.}

  1. Pat Matthews
    September 25, 2013 at 12:18 am

    But Don, it’s football season.

  2. Julie L'Heureux
    October 3, 2013 at 3:18 am

    Hi Don, I submitted an image for critique but am unable to make the call this week.
    If I could get some feedback that would be great. I took some portraits but forgot the
    ball used a bat instead so I had this image of a more still life image.

  3. Tammy
    October 5, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Trying to upload. My iPad is working, but computer is having problems.