05/25/2012 1:09 PM ET
Cuddyer: Picture-perfect ballparks
Rockies outfielder has developed a passion for photography
I think I've always had an appreciation for photography, but now, I am really into it.
Prior to last year, I was with my brother-in-law at the beach and he was taking some pictures of a sunset and other stuff. Once I saw the results of that session, I realized how cool it was. I thought about all the cities we get to travel to over the season and all the cool parks in which we play. We get access to a lot of places other people don't, and I really wanted to take advantage of it.
I started learning about cameras and how to really use all the features of the high-tech models. I did a lot of reading and research on the subject before I got up the nerve to purchase a system. Once I felt comfortable, at the end of Spring Training last year, I started snapping away. I started really getting into it on our first road trip of the season in Toronto. From there, we went to play the Yankees and see their new stadium. I've been taking pictures of every stadium since then.
At first, I started buying photography magazines and doing research online, trying to find tutorials. Social media networks helped me out a lot. I've been following different photographers on Twitter and picking the brains of all the professional photographers we come into contact with on a daily basis. I'd ask them how you get the perfect exposure or what type of shutter speed to use in a certain situation and things like that. I take all that information and incorporate it into my style of photography and what I like.
The biggest challenge for me so far has been dealing with lighting. The best hours for photos are usually early in the morning or later in the afternoon. At those times, the stadium might not be open or I might be playing. I have to deal with the time I have, so it's definitely been a challenge for me. A lot of the times the sun is right over my head or it's cloudy out. It's definitely a steep learning curve.
All the pictures I take are of the environment I'm in. I promised my teammates I wouldn't take any pictures of them. I feel like they respect my passion for photography more that way. For example, when we were in Southern California, I went to the beach and took a lot of shots. In Chicago, I walked around the city and spent a lot of time shooting Wrigley Field.
I put all of my pictures on Flickr.com. At one point I had just under a million views, so I was pretty excited. All the info is on my Twitter page, too.
Veteran outfielder Michael Cuddyer is in his first season with the Rockies. He played for the Twins from 2001-11 before signing with Colorado as a free agent this past winter. He has played in more than 1,110 career games and soon he will reach the 150 career home run mark.