Russ Stanton, sports photographer? For the day, anyway
Editor Russ Stanton was talking about the Dodgers game he attended Tuesday night. It was an unusual game, he said -- unusual that the Dodgers won, and unusual that they scored a lot of runs.
It also was unusual that Stanton shot the photo (above) that ran with the Dodgers-Tigers game story in Wednesday's Sports section.
Stanton accompanied Times photographer Gary Friedman to the game as a sort of apprentice.
This was the second time he'd gone on a ride-along with a photographer-- the first was in February 2010, to the mudslides in La Canada Flintridge that followed the Station Fire.
Stanton said he'd been wanting to do it again. "I don’t ever want to get too far from the daily process," he said.
Since he’s a "huge baseball fan" and had learned that Friedman was a Detroit fan, they made plans for Stanton to go along to Tuesday's game.
The pair arrived at Dodger Stadium about two hours before game time and "schlepped in about 80 to 100 pounds of gear," including four cameras. "I was Gary’s caddy," Stanton said.
Friedman set up remote cameras in the first- and third-base wells. "Knowing I had an able-bodied assistant (who carried his weight big-time carrying large camera lenses) in Russ, I could place more remote cameras to increase my (photographic) batting average," Friedman said in an email.
He was going to shoot the fourth camera himself from the first-base well, where Stanton would watch with him. But the plan changed when the remote on the third-base camera wouldn't work from across the field.
"The third-base well is right by the Dodgers dugout, so I said, 'I'll take it!'" Stanton said. He said Friedman did all the work by mounting the camera, while he just operated the remote.
"Being a serious baseball fan, Russ knows the game thoroughly, so he knew when to trigger the cameras," Friedman said.
"I shot the two lefties, [James] Loney and [Andre] Ethier, and Ethier did hit a home run," Stanton added.
But Stanton said he also found himself watching the game and forgetting to shoot. On one play, a Tigers player hit a line drive down the third-base side. "I didn’t get the shot," he said. But he said there also were photographers with him from MLB and from Getty Images, "and they didn’t get the shot either."
Friedman transmitted photos back to the newsroom twice during the game, and Stanton marveled at the process of photo editing on the fly.
He said that he thought the photo was going to run at three columns but that it was downsized when a story came in longer than expected. "Now I know how the photographers feel," he joked.
But it was no matter: "Suffice it to say, I had a blast."
Photo: Dodger Aaron Miles is about to be forced out in the second inning of Tuesday's Dodgers-Tigers game. Credit: Russ Stanton / Los Angeles Times