Last Saturday evening, my husband and I went to an Angels game.
The Angels were playing the Dodgers (big rivals!), and we were fortunate enough to have front row seats. We were also privy to a parking pass (worth ten times its weight in gold!) and had reservations to enjoy dinner in the exclusive Diamond Club.
Yeah baby, we were hobnobbing with the rich and famous for the night.
As you know, we're a big "baseball family" and there are few things in life my husband enjoys more than going to an Angels game. (I won't go into details here, as to what those things are!)
Last time I accompanied Briefcase to a game, I left my camera at home. I didn't want to be bothered with it during the game. I did notice, however, several people in seats around me with very nice DSLR cameras and telephoto lenses on them. I also noticed people recording (videotaping) the game. I made a mental note to bring my camera the next time I came.
Thus, I was surprised on Saturday to be stopped by security as I entered the stadium. They checked my bag, as they always do, and told me I would not be able to bring in the lens I had in my backpack. When I asked why, the security guard called over a supervisor. The supervisor looked at my lens and told me it was "fine" and I could, indeed, take it into the stadium for photos.
Briefcase and I had an early dinner reservation in the Diamond Club, so we went there first. (I'll tell you more about the Diamond Club some other time.) Once dinner was over, we made our way to our seats.
Up to this point, I'd taken just a few photos with my (smaller) wide angle lens.
I switched to my longer, telephoto, lens once we were seated.
Mind you, I had no intention of taking a zillion photos of the game. I wanted to get a couple good shots to show my boys when I got home. (Both of my sons are HUGE Angel fans!) My goal for the night was to enjoy the game, not come home with hundreds of photos.
Once the telephoto was on my camera, I took a few (maybe 5?) photos.
Here is one I took of Matt Kemp (all-star outfielder) from the Dodgers.
Anyway, my camera was just sitting on my lap, as innocent as it could be, when a security guard approached me at my seat and asked for my "media credentials."
(By the way, I'm pretty sure you have to pay for media credentials at Angel Stadium?)
I explained the security supervisor outside the stadium had okayed my lens on the way in. I was told it had to be put away anyway "because it's grey and grey means it's a professional lens."
I must have looked befuddled as I took this information in.
(I own several "professional" lenses that are not grey, including the smaller wide angle lens I had used earlier in the evening.)
"It has a handle too," added the security guard. "A handle definitely means it's professional, put it away."
Oh, a tripod collar ….!!
Mr. Security Man did tell me I could use a "smaller lens" if I had one with me.
Well, of course I put my longer lens away. I knew it probably wouldn't have been noticed if we weren't seated in the front row, but I certainly wasn't trying to cause problems by continuing to use it. I also didn't point out to Mr. Security Man the woman a few seats down from me who was video-recording the entire game. (Definitely against the rules – even I knew that much!)
I did, as you can see from the above photo, amuse myself by taking photos of Mr. Security Man with my smaller "professional" lens he had just okayed.
I also talked to Twitter about the situation and learned there are different camera restrictions at different stadiums. Most stadiums just say "no tripods/monopods" which I can completely understand. (People would trip on them; they would block the view of attendees.)
I also was told, the reason for camera restrictions is not for "security" but because MLB wants to control the money earned from photography.
(Apparently, I'm a threat to Sports Illustrated photographers everywhere?)
Now, don't get me wrong –
I have every intention of abiding by whatever rules the stadium has …
Even if the rules are archaic in this day and age where almost everyone has a camera on their phone.
By the way,
The pizza guy knew a lot more about cameras than Mr. Security Man.
"That's an amazing lens!" he exclaimed excitedly.
It turns out his wife is a camera buff and he's learned to appreciate a good lens.
With my "smaller" lens mounted on my camera, I got some spectacular different shots.
For example, here is one of Jered Weaver (amazing pitcher) with sunbeams shining down on him from the grandstands.
As the sun dropped below the grandstands, this became even more apparent.
(In case you're wondering, I love my 24mm lens. So sharp!)
In spite of the camera debacle, it was a great game and a wonderful evening. We had a lot of fun.
I, especially, have to tip my hat to Jered Weaver.
The man is truly an amazing pitcher!
P.S. Dear Angel Stadium: You really should reconsider your stupid archaic rules on the use of cameras/lenses. Thank you, Your Devoted Fan.
P.P.S. Dear Jered Weaver: If you'd like a copy of the cool photo I took of you pitching, I'd be happy to sell you one. HA HA!! Just kidding MLB Jered!
© Twenty Four At Heart