Thursday, September 10, 2009

Lou Gehrig, Derek Jeter and the "Persistence of Vision"

I was at at the Yankee game last night and was fortunate enough to witness Derek Jeter tie Lou Gehrig's record for the most career hits by any Yankee. 2,721 to be exact. 50,000 faithful Yankee fanatics showed their appreciation with a simultaneous primal scream that was as pleasurable to witness as it was painful to the ears. Of course if you care little about baseball, or the Yankees, the fact of Jeter's feat is about as interesting as dry toast for dinner. What is interesting to consider though, is how much hitting is like the act of making pictures. Even the best hitters fail 70 % of the time in their attempt to hit the ball. Most photographer's would be pleased if three out of every ten pictures they made were considered a success. I'll make a generous guess and say that the batting average for photographers is something more like 1 %. That is that one out of every one hundred pictures taken can truly be considered a success. We've grown accustomed in the world of sports, and life in general, to anticipate the dramatic "big" play. The game winning home run, the knock out blow, or the winning three point jump shot that sinks through the hoop right at the buzzer. But in sports, as in photography, or any other creative endeavor, true success like Gehrig and Jeter's is won by those who persistently and undramatically grind it out. Over and over again. Year after year. Day after day. Frame after frame.

Derek Jeter stands on first base after the "big" hit.

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