“Sibling Rivalry” came about a few years ago – June of 2022 to be exact.  I have been making “Sandlot Style” baseball portraits since 2014 but have found not doing as many as I have in the past as other opportunities have kind of pushed them to the side.  I guess that is somewhat the nature of our business, we grow into other interests, etc.  However, I had a mom reach out to me about commissioning me to make a sandlot-type picture of her 3 boys.  She had seen some of my other prints at other homes and really wanted to do something like this for her husband for Father’s Day.  Since it was already June that was going to be a tight turnaround.  I should add I make these pictures using a 4×5 format film camera – the resolution and fidelity of sheet film is just sensational!

We were able to get her boys into the studio to make the pictures.  Two twin brothers and their little brother.  I have the shirts, old baseball gear, hats, everything.  Of course, then my favorite part for these sessions is burning a cork (real cork not plastic) to add the “dirt” and “eye black” that really ties all of the look together.  I have several poses I like to put the kids into, but the one featured on “Sibling Rivalry” is one of my favorites when I have 3 subjects.  This way I can have a pitcher, catcher, and batter.

PPA Image Excellence Selection – “Sibling Rivalries” © Pete Rezac Photography

I knew from the moment I released the shutter that I had something special and made sure to check and double-check each step of the process of unloading the film back, loading the development tank, and ensuring I had good fresh chemistry, basically, I did not want to make an error on my part after believing I had recorded a special image.  This is one of the reasons I love working in classic photography vs digital – the added pressure and suspense of if I got it right!  It really is a great feeling of accomplishment when it all works out – like this one did!  Then it was to the scanner to scan and dust spot the negative – parting of working with classic photography is dust but Photoshop has great tools to help remove it.  Then I printed a 24×30 portrait in-house.  

Some may be asking why I shoot film when I scan it to a digital file.  Why not just shoot digital?  The answer is simple – sheet film still records more information than a digital sensor, and it has characteristics to it that just can’t be duplicated.  I’m also a print photographer – meaning I sell prints as final product.  Film still loves to be printed and it really shines and shows all the information that was recorded when it is printed!  Also, film provides the client an entirely unique experience to having their picture made.  Especially, when using a large format camera – as many have never seen that type of camera ever, let alone had their picture made with one.

The title “Sibling Rivalry” came about, as you can probably expect by now, because they are brothers.   They were brothers throughout the whole session!  Always the little remarks, the things the brothers do to each other.  Who got to get their individual portraits made first.  Who got the best bat, etc.  By the way I did do individual pieces of each of them too!  Observing how they were interacting with each other, seeing the expression of them on the photograph, and how I posed them as if they just finished a bit of a pickup baseball game – it all came together to be “Sibling Rivalry”

I had not entered any baseball player photographs into PPA Image competition for a few years, as I had a great run with baseball players and I didn’t want to jinx my success.  However, I felt I had something special with this image and thought the judges might feel the same.  So I entered it into the last “International Photographic Competition” or IPC before it was re-imagined for release in 2023 and its great finally at PPA’s Imaging USA this past Jauary in Louisville, KY.    I did not have an opportunity to watch it being judged but saw it received “five thumbs up” in first round and then “5 thumbs up” for Imaging Excellence.  That is how it found its way in the Imaging Excellence collection and to the fine folks at Marathon Press!

What started as a late request for a Father’s Day gift for a baseball-loving dad of 3 boys (Mom is an equal baseball-loving fan too) turned into a piece that did very well at high-level image evaluation.  I guess I’ve always used client work for my competition pieces versus producing something specific for a competition.  I treat every session I photograph as though it might be something that could be evaluated for merit or imaging excellence – as I personally believe that is how that process most benefits makers.  Use what has been learned from former entries of “my work” to make “my future work” better.  It’s the stuff I haven’t made yet that can be bettered by image evaluation!

Thank you Marathon Press for the invitation to give a little background about how my photograph “Sibling Rivalry” came about and how it ended up with Marathon Press to be included into the Imaging Excellece book that is published by Marathon Press!

Technical Details”

Intrepid Camera Company  8×10 mark II Camera with 4×5 Reducing Back

Kodak Professional TriX 320 4×5 Sheet Film

Fujinon 300mm lens

Exposure info – Film is rated at iso 160, f16, 1/60sec

Lighing – Photogenic with Larson 3×4 softbox – main

Lighting – Paul C Buff Einsten with 20degree grid spot for background light

Lighting – Paul C Buff Alienbee 800 – Larson Strip Box for subtle accent light

Studio Titan Camera Stand

Patience and Tenacity to wait for right moment!


© Pete Rezac Photography
© Pete Rezac Photography
© Pete Rezac Photography
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