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Ron Vesely   Print  E-mail 
Written by Fotomall Staff  
Friday, 18 November 2005
      I was born and raised in Houston, Texas. Growing up, I liked to draw and had an interest in history, specifically in WWII. When I was nine, I went to my first NFL football game, and not long after, I went to my first Astros baseball game, in April 1980. I was hooked, especially on the baseball. Before the home games were televised, I used to listen to the games on radio and would look at pictures out of books and magazines of the Astrodome, where the Astros played, and imagine what was happening. I still liked to draw, and I started designing ballparks. I also started going to several Astro home games a year. For mothers day 1983, when I was in the sixth grade, my dad bought my mom a video camera. I learned how to use the camera and I was hooked on the video ( my mom never did learn how to use it! ). A friend of mine and I used to make some really bad movies.
     When I got to high school, I played baseball my freshman year in 1986. I started playing in fourth grade. I tried out my sophmore year, but didn't make the team. I then became a manager on the track team. I was also a equipment manager on the football teams all four years. My junior year, I took a journalism class so the next year, my senior, I was the sports editor for the school newspaper and I graduated from high school in 1989.
     After my freshman year in college, I had a interest in pursuing a career in video. I visited the Art Institute of Houston, but they didn't offer anything in videojournalism. Later that summer, after a trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico, I then had a sudden interest in still photography. In August 1990, just shy of my 20th birthday, my dad and I went to a local camera store and bought a Canon EOS 630. I didn't know anything about cameras or types. For the next few years, I shot rolls and rolls of film and learned about photography mostly from books. I also took my camera to sporting events, especially Astro games, and shot from the stands. I also took several pictures at a family ranch in south Texas. At the same time, I was going to school at the University of Houston downtown campus and was about to transfer to the main campus in the summer of 1992 when my mom suggested I take another look at the Art Institute of Houston, this time for their photography program.
     In July 1992, I started at the Art Institute of Houston. They offered a two year program, and one of the first things they taught us was how to process and print black and white photos. We had classes in basic courses such as design, using a view camera, photojournalism, portraiture, use of color, color printing, model, introduction to Adobe photoshop, etc...While in school, I started going to Rice and University of Houston baseball games, sometimes with classmates, and learned how to shoot baseball. I never had a credential and would just walk onto the field with my cameras with no problem. By this time I was shooting with an EOS -1 and a A2E film bodies, and a 300 2.8 for baseball. I graduated with an associates degree in photography in June 1994. I then did some freelance and shot some baseball for University of Houston for their 1995 media guide.
     In August 1995, I sent a resume to Astros media relations director Rob Matwick. After several calls, I finally talked to Rob and in November 1995, he took a look at some of my baseball pictures, even though they weren't looking to hire anyone. He liked what he saw and said I could shoot a few games in 1996. I went on a trip to spring training and was able to get a credential to three Astros spring training games. I showed the Astros the pictures and they really liked them. They even used some on a poster and in the program. I shot about eight games in 1996, and several more in 1997. The Astros continued to use more and more of my pictures, even though they already had a team photographer. Before the 1998 season, they decided to make a change and they hired me as their team photographer.
     In 1998 I shot 62 out of 81 home games. Starting in 1999, I have shot every home game except one plus all playoff home games. Before 2003, I switched from film to digital, using two Canon 1D's. At the end of the 2004 season, I upgraded to the Mark II. This year, I sold my old 400 2.8 series I to the 400 2.8 with the stabilizer.
     In addition to the baseball, I have shot some college football freelance. I also do some non sports freelance work. Also in my spare time I shoot wildlife and nature pictures and the family ranch in South Texas. The ranch is located on the Rio Grande river south of the town of Eagle Pass ( sw of San Antonio ).

Fotomall Magazine is a division of Photography for Fun. 2004 All rights reserved.
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