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Interesting little things…

How To Film Baseball With An iPhone From Behind The Cage

iPhone 8 with clamp-on fish-eye lens

In just a few weeks, my 8-year-old has upgraded from Little League to Travel League. I am taking up the challenge of filming some real ball games also, upgrading my gears as well. This time right behind the cage, instead of sticking a mono-pod into one of the metal tubes along the dugout fences.

To make the whole system shock-proof (not sure it’s Major League shock-proof), I iterated a couple of different setups until I settled on this one, pictured above, that I really love. (Shown below is a sample clip from a 105-min whole-game video starring my boy’s single, base stealing and run.)

Forest Hills Bombers Evan scores a run while Juan RBIs and teases 1B

Here below is the Little League 2020 regular season (summer) recap, using the stuck-in mono-pod setup off the first or third base fence:

Pros and Cons of behind the cage


  • Lots of trial and error to get it right
  • May take a really wide fish-eye lens to cover all bases (haven’t tried multi-lens smartphones yet, will update if I do)
  • Gap between home plate and cage might be too tight on some fields


  • Best angle

Comparison of two fish-eye lenses

Lens 2 (just missed 1B)
Lens 1 (just enough to cover all bases)

If you have better tricks or other ideas to share, or just want to compare notes or talk technique, feel free to text me at 646-883-3115. Good luck filming and cherishing these fond memories!

Photographing Celebrities and Youth Athleticism

I missed going to the US Open this year, watching the best tennis players practicing and battling while snapping some of my best action shots. I also missed spending time with family and friends there. Hope US Open 2021 will return to normal with lively crowds.

With COVID-19 wrecking the plans for the past and upcoming school years, parents have embraced the rescheduled Little League season with greater appreciation and enthusiasm. I also dug deeper into my photography gear box to film the entire season without missing a beat (well, I did miss a few minutes due to battery issues). Here below is a recap video of my older boy’s team, Rockets, at the Forest Hills Little League 2020 season (spoiler alert: two grand slams and an additional home run):

Little League 2020 Season Highlights

First of all, a big shout out to the Forest Hills Youth Athletic Association, without whom this season, even though delayed, wouldn’t have been possible due to the new crazy world we are all living in due to COVID-19. The adequate social distancing restrictions on the fields and decent amount of policing have made all parents feel much needed peace of mind.

And a special thank you to Coach Frank, Assistant Coaches Tommy and Dre and all the families of Forest Hills Rockets, the best 8-year-olds baseball team in LLB. Here immediately blow is the whole-season recap:

Here are some game highlights:

Behind-the-scenes gadgets involved for shooting:

Charting the Carnage of Covid-19 (data via NYTimes)

Total reported cases and deaths in the U.S. (and by states/counties)

As New York Governor Andrew Cuomo likes to say, we have climbed a monstrous mountain. Even though we are on the other side of it, and for quite a few weeks, there’s still no place for complacency and chance-taking.

Here below is just a chart where you could filter any states and/or counties of your interest and see how the pandemic has been wreaking the havoc. A big shout out to the New York Times COVID-19 data team, who have offered all the data for free here.

Bear Markets: S&P 500 in Historical Perspective

It’s quite a sight to witness the stock market dropping by 35% in 33 days (S&P 500) thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, beating the 1929 record in velocity with a drop of 45% in 58 days. See slide 6 and 12:


  • The red bars indicate the S&P 500 peak and trough prices during the bear markets, background reading by James A. Kostohryz on
  • Top image from by Paul D. Kaplan [The chart shows that over this period of almost 150 years, $1 (in 1870 U.S. dollars) invested in a hypothetical U.S. stock market index in 1871 would have grown to $15,303 by the end of March 2020.]
  • Slide 12 might be a work in progress…

Coronavirus graphs: taming the COVID-19 curves

Predicting when we will be heading out of the woods is the most unreliable business in this trying time. These graphs and map below are what a lot of us are watching daily while preparing to reopen society. They may also be good materials for historians and museums.

NYC cases mapped (every 5 days)

Data source:

Apex modeling for New York (Data updated until Sept. 18, 2020)

Data sources:


  • NYC data cycles from 5/6pm to 5/6pm the following day, so the two sets of data between NYS and NYC might be slightly out of sync.
  • NYC’s newly reported “probably deaths” are not included in the graphs here.
  • There are some data gaps in the Hubei-Wuhan datasets.
  • On April 17, China revised Wuhan’s toll from COVID-19 up by 50%; so take the data with a grain of salt!

NYTimes: Lung X-rays 1-2-3:

Don’t kid yourself thinking statistics are on your side, even though you don’t belong to the vulnerable populations. Read this harrowing roller-coaster experience of an athletic father of three in Mass. He almost died, see X-ray image 2 below with his lungs in total whiteout. Kudos to The New York Times. Worth remembering: your chance of surviving COVID-19 if you get it is 1/2 – either you make it or you don’t.

Mr. Bello’s lungs on March 14, his first X-ray at Massachusetts General Hospital. The white space indicates areas of his lungs that were filled with fluid and inflammatory cells.Credit…via Massachusetts General Hospital
Mr. Bello’s lungs on March 27, a complete “whiteout,” in which his lungs are hardly visible. Some doctors at Mass General said this was one of the worst chest X-rays they had ever seen.Credit…via Massachusetts General Hospital
Mr. Bello’s chest X-ray on April 8, the lungs visible again, indicating his system was clearing.Credit…via Massachusetts General Hospital

Emotional moments from the web

Novak Djokovic’s 2020 Highlights

Australian Open Final: beat Dominic Thiem

Djokovic won with a five-set thriller: 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4

Dubai Open Semi-final: beat Gael Monfils

Djokovic saved three match points to ultimate prevail: 2-6, 7-6(10), 6-1