Getting To Know The Fans: Danny Duarte
Hey Dodger Yard readers, I’m Jason and will be writing a couple articles a month on being a fan. I’m looking to reach out to other fans to interview. If you have a talent, story or anything related to being a fan of the Dodgers or baseball in general, feel free to reach out, as I would love to talk to you.
My first article features a fellow photographer, Danny Duarte. I found Danny via Twitter when he was selling his Dodger photozine. Danny’s zine is a must have for Dodger fans and collectors. Not only is the zine very well printed and edited, directly supporting the creative efforts of creatives goes a long way into making sure artists can keep doing the work they were born to do. Check out Danny’s website listed below for information on how to order the zine.
Q. Why the Dodgers?
A. I was born and raised in Los Angeles and my family would go to Dodgers games every now and then but a family friend, who was a huge Dodgers fan, would take me to many games when I was a kid. He is who I credit for really opening my eyes to baseball and the team.
Q. Why photography?
A. I started to get into photography in my late teens/early 20s by walking around my neighborhood and photographing my environment. As the years went on, I fell in love with it more and more, so I took a couple classes at Los Angeles Pierce College and became part of the photojournalism team. It was a lot of fun but there are too many rules in photojournalism, so I left. I wanted to further my education, so I applied and got accepted to ArtCenter College of Design. That is where I really found how to express myself and create art that meant something to me.
Q. Favorite Dodger memory?
A. Vin Scully’s last Dodgers home game with Charlie Culberson’s walk off to clinch the division. Perfection.
Q. All-time favorite Dodger?
A. Clayton Kershaw. I know he’s a popular choice but when you really look at what he has done it’s incredible. Not a lot of players even get close to what he has accomplished. And of course, there’s Andrew Toles. I loved what I saw from him in the games I got to see him play in. I have a feeling he would have been an everyday player. I really hope he is doing ok and that he returns to play in a Dodgers uniform.
Q. You mentioned in your zine that you had a gut feeling that the 2017 team was going to accomplish something amazing. What prompted that feeling and have you had it since?
A. It was honestly a gut feeling but a couple things probably contributed to that. They re-signed Justin Turner, Kenley Jansen, and Rich Hill. Dave Roberts finished his first season as Dodgers manager making it two games away from the World Series. Four consecutive NL West titles. You can’t help but feel a bit confident after that. Everything was lining up for them to finally win it all. And now with what we all know…they kind of did. Just not officially.
Q. Bringing the camera to the game with a goal in mind, how do you balance being a fan and documenting what you see?
A. I did not plan on making a book until the season ended. I try to make it a habit to bring my camera everywhere I go because there is always something that catches my eye. For the most part, I watch the game. Photographing it, and the stadium, is secondary. I still want to watch and enjoy it.
Q. How many photos did you take for this project and how did you decide which photos to use in the zine?
A. Around 250 photos were taken during the season. I’m a bit selective when I photograph. With digital, you tend to overshoot the same thing to make sure you get the shot. However, shooting with film taught me patience and to slow down, a habit I have carried over when shooting digital. You learn to really focus on what’s important.
Choosing which photographs to use is the most difficult process for me in photography. Photographing, processing, and retouching them is easy. It took almost a year to finish the book and a lot of time researching how to make it, such as things like choosing what size, paper, binding, etc. Designing the layout and cover was another long process. I now understand why people outsource these things to others. I loved the process though, and I learned so much.
Q. In the zine, it seemed like the game was secondary to the stadium. As someone who has yet to visit Dodger Stadium, I greatly appreciate seeing what isn’t shown on television. I know you are working on a new zine for the 2018 season, how will this new one differ than the 2017 based zine? Will the stadium be the main subject?
A. I took a break from attending games in 2018 because I was drained from the way 2017 ended. I went to my first game of 2018 in September, so I do not have enough photos for that season. The upcoming book, titled “LA Bleeds,” is for the 2019 season and has a similar vibe to the first. Photographs of moments in the game, fans, stadium. It’s a mix of all three. It will be available in late March.
One of my many goals with photography is to photograph Dodger Stadium in its entirety, inside and out. Being the oldest stadium west of the Mississippi, third oldest in MLB, it has so much history. Its mid-century architecture is one of a kind in baseball. The perfect stadium.
Q. How can other Dodger fans follow you and your photography?
A. You can follow me on Instagram and Twitter at @dannydsfv
You can view more of my photography at www.dannyduarte.com
Thank you for reaching out. I loved talking to you about the Dodgers and photography. Two of my favorite things.
PS. Fire Manfred and dismantle the Astros organization.