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Old May 18, 2007, 5:16 PM   #1
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Here are some shots from the ballfield this week... also shooting for the newspaper.

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Old May 18, 2007, 5:20 PM   #2
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Old May 18, 2007, 5:21 PM   #3
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Old May 18, 2007, 5:23 PM   #4
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Old May 19, 2007, 7:30 AM   #5
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Traveler,

Welcome to Steves and the Sports forum! We can always use another sports shooter here.

Of these shots, I think the 2nd one works the best. For the action shots, you've cropped them nice and tight which is great - keep that up!

On shot 1: The player in the background is too distracting and competes with your subject because she's at a visual focus point (rule of thirds) and because of lack of blur. I'm guessing you were using a 70-300 or 75-300 lens of some type for these? If so, you want to use as much focal length as possible to blur the backgrounds. So on this shot it would have helped to be farther away so you were using more than 143mm focal length. with the shot as it is I might suggest a different crop sliding the pitcher a bit forward in the frame (and thus pushing the other player all the way to the left - doesn't matter if you cut off a leg).

Shot3: Overexposed - but should be able to correct somewhat in post processing. This could be a very good shot if you get the runner in the frame - as it is, with just the leg it isn't as effective. Also, again - try to shoot close to 300mm to blur the background more as the bystanders are distracting.

shot4: I like the concept but it's too cluttered for my tastes. A tighter zoom on the runner and eliminate more of the defensive players in the front of the frame.

So, overall, good work. If you can do more to isolate your subject and remove distracting stuff from the images that will help your shots a great deal. Outside of buying a new lens with f4 or f2.8 the best way to do it with your existing lens is:

a. Choose your positions wisely - sometimes shifting 5 feet can change your angle enough to remove a person or object from the background

b. Position yourself so you're using close to 300mm as much as possible - the more focal length you use the shallower the DOF.

One additional piece of advice - take the camera out of sports mode. Use AV mode and change the metering to partial. Set aperture to it's widest value and leave it. Use ISO to control your shutter speeds. The only place sports mode really hurt you in these shots is the play at first where the exposure was off - partial metering might have helped you out on this. But sports mode will fail in a number of situations - most notably when ISO 400 is an incorrect ISO to use.

Thanks for sharing these and looking forward to seeing more work from you!!
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Old May 22, 2007, 5:09 AM   #6
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Thanks so much, JohnG. I'm looking forward to using this forum.

The advice is good--I can always use more advice.

Probably the biggest problem in shooting at the ballpark is that the chainling fence goes all around each field (except for the angle of 3base as shown in #3 and #4. So, in this case, I have to sit up really close to the fence and have the lens in one position and anticipate a play, because I can't follow a play--there's always a gray blur from the fence

I agree with not using sports mode, and I am continuing to mess around with manual settings, so I appreciate your comments.

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Old May 22, 2007, 6:56 AM   #7
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theTraveler wrote:
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Probably the biggest problem in shooting at the ballpark is that the chainling fence goes all around each field
If you're shooting for the paper, you should be able to shoot from inside the fence. Simply speak to the coaches/umpires before the game to let them know you're shooting for the paper.

Therein lies the best benefit to shooting for the paper - field access.
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