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Old Jun 13, 2007, 10:34 PM   #1
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Hi,
This may sound silly as there is no magic bullet, but.
This sunday night I will be going to yankee v. mets game at yankee stadium. I am new to the digital SLR world. I will have my pentax k10d and a sigma 28 - 200mm lens. I will be 6 rows from the field aprox at the yankee on deck circle. Help!!
any quick advice?????????

thanks
bob
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Old Jun 13, 2007, 10:55 PM   #2
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Quote:
any quick advice?????????
Don't wear a Red Sox or Braves jersey...
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Old Jun 13, 2007, 11:10 PM   #3
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Yankee gear all the way! ;-)
My usual seats are not this good. This a daddy's day treat for me from the wife.
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Old Jun 14, 2007, 6:12 AM   #4
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Well, besides enjoying the great seats:

200mm sounds like it's a lot of reach but in reality it isn't. You'll be hard pressed to get quality shots across the infield. If you want close up pix, try to get there for batting practice - or at least warm-ups. This way you can walk around a bit and get shots wherever the players are.

For gametime shots:

Set camera to Aperture Priority mode

Set aperture wide open (lowest F-stop)

Set focus mode to whatever Pentax calls AI-Servo

Set ISO to 400. Take some test shots of players - as long as you aren't running into the shutter speed limit (is it 1/4000 on the K10?) you're OK. As the game goes on, keep checking the shutter speeds you're getting. Any time you get near 1/500 - bump up the ISO so you stay faster than 1/500.

Keep the zoom at 200mm 99.9% of the time for shots action shots - you're still far enough away that a player will still fit in the frame at 200mm (except if they're in the on-deck circle right by you).

Shoot in portrait orientation for 90% of the shots - only time to use landscape is a play at a base (because of a sliding player) - almost all other action is predominantly vertical so portrait orientation works better.

Wait for faces - you want shots that have a players face - not their back side. For instance - if batter is right handed and you want shots of him at the plate you need to be on the first base side. If the batter is left handed you need to be on the third base side. The exception to that rule is the follow-thru. You can get some decent shots of the follow-thru from the 'wrong' side. Pitchers are the opposite. Shots of right handers are taken from third base side and left handers from first base side.

Also - remember I said 200mm isn't really that far? You want your subject to fill 2/3 of the frame. If they aren't filling at least 1/2 the frame the shots won't be sharp.

Have fun!
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Old Jun 14, 2007, 8:06 AM   #5
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I agree with most of the suggestions that JohnG has given you, but I have some comments on a couple of them.

First, you'll be panning a lot to follow the action, and panning while holding the camera vertically is going to be tough. You can keep the camera pointed at a single location (pitcher's mound, batter's box, first base, etc.) but then you'll miss that portion of the game that goes on on the rest of the field.

Second, I like to see some motion blur (not a lot, just some) for the ball and bat, but not for the runners and fielders. A shutter speed of 1/500 or faster is going to freeze everything. I think you should get the proper exposure for the pitcher's mound with a shutter speed of about 1/160, and set the ISO (not too high)so you can use an aperature from f/8 to f/16 for maximum sharpness and good depth of field, switch to manual exposure, manual focus, and focus at infinity. With this setup, the dugout and the crowd will be underexposed (but so what), and withMF & ME, you'll have NO shutter lag.

Can you get to another game before the "subway series" to get some experience with JohnG's suggestions, and find out what works best for you? Trying out new stuff at an important event is not usually a good idea.

And, yes, as to your attire: Blue is Good, Red is Bad.

AND POST SOME SHOTS!!!

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Old Jun 14, 2007, 8:16 AM   #6
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Despite my best efforts and constant diligence, the duplicate post bug bit me.
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Old Jun 14, 2007, 8:45 AM   #7
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Im thinking I have a bunch of shots of pitchers shot at 1/500 with extremity blur..ie..the pitchers hand releasing the ball is blurry. And this is only high school level so 1/160 will have a ton of blur, esp in the pros.
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Old Jun 14, 2007, 9:12 AM   #8
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TCav wrote:
Quote:
First, you'll be panning a lot to follow the action, and panning while holding the camera vertically is going to be tough. You can keep the camera pointed at a single location (pitcher's mound, batter's box, first base, etc.) but then you'll miss that portion of the game that goes on on the rest of the field.

Second, I like to see some motion blur (not a lot, just some) for the ball and bat, but not for the runners and fielders. A shutter speed of 1/500 or faster is going to freeze everything. I think you should get the proper exposure for the pitcher's mound with a shutter speed of about 1/160, and set the ISO (not too high)so you can use an aperature from f/8 to f/16 for maximum sharpness and good depth of field, switch to manual exposure, manual focus, and focus at infinity. With this setup, the dugout and the crowd will be underexposed (but so what), and withMF & ME, you'll have NO shutter lag.
On the first point - do you want a good final product? If so, vertical is the way to go - your left hand does most of the work in both cases and you hold the lens the same way in either orientation. If you don't have a vertical grip - your right hand is positioned differently but it's not supporting the outfit anyway. If you shoot vertical you'll have way,way,way too much dead space on either side of the player.

But more to the point - you only pan when shooting a runner. You don't pan when shooting the batter at the plate or a fielder in the field (i.e. you don't follow the ball with the lens - you see where the ball is going and you swtch focus to that point). Plays at a base - you focus on the player covering the base and wait for the runner to enter the frame so again no panning. So again - the takeaway here is - don't follow the ball with the lens - anticipate where the action will be and switch focus to there. Panning with base runners will be a small portion of your shots.

On the second point. 1/500 won't come close to freezing bat on ball or a pitcher's hand - think 1/2000 - 1/4000 for that. 1/160 is way way too slow. You'll get blur in the face and too much blurr of the hands. But, you've got a whole game - so do this: shoot the pitcher using different shutter speeds. Try a couple pitching sequences at 1/160 some at 1/320, some at 1/500 and some at 1/1000 or 1/2000. That way you can select the shots YOU like and not what we like.

Here's a shot at 1/2000 - still enough motion blur in the bat and ball. Any more and the ball looks pretty bad.



one at 1/1600:





Here's 1/1600 of a pitcher - too much motion blur IMO - imagine what 1/160 would look like:



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Old Jun 14, 2007, 10:12 AM   #9
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I concede that 1/160 would be too slow.

Pitched balls and swung bats are the fastest things in the game, and I'd still prefer to see more motion blur than in the shots posted by JohnG.

I like to see motion blur on a ball thrown by a fielder, and if a shortstop could throw as fast as a pitcher, he'd be a pitcher.

But that's just me.

And shooting protrait means you'll miss the double-play action around second base. Important things happen in baseball that involve more than one player.


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Old Jun 14, 2007, 10:46 AM   #10
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TCav wrote:
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And shooting protrait means you'll miss the double-play action around second base. Important things happen in baseball that involve more than one player.

thus this comment:
Quote:
Shoot in portrait orientation for 90% of the shots - only time to use landscape is a play at a base (because of a sliding player) - almost all other action is predominantly vertical so portrait orientation works better.

Of course even that depends on your angle:







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