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Old Oct 1, 2007, 7:43 AM   #1
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Here's one of my feeble attempts at shooting my step-brother's little league team. Sorry about the watermark, but these were already uploaded on the website so I didn't feel like rehosting them w/o the watermark. C&C Always Welcomed!































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Old Oct 1, 2007, 7:58 AM   #2
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All shot with Pentax K10D & Sigma APO DG 70-300 f/4-5.6, Exif Attached
Note To Self: Buy Vertical Grip! LOL

Nick
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Old Oct 1, 2007, 8:40 AM   #3
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Great shots Inn, esp good timing with the ball being in most pics...very important. I love everything about shooting baseball except the dang chain link fences!! Argghhhh. I glanced at the exif data on a couple of your shots and noticed that youre at f/8. I try to shoot all my baseball, and sports in general,at f/2.8-4. In doing so I can blur out the distaracting backgrounds. Not only the chain link fences, but also the spectatorslike the woman in the background that couldnt keep still. LOL Also, youll notice that the ones shot at a shutter speed of 1/1000 stop the action while those shot at 1/640 dont. I try to stop all the action, pitchers, batters, runners, etc...At that age 1/1000 should be plenty fast enough. One last comment-I would also level everything. My personal pet peeve is to see the vertical fence poles tilted one way or the other. Most parents wont realize this, unless they shoot as a hobby themselves, but most photogs will. Sorry to hit you with all that but your shots remind me of myself when I first shot the game...except that your timingis MUCH better than mine was. Keep up the good work.
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Old Oct 1, 2007, 9:57 AM   #4
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Not bad for a first attempt.

Here are some tips for your 2nd try:

1. Much tighter framing - all should be framed like 4 & 8. From the exif I looked at you should have had plenty of zoom left in the lens on most of the shots. Start at 300mm andonly back off that when your subject no longer fits in the frame.This will get you sharper focused shots and it will get rid of distracting background.

2. Open up that aperture - f8 is too narrow - especially at the plate. I realize you can only open up to 5.6 but every stop helps.

3. framing - on a lot of the batter shots you've got them a bit to the right of the frame - if anything they should be toward the back of the frame with the ball in front of them. Now, when you shoot things will be centered most often but when you crop in editing you should fix to get a better final product.

4. Exposures all over the place. This can be tough to get used to, but it's important. You've got some really nice shots (like shot 8) but the faces are under-exposed. If you get them wrong in-camera you should make the effort to correct them in post processing.

Those are the biggest things. There are other minor things. But I think if you work on these in your next outing you'll make good strides.

Again, great job on your first time shooting the sport!
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Old Oct 1, 2007, 10:01 AM   #5
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Sorry, one other thing. If these are for the parents (which I'm assuming they are if you've watermarked them) - typically parents don't like shots of their kid not looking good. So a ball already past the batter probably isn't going to be a great seller - same with an obvious missswing. So shots like #2 and the last couple at-bat shots where a hit is possible are good keepers. But the others, where the ball is past or the kid is obviously going to miss (i.e. the ball is at the plate and the swing has just started) probably not so much. Part of it is timing and part of it is luck. The bad part for us as photographers is - you could have a wonderfully sharp image but it still goes in the trash because the batter didn't do his job and missed the ball or didn't swing.
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Old Oct 1, 2007, 10:22 AM   #6
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Thanks for the tips guys!

This being my first game, I would've framed tighter, but was worried about getting the entire body in the frame and not chopping off limbs. After taking a second look at some of the pictures posted here, I now realize that the action is the important part. I see a lot of pictures with feet cut off, but the pictures look great because the main action is captured. The next game, I will definately frame tighter!

I didn't think about using the wide aperture to blur the background, I was thinking about CA and figured if the light was good enough to use f8 then I might as well use it and eliminate the CA, forgot all about blurring the background, so that is completely my fault. I will try the next game wide open and go from there.

The exposures were also my fault. I was exposing more for the action and overall picture and forgot about the faces. So, if I understand correctly, the pictures will look better with a properly exposed face even if the highlights are blown all to hell? That's going to be a little challenging to get used to, but I will definately try at the next game!

Again, I can't thank you guys enough for the tips. Can't wait to see how the next game's shots look!

Nick
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Old Oct 1, 2007, 10:29 AM   #7
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inneyeseakay wrote:
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So, if I understand correctly, the pictures will look better with a properly exposed face even if the highlights are blown all to heck?
BINGO!!!!

You have to take off your photographer hat for a second. Forget about uniforms or skies - they're irrelevant. You want to keep highlights if you can - but if it's a choice between the face or the sky the face wins every time. But realize - the light isn't going to hit every face at the same angle - and people have different skin complexions. So, dodging and burning are important tools to get those faces looking good.

Here's an example - different sport but same principle. This was extremley bright sunlight - and pristine white uniforms. The uniform highlights are completely blown but I can see their eyes.


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Old Oct 1, 2007, 10:32 AM   #8
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Here's my attempt at PPing to fix facial exposure. Let me know how I did.

Nick
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