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Old May 8, 2012, 5:30 PM   #1
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Default Little league baseball

What settings are good for baseball? I have a canon 40d with a caono 70-200mm f/2.8L
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Old May 9, 2012, 2:45 PM   #2
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Hi gwill,
I don't want to appear unhelpfull, (not that I could given the sport & my geographical siting), but such a generalised question is a bit lazy don't you think?. You've taken the time to choose your camera & an excellent lens so why not trawl the interweb for further info?. by all means come on here & ask how to improve your settings after shooting but given your choice of equipment I, as a help provider, would expect at least the minimum knowleage of my field of photography!!.
Shoot some pics & post them up & I'm sure John G/ DRGSin et al (I would include Mark1616 but his knowleage of Softball is probably on a par with mine) will chip in with useful info.
I look forward to your images. Kind regards Graham.

Last edited by bluesman graham; May 9, 2012 at 3:10 PM.
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Old May 10, 2012, 5:49 PM   #3
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Sorry if the questions seems lazy to you. Maybe it is. I have shot some sports, but they all seem to have some differences. I respect the opinion of many on this board and really didn't see a problem asking for some help on a starting point. I have done this before seen others do it also and it didn't seem to be a problem.

By the way, its baseball not softball. Not that it would matter to you though.

I for sure could have given more info. I was planning on taking some pictures of a friends kid who is 9 years old and plays kid pitch. I can not get on the field, but close. If I get a small step ladder I can get above the fence.
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Old May 11, 2012, 7:00 AM   #4
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Settings as follows:
  • Focus mode in AI-Servo
  • Select center focus point only
  • If light levels are constant across the field, shoot manual exposure, otherwise shoot aperture priority
    • Set aperture to 2.8 - you need as much blurred background as possible for little league parks
    • choose an ISO that allows 1/1000 shutter speeds or more since it's day time
    • make sure you expose for FACES not for uniforms - with hats and helmets, faces are in shadow so choose settings accordingly
  • set to high speed burst
  • Baseball is one of those sports that benefits from back-button focus. If you haven't tried it before, you probably don't want to try it for first time if this is you only time to shoot - it takes a bit of getting used to.
General shooting advice for baseball:
  • Get shots of kids during warmups - you know they'll be fielding a ball so it's a great time to get them in action in the field.
  • shoot in portrait orientation except when you expect a slide
  • frame tightly - your subject should fill 2/3 of the vertical frame in-camera. many problems with sports shots trace back to framing too loosely in-camera
  • Take 3-4 shot bursts
  • shooting position:
    • In general, 1st base side for right-handed hitters and left handed pitchers, 3rd base side for the opposite.
    • but keep in mind the sun - you don't want to shoot back-lit subjects if you can avoid it.
    • FACES - those are what counts - don't shoot players backs.
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Old May 12, 2012, 7:24 AM   #5
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Hi Gwill,
How did I know you'd take my comments as being pedantic!!.
On your responce post you added details about what your shooting etc & immediately got a responce from one of the best sporst shooters on here! this is what I ment by expanding on info?. Sorry you took it the wrong way. Kind regards Graham.
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Old May 14, 2012, 9:56 AM   #6
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I wandered across the street this weekend to get a little practice in shooting action shots. I am a complete amateur at such things, unlike John. Perhaps my experience will be a bit more in reach of another amateur, though. I did the following: First, I set the camera for continuous focus using the center spot (on my D5000 camera, that is the only one with cross-style focusing grid), burst mode shooting, and shutter priority. I set the shutter to 1/500 sec, which gave me decent apertures at my camera's base 200 ISO. I didn't try to expose for the face in real-time, but a few practice shots made me feel that the illumination was uniform enough that the faces would not be unduly in shadow. Since I am really bad at action, I wanted to use the KISS principle as much as possible. I also did the thing that John warns you about -- I left lots of room around my subjects, so all these photos are cropped. I tried to have the figures of interest fill about half the viewfinder, to give me lots of room to adjust in post. These photos are only cropped and sharpened -- otherwise they are unprocessed. There's certainly room for selective enhancements, but I was just practicing and am too lazy to agonize over throw-away shots. BTW, I switched the focal point from the center spot to being on the batter for the shot of the batter, catcher, and ump. This was pretty stationary, so it was an easy mod. That's about as frisky with the setups as I got, though. As always, C&C are welcome.
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Old May 22, 2012, 9:55 PM   #7
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My (also amateur) comments...

#1 You need to leave some more room to the left. Use the "Rule of thirds" and put the pitcher to the right of center.
#2 Not an exciting picture to me. I like seeing faces a lot more (just my opinion). Also doesn't seem very sharp.
#3 I think the keeper is either a couple frames before or after what you posted. I can't tell what the subject is of the photo (the ump? the defender? the baserunner?) Was there a collision there?

I also have the D5000. I try to shoot middle school sports (not nearly as fast as the boys you got it looks like) at 1/1250 or better. In bright sun, I can get up to about 1/2000. That REALLY makes the action pop (when I hit it right).

Anyway, I am far from an expert, and these are just my opinions.

Also, the D5000 does VERY well with high ISO. I have no qualms taking it to 2000 or so to keep my speed up.
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Old May 23, 2012, 8:07 AM   #8
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Thanks for your suggestions, Sam. I'll give them careful consideration.
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