Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Post Your Photos > Sports & Action Photos

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Mar 9, 2014, 5:00 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Old Boat Guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: East Texas
Posts: 360
Default More Softball

Here is my second try at Girls Softball

Sony A550
Sigma 70-200 f2.8 APO non OS
Aperture Priority at f2.8 using ISO to keep shutter speeds over 1/1000

Seemed better this time for both the images and my being where I could catch action.

I got this first set out of order but hopefully one gets the idea.
Attached Images
     

Last edited by Old Boat Guy; Mar 9, 2014 at 5:18 PM.
Old Boat Guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Mar 9, 2014, 5:01 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Old Boat Guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: East Texas
Posts: 360
Default

One more set
Attached Images
     
Old Boat Guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 10, 2014, 7:08 AM   #3
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

Hey, glad you were happy with your second outing. Sports shooting takes practice and you'll get better every time. Here is some feedback. I offer this feedback to give you some things to think about - it's a bit more critical than people at Steve's are used to getting, but I do it to help you get better.:
First sequence (shots 2-3-4-5 since shot 1 is a duplicate):

Exposure looks good - faces are what is important, not uniforms so that is a definite plus. Now, here are some thoughts: the ball traveling through the air doesn't really end up being an interesting sequence. The key for this type of shot is to capture the peak action - which is either the ball just before or entering the mitt with runner not on bag or vice versa. So, the first shot doesn't add anything. Shot 3 has a nice stride on the runner, but is still too early (too far from bag and ball too far from 1st baseman). Shot 4 is better timing bug unfortunately it's at an awkward part of the runner's stride. That's something that is a pain about sports but still a fact - the stride of a runner really can make a photo look awkward. Not under your control but still keeps a photo from being a good one.
Shot 5 is the best of the series BUT it's just the tiniest bit late because you don't know what happened - foot is on the bag and ball is in the glove. Still the keeper of the lot.

Now, the other thing that is important in sports photography - what you eliminate from the frame is often as important as what you include. So, first the framing is way too loose - a ton of dead space behind the first baseman that adds nothing to the image. The ball, the runner and the first baseman are the story and they should fill the frame. Tied in with that is the fact the loose framing created deep dof which resulted in very distracting cars and school bus being visible in the background. You want to shoot at longer focal lengths to create shallower DOF to blur the distracting backgrounds more.

Second series -
1st shot is a throw away - too early. 2nd shot is good timing but the framing hurt you because you cut off the fingers of the runner. You want the frame filled with the runner, 1st baseman and just enough of the bag to give context.
3rd shot is good part of the story - just needs to be framed as described above. 4th shot unnecessary - not interesting. 5th shot tells a story that the 1st baseman dropped the ball. So that shot stays - just needs to be framed much tighter.

Besides eliminating distracting background elements, what tighter framing will provide is more detail - better detail on the facial expression of the runner, maybe stitching on the ball - etc. It will make the players/action POP from the screen.

Shooting bursts is important - but not every shot in a burst, even if it is in focus is a keeper. That is one of the toughest parts of post-processing. There is an excitement that so many shots are in focus. That is an incredibly easy fix - always easier to toss away extra photos.
What is going to be more difficult is getting yourself to frame tighter. That takes practice. BUT, it results in much better shots when you can get yourself to do it. Give it a whirl next game and see if the resulting photos don't pop more.
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 10, 2014, 10:46 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Old Boat Guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: East Texas
Posts: 360
Default

Thanks for the comments John. Critique as you see fit and I promise to not take offense. Compared to what Hards80 did to me in the critiques section one day you are downright nurturing. (Hards80 only did what was asked so no offense there either)

No one ever said anything about focusing on the runner but it makes perfect sense. I went from one extreme to the other with my framing. First time out I was so focused on framing I missed most everything else. I could crop just a bit but did not for the images here. As many here have pointed out, one cannot crop resolution into an image.

Good tip on the DOF. If I move down the line to right field a bit I can go from 50-100 on my zoom range to 150-200. Puts me in a better line for the runner as well.

The girls and parents are digging my shots as they are the best anyone around here has done but I know they can be better. Gets me out of the house is another plus. I get so bored sitting at my desk that I sometimes miss the days where people used to shoot at me.

Thanks again for the tips

Last edited by Old Boat Guy; Mar 10, 2014 at 10:56 AM.
Old Boat Guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 28, 2014, 4:20 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 93
Default

Speaking solely as a sport parent who enjoys taking pictures at my kids events...

I try to make sure I get the faces of "my" team. I try to position myself based on what's happening. If my team is in the field, I'll be on the third base side, either between the dugout and home (good shots of pitcher
,

plays and second or 1st, and catcher blocking the plate
or behind the dugout.

When "my" team is at the plate, I'll move to the 1st base side (since most batters are right handed). I can end up with good batting shots.


I'm just putting up some samples of what you can get from different positions on the field.

Last edited by SamG; Mar 28, 2014 at 4:22 PM.
SamG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 31, 2014, 8:31 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Old Boat Guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: East Texas
Posts: 360
Default

Thanks Sam. Moving around at this field is a problem at times. The last hurricane we had destroyed the new bleachers so people sit everywhere a person can put a chair.

I am improving when it comes to anticipating the action and being where I can get a decent shot.

Appreciate the input.
Old Boat Guy is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 7:04 PM.