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Old Jun 19, 2008, 4:35 PM   #1
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Hi All,

I went to my grandson's T-Ball game last night and tried taking some photos using the E-510 and 70-300mm lens. I learned a lot .i.e.

1, The quality ofimages by Greg Chappell and Bob Brennan make it look very easy. For me, it was anything but. The evening sun was quite harsh and I tried various settings to minimize highlight clipping.

2. Kids at this level are only interested in batting. Playing out in the field meant time to pick your nose, get the wedgie out of your pants or just generally looking out into outer space. I found it histerical-really quite amusing. It was a bit frustrating though, as I really wanted to get some shots of runners sliding into 2nd base or a close play at first. There was none of that because the kids playing the field just weren't into that.

I do want to thank Bob and Greg for their including the settings they used to achieve their images. It was a great help. In retrospect, I should have shot in RAW instead of JpEG which would have allowed some PP. I really enjoyed messing around and this was a great first step. I'll get the hang of it-perhaps by the time my grandson reaches high school(he's 6 now).

One thing though. The 70-300mm really performed quite well in C-AF mode. Focus was quick and sharp. My problems were a result of my trying different aperture and shutter speeds in dealing with the harsh sun. Everytime I was able to freeze the ball, the exposure was too dark. slowing the shutter speed resulted in better exposure but more blur. I was also hand holding the camera-no tripod.

http://www.pbase.com/zig123/national_pastime

Any comments both good and bad are always welcome

Zig


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Old Jun 19, 2008, 7:10 PM   #2
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Hi, Zig

I liked your photos a lot - they make folks get a wide grin. And considering the lighting conditions I think you did a good job.

Ted
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Old Jun 19, 2008, 8:15 PM   #3
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Hi Zig

Some nice pics there ! Most look very sharp and I think you did a fine job!

Cheers

Harj

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Old Jun 19, 2008, 9:55 PM   #4
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Hi Zig: Good shots from a human interest standpoint with the kids as the stars. That's better than action shots of "perfect baseball plays."

By the way, for PP of JPEGS, I find that PhotoFiltre software does a good job, quick and easy, with JPG shots. Give it a try, its a free download.

Steve R.
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Old Jun 20, 2008, 12:37 AM   #5
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These look really good to me!

Doing what you did is definitely how you learn. The advantage you have today is, I wasted a LOT of money on filmprocessing of what turned out to be a lot of uselessprintsthrough the years because that was the only way you could judge your results. By the time I bought my first digital SLR, my daughter was 15 years old.

Having access to the data faster, and with all thefile informationincluded, you'll learn at a much faster rate than I did. The next time you go out, you'll have this experience to draw on and will learn evenmore.

I was pleasantly suprised myself at the continuous AF of the E510/70-300 combinationwhen I used it at the horse track in the images Ishot weekend before last. Just playing withit indoors itwould hunt worse up close, but out and shooting actual moving subjects at distance, it did very well.
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Old Jun 20, 2008, 12:56 AM   #6
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.......hey Zig,

Well, the photos are quite good, I know all about that light situation and you did well.

I too know all about what goes on, or what does not, at the games for this age group. When you tire of the batting and occasional running of the bases pick up on those 'hysterical amusing' antics that go on when the kiddos are in the field. Some of that does make for 'really wide grins' as Ted has said.

Thanks for sharing, please do it again.
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Old Jun 20, 2008, 6:11 AM   #7
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Hey guys,

Thank you all for your response -- you're much too kind but it's much appreciated.

Steven, thanks for the heads up on the software. I'm going to give it a try and see how it goes.

Greg, you're absolutely right. It still amazes me that I can go out, take a series of photos, download the shots into a PC and be able to not only view them butthen share tham with others on the web. All in a matter of minutes and best of all no film! Talk about shortening the learning curve.

As for taking shots of what the kids are doing away from the action - you guys are right. I didn't do that and should have.

On another baseball note, I'm going to a Cape Cod Baseball League game tonight to see the Cotuit Kettleers play. This is a summer baseball league for college students who are serious about playing baseball in the majors.... and yes, I'm bringing the camera.

thanks again

Zig




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Old Jun 20, 2008, 8:56 AM   #8
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..........thanks for the reminder! Cape Cod baseball had fallen from my 'radar' , but that is some of the better of the best, as you said, for up scale college ball.

Although I have never seen it (I have never been to the far North East USA) I have known some players who have played in that league......tough league and good baseball.

Take lots of pictures and 'do have fun'.


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Old Jun 20, 2008, 11:26 AM   #9
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Nice first start. The biggest issue in the shots is a too slow shutter speed. I noticed you left ISO at 100. Bump it up to 400 if necessary. Especially when shooting with a 5.6 aperture lens.

As for under / overexposure you have to understand how your camera is going to meter. I'm not an Oly user so not sure of the different metering modes but there should be one that places the most emphasis on the center of the frame. You definitely don't want to evaluate the entire frame - it doesn't matter if sky or background is blown, the important thing is the player's face. Even uniform highlights are OK to blow - it's the face that is the single most important thing.

Then, you have to ask the question: OK if I want to expose the face properly, what colors are in the portion of the frame the camera is going to meter off of? Dark jerseys will result in a lower exposure than light jerseys.

Third - where is the sun in position to the player's face? This will help determine how much exposure compensation is needed. If the sun is in front of a player and bright and they have a dark jersey you'll want negative EC.

The key, especially in harsh lighting is to PLAN what you're going to shoot. Set up your location for that inning or half inning and ask yourself what type of shot are you going to take? Then take some practice shots to get your EC set up. For instance, let's say you're at the first base line and going to take shots of batters at the plate. Well, the sun isn't going to move much. The players are always going to be facing the same way (typically you would not shoot the left handed batters from 1st base only right handed) so poper exposure should be pretty constant. If the players all have same color jersey and your technique is consistent, once you get the proper exposure on the first batter (verifying it is the FACE that is exposed properly by looking at the LCD) you're good for the rest of the inning. But the key here is to change your thought process. For that half inning you're not reacting to everything going on and shooting things all over the place. You're picking a target area with relation to the sun and it's angle to your subject and sticking with the shots that enter that area. Otherwise the light/shadow on the faces from different angles and parts of the field will play havoc with your results.

But there's no reason to have to settle for 1/320 exposures in bright light. Bump that ISO to 400 then you don't have to wory about not having a fast enough shutter speed. Nothing wrong with using shutter speeds of 1/2000. When you get those speeds up (think 1/1000 as a goal) you'll get sharper shots.

Good job!
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Old Jun 20, 2008, 11:58 AM   #10
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Hi John

Thats some fine advice ! Much appreciated as well.

Cheers

Harj

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