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gschaps Mar 25, 2010 12:34 PM

Safe at Third Base!
I'm a relative inexperienced photographer who took some action shots of my daughter's high school softball game from far right field with my T1i / 24-105L using aperature priority at f/8. At that distance, I had to crop significantly to get to the action. This is the best of the lot.

That's third base from far right field along the foul line.

Not bad, I think, for a rank amateur. What do you think?



pbjunkiee Mar 25, 2010 12:45 PM

My 2 cents.

My workflow in CS4:

Cropped it to a standard ratio
Cloned the other glove out
Reduce noise
Unsharp mask

gschaps Mar 25, 2010 12:53 PM


pbjunkiee Mar 25, 2010 1:03 PM

whoops, i accidentally saved it a tad big :o

JohnG Mar 25, 2010 1:07 PM

The concept of the edit is nice but there's just not enough detail to support the crop. So the resulting quality is too poor IMO. I like the idea of what the OP did - non-traditional crop to eliminate distracting background. In general you just can't crop this much and retain a quality sports photo. So I think the first post balances things a bit better. Additionally, it's a bit difficult to know what's going on defensively. Can't tell if either defender has the ball or not. So not sure who is making the play. So a shot a split second later (which is why burst is so important) might help resolve that issue - plus the runner would be closer to the bag.

Now, the real question is - who is your subject? The runner or the fielder? A big part of sports photography is being in the right place for the shot. If it's the base runner you want to be closer to home (even shooting through the fence) or on the third base line. This way you are in position to get the runner's face. If you're covering the fielders you're on the correct side of the field, you just need a longer lens. These are just some thoughts if you plan on shooting softball again.

Again, for the snapshot you captured I think your initial post here was a good edit. But getting a good image to start with is going to take a different lens and learning some technique. Only you can decide if softball is important enough to invest that time and money in.

gschaps Mar 25, 2010 1:28 PM


Originally Posted by JohnG (Post 1070257)
... If it's the base runner you want to be closer to home (even shooting through the fence) or on the third base line.

Thanks for the critique John. Forgive my inexperience but, what's the technique for shooting though a fence? Thanks.

pbjunkiee Mar 25, 2010 1:47 PM

shoot over it :P

JohnG Mar 25, 2010 2:01 PM

Shooting over it can be an alternative but it depends on the fence. Some are 10 feet high - not conducive to shooting over without ladder. Like the fence in these shots - can't shoot over without something to stan on. Which makes moving a bit difficult. and because you need to be close to the field (i.e. unless you're using 500mm or longer lenses you don't want to be shooting from the outfield) people may not like you having a ladder. Both have pros/cons - a lot depends on the specific shooting environment.

The key to shooting through a fence is to get your lens right up to it - within a couple inches. Getting it that close you won't see the links and the links won't mess with AF until you get really sharp angles. I.e. the closer the lens is to 90 degrees the better you are but the more you approach 180 the more links at the far end can start to interfere.
For example here are some shots of cage fighting - wasn't allowed on the platforms to shoot over as they were reserved for TV. Notice the links don't show up at all:

gschaps Mar 25, 2010 3:11 PM

I'll have to try that. It certainly sounds more practical than the 500 mm lens from the outfield alternative.


pbjunkiee Mar 25, 2010 3:33 PM

Haha i was joking :)

but those are some nice mma shots :D

want to sponsor me, so i get on sports shooter :D


p.s. I'm kidding.

JohnG Mar 25, 2010 3:37 PM

Shooting over doesn't have to be a joke. some fences are like 3 feet high so it works - except i you want to shoot through the backstop - can't shoot over that usually.

pbjunkiee Mar 25, 2010 3:45 PM

i've been trying to convince the coach to let me get on top of the dugout at games, still a no go, but i may be able to pull it off :)

griffina6 Mar 25, 2010 4:00 PM

Problem with being up high in the scorer's booth is that you really can not get faces when you are looking down, especially with smaller kids with their hats on. I have shot through our backstop and plan to do it again but next time I must bring my knee pads.


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