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Archive 2012 · Working on better baseball shots. C&C please

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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Working on better baseball shots. C&C please

I have been shooting my son's baseball games for a couple years. I have been getting OK results but haven't been able to get the quality of a lot of you guys are getting. I'm looking for some guidance on how to improve my shooting.

I think it breaks down to primarily technique and skill,
followed by a lack of PP knowledge. I use LR3/4 and basically mess with contrast and exposure and NR. Last week I saw some images that look close to mine, taken to *fantastic* by P Alesse. So there is definitely something going on on Post that I am not aware of. Probably LOTS of things.
lastly followed by equipment. I'm mostly using 50D with a 70-200 F2.8L IS MKI, and for the last games upgraded to a 7D.

I would like to do basic assignments and implement the suggestions from each week in subsequent shoots and see if I can't take the quality up a notch or four.






Mar 20, 2012 at 06:05 AM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Working on better baseball shots. C&C please

Welcome to the club, goneballistic. We are all trying to figure out the ingredients to Paul's pixel fairy dust (or whatever he calls it).

Many nice captures, btw.

Mar 20, 2012 at 06:13 AM
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Working on better baseball shots. C&C please

gb, welcome to FM. Nobody can compare to Paul - he's otherworldly.

Here are some thoughts on your shots:

1. Nice face and timing. Would be better taken from 10-15 feet to your left, as the background is a bit busy. Moving to your left would put the Batter's Eye in the background rather than the billboard.

2. Too loose, and we don't see the batter's eyes. Batter shots with the ball in frame are OK, but they're pretty blah. Yeah, we all shoot 'em, and they sometimes sell, but they're not the best. Much better are shots of the batter after hitting the ball, in the follow-through, looking out to the field. This way you can get face, eyes, expression, etc.

3. Again, too loose. The on-deck batter adds nothing to the frame. Plus, your angle on the play isn't the best - I had to really look to figure out the catcher was tagging the runner. The pitcher is also distracting, and other than the on-deck batter, we can't see anybody's face or eyes. I like the runner being caught in mid-air though.

4. Nice shot of the catcher, but the pitcher standing right behind him, and the really busy background detract from the impact of the shot.

5. The fielder is OOF and the ball blocking his face is a non-starter. The shot is also too loose (see the trend here?).

In general, the 70-200, even on a 1.6X camera, is going to be pretty short shooting for shooting baseball on a full-size diamond. Regarding the backgrounds, try moving around to clean them up. Often, only a few feet can make a HUGE difference. Also consider getting lower in your shooting position. Not always easy to do when you can't shoot from the other side of the fence, but give it a shot.

Keep shooting, and posting.

Hope this helps.

Mar 20, 2012 at 09:46 AM

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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Working on better baseball shots. C&C please


thanks for taking the time to critique these, good feedback. I shot another game trying to apply some of the ideas you're telling me to work on.

I have been out of town for work so haven't posted updates but will in the next couple days. I have another game tomorrow night to shoot, I'll post them when I get them.

Mar 27, 2012 at 05:46 AM
Frank Lauri
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Working on better baseball shots. C&C please

GB....I'd also like to welcome you to the FM Sports Corner. If you want to learn....this is the place to be.

Dennis gave you a great critique and start here. A few other things to consider....if you are serious about pushing it to the next level....be your worst critic. Don't kill yourself over it...but don't sugarcoat it either. Chimping is my friend.....there are shots that don't get to make the ride home with me.

Guys like Paul...Russ....Scott....Dennis told me many years ago; Get it right in the camera. That was some of the best information someone could have told me. Before those words were given to me....I had some shots that when I get them on the computer screen....I thought "how the hell am I going to fix this"? Since then.....a refinement of my PP skills to a minor levels tweak and USM - crop and it's ready for print.

Get as close to the action as possible. If you are outside the fence....find the right person to talk to....ask permission and get inside the fence.

Work your angles and backgrounds. Sometimes you can't do anything about it....other times you can. Take advantage of those where you can. For the times you can't....try shooting lower....higher.....whatever will minimize any distractions of the BG.

Developing these skills takes time. Be patient and practice....practice and practice. When you think you practiced enough.....practice some more. My poor cat (God rest her soul)...when she saw me coming with the camera.....all you would see is tail and ass. But it refined my tracking of a moving subject....and a small one at that.

Set achievable goals for yourself. Some days will be better than others. Learn from your mistakes.

Know your gear....its capabilities and don't try to get it to do more than it's capable of. Meaning don't try to shoot the centerfielder of a college size field going back for a fly ball....from home plate area with a 70-200 or don't try to shoot in a HS gym with a 5.6 lens at ISO 1000. Just like a skilled craftsman....use the right tool for the job.

Shoot tight and crop tighter. This is the other advice given that went hand in hand with get it right in camera. Here again.....know the limitations. Look at some of the posts here and see what works and what doesn't. Find a niche where you feel comfortable and work within those parameters.

Have fun....I've shot in a lot of different conditions from -10 to 100 degrees.....blizzards to torrential downpours and I've had a blast along the way. Otherwise I wouldn't do it. It's afforded me opportunities that I will never forget.....I've gotten to meet and shoot some pretty famous athletes....I've made some pretty solid friendships.....gotten to meet many people and most recently had the pleasure of meeting and working with Paul....Hammy.....Shane Psaltis and Dan Neri.

And finally.....shoot and post often. There are many here that are willing to offer free advice and help you along the way. How much better can it get. You won't get this at any community college.....that's for sure.

Hope this info will help you out and look forward to seeing your progress.

Good luck

Mar 27, 2012 at 10:55 AM

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