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Right place, right time - baseball
  
 
shelland
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Right place, right time - baseball


This is nearly 2 months old now, but decided to post.

I was one of the photographers for the MN State Amateur Tournament this year. I'm just a serious hobbyist myself, and do a lot of HS shooting in one of the towns that hosted games. Through a friend of a friend kind of thing, I got asked to help this 3 weekend event. Had a blast, but wow what a TON of work!

One afternoon, one of the site organizers asked if I could get some pictures of the ballpark at some point for the town webpage. So after a few innings, I started to wander around to get some shots. I wandered around the outside of the fence to get some different angles toward the field, and in center field there was a door in the fence to get out of the field which had a gap around the pipes framing the door. So I put on a short lens and took some shots to stitch together a pano from dead center.

I finished up those shots and put my 70-200+2x back on my 1Dx. I literally started to walk away when I heard the crack of the (wood) bat. I took a step back and peeked through the opening. It was a shot to right and I saw the runner was going to try to make 2nd. So I picked up my camera for some reason, and lined it up through the gap around the door in the fence. And this materialized right before my eyes. I was literally in that spot for no more than 30 seconds (maybe even less) over 3 weekends of shooting, and was walking away as the ball was pitched. Someone wanted me to have this opportunity I guess. I certainly couldn't have captured anything like this from any other spot. The runner that was thrown out actually hit a walk-off home run 2 days later to win the state championship.

Could be one of my favorite pics I've ever taken, and definitely one of my luckiest. If I'm more excited about it that others are, that's OK too.





Out at 2nd!

  Canon EOS-1D X    EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM +2x III lens    400mm    f/5.6    1/2000s    400 ISO    +0.7 EV  




Nov 01, 2017 at 03:22 AM
P Alesse
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Right place, right time - baseball


Not sure if you're looking to get C/C or not and I understand your enthusiasm and don't want to burst your bubble, but unfortunately, the shot is in need of improvement. Angle wise... not bad. I would like to have seen the face of the sliding runner head on, but this will suffice. Timing wise...very good.

Where it becomes a scrapper however is the focus. You missed it unfortunately. Focus is on the patch of grass in the foreground. You might be able to make it passable with a little work in post but as is... it's quite soft and would not be a keeper for most seasoned baseball photogs.



Nov 01, 2017 at 08:33 PM
shelland
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Right place, right time - baseball


I appreciate any feedback - good or bad. I can't get better without it. Posting here is not my typical audience, an audience which I fully understand does not have an overly critical eye. I know to have thick skin, no matter how much I like a particular picture.

I certainly see your point about preferring a head-on angle of the runner coming into the base. How I wish that was even remotely an option at this field - but would require either shooting from left-center through a chain-link fence or standing in the outfield.

Probably where I get excited is shooting at a small-town field with an 8 foot chain-link fence around the entire thing, presenting very few options for shooting. I'm still giddy myself about the lucky timing to capture this at all. But I also have to remember that the story behind getting the picture doesn't mean much to anyone other than myself - the image itself is what counts. The fact that my camera was hanging on a strap at my side with me walking away with the runner rounding first base still excites me as much as anything to luck out and be able to capture any shot at all. As a small-town amateur, the excitement doesn't come as often as I'd like.

The small-town Minnesota people seeing this pic don't see the negatives you point out, and that critical attention to detail from those significantly better than me is why I come here. Those typically looking at my pics locally don't have the knowledge/skill to be able to give me any technical critique. So while it had a slight sting to it when I first read your reply, I can't argue any of your points. This hobby keeps me coming back not only for the excitement of capturing the moments, but also the desire to continually improve.

Thanks again for your feedback!

P Alesse wrote:
Not sure if you're looking to get C/C or not and I understand your enthusiasm and don't want to burst your bubble, but unfortunately, the shot is in need of improvement. Angle wise... not bad. I would like to have seen the face of the sliding runner head on, but this will suffice. Timing wise...very good.

Where it becomes a scrapper however is the focus. You missed it unfortunately. Focus is on the patch of grass in the foreground. You might be able to make it passable with a little work in post but as is... it's quite soft and
...Show more




Nov 02, 2017 at 03:51 AM
 

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PureMichigan
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Right place, right time - baseball


I think it's terrific that you get a buzz out of shooting baseball. I've been doing it for years, shot hundreds of MiLB games and still feel the same way when I go to the park. I hope that never changes.

P Alesse's advice is spot on target.

One thing ... you note: "Probably where I get excited is shooting at a small-town field with an 8 foot chain-link fence around the entire thing, presenting very few options for shooting."

As I look at the picture .... a) the fence is 4 or 5-feet or b) the man in the white shirt to left 12 feet tall or, c) it's a optical illusion. It's one of those three things. As someone who has shot at more parks than I can count, this one seems to present some pretty sweet access opportunities.

If you were shooting where the "12-foot man" is you really would have had a fine angle on the play. Keep at it! Baseball is addictive.



Nov 02, 2017 at 05:22 PM
shelland
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Right place, right time - baseball


Haha, nice catch.

There is a large seating area behind home plate in this case, and above that fence you point out there is netting to the top of the grandstand. So shooting wide open, it is possible to make that netting disappear if the angle is right. Once challenge there is when the sun is setting, it is directly in the background from those stands so the netting gets tougher to make disappear in addition to setting sun in the background. I do try to get some head-on shots of the pitchers from that angle where I can manually pre-focus to make the netting disappear. But getting action shots focusing through the netting is certainly not easy (at least not at my skill level). I'm certainly not good enough to manually focus as the action occurs.

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

Here are some field pics taken from center field, just before the play in question.
PureMichigan wrote:
As I look at the picture .... a) the fence is 4 or 5-feet or b) the man in the white shirt to left 12 feet tall or, c) it's a optical illusion. It's one of those three things. As someone who has shot at more parks than I can count, this one seems to present some pretty sweet access opportunities.

If you were shooting where the "12-foot man" is you really would have had a fine angle on the play. Keep at it! Baseball is addictive.















Nov 02, 2017 at 08:36 PM
PureMichigan
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Right place, right time - baseball


I have to say I'm a little disappointed. I was hoping it was a 12-foot man.


Nov 03, 2017 at 01:23 AM







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