Baseball Sportraits

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Feb 7, 2007
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Suwanee, GA
It's amazing how well a baseball field field when bokeh'd out makes for a nice sportrait background. Here are some from this season shooting the Gwinnett Braves.

1) Third Baseman, Van Pope
420mm; 1/2000s; f/4.5; ISO 360
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2) Injured CF, Jordan Schafer (who was coaching first base)
420mm; 1/2000s; f/4.5; ISO 1800
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3) The local MC, Barry
420mm; 1/2000s; f/4.5; ISO 560
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4) One of the Braves Staff
420mm; 1/2000s; f/4.5; ISO 250
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5) Pitcher Mariano Gomez and Catcher Clint Sammons
420mm; 1/2000s; f/4.5; ISO 1600
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6) First Baseman, Barbaro Canizares
420mm; 1/1250s; f/4.5; ISO 1250
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7) Catcher, Alvin Colina
420mm; 1/2000s; f/4.5; ISO 1000
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8) Outfielder, Brandon Jones
300mm; 1/1600s; f/2.8; ISO 640
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9) First Baseman, Casey Kotchman (on a rehab assignment)
300mm; 1/1250s; f/3.2; ISO 720
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10) Former Braves Prospect, Andy Marte (now with Cleveland organization)
420mm; 1/640s; f/4; ISO 3200
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Joined
Jul 26, 2008
Messages
2,075
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San Diego, CA
Dave, some really awesome shots in there. Super sharp and amazing bokeh. :biggrin:

The one thing that has always bugged me about baseball was the shadow from their caps/ helmets, which continues to be the case in these photos.

I'm not sure how to get around it other than selective brightening in post processing...

PS, check out the sig, I finally made the purchase ;)
 
Joined
Feb 7, 2007
Messages
4,519
Location
Suwanee, GA
Dave, some really awesome shots in there. Super sharp and amazing bokeh. :biggrin:

The one thing that has always bugged me about baseball was the shadow from their caps/ helmets, which continues to be the case in these photos.

I'm not sure how to get around it other than selective brightening in post processing...

PS, check out the sig, I finally made the purchase ;)
Thanks Joey. The biggest thing that I've found that works with the shadows under the caps is to use active d-lighting, and also + EV to help brighten it up a bit. I still struggle with it in direct sunlight though as I just haven't quite figured out how to completely get rid of it. Mike Mac seems to never have this problem, so maybe one day I'll have to pick his brain about it to find out how he does it!

So you got the 400...excellent! The question is, did you buy it in Europe???
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2008
Messages
2,075
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San Diego, CA
Nope, bought it off a cafe member, it is sitting at my parent's house in SC right now, waiting on me! 11 more days till I'll be back in the states.

Thanks for the tips on D-Lighting, thats a great idea :)
 
Joined
Feb 7, 2007
Messages
4,519
Location
Suwanee, GA
Nope, bought it off a cafe member, it is sitting at my parent's house in SC right now, waiting on me! 11 more days till I'll be back in the states.

Thanks for the tips on D-Lighting, thats a great idea :)
Yeah, I use Low for D-Lighting...but I have gone up to Medium in the past and it does work pretty dang well.

You should have shipped the 400 to me...I would have had it fully tested by now. :biggrin:
 
Joined
Mar 13, 2009
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239
Location
Alabama
Those are great shots. Almost like studio background. I did not see settings, so I will ask. I assume you were using 300 2.8 @ 2.8. Did you do any of that pp?
 
Joined
Feb 7, 2007
Messages
4,519
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Suwanee, GA
Dave that Kotchman shot is plain awesome IQ. He should be buying a few copies of that to give to his friends and family. Fantastic.
Thanks DJ. Believe it or not my wife actually snapped that shot of Kotchman preparing himself for the pitch. I was very proud of her to take that shot!

Those are great shots. Almost like studio background. I did not see settings, so I will ask. I assume you were using 300 2.8 @ 2.8. Did you do any of that pp?
Thanks Ricky. Most of them I think were taken with the 1.4x TC along with the 300 f/2.8, so they were probably at either f/4, f/4.5, f/2.8 or f/3.2. I'll post the settings for each shot here in a minute.
 
Joined
Oct 7, 2006
Messages
4,218
Location
Ann Arbor, MI
Hey Dave,

Those are great shots! This goes to show you that often going higher gives great clean backgrounds since the field becomes your background. I think the one of Casey is my fave, but I'm not sure since the ones of Pope, Colina, or Marte are PDG (pretty darned good) too.
 
Joined
Feb 7, 2007
Messages
4,519
Location
Suwanee, GA
Hey Dave,

Those are great shots! This goes to show you that often going higher gives great clean backgrounds since the field becomes your background. I think the one of Casey is my fave, but I'm not sure since the ones of Pope, Colina, or Marte are PDG (pretty darned good) too.
Thanks Steve. I just posted the settings of the camera (and the focal length of each shot) so now everyone can see what I was using. They were all with the 300 f/2.8, and were all from my season ticket seats at the stadium. I think I'm about 9 rows back from the field behind the first base dugout. Also, no processing was done on the backgrounds, that how they came straight out of the camera.
 
Joined
Dec 4, 2007
Messages
96
Location
ORLANDO, FLORIDA
Dave, these are super! I don't know how you guys get them so sharp. Keep this up and I will have to add you to my Steve King, Mike Mac Idols list.
 
Joined
Feb 7, 2007
Messages
4,519
Location
Suwanee, GA
These are really nice Dave. I started going higher in some of my newspaper shots. At some of the little league fields, the press box is in a prime location for home plate.
Thanks Steve. I agree, sometimes higher is better.

Dave!

Great shots, really love it with the bokeh :biggrin:
Thanks Charlie...

Great job love the creamy backgrounds very well done nice job lighting up the faces
Thanks Mike, I'm trying to get my faces to light up like you do! :wink:

Dave, these are super! I don't know how you guys get them so sharp. Keep this up and I will have to add you to my Steve King, Mike Mac Idols list.
Thanks Dave. I'm not at their level, but I'm trying to get there.
 
Joined
Sep 10, 2008
Messages
3,164
Location
Toronto, CANADA
Dave I'm afraid that given your response to my post there, I'm going to have to start deferring my questions to your wife from now on, and take advantage of that obvious natural talent / expertise. If you don't mind...

:wink:
 

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