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Fastpitch (and I mean FAST)

Discussion in 'Sports Photography' started by Bolts, Jul 2, 2008.

  1. Bolts


    May 7, 2007
    Tampa, Florida
    Finally, after drooling over everybody's softball shots here in Sports, I had the opportunity to shoot a game of 15 and under girls fastpitch. Here are some of the results...

    Shooting with a D80, I was hesitant to get over ISO 400 and therefore I was shooting around 1/2000 while BAKING here in Florida in mid-afternoon. Wish I had a D300! Yikes, those fences are a pain in the butt!

    The first pitcher was a pleasure to shoot (only 13 y.o.), but had a heck of a time keeping her arms in the frame. This was a 9:30am game.
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    Second game, second pitcher
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    Did this last night after looking over the collage thread. The BG photo has a fence ghost running right through the catcher. Doh!
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    The team has promised me that next shoot I can get inside the fence.

    Typical specs:
    Lens: VR 80-400mm F/4.5-5.6 D
    Focal Length: 80mm
    Exposure Mode: Manual
    Metering Mode: Multi-Pattern
    1/2000 sec - F/5
    Exposure Comp.: +0.7 EV
    Sensitivity: ISO 500
  2. these are great. The girl in 1 and 2 aint messin around is she???
  3. nice shots, pia
    glad you stayed alive in the heat

    that girl is only 13 years old?
  4. shtarka1


    Feb 1, 2008
    Great Captures!!!
  5. vz223


    Dec 7, 2007
    Very nicely done Pia.
  6. Bolts


    May 7, 2007
    Tampa, Florida
    Dave, that girl was SERIOUS. Not only was she 13 y.o., but I believe she was taller than me and I'm 5'9"+. She's already getting recruited.

    Thanks, Greg. These girls usually play in Clearwater. Let me know if you'd like to come out one day. They are playing a tournament this weekend, but I'm off to Captiva for fishing and shooting birds (birds at least stand still.)

    Thanks, Steve. It's a start at least. I REALLY need to be on the other side of that darn fence and I really need the temps to drop into the 80s.

    Thanks, Vince! The girls were all thrilled with all the shots, but that's cuz they haven't seen Mike Mac's work. :eek: 
  7. ?Nice job Pia these girls look liek they mean business
  8. Bolts


    May 7, 2007
    Tampa, Florida
    Hey, thanks, MMac!

    So, I had the dreaded 'C/C' icon attached, but got only some 'good shots' responses. Any ideas how to improve these? I kind of stuck with the following:

    SS = Fast as possible (1/2000 with this light)
    A = Max for the lens
    ISO = D80 is cr*p over 500
    AF-C and I tried pre-focussing for the batters at AF-S
    Spot Exposure (Black uniforms...) with the exposure on their face (I tend to move the focal point up on the batters.)

    I'm one of the last hold-outs in that I don't own a computer at the house, so I am limited to free photo-hosts and only the Picture Perfect that came with the camera. Therefore, PP is minimum, limited to Sharpeniing, Brightness and Cropping.

    I'm off to Captiva this weekend to shoot birds. Looking forward to shooting some stationary objects!
  9. nshape


    Jul 25, 2006
    NB Canada
    Those are awesome pics! I love softball!!
  10. APandya


    Jul 2, 2008
    i am also using the d80,

    did you take any shots at all over iso 400?
    if so, can you share those?
  11. jStat


    Dec 11, 2007
    Janesville, WI
    Fast Pitch is fascinating to me; I'd love to shoot a game. Did you know that Fast Pitch pitchers can throw that ball faster than the average Major League pitcher?
  12. Bolts


    May 7, 2007
    Tampa, Florida
    Thanks! These girls were so cool, calm, and collected and FIT; made me wish I was 15 again. :eek: 

    Shot some at 500, too. I'll search for those and post one or two.

    I had seen fast pitch on tv, but never in person, and it was indeed AMAZING and loads of fun to shoot. The father of one of the girls was telling me the story of a man who thought he was the batting king was saying that hitting one of those fast-pitch balls looked fairly easy, so the parents and players laughed at him and told him to grab a bat and get up there. The pitcher struck him out and the man never said anything about it again.
  13. Pia, these are really great for your first effort in softball.

    I would crop #3 and #4 much tighter to get that sportrait look the girls will love.

    Not sure why you had to go so high on the ISO. I shoot softball here in Clearwater at ISO 200 routinely.
  14. Nice shooting, for such a slow game soft/basball really is hard top capture well
  15. Bolts


    May 7, 2007
    Tampa, Florida
    This one is ISO 500, SS 1250, F5, 105mm. The gray blur through her body is the darn fence.... Fence blur was a lot more noticeable before I took the hood off the lens and placed the lens right up against the fence.

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  16. Bolts


    May 7, 2007
    Tampa, Florida
    Thanks, Brooks. I'm definately ready to try again, 95 degrees and 95% humidity or not. I'm wearing 85 SPF sunscreen these days; it's an OVEN outside.

    Thanks, Mitch! Appreciate you looking in...

    I had thought to post some tighter crops (See, Mike Mac, I was paying attention.), but I was having more issues with the 'action' shots, so I posted those for C/C. See below for the tight ones; yes, the girls were all thrilled (even with my feeble first attempt.)

    I figured with the 10:00am to 4:00pm sunshine on that day, I'd be shooting ISO 200, but to get above 1/2000, I was raising it up to ISO 400. I figured I should be shooting 1/3000 for action shots and to compensate for some camera shake (since I was standing on a 4"-wide curb to shoot above a horizontal bar on the fence at 5'8" or squatting.

    What were your shutter speeds running, Mitch, at ISO 200?

    Any ideas?

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  17. Pia,
    I'm no Mike Mac, but I shot this one at iso200 and 1/2000 on a bright sunny day.

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    What lens are you using? You will do better when you are standing more comfortably inside the fence.

    ISO 200, 1/2500, f2.8
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    Don't forget to try and shoot the pitchers through the backstop fencing.

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  18. Bolts


    May 7, 2007
    Tampa, Florida
    Nice shots, Mitch. I like that first one of your daughter; she looks very 'open' and friendly there, one of those people that are good to the bone.

    For all the shots I posted, I was using my 'new' 80-400 VR. I'm going to have to suck it up and get a monopod I guess. I was hoping to avoid that buy getting a longer lens that I can carry myself.

    Stay tuned....
  19. Very nice pictures. Softball is one of, if not my, favorite sport to shoot. The action and expressions are priceless - especially the pitchers.
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