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Help Photographing a Baseball Team (in French)?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Mike Worley, Jun 28, 2005.

  1. I’ve been “volunteered” by my brother-in-law in Montreal (La Plaine to be precise) to photograph the baseball team he manages.

    I have nephews on the team, so there’s relatives all over the place with the usual pitfalls that come from doing free work for relatives.

    About the only problem I don’t expect to have is with the language. Between my wife, her brother, and one or two others, somebody should be able to explain everything I don’t get on my own.

    Anyhow, I know nothing about photographing people, groups of people, or groups of teenage baseball player people. So I would really appreciate any help that will help me give them a result they will be happy with.

    Even really basic stuff would be useful. Like how to orient the players to the major light source, what percentage of players to place in each row, how many rows to have, where to put managers and other non-players, backgrounds to have/not have in the picture, and a buncha other stuff I can’t even think of.

    As for equipment, I expect to be taking a D2x, an SB800 and two SB600’s, tripod, and lenses ranging from 12 to 200mm. (12-24, 28-70, 70-200).

    I promise eternal gratitude to everyone for every bit of help that makes this come out well. I’ll even write a report when I get back.

    Oh, we’re leaving on Thursday, so time is getting short.

  2. Larry Gleason

    Larry Gleason

    Jan 26, 2005
    You must be doing the team photo from what I'm reading. Ask to look at last years team photo or any in past. That will give you an idea where to park their behinds. I'd work that 28-70 first if there is room. If not, then drop to the 12-24. Ladder, ladder, ladder. If you park them on bleachers you really want to be level with center (especially 12-24). Shoot down on them too for a different effect (you'll sense the right angle). Have wife or someone hold ladder (seems like common sense but ladders are a sore source of misplaced safety. Me old DuPonter if you must know :wink: ) I did a season for a college baseball team back in O-four (2004, Uncle Frank, not 1904). I don't read where you are doing the games. If you do individual shots, bat for bunt or most other bat as prop is classic. Check all the boys in the team shot through the lens. Some or more are going to do things with their hands (hmmm, and fingers) that Gale might say boys being boys. Course editing software comes in handy here as a fallback. Tell the coach to quit scratching you know what. Especially just before clicking the shutter. That will get the team in photo mood. Better yet, have your wife tell the coach before you fire the beast. That will get an even better team photo. If you do it that way, remind wife not to let go of the ladder.
  3. JordanLFW

    JordanLFW Guest

    Larry that post was almost as helpful as it was amusing :wink:
  4. LOL! That is pretty funny while being helpful. :lol:

    I've never done this before, but I saw that the photogs for our local area pee-wee and little leagues used mini-pavilion type tents for their individual portraits so they can still show the brightly daylit field as background while using their diffused flash to light the individual kids. Seems like a good idea if you have lots of kids to shoot for individual portraits.

    If you're shooting actual game play, then you better bring your long lenses. 70-200 is probably not gonna be long enough (although I guess the 2x crop mode on the D2X will help there). Probably bring a monopod for shooting action.

  5. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    LOLOL Larry your a trip..

    Love it !!!!!

    I'll have to remember this if I ever shoot a err "BALL" team..

  6. Larry -

    Thanks for these great pointers, and for the great laugh! (I thought of that finger thing, too. Have to learn what it's called in French!)

    As far as when, where, how long, etc. etc., the shoot is supposed to be, I still don't know. These people think you just walk up and take pictures. Well, come to think of it, that may be how I have to do it.

    They are in the midst of tournaments I hear, so there may be some game action, too. I really like the raised approach you mention. (There have been landscape shoots where I could have used a ladder.) Maybe I can get the manager to haul a ladder to the location (he's a construction guy).

    And thanks for repeated reminders about having wife hold ladder. Wife also needs to be in good mood! So I'll do my best to make sure of that. And brother-in-law, too, for that matter.

    This is dynamite stuff, Larry! Thanks, and please add anything else that comes to mind.

  7. Thanks, _Man_. You're right about the length. Shooting some spring training I was using a 300mm, occasionally with a 1.4TC, and that was about right. I'll take the 1.4TC and maybe the effective 280mm and crop mode on the 2x will get 'er done.

    That's IF they want me to shoot game stuff! I still have no idea what they want, but no reason I couldn't throw in some game action. For me, at least, these games were the high point of our last visit in Montreal. Sort of wild to hear baseball in French. And the crowd looks and acts the same as baseball crowds anywhere, but they're speaking French. But then sometimes English creeps in because sometimes it's just shorter and can be more derisive.

  8. Larry Gleason

    Larry Gleason

    Jan 26, 2005
    Hoo boy, game shooting. 80-200 only lens you need (70-200) Since it is a tournament then several games will help. Forget the outfield. Too low percentage of decent shots. Work first and third base from their respective side. Shoot base in line with second base for double action shots. Shoot with both teams on field (your players as fielders and runners). Get a couple of good shots with your team's catcher in action at plate. I shot from both dugouts for those. Your team's up at bat. Here is where you need more than one game. And work both sides of field from far end of dugout looking in. Right and Left handed hitters. You want then facing you when they turn on swing. Some shots of pitchers, but same problem with Left and Right handers. Best thing to do is plan on shooting from different sides in different games.

    Worse than ladders, hit balls go real fast. And they love camera lenses. You can't duck the ball in time. Turn and take one for the team to protect the camera and lens. Don't let the pain show when everyone rushes up to you. Be a pro!! Naw, just kidding. Do keep an eye on the hit balls and be ready to duck. You don't want to get nailed with a foul ball.

    Point your camera at umps and refs until they see you. Even if you don't take a photo. It helps them with their posture. Chests out, stomachs in. Coaches and assistant coaches. Don't bother trying to get a smile from them. They have an image to protect. Point camera at other team players from time to time. They lose focus on the game.
  9. Great stuff, Larry! I could be the tenth player! I could be a hero!

    Well, I won't get carried away right now, I guess.

  10. TR_Fox


    Jun 13, 2005
    Flagstaff AZ
    I shot a collage softball game and still have a 70-200 that I can't screw a filter on.

    How do the balls always know where the lens is???

    One other place to keep and eye on is the short stop. you can get a good since of where to watch depending on where they shift.

    Best of luck.
  11. marc

    marc Guest

    if you want a money shot or in SI terms a cover or feature

    try for bat on ball, you must prepare for that and shoot in continuous high
    af-c fps, and pray you get it.


    it's not that hard , you need to setup and be patient

    just bat on ball, does not matter where ball goes.
  12. Thanks Tim and marc

    . . . even at this late date I'm not sure what I'm going to be expected to do, but thanks for the suggestions on capturing action.

    If they're wanting me to shoot game action, and since I have an "in" with the manager, maybe I'll be able to get closer than the usual doting parent shooting through the backstop!

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