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Some baseball shots from last summer

Discussion in 'Sports Photography' started by Harry Lavo, Apr 13, 2007.

  1. I'm new to the forum, and while I've been photographing for a long time, I've never really tried sports photography before. So having bought myself a Nikon D50 and a Sigma 18-200 plus monopod for my retirement, I decided last summer to photograph the Holyoke Giants, a summer New England College League team here in Holyoke, MA, USA.

    The first think I realized was that I really didn't have the long, fast lense I needed for really spectacular close-ups. And while I certain enjoy such shots as much as the next guy, I found even when I was close enough to the action to get such shots, I often chose a wider field of view. Basically, I view baseball as a game of position and strategy, punctuated by brief moments of action, kind of like chess movement on a board. So I like best when I can capture action within context, which is usually space, or anticipation, or movement of bodies towards or away. So my selection of shots reflects this philosphy, for better or worse. I do realize it is not the conventional or accepted wisdom of how to shoot the sport and would be happy to hearing other philosophies from others of you.

    When I reviewed the shots on my hard disk in deciding what to put up on pbase, I realized also that this year I have to concentrate more on depth of field and in particular, learning to make sure I've mastered the d50's autofocus. A few shots suggest I was letting the camera focus off-action by a slight amount, and a few would have benefited from shorter depth of field. I tend to shoot shutter-priority first (an old habit) at high ISO and then focus on the action and capturing the right moment...and leave the remainder to the camera. Which under difficult low-light conditions, means having to use Photoshop Elements to adjust exposure and Neat Image sometimes to reduce noise. This coming year I plan to shoot only in NEF or NEF+JPEG mode to be able to do a better job of adjusting exposure and color correcting.

    At any rate, here is the link to the gallery I just put up on pbase.com, and I hope you find something to enjoy there.


    Your critique and comments are welcome.
  2. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    You have posted some real nice images in your Pbase gallery, Harry. When I opened the link and found the two images of the ballfield at night, the first thing that came to mind was Field of Dreams. Those images have a very hometown feel to them. The action images that you have posted are very nice, especially since taken from a distance away from the play itself. Glad that you are joining us and hope that you will post more action shots here real soon. We all learn from one another and the more that we see, the more that we enjoy our visits here.
  3. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    You have some very nice BB images:>))
  4. Jeff Mims

    Jeff Mims

    May 25, 2005
    Some very nice images, Harry.

    I like the story telling sequence. Really gives me a feel for the game.
  5. Nice and I agree with Frank in his reference to my favorite movie of all time Field of Dreams
  6. Hi Frank -

    Thanks so much for your encouraging comments. Would that I had that lense of yours!

    The "home town feel" is there because it really is a "home town feel". The college league is essentially college stars beyond their freshman year who have at least a chance of an organized baseball tryout...the best known league is the Cape Cod League which has been around for years. The park where these were taken is a High School Field, but it is a very nice one and the Giants take it over as their own for the months of June and July and an occasional playoff game in August. The teams range from Maine down to Lower Connecticut and include Vermonth, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and of course, Massachusetts. All are based in/near small towns and cities. Local volunteers man the ticket booths, the concessions, etc. and local celebrities are honored, sing the opening anthem (pretty bad some times), and so forth. It really takes me back to my little league days in the early '50's and to watching the Williamsport, PA AA clubs (Eastern League) at Bowman Field where I grew up.

    I obviously need a longer and faster lense to begin to approach the quality you and others get in your shots. Right now I can't afford what I really would like, but am looking at Sigma 70-200 2.8 and 100-300 4.0 lenses as an interim move. I don't want to back out of zooms, because I really like to be able to "pull back" quickly for some shots in line with my philosophy of showing some "strategic space" around the action.

    At any rate, I'm glad you liked the "home town feel". So do I, although I am going to branch out a bit this Spring/Summer to include a couple of minor league clubs as well.
  7. Mike, thanks, glad you like it. One of my favorites as well. Also like "The Girls of Summer" (I think that's its name) about the World War II female league.

  8. Thanks very much, Jeff. You've got what I'm trying to do. Not only convey a feel for the game, but have each picture "suggest" what is happening, including what is out of the picture by including enough of the environment to strategically place the action. Sometimes it works well, sometimes it doesn't quite come off....but I like to try.
  9. Thanks, Gale, I'm glad you like them. See ya around.
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