Home Run Baseball Photography Tips
Strike one! Strike two! Strike three!
Baseball! America's Pastime, and a sport growing in popularity throughout the
world, where the Boys of Summer slug it out. A baseball game is the perfect
way to spend a lazy summer afternoon, plus it provides opportunities to take
photos that last a lifetime.
While many claim the sport of baseball is a slow-paced affair, when action
does occur, it can happen very swiftly, almost too fast for an unskilled
photographer to shoot the photos they desire. Baseballs fly quickly when hit
or thrown, and timing the action for when to take a digital photograph
requires split-second reflexes. Thus, before you plan on taking photos at a
baseball game, you may wish to read the following advice:
1) First, make sure you are allowed to bring your digital camera to the
baseball game. Some ballparks have no restrictions, others on the zoom length,
some on using flash, and some may not allow you into the baseball game at all
with your camera!
2) Change your camera settings to take the quickest photographs
possible while still providing plenty of light for the photograph. You'll need
to read your camera's manual on how to change these settings; for example,
consider saving photos as JPG instead of RAW to take photos faster.
Just remember that the quicker the shutter speed, the less light enters the
camera to take the picture. Thus, you'll need to compromise picture speed and
the amount of light to take great photos. That is why baseball games work well
with photography - many games are played on sunny days or in well-lit domes or
stadiums that allow you to take crisp, high-action photos.
3) Before going to a big league ballpark, make sure you know the rules
and nuances of the game. Practice taking photos at a minor-league, college, or
high school baseball game. The stakes aren't quite as high if you miss a shot,
and taking your camera to a game will give you more insight into when action
occurs and when players just stand around.
4) Have extra batteries and digital camera memory handy and practice
switching both out quickly before the game! A three and a half hour game can
put a tremendous strain on even the most power-miserly camera, and more often
than not you will have to switch out power or memory in the middle of an
5) Don't worry if you miss a shot! Unless you have tons of digital
camera memory, you may not be able to continuously shoot photograph after
photograph. If you miss a key pitch, the swing of a bat, or a forced out,
don't get angry! More often than not, new opportunities will arise for great
6) Study the lineup first. Know who are the key players and those who
barely know how to swing a bat. Likewise, learn who has loose hands in the
outfield and who is likely to win a Gold Glove. Focus your attention on the
stars as they most likely will make the best photographs, but don't be so
drawn to celebrity that you miss a role player making a crucial steal or
diving catch that wins the game for their team!
7) When the opening lineup starts, look at the dugout. If you're
rooting for the home team, the beginning of the game is a great time to get
player photographs as they are running out onto the field. If not, take
photographs during the middle of the inning. If you don't get the perfect
photo, delete bad photographs during lull times and try later during the game.
8) To take a picture of a swinging batter that will last a lifetime, do
*) Preparation is the key. First, before the game, know how to operate your
digital camera. Practice focusing the camera and quickly deleting unused
photos - sometimes you can delete an unwanted photo before it is completely
saved to the camera's memory.
*) Before the pitch, focus your viewfinder on the batter's box and try not to
cut out any of the batter's body. Zoom in as appropriate, but remember the
more you zoom in, the slower the potential shutter speed needed to take a
*) Anticipate shutter lag. Lock your focus before the pitch; this usually is
done by pressing the shutter button down half-way.
*) Time it... time it... then as soon as the ball is about to hit the bat,
press down fully on the shutter button.
*) If the pitch is a strike or the swing is not one to be remembered, cancel
the save so your picture is not written to memory. This way, you can save room
for other photos.
9) Look around for photo opportunities not directly related to the
action. Take a photograph of the grounds crew cleaning the bases and raking
the dirt between innings. Get a few shots of the crowd. Take a picture of the
scoreboard. Look at the surrounding area. If you want to remember the full
experience of a baseball game years from now, you should take advantage of one
of the best features of a digital camera - the ability to take lots and lots
of photographs - and shoot photographs showcasing the FULL baseball
10) Take a break during the game! You came to the baseball game to
enjoy the spectacle, not just to take pictures, right? Designate a few innings
as photo-free time where you just sit back, munch on a hot dog, drink a soda,
and soak in the environment.
Remember to study your digital camera manual first and practice, practice,
practice! Follow these ten tips and you'll be on your way to taking "home run"
baseball photographs in no time.
Copyright 2005 Andrew Malek.
Andrew Malek is the owner of the MalekTips computer and technology help site
at http://malektips.com/ For more
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