Monday, March 16, 2015

Our World Tuesday ~ Spring Baseball in Oklahoma!

I don't really understand sports,
nor do I really feel the need to,
but I love watching the kids in our family play them.
Peyton, our oldest grand-nephew, has found his niche, baseball.
He began as a catcher and now he's in the outfield.
It's just hard for a tall guy to play that position.
The Mavericks won their first tournament of the season!
I'm sharing with
"Our World Tuesday" (here).
"Little league baseball is a very good thing. 
 It keeps the parents off the streets."
- Yogi Berra
I keep talking about getting off AF, but
action happens so quick I'm afraid I
will miss something great if I don't use AF.
Next time at the ballpark, I'm giving manual a go!
Or at least Shutter Priority...
Happy Click'n!

*** Notes to myself ***
Shutter speed:
Shutter speed is the single most important thing to get right in action photography. Start by putting your camera into Shutter Priority mode and choosing a shutter speed of 1/500 of a second. This is a good starting point and should be fast enough for most sports and action.

Fast shutter speeds -  around 1/1000th a second to stop action.
Slower shutter speeds – around 1/250th second to capture motion.
Use panning techniques with slower shutters (around 1/8s or 1/60s) to add motion blur to a runner taking off toward base. Keep your camera on the subject with your finger half way down to lock the focus and when ready, take the photo remembering to follow him as he moves.


To help you reach the high shutter speeds required, you'll need to open your aperture up nice and wide. If you have a very fast lens, 300 mm use f/2.8 and f/4 as a starting point.
Use shallow depth of field (f/2.8-f/5.6) to separate the players from the background.

Often, you can get away with shooting at your lowest ISO for outdoor sports, but when the light levels get low things begin to get difficult. Your primary priority is to keep the shutter speed fast enough to freeze the action. Typically you won’t want to shoot above ISO 400 or 800 on a compact, but the most recent DSLRs can shoot reasonably well straight to ISO 3200. Don’t be afraid to crank that ISO up if you need to; grainy results are always preferable to blurry ones. 

This is also when that 50 mm or 70-200 mm lens comes in handy. While most would be stuck at a lethargic f5.6 and have to compensate by boosting ISO way up to ISO 6400, you could be shooting at f2.8 or brighter at ISO 1600. remember a noisy/grainy shot is better than a blurry one.

Other: Using JPEG mode lets you to capture more pictures at a time in burst mode, and fit more images onto your memory card.

Start by switching from multi-point to single-point focusing, and use the focus point at the center of the frame. Now, when you compose a shot, your camera will focus on whatever's in the center rather than trying to keep everything acceptably sharp. This is faster and also lets you tell your camera exactly what you want to focus on, rather than letting it guess.

Continuous Focusing mode (called "AI Servo" on Canon cameras) - this continually refocuses to keep the subject sharply focused at all times.

Use the SanDisk Extreme UHS-I memory card. It’s eight times faster than ordinary memory cards, which makes it perfect for continuous burst mode shots.

Focus on the Catcher if you anticipate action at the plate.
Focus on the "base" if capturing a runner's action, advancing to second or diving back to base.

Capture emotions/faces if you can.  Players usually only come together during celebrations or fights. On both occasions, the bulk of the players will run out of the dugouts to the center of the field, making it easy to shoot the converging packs.

Position yourself - 
First Base...outside of the first base dugout, the side closest to the outfield, you'll have good sight lines to make photographs of the hitter and pitchers. A high percentage of plays involve throws to first base. You'll have the players throwing in your direction, which will allow you to make much better action images.

Third Base....outside of the third base dugout, the side closest to the outfield, you'll have good sight lines to make photographs of the hitters and pitchers. You'll also be in a terrific spot to make images of plays at the plate, because you'll be looking down the line at the catcher as the play happens.

Behind Home Plate...You need to line up your shot so you can see the pitcher head on, the hitter form behind, and the umpire looking over the catcher's shoulder.  Put the front of your lens as close as you can to the physical backstop between the wires.
*** The End ***


  1. I like that first photo. So full of action.

  2. awesome action shots... i am sending this to a friend who just got a Rebel camera to take photos of her grandson playing ball... these tips will help her

    1. That's great Sandra, I hope these tips help her out, that's why I added them besides a reference to myself. Enjoy your day!

  3. loved the yogi berra quote. :) i always enjoyed watching softball leagues play.

  4. Informative post and great action shots of your young dudes in your family ~

    Wishing you a wonder filled week,
    artmusedog and carol

  5. your photos are perfect, i suggest stay with what you are doing... love the keep the parents off the streets quote

  6. I am a TOTAL "Baseball Mom". I only wish I was as into my photography as I am now....a few years ago when my son was playing college and minor league ball. Oh the photo ops I missed out on! Keep up the good work and documenting for your nephew. Memories in the making :)

  7. nice to see them do anything other then watch screens :)


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© Emily J Powell and Millie @ Click'n Camera, February 10, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Emily J Powell and Millie @Click'n Camera with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Photos may not be used, copied, printed without prior permission.