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Photos First ever baseball game...

Discussion in 'Photography, Art & Design' started by Cheap Mod Wannabe, 5 Jun 2008.

  1. Cheap Mod Wannabe

    Cheap Mod Wannabe New Member

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    Hey there folk...

    Some of my co-workers set up a Yankee game for everyone from my job to go. This was my first ever baseball game... and man is it a slow and boring sport to watch.
    It's alright I guess if you know everything about every player and you follow the strategies and etc. very deeply.
    But seriously... how boring does a sport has to be that fans spend money for a book to read, and do maths and fill in scores into their book when there are scoreboards everywhere.

    So sitting there chilling with the people, I got bored taking everyone's portrait pictures, so I decided to roam around the stands and perhaps use my 50mm 1.8 macro lens to capture something more exciting...

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    Now my problem was that 90% of sports photos were out of focus. I'm still don't know **** about photography, and I'm clueless as to what part of my equipment could not keep up with the action.
    I know that my lens was way out of the league of fast action photography, but still... while the player was standing still, the AI Servo focusing, single point, and automatic point selection focusing options did a decent job.... A player just swung the bat and the photos turned out blurry [Edit: forgot to say it's NO FOCUS blurry, not motion blur, My shutter speed was good most of the time 125 mostly)... except like 4 out of 200... I tried just about every setting.

    So basically I would like to know if this was my lens not being able to focus, or my Rebel Xti? Do you think an Xti with a good 200mm lens would've done the job? Or is this a case of rebel's focusing not being able to keep up with let's say 40D and higher end models?

    Any help and comments appreciated...
     
    Last edited: 5 Jun 2008
  2. TekMonkey

    TekMonkey I enjoy cheese.

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    You got to go to a game during the last season they're playing at Yankee Stadium and you're complaining it was boring? What a geek...

    The last photo is cool.

    Shooting sports requires a fast shutter speed. At least 1/125" or 1/250". Anything slower and you see the problem that you had.
     
  3. Cheap Mod Wannabe

    Cheap Mod Wannabe New Member

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    I liked the whole experience, I liked hanging out with some friends, and taking some pictures. Baseball however was the least entertaining part of the evening.
    I wished they showed futbol... err soccer or even better a basketball game in between every little break where nothing was happening on the field.
    Once there was something going on the field I enjoyed it and it was fun... but most of the time players were either standing around... walking to switch with the other team, and then warming up by trowing 3-4 balls around to each other. I think if the opposing team would have been better, then perhaps it would've been more interesting, but Toronto Blueg..eghm...yays (sorry had to clear my throat) did not do too well.

    It's a really complex and difficult game, and when few teams are so rich with all the good player, most of the games seem to be very casual and well.... boring. I'm gonna have to give baseball few more tries though before moving it to the list of things not to bother watching... Oh and this whole negative rant is all from spectators side. I got to play some baseball in high school, and I had great fun with it. Anyways any help with my troubles focusing..? Or I guess this can be turned into some baseball thread... perhaps colonial sports vs european?

    P.S. The blur was because lens did not focus, there was no problem with shutter speed...
     
  4. Vers

    Vers ...

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    Excellent job with that last shot...definitely one of the best posted here in a long while...just wish you had closed it down a bit to get some star effects from the lights...nonetheless great job.

    As for sports photography...long fast glass+fast, accurate and dependable AF is key. 200mm on a crop body is fine for box seats, not so great anywhere else (think 300-400mm minimum). Shutter speeds should be at 1/250...1/125 will work at times but for stopping full on action you'll need something quicker. I'm not sure why your images were mis-focusing, but it could be due to narrow DOF, lens hunting or poor Xti AF. BTW, watch your WB...it seems that 2-4 have different WB settings applied.

    Baseball, to some, can seem boring and thats fine by me. But when you get a good game going there is an electricity in the air unlike any other sporting event I have witnessed...to capture it in the faces of the fans and players is the challenge, but doing so creates extremely powerful images. Just watching todays game...Yankees down 8-6 in the bottom of the 9th with two out...A-rod gets aboard with a seeing eye base hit, then steals second...Matsui then drives a ball to center field scoring A-rod from second, making it 8-7...Girardi then puts in Giambi to pinch hit for Betimit...he works a 0-2 count against one of the best closers in the American league, last chance for the Yankees...all of the sudden out of the lefties hand comes a slider...a hanging slider that Jason Giambi connects with putting the ball 10 rows deep in the upper deck for the most dramatic victory the Yankees and their fans have seen all year. A walk off two run homer for Jason Giambi...the Yankees win it 9-8!...my God. Now if you had been at todays game, you would learn to love it because you would feel it in your bones.
     
    Last edited: 6 Jun 2008
  5. Cheap Mod Wannabe

    Cheap Mod Wannabe New Member

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    Thanks Matt!

    By "closing down" you mean if I increased the F-stop? How does one achieve the star effects? (I think it would be appropriate to reply to this comment yoda-like)
     
  6. Vers

    Vers ...

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    Closing down=higher f-stop. For example if you shot that image at f/4, stopping down to f/11 (if possible) would generate a star effect.
     
  7. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    I love the last photo. For someone who says he doesn't know anything about photography, you certainly could have fooled me. At the very least, you have an eye for a good shot. That's one of the most important elements in Art, and one that unfortunately is almost impossible to teach.

    Don't sweat the technical issues; you'll learn them over time. As far as sports photography goes, one of the most overlooked aspects to good sports photography is simply knowing the game. When you shoot enough of them, or if you're intimately familiar with the sport already, you begin to anticipate the action. After a while, you develop a sort of sixth sense about where to point the camera and when to fire the shutter.

    As an alternative opinion, I rather like the last shot without a star effect. It's really down to personal taste, though, as I'm just not a big fan of the star effect. And yes, Baseball is quite possibly one of the most boring sports ever. At least, it's boring when you're watching. Playing Baseball can be quite fun.

    -monkey
     
  8. Jumeira_Johnny

    Jumeira_Johnny 16032 - High plains drifter

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    The only time baseball is worth watching is a yankees vs red sox game. Everything else is a lame excuse to drink american rice beer.

    As for the pictures, the last one is the best you could have hoped for, given the situation. But 1/3 of good sports photography is the crowd and reactions. The action is only part of it. If this sort of thing really interests you, take a look at http://www.sportsshooter.com. It's one of the rare sites that some of the best sports photographers hang out at. There is tons of good information and ideas there.
     
  9. OleJ

    OleJ Me!

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    The last and the second to last are some great shots. I love the multiple exposure of the 2nd to last shot. Nice shots mate :thumb:

    Oh and I think you can easily blame the 50mm 1.8 for the oof problems. Mine is terrible at focusing fast and accurate. As soon as the light dips slightly it starts the searching back and forth on focus.

    Of course it might as well be the Rebel series that have awful AF in most conditions as I don't have a better body to test my lenses on. But my limited experience using the nifty is that it has some problems with focus.
     
  10. Firehed

    Firehed Why not? I own a domain to match.

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    What was going on in that second to last one? Were you firing with a flash in multi mode or catching the flash off of other shooters or some really freaky photoshop?
     
  11. Cheap Mod Wannabe

    Cheap Mod Wannabe New Member

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    Just multiple shots and then photoshop. I think dSLR's should have an option where one could use the same image to record multiple exposures like in the old film cameras. I think that would be quite fun.
     
  12. NoahFuLing

    NoahFuLing New Member

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    There's supposedly a plug-in for Photoshop that does that. It detects the multi-shot setting in the EXIF data, and lets you easily create a multiple exposure based on the exposure values each picture was shot at. Not sure what it was, though...
     
  13. Jumeira_Johnny

    Jumeira_Johnny 16032 - High plains drifter

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    Both the D200 and D300 do. And I'm pretty sure the D3 does as well.
     
  14. Cheap Mod Wannabe

    Cheap Mod Wannabe New Member

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    Ahhh fu*** now I'm no longer happy with my equipment... but want more lenses.... bigger bodies.... larger glasses :)
     
  15. yodasarmpit

    yodasarmpit No longer the other Brett.

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    Join the club :D
     
  16. Nath

    Nath Your appeal has already been filed.

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    Chances are it's the person behind the camera letting it down not the equipment :p

    I do like that last shot a lot, though the dead black space at the bottom is something I'd crop out. The atmosphere is fantastic though, as well as the slight halo around him.
     
  17. Cheap Mod Wannabe

    Cheap Mod Wannabe New Member

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    So senjor Fancy Hat, will you help explain what I was doing wrong by answering my Out of Focus question? :p
     
  18. Shadowed_fury

    Shadowed_fury Active Member

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    Loving that last shot! :D
     
  19. Firehed

    Firehed Why not? I own a domain to match.

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    Focusing poorly, what else? ;)

    Could be a front- or back-focusing lens, but you said you were using the 50mm f/1.8 and that tends to rarely if at all happen on primes. The build quality on that thing is cheap enough that someone could have breathed on it wrong and knocked the focus off. And of course, it's a night game and even with those giant light arrays you still have relatively low light which isn't going to help things (AF is harder for the camera in low light).
     
  20. NzC

    NzC New Member

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    I have not shot much sports, but I have shot a lot of dance (being a dancer myself) and my favorite lens is my Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 (a prime). I have found two things. One, you have to use focus tracking and be in continuous focus mode. On my D200 I have disabled AF on the shutter release and only have in on the AF-ON button. I would imagine Canons have a similar feature. This allows you to follow the action and hit the shutter whenever you need to. Also I can tell you that 1/125 could be too slow in some instances, especially without a monopod. (I have a shakey hand.) If I can (which is rare in dance) I like to shoot 1/250 or better.
     
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