Archive for April 7th, 2008

Baseball and Softball Photography

April 7, 2008

Now that spring is here, we turn our attention once again to America’s favorite pastime: Baseball. Whether you’re interested in photographing Sue’s little league games, your hubby’s softball tournament, or the real McCoy at Fenway Park, this article from Popular Photography Magazine is chock-full of useful advice.

In the article, Jack Howard recommends the following:

1. If possible, use a digital SLR camera. The biggest advantage, according to Jack, is speed: faster auto-focus and a dramatic increase in frames-per-second. Digital SLR cameras are also used, of course, by professional photographers who shoot at the Super Bowl and the NCAA basketball championships.
2. A telephoto lens is your best friend. For little league games, a 300mm lens may be enough. For professional games, you may need a 400mm lens.
3. Find good shooting angles. Each baseball diamond has its own characteristics. Jack also recommends shooting at maximum aperture to blur the background and isolate the action.
4. Selective burst shooting. With your camera set to take multiple shots each time you release the shutter, wait until the play is developing to fire your first shot. This will give you multiple opportunities to capture the moment.

Jack’s article also contains detailed information on how to compose shots for specific ball players — from batters to outfielders and everything in between — as well as helpful advice on how to deal with line-of-sight obstructions and how to capture small moments away from the main action. Be sure to check out the complete article for further details.

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Spring in the Marin Headlands

April 7, 2008

I really enjoy the composition and colors in “Spring in the Marin Headlands“, submitted by Jess Kolman for our Photobird Photo Contest for April. At the top of the frame, you can see a light strata of clouds hanging over the bay and, beneath that, the famed Golden Gate Bridge. In the city, I can make out the Bank of America Center, the TransAmerica Pyramid and, yes, there’s the Coit Tower peering out below the camber between the cables on the southern expanse of the bridge. The bottom third of the picture is a beautiful patch of yellow and white wild flowers obscuring a World War II-era bunker.

“Spring” is our theme this month. The contest is free to enter and, with just over three weeks remaining, you’ve still got plenty of time to show us your best “Spring” photo. Why delay? Click here to enter today.

Every month we choose one Photobird Award Winner for the best overall entry of the month, while your votes will determine the winner of the People’s Choice Award, the most popular entry of the month. Each of our winners will receive the following fabulous prizes:

Photobird account with 500MB storage
• 1GB SanDisk Ultra II memory card
Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson

Be sure to read more details about the monthly contest here.

And be sure to vote for your favorite entries as well to help select the People’s Choice Award.

If you have any questions, please ask in the Photobird forums.