Sunday, 5 July 2015


Recently just had a photoshoot for a game with the University of Sydney Baseball Club. It was my first time shooting baseball and I learnt some tips along the way.

Date

27th June, 2015

Location

Petersham Oval

Equipments

  • Canon 1DX
  • Canon 24-70mm f/2.8
  • Canon 70-200mm f/2.8
  • Extender 2x
  • Flash (for group photos)
  • ThinkTank Pro Belt System
  • Monopod
From my experience, I know I wouldn't bring many lenses nor bother with the 2nd camera. I packed everything inside a Lowepro Flipside 400 but loaded all the equipments in the ThinkTank Pro Belt System as I did not want to leave expensive camera equipments unattended in unfamiliar open area.

Techniques

Positions

  • You can only shoot from outside of the field, so shooting positions are limited.
  • There is a net behind the catcher. Shooting with or without the net in the frame will give different texture to the photos.
  • I found shooting by the edge of the nets would give me good angles.
  • 400mm is still not enough reach to get a good portrait of the pitcher or the batter. 500mm onward would be nice.
  • The usual rule like in any other sports, you want to see the faces of the people in your shots, so adjust accordingly if they are left or right handed.

 
Behind the net

Camera 

  • There is plenty of lights to use in an outdoor environment. 
  • I kept my ISO to pretty low with 1/2000 shutter speed which was adequate to freeze the ball and any other motions.
  • I also used the panning shot technique to photo the runner.

Composition

  • Including the ball in the frame will be crucial for composition.
  • Try to include players from both team so it tells the story.
  • Capture the actions or expressions from the players.

Thoughts

The sun was very bright and it was hard to see the balls, but the path of the ball is predictable (obviously). Therefore, by taking a quick look at the pitcher, I have an idea when the batter will hit the ball.

Unlike indoor sports, "light and speed" are on your side in outdoor sports.

There is quite a few things going on in a game, there are pitching, batting, running etc. I found shooting a baseball match is similar to a hockey game (maybe because of the size of the ball and the amount of light quantity I get on the field), but not as omni-directions as such. The pitcher or batsman are always in the same position for you to shoot.



I enjoyed my baseball shooting and had so much fun. I just wish I had a longer lens that I could get closer. How about a cricket match where the pitch is right in the middle of the field? Would definitely go if I could source myself a 1200mm lens :)