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:
Lance Armstrong: Images of a Champion
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 inning.
Digital Sports Photography
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 photographs.
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!
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