Monthly Archives: April 2014

One-Word Wednesday

The Mister and I celebrated our anniversary at Hungry’s Café, where we enjoyed our first dinner together in 1988.

The Mister and I celebrated our anniversary at Hungry’s Café, where we enjoyed our first dinner together when we started dating in late 1988.

Twenty-four!

Ahhhh! So young and innocent! Us on our wedding day 24 years ago.

A lot has changed in 24 years for both of us. I had no gray hairs!

Safe!

All eyes are on the pitch, which looks a little high.

All eyes are on the pitch, which looks a little high.

Just like with high school baseball, I found myself last Friday with a chance for photographic softball redemption. Our battling Bulldogs were in the first round of the playoffs and needed to win two back-to-back home games after dropping the first one the previous night at the opponent’s home field.

This bunt will lead to speedy Maya being on first base with an infield hit.

This bunt will lead to speedy Maya being on first base with an infield hit.

Because there was a chance of a doubleheader, the first contest started at 5 p.m. Yes, when it actually was light out, and I could use that lovely, wonderful ISO 200. I wasn’t totally disappointed in my previous night-game photos; however, I hoped my quality would improve. Plus I wanted to make sure I captured good shots of our numerous left-handed hitters (like Maya above).

Alyssia slides into third base. Note that the ball is in the fielder’s glove.

Alyssia slides into third base. Note that the yellow softball is in the fielder’s glove.

When you’re behind the fence trying to keep everything in focus through a small hole, you never know what action might be in front of you. You’ve got to be prepared for anything and everything. In this game, which we won 9-5 to force the tiebreaker, there were plenty of slides.

The tag is applied.

The tag is applied.

This is why burst mode was invented. Just got to hold down the shutter button and let the Nikon D610 click away.

Safe!

Safe!

It helps to get the umpire’s call in the photo—it’s the perfect ending to a short photo story.

Callie bears down on the plate as the catcher awaits the throw.

Callie bears down on the plate as the catcher awaits the throw.

Snapping away on the right side of the plate allowed me to get a couple decent action shots. But I was really glad that I had moved to the third-base fence when this sliding series took place.

The tag has yet to be applied.

Looks like she reached it.

With the catcher blocking the plate, our baserunner had to slip in under her to score before the tag.

Score it!

Score it!

Once again, the ump lets us know the final result.

It’s always fun to document a victory for our team. Even better? Getting to watch our girls notch a nail-biting 3-2 win to advance to the next round. Good luck, Bulldogs!

Creature Feature

Turtle soup

Turtle soup

While I was communing with nature recently, my Nikon 105mm macro lens strayed from the wildflowers. What distracted it? Critters.

First, there were turtles.

Hi, guys!

Hi, guys!

And then a duck joined the party.

A whistling duck

A whistling duck

This feathered friend was fine hanging out by himself on a different part of the lake.

Of course, there’s one critter that always wants to spoil my placid photo party and make me want to shoot and quickly flee.

We both love the bottlebrush bushes.

We both love the beautiful bottlebrush bushes.

Bees! Why does it always have to be bees?

One-Word Wednesday

C.J. starts a disc towards the basket in an unconventional manner.

C.J. starts two discs towards the basket in an unconventional manner.

Kick!

Closing in on the target

Closing in on the target

Looking good so far

Looking good so far

Will both discs stay in the tray?

Will both discs stay in the tray?

Fifty percent!

Nope!

Loud Shooting

It’s easy to capture the pitcher-batter interaction.

It’s easy to capture the pitcher-batter interaction.

You would think that after all the trouble I had shooting a high school baseball night game a few weeks ago that I would shy away from repeating that futility again.

And you would be wrong.

Being the glutton for photographic punishment that I am, I once again grabbed my monopod and Nikon equipment and headed out to snap pics of our high school’s last regular-season softball game at our home field. The only other time I shot the team was three years ago at an away game (blessedly during the day).

The ball is ready to be hit.

The ball is ready to be hit.

Seeing the field as a photographer (I’ve watched games there as a fan) was a very unpleasant experience. Even though the nearby baseball field has lots of room along the fences, it looks like this one was shoehorned into a smaller space. Obviously, the designers didn’t consider my needs as a photographer. How rude!

The only decent, safe place to shoot? Behind home plate. That made for few faces, unfortunately, but potentially good action . . . when the fence wasn’t stealing my focal point or I couldn’t manually focus fast enough.

Bat on the ball!

Bat on the ball!

As the game progressed and darkness moved in, I continued to increase my ISO to keep my shutter speed high enough to capture the action. Eventually I reached 5000! I’m glad the Nikon D610’s sensor can handle that with just a little noise.

Safe!

Safe!

The worst part about shooting behind the plate? Being next to the extremely loud speaker that either spewed out music or announcements.

Note to self: Next time wear earplugs!

Bottle Football

The kick is up . . . .

The kick is up . . . .

As has been well-documented many times in this blog, the guys in my house will throw or kick anything. Especially if there’s a potential breakage possibility.

Sidebar: C.J. once said to me, “Why do you have frames out when you know I’m just going to break them?” Sigh!

Last weekend the Mister finished off a one-liter bottle of Diet Coke and decided to have some fun with it. So, naturally, he placed it on the carpet and kicked it.

Walking sticks apparently make good goal posts.

Walking sticks apparently make good goalposts; the bottle goes wide left.

His somewhat-willing field-goal target? Our younger son, who was standing in our entryway near the front door holding up makeshift uprights.

Of course, I had them stop the action so I could grab my Nikon dSLR. This was too good not to document.

First, the Mister got in his attempts, which were at times woeful. But occasionally he was able to boost the bottle over C.J.’s head (when he wasn’t hitting him or the surrounding walls with it).

Rearing back for a mighty blow

Rearing back for a mighty blow

Then C.J. took over. And he got to see how difficult it was to kick a plastic bottle field goal within the narrow confines of the front hallway.

Three points!

Three points!

But eventually he was able to split the uprights and put points on our invisible scoreboard. After that, the father-son field goal-kicking team kept trading spots until they tired of the sport.

This was fun!

This was fun!

I’m happy to report that no photo frames were harmed while the bottle was bouncing all over the family room.

This time.

One-Word Wednesday

Now that Jake has his new, expensive tooth, he’s all smiles.

Now that Jake has his new, expensive tooth, he’s all smiles.

Finally!