When it comes to snapping good youth baseball and softball photos, the biggest obstacle is largely physical: The fence that surrounds the field. While it does help keep spectators safe, it can be hazardous to decent photography.
Which photo looks better to you? The one above?
Or this one? Both were taken from behind the fence. The difference? With the second one, I was shooting through the metal barrier. It looks like I was on the field!
So how can you make the fence disappear? It’s really pretty easy.
First, you gotta be willing to move. Take your camera and get to the fence; don’t shoot from the bleachers (but don’t block other spectators). Be sure your lens has its hood on (I always use mine to counter flare from the sun and to protect the lens).
Next, put that lens hood on or close to the metal and shoot through a hole in the fence. You might have to use manual focus to keep your focal point from straying onto the fence (it happens to me a lot). Be sure to be on the proper side to get a good shot that includes your athlete’s face (e.g., left side when facing the field for right-handed pitchers and lefty batters).
Be aware of where the sun is—it’s best to have it behind you (that’s a basic photo rule of thumb). If you shoot at noon, which is when these photos of our high school sophomore baseball team were snapped, be prepared to have flat pix that may have to be perked up in Photoshop. Always remember that burst mode is your BFF when taking action shots. Get your athlete in focus and hold down that shutter button!
Shoot like a pro at your kid’s baseball or softball game—don’t let the fence stop you from snagging great action shots.
Got questions or comments? Let me hear from you!