Making Softball Lemonade

Blake tosses to first base for the out.

A couple weeks ago I got an opportunity to shoot our high school’s softball team during the day (they usually play at night). I confidently grabbed my Nikon D300 and Nikon 70-200mm lens, my usual baseball-shooting kit, and hit the softball field.

But once I set up my equipment on my monopod and looked through the lens, I realized something that made me want to hit myself in the head: A softball field is smaller than its baseball counterpart, and the fence is closer to the action. Which meant that I should’ve brought my D700, which is a full-frame camera (there’s no crop factor that makes it seem like lenses have extra zoom), as well as my Nikon 24-70mm lens.

I was living in Lament City.

Nikki pitches the ball towards the plate.

After awhile, though, I decided to make lemonade out of my photographic lemons. Because I couldn’t shoot well through the fence from the first- or third-base side, like I do for baseball, I decided to move to the only vantage point I had: Behind the plate.

The opposing batter sends a bunt to the infield.

What’s nice about shooting in that spot is that you’re not blocking anyone’s view.

Brittany smashes the ball.

Plus you get a different angle of the action. Burst mode comes in very handy with trying to get a good photo of the batter making contact with the ball.

The runner slides into a forceout at home.

Plus you never know when you might get to snap an exciting play at the plate.

So remember that if you can’t be in position to make the kind of action shots you’d like, get creative and move to a different location. Enjoy the lemonade!

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