Tag Archives: softball

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!

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!

PWCs: How to Make Softball Lemonade

Brittany smashes the ball.

Parents With Cameras, I haven’t forgotten you! There’s a new post up under the Photo Friday for PWCs tab. Check it out!

Easily Photographically Distracted

 

Will it be a hit?

Will it be a hit?

I started out Saturday with such good intentions. Really, I did.

I was tagging along with the Mister and the #2 son while they played disc golf at a park close to us. I was going to be content with taking action photos of them and the other players, as well as any compelling wildflowers that haven’t begun to wilt in the heat yet. And that’s what I did . . . for awhile.

Chuck butterflies a putt into the basket.

Chuck butterflies a putt into the basket.

Don't know what it is, but I like how it stands alone.

Don't know what it is, but I like how it stands alone.

Billy tries to get his upshot close to the basket.

Billy tries to get his upshot close to the basket.

The #2 son has an easy putt for par.

The #2 son has an easy putt for par.

Then I lost all focus (well, except when I looked through my camera lens, of course). The nine-hole disc golf course at this park is merely a sideshow to the main event: a beautiful softball complex. And what happens at beautiful softball complexes on Saturdays? Softball! A large tournament was being played, and all too soon I felt drawn to document the action. As a sports photographer, I’ve shot my share of baseball and softball. I’ve always especially liked the interplay between the pitcher and batter.

The pitch is on its way to the batter.

The pitch is on its way to the batter.

Because I didn’t expect to have this opportunity to shoot softball, I had my trusty Nikon 105mm lens on my Nikon D300, my favorite glass for wildflower pix. Normally, I would use my Nikon 70-200mm lens for softball, but I had to make do. Once again, the 105 proved to be a versatile lens.

The windup

The windup

And the pitch

And the pitch

I ended up having a lot of fun taking photos of both sports. I discovered that being so easily distracted can be great for your photographic versatility!