Trying New Angles With Baseball

© Matthew Jonas 2010/Evergreen Newspapers 2010

Baseball is a sport that I shoot a lot of especially during the summer. The problem is that I have never really enjoyed baseball without a camera. It’s probably one of the things that I have the hardest time shooting. I’m not sure how I was chosen to get season credentialed to shoot the Phillies when I was working for the News Journal, but it’s probably the reason that I have been doing so well shooting it lately. Yesterday I shot my first summer baseball game. The field had low fences, lots of unobstructed positions to shoot from and the light was flat but even. One of those positions was elevated behind the dug out. So I decided to try shooting the game from an angle I don’t usually have the liberty of shooting from with most of the teams I cover.

© Matthew Jonas 2010/Evergreen Newspapers 2010

The nice thing about the elevated shooting position is that it cleans up all of your backgrounds. Most of the fields that I shoot at are covered in billboard advertising on the outfield walls. Nothing ruins a great moment like seeing a Firstbank ad in the background.

© Matthew Jonas 2010/Evergreen Newspapers 2010

Even pick off attempts look better from a higher angle. I remember a time when I thought this was a hard picture to make. Then I figured out that all the action in baseball takes place at a couple of places on the field.

© Matthew Jonas 2010/Evergreen Newspapers 2010

The flat light really helped out today as well. Often times I get a black shadow under the hats of players that can ruin a great moment. I overexposed about a third stop and lost a little bit of detail in the highlights but gained faces and expressions. Overall It was not a bad first game of the summer. A 400mm f2.8 lens would have been great today. Hell, a 300mm f2.8 lens would have been great but I don’t have one of those either. For now, I’ll just deal with my “poor man’s” 300, a beat up 1.4x teleconverter and then unsharp mask everything.

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