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Continuing the popup theme...it's a pretty neat trick to get everyone in this picture except Nick Swisher and the umpire completely out of focus. I wish I knew how I did that.
Also, any tips for taking good baseball photos. If you want to drop some mad F/stop knowledge on us, it would be appreciated.
I have a lot more trouble during night games. If I leave the shutter open long enough to let light in, the moving players get blurry, and if I do a quick shutter, the picture is often too dark. This picture above is part of my night-game struggles; I still haven't figured out the optimal settings yet. Right now, I lean towards taking the picture too dark, and letting Photoshop brighten it up afterwards. But then, the picture looks somewhat grainy.
Had you been using a fully manual camera, you'd be doing three things to get the image right:
Focus: you'd focus on Swisher. The umpire appears to be at around the same focal depth, so you accidentally get the ump in focus too.
Shutter speed: you'd push this as fast as possible to reduce the blur on fast-moving objects. So the ump is not so blurry because a fast shutter speed was probably used.
Aperture: you'd open the aperture wide to allow more light in (compensating for the low light conditions and the faster shutter speed). The consequence of a wide aperture is that the focal depth shortens, so only those things in a similar depth as the main focus point will be in focus, and everything else blurs. Under similar lighting conditions but a completely still setting, you could get more things in focus by having a slower shutter speed but a narrower aperture.
If you wanted to get more things in focus in these circumstances, however, you'd need more light or a faster film speed -- did I say film? He he.
1) Turn your camera to its manual, aperture-fixed mode, and open your lens as wide as it will go.
2) Turn the ISO-equivalent on your camera to as high a number as it will support (this will by 1600 for this camera).
3) Remember your camera will need a ton more stability at night than in the daytime. If you can swing it, use a monopod. (They won't let you take one into some of the stadiums I've been to lately.)
Not that it's perfect, but it does turn out some decent shots:
I think much of my problem is that there are so many buttons and switches and dials on the camera, I have a hard time figuring out how to do things like turn off the flash, or change the ISO setting, or adjust the aperture. I need my manual to figure those things out, and I usually don't take it with me to the ballgame, so I just end up going, "maybe next time" and then I get home and forget.
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