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[Nikon D100 D200] Re: Seeking Advice on Sports Shooting (Baseball) T.J. Shuflin Tue Jun 05 18:00:49 2007

--- In [EMAIL PROTECTED], "William R. Tallman"
<[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
>
> Hello Everyone, I'm seeking advice on ANY technique(s) for shooting 
> sports photography in general, but baseball in particular???  

Excellent comments from Micky and Alan!  Let me add my 2cents worth,
and try not to repeat much of what they said.  I shoot a good bit of
sports.  See some of my work here:
  <http://tjshuflin.smugmug.com/2007%20Sports>
You can click on the Baseball sub-category for just baseball.

Trying to comment to things you said in your message, and other things
that I don't think have been mentioned.
   1) MARK your CF cards!  Insist that they are NOT reformatted in the
computers.  Be sure you get your cards back.  Find out if the company
that hired you is liable if they damage or lose a card!  Check that
the cards are not damaged before you leave the event each day.
   2) For consistency, it would be good if whoever hired you and the
other photographers would have all of you shoot some sample shots of
the same thing,at the same time, and location, and then determine what
each photographer should shoot at, with respect to things like White
Balance, Hue, Tone, Color Space, Saturation, etc.  WB can be "fine
tuned" so that all the various cameras give similar JPEG colors, since
you can't shoot RAW.  I like shooting on a WB of Cloudy, -1, as I like
the colors.
   3) Be sure you know what your camera is producing.  The image on
the LCD is not always accurate.  Use the histogram to help you with
exposure compensation.
   4) Don't shoot on auto-WB.  Causes too much variation in images.
   5) Shoot on Aperture Priority, and select the most wide-open
aperture that your lens is sharp at.  This will help to isolate your
subject, blur the background, and give as high a shutter speed as
possible.  You'll have to nail the focus though because of shallow
DOF.  Know your lens.  The most wide open f/stop may not be sharp, so
consider going up a couple of clicks on the f/stop.
   6) Practice how and where you will meter.  It depends on the
lighting conditions.  Green grass works pretty darn well for a
middle-of-the-road value.  Avoid solid white or black parts of
uniforms, if possible.  True red, blue, and green colors give pretty
good metering.  Or meter on the skin, if you can.
   7) You need to be inside the fence.  Get permission from umps and
coaches. Know where you can and can't be.  Know what you can and can't
do. Don't move too much during play (move between innings).  Only
outside the fence shots I usually do are from behind home plate, of
the pitcher.  Remove your lens shade (if angle of sun allows), to get
your lens close to the fence.  Shoot bursts of the pitcher.  AF-C is
best, as someone mentioned.  There's several settings on the D200 that
you need to be sure are set properly for the type of shooting you do.
 Research other websites, like Thom Hogan's for lists of suggested
sports settings.  Check out Mike Hagen's site here for a FREE "D200
setup guide":
<http://www.outthereimages.com/publishing.html>
Scroll down the page to find the PDF file to download.

You mentioned doing a 2-button reset.  You need to have a list of
settings written down.  Lots of things need adjusting on the D200 to
produce the image you want.  Use the setup guides for starters.  Set
up the banks on the D200 for what you need to do.

PRACTICE BEFORE FRIDAY.  You didn't mention the age of the players. 
The younger the player, the (slightly) slower things will happen.  Go
find some games with players of similar ages, and PRACTICE.  It takes
timing!  Be aware of where the ball is - don't get hit by a line-drive
foul ball!

Check to see if that lens is sharp at the maximum zoom of 200mm.  You
might be best served by backing off just a little to maybe 185-190mm.

If I think of more, I'll reply again.  
T.J.