Home Run Baseball Photography Tips

Strike one! Strike two! Strike three!

Baseball! America's Pastime, and a sport growing in popularity throughout the world, where the Boys of Summer slug it out. A baseball game is the perfect way to spend a lazy summer afternoon, plus it provides opportunities to take photos that last a lifetime.

While many claim the sport of baseball is a slow-paced affair, when action does occur, it can happen very swiftly, almost too fast for an unskilled photographer to shoot the photos they desire. Baseballs fly quickly when hit or thrown, and timing the action for when to take a digital photograph requires split-second reflexes. Thus, before you plan on taking photos at a baseball game, you may wish to read the following advice:

1) First, make sure you are allowed to bring your digital camera to the baseball game. Some ballparks have no restrictions, others on the zoom length, some on using flash, and some may not allow you into the baseball game at all with your camera!

2) Change your camera settings to take the quickest photographs possible while still providing plenty of light for the photograph. You'll need to read your camera's manual on how to change these settings; for example, consider saving photos as JPG instead of RAW to take photos faster.

Just remember that the quicker the shutter speed, the less light enters the camera to take the picture. Thus, you'll need to compromise picture speed and the amount of light to take great photos. That is why baseball games work well with photography - many games are played on sunny days or in well-lit domes or stadiums that allow you to take crisp, high-action photos.

3) Before going to a big league ballpark, make sure you know the rules and nuances of the game. Practice taking photos at a minor-league, college, or high school baseball game. The stakes aren't quite as high if you miss a shot, and taking your camera to a game will give you more insight into when action occurs and when players just stand around.

4) Have extra batteries and digital camera memory handy and practice switching both out quickly before the game! A three and a half hour game can put a tremendous strain on even the most power-miserly camera, and more often than not you will have to switch out power or memory in the middle of an inning.

5) Don't worry if you miss a shot! Unless you have tons of digital camera memory, you may not be able to continuously shoot photograph after photograph. If you miss a key pitch, the swing of a bat, or a forced out, don't get angry! More often than not, new opportunities will arise for great photographs.

6) Study the lineup first. Know who are the key players and those who barely know how to swing a bat. Likewise, learn who has loose hands in the outfield and who is likely to win a Gold Glove. Focus your attention on the stars as they most likely will make the best photographs, but don't be so drawn to celebrity that you miss a role player making a crucial steal or diving catch that wins the game for their team!

7) When the opening lineup starts, look at the dugout. If you're rooting for the home team, the beginning of the game is a great time to get player photographs as they are running out onto the field. If not, take photographs during the middle of the inning. If you don't get the perfect photo, delete bad photographs during lull times and try later during the game.

8) To take a picture of a swinging batter that will last a lifetime, do the following:

*) Preparation is the key. First, before the game, know how to operate your digital camera. Practice focusing the camera and quickly deleting unused photos - sometimes you can delete an unwanted photo before it is completely saved to the camera's memory.

*) Before the pitch, focus your viewfinder on the batter's box and try not to cut out any of the batter's body. Zoom in as appropriate, but remember the more you zoom in, the slower the potential shutter speed needed to take a clear photo.

*) Anticipate shutter lag. Lock your focus before the pitch; this usually is done by pressing the shutter button down half-way.

*) Time it... time it... then as soon as the ball is about to hit the bat, press down fully on the shutter button.

*) If the pitch is a strike or the swing is not one to be remembered, cancel the save so your picture is not written to memory. This way, you can save room for other photos.

9) Look around for photo opportunities not directly related to the action. Take a photograph of the grounds crew cleaning the bases and raking the dirt between innings. Get a few shots of the crowd. Take a picture of the scoreboard. Look at the surrounding area. If you want to remember the full experience of a baseball game years from now, you should take advantage of one of the best features of a digital camera - the ability to take lots and lots of photographs - and shoot photographs showcasing the FULL baseball experience.

10) Take a break during the game! You came to the baseball game to enjoy the spectacle, not just to take pictures, right? Designate a few innings as photo-free time where you just sit back, munch on a hot dog, drink a soda, and soak in the environment.

Remember to study your digital camera manual first and practice, practice, practice! Follow these ten tips and you'll be on your way to taking "home run" baseball photographs in no time.

Copyright 2005 Andrew Malek.

Andrew Malek is the owner of the MalekTips computer and technology help site at http://malektips.com/. Want more great tips on buying and using digital cameras? Visit http://malektips.com/camera/ for more free digital photography advice.

In The News:

How to: photograph waves (Part one)  Australian Photography

Start Up a Travel Photography Business

Too many people have the idea that being paid to... Read More

The Benefits of Underwater Digital Cameras

Underwater digital cameras are fun and easy to use under... Read More

African Safari Photography Best Five Destinations

Good wildlife safari photography is not only about composition and... Read More

Get Closer to Your Subject

Almost any shot will look better if you take two... Read More

Digital Camera Auto Exposure and Auto Focus

The digital camera being a fantastic and technologically advanced device... Read More

What You Need To Buy A Digital Camera Wholesale

Digital cameras are available in several price ranges today. They... Read More

Taking Panoramic Landscapes - The Easy Solution

I love panoramas. There's something very appealing about their shape.... Read More

Color Management, the Digital Darkroom, and Adobe Photoshop

PrefaceIn order to understand color management, it is important to... Read More

How to Create a Great Video - a Simple Guide on How to Shoot Home Movies with a Camcorder

So you have bought a camcorder and have shot some... Read More

Getting The Right Digital Camera For You

There are really great advantages in digital photography:You can shoot... Read More

Weddings, From a Photographers Point of View

Your wedding day is without a doubt one of the... Read More

Is Digital Photography Expensive?

Being such a fascinating device as the digital camera, this... Read More

Fuji Digital Cameras

Fuji digital cameras entered the market in the late 90's.... Read More

How To Make A Time-Lapse Video With Your Digital Video Camera

Getting the most out of your digital video camera can... Read More

Make Your Digital Camera Batteries Last Longer

One technology that hasn't kept up with the rapid pace... Read More

Stock Your Kit with Digital Camera Accessories

There are a large number of digital camera accessories available... Read More

How to Shoot Video of Your Kids Sports Team So That Anyone Else Will Watch It!

Break out that video camera, there is a game this... Read More

The Primer on Digital Camera Printers

Once you have clicked photos through your digital camera, then... Read More

The Best Wildlife Camera To Take On Safari

Good wildlife camera equipment on safari can make the difference... Read More

Top 10 Digital Cameras - What You Need To Know About Them

There are a large number of top 10 digital camera... Read More

Photography - Rules of Composition

Composition is defined as the combining of distinct parts or... Read More

Photography Success Without School

What I learned from a mentor that enabled me to... Read More

Photography Courses Online

There are also some excellent online courses available and some... Read More

7 Things You Must Do If You Want To Make That Perfect Camera Shot

Saturate yourself with your subject and the camera will all... Read More

8 Simple Tips for Taking Great Baby Photos

Taking pictures of your new baby is a great way... Read More