Shooting Major League Baseball
Yesterday I flew up to Atlanta for the day to shoot the Atlanta Braves vs. the Washington Nationals at Turner Field. Despite the sweltering heat (and the Braves loss), I had a blast shooting, and hanging out with Braves team photographer Paul Abell.
I didn’t really have time to go through all the shots, since my flight got home last night, but here are a few that caught my eye upon import in Lightroom (the shot of me above was taken by Paul with my iPhone). Click on any photo to see a larger view—I think they look much better larger, too)
I also didn’t have much time to really do anything to these except sharpen them and tweak the exposure a bit.
I was shooting my Nikon D3, with a 200-400 f/4 VR lens, mounted on a Gitzo monopod. I shot wide open at f/4 most of the day in Aperture Priority mode. I wanted to keep my shutter speed around 1250 to 1600 of a second (to freeze the action), so I had my ISO set between 200 and 320 most of the day, based on the light at the time. Most of the shots were taken from the 1st base dugout, 3rd base dugout, and behind home plate. Later in the day I went up to the first deck to set a few shots shooting down, but most were taken from field level.
Two interesting things to note:
- What a difference a year makes: The Nikons outnumbered the Canons (only by one, mind you, but come on—that’s sayin’ something).
- Turner Field recently instituted a policy which a lot of ballparks have started to enforce and that is they no longer allow fans to bring in pro cameras with lenses longer than 5″. Apparently, some fans were literally coming to game with 400mm and 600mm lenses; shooting the game from the stands, and then selling the images cheap online, so the ballparks have started cracking down across the Major League.
Thanks to Paul, and everyone at the Braves for a really great day !