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06-27-2011, 06:41 PM   #1
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Oh man, please please please help....

I have been taking my camera and tripod to my daughter's T-Ball games every Tuesday and Thursday night. I take 2 - 3 lenses and get some shots of action, funny stuff (they are 6 years old) and just taking pictures everywhere.

Tonight, the coach called me and said that the guy who usually takes the team's photo at the last game (tomorrow night) has been called away and can't do it. Would I do it. I said yes, thinking this would be a great way to get my name out and what not, but now I am freaking out about composing the shots. Team photos and individual shots. Blow out the background? Everything sharp? GAAA!!!!

Here is what I am thinking. I have a nice 50mm that I am really enjoying. But I also just bought a nice 28-200mm f/3.8 that looks... nice. As for f/stop, time and ISO... I am thinking Sunny-16. ISO 100, f/16 and shoot in aperture priority.

Any helpful hints, tricks or experience would be a tremendous help.


06-27-2011, 06:54 PM   #2
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First, good luck.

Next, all I can say is remember background and composition. Even neutral tones in the background makes it easier. For the individual shots focus on the eyes and remember the rule of thirds.

Nice shot that you attached.
06-27-2011, 06:55 PM   #3
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Go with the equipment you're familiar and comfortable with, is the first bit of advice. However, do your homework beforehand as well. Is the team photo to be taken indoors or outside? If indoors, is the lighting adequate, or do you need to use flash? Regardless of where, can you fit everybody in shot comfortably from where you plan to station yourself? Remember that you're charge of the situation so take control and organize them into rows to fit, which will be better for clarity in the prints, anyway.
Take a tripod, spare card and spare battery!
Hope that helps.

Last edited by RobA_Oz; 06-27-2011 at 07:00 PM.
06-27-2011, 08:09 PM   #4
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I'd also be there early (once you know the location) and chimp some shots to get an idea of the lighting and backgrounds (which you are hopefully familiar with). If possible, also choose a time of day where the light won't change to much, as it happens around sunset.

Stay relaxed..., you'll do fine.

06-27-2011, 08:26 PM   #5
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I agree with the above posts. 2 Spare batteries, Spare memory cards (500+ shots is the what I personally allow for as a minimum ), Shoot Raw.. sure you loose a few shots off max buffer but the PP far out weighs IMO. Don't be afraid of taking LOTs of photos during the game.

With the group portraits I think the most important thing in terms of composition ( assuming you have exposures and lighting sorted) is to get unity of the group, IE you want to try to get them touching shoulder to shoulder or slightly overlapping so you don't have big gaps in the shot it makes the shot look a little dis-jointed.
Little suggestion: from back in my sport playing days the Coach was in the middle, assistant(s) on the edge as they generally had different clothing and would be distracting if in other positions.
Just my $0.02
06-27-2011, 08:26 PM   #6
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Team photo use a wide angle. Depth of field is good without going up to f16, which is not the sharpest aperture for most lenses. For kid's using a 50 means shooting from about 5 feet away for the upper torso. Closer for just a head shot. I've done some children's theater head shots with my 50mm. You just have to get close. Also, shoot from a low angle. Your one shot looks like you know this already. Just ever so slightly above eye level works well. If you can get open shade, go for it. A plain building side can both offer a neutral background and get the kids out of the sun.

If you can't get out of the sun, for individual shots a reflector with the the cover (use just the mesh) removed works as a nice sun filter. Or using a reflector for fill light works too. It won't do you much good now if you don't have one, but it's a great and inexpensive accessory to have for any kind of portraiture.
06-28-2011, 05:52 PM   #7
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You do realize that at ISO100 and f16 you're going to be getting shutter speeds of about 1/100, don't you? Alright for folks standing still but you can kiss action shots goodbye at 1/100.

07-01-2011, 04:56 AM   #8
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Have you seen any of the other guys photos? Ask if you can see some, and find ways that you can match them or do better.
07-01-2011, 09:08 AM   #9
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Since you're already taking a lot of photos and I assume they have been coming out ok, then I would mostly continue the same thing you are already doing. Go through your better ones and see what's been working and what isn't. Take a lot of shots.

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