I shot baseball kids yesterday.
When I do this, I see a lot of parents photograph their own kids, and with some exceptions, most get, well, basically, um, everything wrong. Sufficient reason for me to write this post with tips.
I want to get pictures like this – photogapher Mel standing in for a softball kid (see how she is swinging the camera like a bat) while I get my settings and light right:
And you might do this as follows.
- Position the subject in indirect light.
- Find a background with vegetation – green, in other words, if at all possible.
- Use an SLR camera with longer lens – in the range of, say, 50-100mm.
- Use a flash on the camera, without modifier.
- Shoot at person level, with the camera parallel with the horizon- avoid shooting up or down much.
- Focus on the eyes – the closest eye.
- Leave sufficient margin for later cropping to various aspect ratios
- Ensure the kid looks good: shirt tucked in, no watch, hat on but slightly up so you can see the eyes!
My camera settings starting point:
- Shutter speed priority, 1/200th second, at 200 ISO.
- Exposure compensation -1 stop (on Canon. On Nikon, you may not need any, or even slightly +).
- Flash on, aimed straight at the subject.
- White balance set to “flash”.
- Flash compensation 0 stops (on Canon. On Nikon, you may well need compensation, perhaps -1 stop).
Now I aim for an aperture of f/5.6. If I do not get close to that, I change ISO or shutter speed (the latter must stay within the camera’s flash sync range, i.e. usually 1/200 or 1/250th second). Watch this regularly!
I shoot TTL in these shoots, so when the player wears white, I need to increase flash compensation. When a player wears black, I need to decrease it.
These techniques will get you started. Of course you can, and perhaps should, consider hiring a pro!