Lessons in Silence

Lessons in Silence One of the things about being the Dad with a camera in Little League is you have to learn to be an observer...and nothing more.

See if you capture the critical play and know the umpire got it wrong..you'd better stay quiet.  It is the umpire's field, he called it the way he saw it, and he's the authority not you.  To kick, shout or throw a tantrum is to dishonor your team and status as a photographer.  It will also get you asked to leave and not come back!  Anyway the umpires called a good game, excellent strike zone and kept it all moving. Besides if you focus on your craft, you capture a moment and show how to be a good relaxed Dad.  

My son did well.  Pulled in a fly out in right, grounded into an infielders choice, and caught for an inning.  He got settled down and did well behind the plate.  He had a great play guarding the plate...but I will refer back to the lesson in silence and not tell you the call!  See whether he got credit for the out or not it did not matter for the purposes of me getting to stay on the field!  He hauled the ball in, got a tag on the runner, and improved during his second tour behind the plate this season.  I got to see all this without a fence in front of me, and with a 60-250mm (90-375mm with a 1.5 crop factor) telephoto lens!  HEHE!

So that takes me to today...first game I was able to shoot all season from start to finish.  I vowed today to make sure I did as little as I could in post production.  So I shot RAW + JPEG, set the camera to vibrant, worked the exposure settings between shots to get the best one, played with highlight and shadow controls in camera...and worked it as well as I could.  Big thing in post is cropping, and then some extra highlight controls (it was very bright!).  By working hard, and getting the JPEGs right I got the work done quickly today.  If something needed extra work it would only take a few seconds to switch to the RAW and try to recover a few more highlights of shadows to enhance the shot.  Today I did not have to do that at all.

So in a few minutes I'll share the photos with both teams (the other team's coach was my son's coach last fall)...and head off to bed...job all done!

Now all I need to to get paid for this sometime!


P.S. Mr Pentax K-5 with 60-250F4 all day long

Ground Ball!

Season Finale

A close game Today was the season closing game for Roswell Little League Fall Ball.  We had a nail biter of a game.  The Royals put on a furious rally in the bottom of the 5th, scoring five runs...but our very last available pitcher fought for the final three outs and got the save.  With the save came the division title for our Astros.  I think we ended up second in the league, but I'm not sure if that was part is official yet.

It was a great season, I can't say enough for the good coaches and families that made it so enjoyable for all the boys.

If you want to see a compilation of the year please feel free to click right here...

Roswell Astros 2013 11-12

It was a long day...so this will be brief and I'll close out with just a few more images from today.

Just a reminder that if your in the Atlanta area and would like something like these products made up for your team please let me know.  I'd love to help you out!


PS  Two photos taken by My Pentax K-5 with the 60-250 and one from the Fujifilm X-E1.  Edited in Aperture using a Sarah France Holga Color preset.  I used the preset to make the photos across the video as consistent as possible even while taken across different days and with different cameras.  I think it worked for that purpose...let me know what you think.

Astros vs Royals

Season finale

Home Stretch

Home Stretch Last two games of the season coming up for the Roswell Astros (11-12 year olds).  During a season you can get a lot of good action shots, but a team portfolio is not complete without some ambiance shots.  During night games here I don't have the full frame and F2.8 lenses needed to capture quality action shots.  So instead I switched up my gear to use my FujiFilm X-E1 and my fastest prime lens...my 35mm F1.4.  Just walking around the dugout you can usually find some interesting if you open up your eyes and switch gears from action to environmental shooting.

This is my son' s hat, glove and batting glove.  It was his inning to sit the bench while the team was in the field.  So they were stacked up while he waited his turn to head back out.  While the available light may be awful for moving subjects, the same situation may be interesting and add nostalgia to an environmental photo.


Big kid baseball! (Finally)

Crazy Game! Just before the start of my son's game on Saturday I was talking to a parent, who was very happy with my work for the team.  I said thanks, but I really did not feel I've been at the top of my game so far this season.  I had a few keepers, but I knew I could do better...and with that resolve I set out for the field.  Armed with my K-5, 60-250, monopod, and knee pads I got myself to work.

I picked up the standard nice to have shots, but I was hungry for good shooting for the first time in a while.  My head was clear, my fingers dialed in and I was shooting the best I could in bright 2PM daylight.  Yep 2PM harsh shadow pain in the neck daylight.

Astros 2013

Since I was hungry I started looking for the good shoot I looked where I had not looked yet this season.  It is a fun season to watch.  My son is 10, but playing with kids over 12.  The difference in capabilities and skills these kids have is pretty fun to watch.  They are now picking up the fun parts of the game.  Distracting the pitcher while base running, getting base runners into pickles, and pitching hard right into the strike zone with some consistency.  It is even more fun when you have a good set of coaches like ours...they know the great range of the kids in capabilities.  They respect that each kid's dream is to play...and they make sure they all play and respect each other.  They do not give up on any of the kids.  I have not seen my son this happy playing ball in years, and that only made my desire to shoot well bigger than me.  I wanted something to give back to those helping my son enjoy the game of baseball.

Astros 2013

The final trick of the day was in post processing.  Harsh sunlight really makes for ugly photos.  However, my camera was consistently under exposing by over 2/3 a stop.  So I fixed the exposure (yes I shoot RAW just because of that) and then went for a retro film look.  I used the same preset for all the photos for consistency.  It really did the trick, and I think the photos came out pretty well.

It was also nice that while I was processing these...my son and I had the National League Championship Series on in the background.  What a baseball filled day!


PS  I told you all my tricks I can share for right now!  I'm going into settings on the camera and will have them fixed up shortly.  I'm sure it is something that I did when fiddling with presets on camera a few weeks ago!

Set for Dinner

20131016-172328.jpg I was out on an overnight for work last night...and got the photo bug in my ear. The restaurant crew thought I was crazy, but I wanted to get the table setting. The light was just too interesting coming through the window and on to the table settings. Unfortunately I could not get the glass exactly where I wanted it in the light no matter which table I went to. So this became my next vision...a little contrast study between the light and the dark.

As with most of my travel photos I did the edits on my iPad using Snapseed and for the first time did one retouch with iPhoto for a secular highlight in the wrong spot.

-ehw X-E1 with the 35mm! Great glass when I have the time to use

Fall Ball

Almost game time Everyone needs practice...and I mean everyone!  The boys on the field and Daddy behind the lens.  I'd been working out Mr Fuji for a while...and I almost forgot where my buttons were on Mr Pentax!

Today I'd like to make a pitch to really get to know your gear.  I know I've said that many times before, but I really mean it!  I'm looking for ways to reduce post processing time, and the best way to do that is getting the shot right in camera.  And oh by the way these cameras have a ton of features we can maximize and use if we so dare!

So today I worked on using high dynamic range and I actually played with the color settings.  Yep I took it off Neutral and played with the Dynamic setting with some curves thrown in.  Well worked pretty well, except a few were too dark from over contrast.

So get out there and enjoy the fall light!  It in an of itself is a wonderful thing to enjoy and play with!


PS Both with Pentax K-5 using the 60-250

Playing Catch

Watching the world go by... On Main Street Roswell you can pickup a front row seat here to watch the world go by with a cup of joe...oh that is cappuccino in the fancy neck of the woods.  People sitting hear have however also been known to bring up some coffee and a Krispy Creme from down the street though!

Well Monday is here...and I rather be there instead of work.  Oh well...got to earn a living!


This is another example of post processing done in Capture One.  I continue to find the tools are very sophisticated, and attack problems a bit differently than Adobe or Apple's solutions.  I'm liking them a lot!  Speed is also pretty darn good on my rapidly aging (in computer years) iMac.

Kevin at the Bat!

Kevin at the Bat! Kevin takes a practice swing as he steps up to the plate...looks bigger than six huh?  One of two photos I took at his last game of instructional T-Ball.  I'm glad I made them count, while I enjoyed the whole game without a large camera tied to me.  Sometimes it is very helpful to enjoy life through your own lenses.

I took this photo through the fence with my Fujifilm X20.  It is quite sharp, and provides a lot of dynamic range to pull out and play with.

I took some liberty with it in PerfectEffects, and I am pleased with the results.  I did vignette the photo as well to focus the eyes on the batter.


Friday Night Lights!

  Big Time Friday Night Little League Lights

Here is Friday Night Lights as I am living out right now....

My son was out in right field, and it was a long night of walks...17 of them in fact.  So the only action all night long were the throws between the pitcher and the catcher.

Making the best of it I got a high vantage point in the parking lot, went as high ISO as I dared on my Pentax K-5 and shot away.  I was at 1600 here and at F4.0 on my long telezoom.    Pretty much convinced me that one are two artsy type shots were all I'd get last night.  This would be the one reason I'd like a fancy full frame sensor...but I don't have the extra five thousand to get the body...not to mention more to get the right lenses.

When you got what you got, you just need to work that gear to the max...work your technique and make art with the scene God gave you.

Amazing how everything in photography is a microcosm of life!


Game on!

T-Ball Season is on! T-Ball season is on!  I've been moving up the baseball chain with my older son, and now its time for my younger son to join in the games.

This is a typical early season sight...multiple players creating a scrum for the baseball...oh that's a rugby term?  Well it might as well be rugby for the first few weeks.

By the end they will start actually making a few plays..that is just the way it is.

So the challenge for the photographer is finding the scene which captures the love of this new game...with the innocence of youth springing forth in boundless energy.

In all, it is a wonderful journey to take frame by frame.

Because in a blink of an eye they will be....ready to fly away.

Ready to fly to the ball.