Austin, TX – HS Baseball in HDR

This past Saturday I wanted to try out my new Nikon 70-200 VR lens.  What better way than to shoot sports!  I shot a football game a few months with a rented version of this lens.  Now I have added it my lens arsenal!  LOL Our local high school is called Lake Travis.  I went to the game as our good friends son, Bret plays for the team.  I was hoping to get some good shots for them and practice my skills.  I had never photographed a baseball game (a few quick shots at a MLB game does not count).  For this one I was on the field with my lens, teleconverter and monopod ready to roll….oh yes and my Hoodman Hoodloupe!

Why a Hoodman Hoodloupe you ask?   Last year while shooting Ana Invanovic (WTA Tennis Star) at a tennis tournament in Palm Springs, I shot a bunch of pics and would look at my screen…looked good to me!  But as I was shooting in super  bright sun, when I got to really look at the shots afterwards, I had the wrong shutter speed and all the photos were dark.  Ugh!  So for any sunny day…I bring my hoodloupe and immediately check out the pics to ensure the proper exposure!

Back to the game…with luck… as soon as I arrived, I found out the Bret was pitching the game!  Perfect!  I could surely take tons of pitching photos.  I always love the baseball card pics of pitchers in motion.  So my goal was solid pitching pics and the batters swinging to hit the ball.   In action shots were tops on my list!   It took a bit of a learning curve…as the pitcher and/or batter went in motion they become smaller as their body was in pitching or swinging motion.  So I adjusted and zoomed in a bit tighter.  In about 2 hours time I took about 800 pics!

I was taught to always shoot sports in Jpeg and max your fps (frame per second) abilities.  So I kept ripping off a bunch of pics on each motion.  Not a bad day…tough to work with the sun movement (some shadowing was tough), but all in all a few solid shots!  Now for the HDR photo above…I have always wanted to try a sports HDR.  As I have noted in the past, any action shot in create an HDR..use a single raw or jpeg.  So I processed this one and it did not come out too bad.  For people in HDR…they look like zombies if you are too close.   I had tried one other shot, liked it…but one guy in the back of the photo was from Zombieland!    Ahhh!

Sports in HDR…yes indeed!  But be careful!!!   Have fun and hope your day is a “Thriller”!!!

Talke Photography Settings: (for the HDR)

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 70-200 VR f/2.8 + Nikon TC-14EII (1.4x Teleconverter)
  • Setting: Manual  Mode
  • Focal Length: 280.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  1/640 sec
  • Aperture:  f/8
  • Gear:  Monopod
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Viveza