While it’s fun to look at baseball photos in newspapers and magazines, you don’t have to be a world-famous photojournalist to take exciting baseball pictures of your favorite team, its players, and the drama and elegance that is baseball. You can do it too. All you need is some baseball photography tips.
What about equipment? The good news is that you don’t need a 600mm lens and a ten-frame-per-second motordrive SLR like the “Hot Shots” have. Of course, heavy artillery like this can help, but you can take great baseball pictures with just about any camera. Here’s how…
The Inverse-Access Law.
There’s one fundamental principle for capturing baseball pictures we made up, that we call the Inverse Access Law. It relates to what you have to expect when you go to the baseball game. Simply stated, the “Law” is this: The bigger the league, the farther you’ll probably be from the action. Don’t be discouraged. This “law” applies equally to professional photographers as well as amateurs. In a Major League game, when the umpire cries “Play Ball,” no one is allowed on the field. No one. Period. End of story.
Realize, the professional sports photographer with the right Press Pass and the big lens can be on the sidelines at a football or basketball game…but not at a baseball game. With America’s “National Pastime,” everybody — professional and amateur alike — shoots from the stands though there are press boxes in a few key locations for the pros. However you still have a lot of photo opportunities even from the stands to capture great baseball photos.
And, there’s the rub — even for the professional. The bigger the stadium, the greater the distance from the playing field to the stands. So be prepared: Major League games will give you minimum opportunity for great baseball pictures — especially if your seats are way out in the bleachers. But don’t despair just yet — we’ve got some hints later in this article that can get you closer even in Major League stadiums.
In any event, at the local little league field or humble sandlot diamond, you won’t have any problem positioning yourself close to the action. Usually, you can walk right up to the backstop behind home plate, and stick your camera through the fence for an over-the-umpire’s-shoulder close-up view. Only the catcher will have a better view. And if there are some seats along the first-base side of the diamond, you may be able to claim the front row and make it your personal press box!
What does this all mean? Simply that you’ve got to be realistic and realize that you’ll get closer to the action and get better shots at the small ballfield. But, as we just said, don’t give up on the BIG stadium yet.
First, let’s go over some baseball photography tips for handling the action at all types of baseball fields. We call these baseball photography tips, the Six Commandments.
Check back soon for The Six Commandments for Great Baseball Photos