Monday, August 4, 2014

Low vision, low budget experiment

Getting good photos to promote a beep baseball team has been frustrating. We’ve had people with digital SLRs at the game, but that doesn’t make them a good photographer, let alone a sports photographer.

Having worked for newspapers and agencies over the years, I’ve worked with a variety of photographers. Some were great in the studio, some photo journalism, and just a few at sports.

My last managing editor was baseball mad and at that time, Mark McGuire was making his bid for home run history. Our readership was in a baseball frenzy. Several of my weekends were spent producing special sections. Three of our “photogs” always delivered good coverage and AP photos were abundant. People lined up down the block to purchase these special sections.

A dozen or so years later, with no sports photographers to call on, what could I possibly make happen?

My vision in bright sunshine prevents me from seeing anything on an LCD screen. Magnification won’t help. In shade I see enough to compose the picture and rely on AutoFocus. With this kind of vision I’m not going to spend much on a camera.

Armed with Nikon’s CoolPix 20.1 Megapixel, 8X zoom point and shoot, a tripod, and a prayer, I headed for the field.

Game day, the sun was beating down. One dugout provided just enough shade for me to get fairly close to home plate. Fat chance of getting an action shot with this camera and vision. My best bet was to catch batters waiting for the pitch.

The nice thing about shooting beep baseball is that the pitcher turns on the beeper and calls, “Ready, pitch.” On the down side, most of our new blind players need more coaching on stance.

Sorting through photos back home, two okay shots turned up. Knocking out the background in Photoshop is a little tedious but worthwhile. Here's the one photo used:

Next game I’ll tackle the fielding.