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Baseball Photography

edited February 2015 Posted in » Nikon D3200 Forum
My son has his first high school baseball game tonight in Florida and he's a pitcher. I bought the Nikon D3200 last night hoping to get better photos than my iphone6 takes. I know I need to learn quite a bit, but I was hoping for a quick tip on capturing him close up from about 30 yards away and in motion?


  • edited February 2015
    If you have only the kit lens 30 yards will be a bit far, but if it's daylight, you should manage if you put the camera in shutter priority with a fairly fast shutter speed (1/1000 would be good and safe). Put it on Auto ISO with a starting point at the lowest ISO of 100, and the meter will boost ISO only as needed. Turn the VR on and put the auto focus to C for continuous action, and "dynamic area" so that it can track a moving subject. Matrix metering will probably work best here. Make sure that you don't bump the auto focus point, and make sure that the little AF point light is centered on your subject. You can hit the "OK" button occasionally to make sure it stays centered. It's easy to accidentally move it. You should not have too much issue with depth of field at that distance, so don't worry about what F stop the camera chooses.

    Don't use Auto Area focusing, or the camera may try to focus on someone other than your pitcher.

    Put your shutter release on continuous mode so that at key moments you can fire a sequence of shots. Don't overdo it, or the buffer will fill up and you'll have to wait. Try to time it so that you take a few that span a vital moment such as a pitch.

    Make sure your battery has plenty of charge. You will probably have to leave the camera on for periods of time waiting for the ideal shot.
  • edited February 2015
    Not sure how much you can absorb at such short notice if we just give you suggestions on settings; especially if you're new to photography and new to the operations of your camera. So your best bet may be to just set your camera on Auto mode and fire away. Then when you have a moment, learn about your camera with no rush.

    At the game, you should try to position yourself at the opposite side of your kid's dominant hand. If he throws right-handed, you should be on his left side. If he throws left-handed, you should be on his right side. This way, when you capture him in his pitching motion, he's not turned away from the camera.

    Later on, when you get a longer lens, you can position yourself behind the catcher slightly towards the side opposite of your kid's dominant hand. If you zoom in to get the catcher, batter, and ump out of the frame, it'll look like your kid is pitching right at you.
  • edited February 2015
    True what @ohyeahar says, but since the D3200 does have a "sports" mode, I strongly suggest you try that before you try auto.

    Auto mode will pop the flash up when it is not needed and will default to multi-point focusing.

    Sports mode does most of what you will want, defaulting to a high shutter speed, continuous shutter release and single point dynamic AF, and disables the flash and AF assist light.
  • edited March 2015
    I am new to the D3200 and used the setting off of the cheat sheets and it was awesome. Almost all the pictures came out great. I would strongly suggest getting the cheat sheets for those of us with little to no manual experience.
  • edited March 2015
    As it happens, the cheat sheet sports recommendation for the 55-200mm and 55-300mm zooms is quite similar to what the sports setting will do, except, of course, that the auto setting requires some faith. As usual in the auto modes, the camera's decisions are not announced ahead of time, and any small changes will likely occur without notice. The cheat sheets make similar decisions, but you know what they are and control when they occur.
  • edited March 2015
    I bought a D3200 last year to take pictures of my son playing baseball. It was my first time ever using a DSLR and the biggest problem I had was shooting night games. I actually got some great shots of my son and other players through out the season. I downloaded the cheat sheets a couple of weeks ago and I'm eager to use them.
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