June 15, 2009 / Photography

Baseball & softball

Written by Bruce Konkle

Most of the action takes place at known points-the bases and the batter’s box-but distances are great, and a 300mm or 400mm telephoto is usually necessary. Flood-lit games at night are common, and call for high-speed film and ideally, a wide-maximum aperture. One of the classic baseball shots is of a player sliding into a base in a cloud of dust. This is best caught with a ground-level position. Pre-focusing on the base may help.

Position A
Want a slide into second or a close-up of a left-handed batter swinging? Try shooting from behind third base coach’s box or beside one of the dugouts with a 200mm to 300mm lens.

Position B
Want a shot of the pitcher as the ball is just being released or a distorted foreground view through the backstop fence or netting? Try a relatively short lens from behind the batter/umpire.

Position C
Want some crowd shots or photos of players in the dugout or in the batter’s circles? Try a short lens from this position. Be very careful of foul balls, however, from this area.

Position D
Want a good shot of the second baseman or the shortstop making a relay to first base? This angle will give you that as well as some close outfield plays.

Baseball Diagram

Bruce Konkle

Dr. Bruce Konkle's previous work experience includes being a journalism teacher and publications adviser at Homestead High School in Fort Wayne, Ind. He is the former director of the South Carolina Scholastic Press Association and former director of the Carolina Journalism Institute.