It is now the season for college ball. Which allows me to be outside in the glorious (almost spring) weather and shoot sports. Until next week, I had never shot baseball or softball. But I got my chance to learn last week and shoot the softball home opener. All I got was a crash course at the station and a “good luck.” To tell you the truth, I am glad that’s what happened. I like the chance to go out and learn. It’s not rocket science to shoot highlights and I really enjoyed being there and getting in the swing of things. I appreciate that the station had faith in me to go out there and learn by doing, which is coincidentally how you learn to play a sport as well.

The main thing that bothers me from those highlights is the dirty camera lens. The reason why I didn’t notice while shooting had a lot to do with the bright sun that was setting (had a glare on the lcd screen so it was hard to pick up on it- should have looked through the viewfinder a few times.) That posed its own problems while shooting, because one part of the field was super bright and the other was dark. Many plays happen where the ball  quickly goes from the dark to the bright or visa versa. So that posed a challenge but I basically had to shoot on manual iris and adjust as best I could. One other thing that I needed to work on with those highlights is the sequence of shots. I tried to follow the ball in play too long and not concentrate on the runner. So next time I tried to just stay with the ball long enough to establish where it is going and then concentrate on the runner in order to capture the play. It looks better on tape that way. I also had a problem with the post-game sound. The coaches bites did not really talk much about Chelsea Thomas’ not hitter and many of the bites did not make sense for the narrative of our highlights. We were under deadline and trying to get things in for the sports-cast and just rushed it knowing we had to have a bite from the coach. In retrospect, we should not have put in a bite from him, it was confusing and did not really add to our highlights.

I got a chance yesterday to shoot softball again. Building upon what I learned I tried to improve upon all those things mentioned above. But I had a different challenge this time, a new location to shoot. I was shooting in the desired location below the stands behind the back stop, but I had to move because I was in an accessible spot for someone in a wheelchair. Because of the position of the polls, I had to move upstairs to the main stands and shoot down the first base line. This is more awkward to maneuver and makes you move the tripod a lot, making it harder to follow the plays. Admittedly, I missed some exciting plays trying to get the hang of it, but I got lucky and some more exciting stuff happened that I was able to shoot.

I found a new sport that I like to shoot, and look forward to shooting and learning some more. Play ball!