Best of 2014-2015 Sports Images (Soccer and Softball) - part 2

June 25, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

When last I left off with my "Best Of" 2014-15 sports images, I said that the next post would be soccer. Well that is true but I am going to add a couple of softball images as well. So to get on with the soccer images, the sad thing is that in 2014-2105 season I only shot a couple of soccer games, but the couple that I did shot resulted in a couple of great images.

Caldwell vs Skyview-200Caldwell vs Skyview-200Skyview midfielder #10 Edwin Perez and Caldwell midfielder #19 Rolando Guillen race towards the ball during 4A District soccer action Monday night in Nampa. Monday, October 13, 2014

Just to set the scene, this is a early evening photo taken towards the end of the soccer season featuring a District soccer battle between cross town rivals Caldwell High School and Skyview High School from Napma. I used a Canon 7D with the shutter speed set to 1/2000 sec., and an ISO of 1000. I was using my Canon 300 f 2.8, set at 2.8.

There are at least three things that I require in almost every sports picture that I take. First the players eyes have to be in focus. In my humble opinion, the eyes and facial expressions are one the best ways to illustrate the emotions that sports brings to the surface of those that participate in sports. In this shot, the faces and the emotions that are captured tell the whole story.

My second sports requirement is that the ball be in the image. Sometimes this isn't an absolute requirement, but in this case it helps portray the excitement and explosiveness of the situation. Getting the ball and the faces in the same picture is just a matter of practice and understanding the sport you are shooting to know where the players and the ball will collide.

The last requirement of a good sports picture, in most cases, is the creamy, out of focus background. If you look at most action shots you will see that the action is frozen but the background is nice and blurry, sometimes it actually takes on a kind of abstract look all to its self. This image has both, the frozen action of the players is achieved by using a shutter speed of 1/2000 and the creamy background comes from a aperture setting of f/2.8.

Caldwell vs Skyview-202Caldwell vs Skyview-202Skyview midfielder #10 Edwin Pérez lines up a header during 4A District soccer action Monday night in Nampa. Monday, October 13, 2014 (Photo by Loren Orr for the Idaho Press-Tribune)

Another shot from the same game noted above, with very similar settings, Canon 7D, shutter speed of 1/1600 sec., ISO of 1000 and using the same Canon 300mm lens with an aperture setting of f/2.8. All three elements combine into a great shot of emotions, action and the ball!

Next up are a couple of my favorite high school softball images from the the 2014-2015 season. These images all came from the District softball tournament action between Vallivue High School from Caldwell and Capital High School from Boise.

IMG_3396IMG_3396Vallivue pitcher #3 Kathryn Goff gets ready to launch a pitch during 5A district softball between Vallivue and Capital at West Park in Nampa. Monday, May 4, 2015 (Photo by Loren Orr for the Idaho Press-Tribune)

You have got to love the concentration and form that you see in pitchers and hitters. You will notice that most of the three principles I noted before apply here, the face and eyes, the ball and a creamy background. The background is more of a challenge in the second picture, so you do the best you can to make sure the background doesn't distract from the overall impact of your image.

IMG_3671IMG_3671

IMG_3966IMG_3966Vallivue senior #6 Amanda Skogsberg celebrates with teammates after hitting a late homerun during 5A district softball at West Park in Nampa. Monday, May 4, 2015 (Photo by Loren Orr for the Idaho Press-Tribune) This last image just kind of sums everything up. There is no ball and the background is nondescript, but the players face says it all, the joy of touching home plate after a home run at the district softball tournament. It doesn't get much better than that.

That is all for my second installment of 2014-2015 "Best Of" sports images. Please share your thoughts by adding a comment or two and make sure and give me a follow on Facebook and Twitter by clicking the links above. Next up on the 2014-2015 "Best Of" will be Boys Basketball.


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