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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Fashion, Editorial & Commercial Talk
Thread started 15 Feb 2017 (Wednesday) 06:55
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Baseball team photo

52 posts
Joined May 2011
South Louisiana
Feb 15, 2017 06:55 |  #1

I've been asked to take team and individial pictures for my son's baseball team. Photography is a hobby of mine...I'm not a pro. I have the equipment to get the task accomplished, but lack the technical expertise. I'm looking for advice or tips on a successful group picture (aperture for one). The single shots should be easy enough, but any advice on this topic would be appreciated.

I'll be taking them after school in the later afternoon.

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DagoImaging's Avatar
Joined Nov 2012
Feb 15, 2017 07:11 |  #2

You'll need an aperture small enough to keep everyone in focus as most likely they'll be in rows, probably two deep. I'd try to get at least 5.6 but 8 would be ideal.

I shot a baseball league, team/individuals for a few years and the team photo needs to be sharp. Don't get artsy and try to blur anything.

Sony a6300/ 16-70/4 / 70-200/4 G / Sony HVL-60M

Senior Member
genedarrell's Avatar
Joined Mar 2008
Feb 15, 2017 09:15 |  #3

I have not shot baseball team photos but have swim team. It was a very large group, about 50 kids. I found that my key for a successful shot was first of all to get some elevation, like two or three steps up on a ladder and i shot at f9-11 somewhere in there. Also early mid morning or late evening to avoid the harsh sunlight. (external link)
1DXMII, 5DMIII X2, Canon L F2.8 70-200, L F4 24-105, Canon 17-40 L, Canon 300 2.8 IS,600EX-RT X2 ,Canon 2X extender II

AZ ­ Pix
Senior Member
550 posts
Joined Jan 2010
Feb 15, 2017 10:12 |  #4

What lenses do you have? Unless you're trying to do something artsy with the background, I would put it on f8 or smaller and be happy. If you have an ultra wide lens, be careful with the edges. For example, if I used my 16-35 lens on my full frame camera and decided to zoom out to 16mm and fill the frame with the group, the players at the end will probably be distorted. If you're shooting a kit 18-55 on a cropped sensor, you may be just fine distortion-wise at any focal length. Might be worth it to line up some family and friends first and practice a few shots before shooting the team.

Cream of the Crop
18,596 posts
Joined Nov 2007
Bay Area, CA
Feb 15, 2017 10:17 |  #5

See if you can get them in some shade. Sun at the back. f8 is plenty IMHO. Line them up close together and in multiple rows like already mentioned, some sitting, some kneeling, some standing etc.

5dmk3, 35L, 85L II, 300mm f2.8 IS I, 400mm f5.6
Fuji XT-1, 14mm f2.8, 23mm f1.4, 35mm f1.4, 56mm f1.2, 90mm f2, 50-140mm f2.8

104 posts
Joined Aug 2012
Central Minnesota
Feb 15, 2017 10:24 |  #6

I've taken photos of my son's soccer team for the past three years.

Definitely agree with the steps - I used a small step ladder and was probably up on the third or even the fourth rung. It also makes the kids look up rather than down - I think it looks better. Do not have the sun in their eyes so they are squinting. Also, if the sun is behind you, your shadow might be in the image which you don't want.

I also had the kids in two rows with the ones on the front kneeling and the ones in the back standing so that the players weren't too wide. I also tried to arrange tallest players in the middle to shortest outside. Two years ago, I tried the opposite but that didn't look so good in my opinion. I've even seen photos where the goal-keeper laid down in front, but that is not something I've done.

Most important - have fun with them. If they are relaxed, the smiles will be natural and not forced.

Canon 60D with EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM
Canon SX50 (wife's camera)
Canon EF 50mm II f/1.8, Tamron 17-50 f/2.8, Tamron 70-300 VC, Opteka 500mm f/8 mirror lens, Speedlite 430EX II
Long time enthusiast - been photographing since my teens in the 80's.

52 posts
Joined May 2011
South Louisiana
Feb 16, 2017 04:49 |  #7

Thanks for the advice given. No thanks to the moderator that moved it to where no one else will respond.

Senior Member
tdlavigne's Avatar
315 posts
Joined Mar 2015
Los Angeles, CA
Feb 16, 2017 16:50 |  #8

Aperture depends on what lens you use, and distance to subject as well. f8 on 35mm is going to look a lot different than f8 on a 70-200 at 200mm, especially once you factor in distance to subject to fill the frame. Play with this: http://www.dofmaster.c​om/dofjs.html (external link)

It should give you an idea of roughly how much DOF you have at a given distance factoring in focal length you think you'll use and aperture. If you have a good idea of how you'll set the kids up, how many there are, and what lenses you're thinking of using you can plan ahead a little and know the smallest aperture you'll want to use to ensure all kids are in focus.

Agree with their backs to the sun, and if you have someone (a mom or dad maybe?) to hold a reflector or two (white, not want fill, not squinty eyes) you should be fine.

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Baseball team photo
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