burnet44 wrote in post #15721258
Bright sun coming from between 1st base and rt field
right handed batters were pretty easy
Pitchers face, 1st base, lt handed batters, and 2nd base from the 3rd base side have shadows
c and c as always
I want to dissect this pic in a bit of detail. The moment is excellent. You have focus, face, action and the ball. However, there are two items that detract in a big way. First, there is no need to have the second baseman in the scene directly behind the pitcher. It only detracts from her. You should be able to position yourself to have a clean background all the way to the wall--or at least nobody directly behind your pitcher subject.
Second and most important is the lighting. This half sun, half shade, perspective is to be avoided as much as possible. You are fortunate here that the pitcher isn't wearing a cap or visor. Even so, the image quality of the face is severely compromised. If you boost contrast, the facial sun/shade line looks even worse. If the contrast remains low, the image lacks 'punch.'
Since the pitchers motion is repeated over and over, you can move to a more desirable spot at will (usually). Let me suggest two possibilities. Either shoot with the sun at your back or move 180 degrees from that position and shoot directly back lit (into the sun).
If the diamond is oriented in the traditional way, moving to the third base side will open the right handed pitcher's body toward the sun (late afternoon game) where you can get the shot without shadows being a problem.
Clean background, face in full sun.
Not all situations will allow you to shoot with the sun at your back. In those cases, see if you can shoot back lit. Shoot into the sun, add 2/3 or a full stop of exposure compensation (or shoot Manual) to properly expose the skin and then fire away. This technique avoids shadows across the face and is especially good when the players are wearing caps, visors or helmets. The tops of the shoulders will be overexposed and the head will have a "hair light" effect.
For your pitcher image. I would have suggested moving to the third base side of the diamond and shooting back lit into the sun. Use +EC as needed for skin exposure and avoid sharp shadow lines across the face.
Back lit t-ball. Clean view of this priceless little face even with a helmet. Plus exposure compensation. No squinting on back lit shots because the sun is behind the subject.
When you have a favorable setting sun, wait till the 'golden hour' to shoot the pitcher. That will give great skin tones, beautiful colors, and the low sun angle will allow that wonderful light to get under the bill of the cap to illuminate the eyes.
Golden hour light under the bill of the cap.
Another great aspect of this technique is that it will extend to other sports like tennis.
Golden morning light
Back lit with fairly high sun. No face shadows and 'hair light' effect. Plus exposure compensation. Note the dust that was just knocked off the ball.
Tennis with high, harsh sun and visor. No shadows from the visor because it was back lit.
You can even apply the back lit technique to football. Plus exposure compensation and no shadows inside the helmet allow this (Cornellius Carradine) African-American player's features to be clearly visible.
Just remember that half sun/half shade usually doesn't work as well as one or the other.
I hope this constructively helps.
A Note About Processing: If you shoot back lit, very often the image Straight Out Of the Camera (SOOC) will appear washed out or hopelessly hazy. Fear not. Just take that RAW image (you do shoot RAW, don't you), and with one eye on the histogram and one eye on the image, slide the "blacks" slider (For Lightroom. Other software will have something equivalent to set the black point) to make the blacks blacker until the haze disappears and the black part of the histogram moves close to the left edge. Fine tune with contrast if desired and... ... Voila! The image will look good with no washed out look or haze apparent. You can do the same thing with jpeg images but the results will be better if you start with the RAW file.