2013 HS Baseball – Arvada West at Ralston Valley

What is it with all the snow!!!  For almost two weeks most of my shoots were canceled or postponed due to a bunch of snow.  It has been crazy these last couple weeks of April.  Finally, the sun was out and Ralston Valley was hosting a baseball game that I was going to be able to get to, and it was against cross town rival Arvada West!  However, when I got to the field, it was gross.  Very soggy.  The dugouts were very muddy, and the grass was still really wet, but we were going to play ball!

April 24th, 2013: A Arvada West player attempts to reach 1st base on a bunt in the Wildcats game against the Ralston Valley Mustangs at Ralston Valley High School in Arvada, Colorado

April 24th, 2013: A Arvada West player attempts to reach 1st base on a bunt in the Wildcats game against the Ralston Valley Mustangs at Ralston Valley High School in Arvada, Colorado

The shot above was close to being an out.  The batter bunted the ball, but as he turned to run almost ran right into the ball.  I do not think he ever realized it.  It ended up being a foul ball, so he had another chance to lay down the bunt as seen in the photo bellow.  Arvada West jumped out to a 2-0 lead over the home team Mustangs in the first inning.

April 24th, 2013: A Arvada West player lays down a bunt in the Wildcats game against the Ralston Valley Mustangs at Ralston Valley High School in Arvada, Colorado

April 24th, 2013: A Arvada West player lays down a bunt in the Wildcats game against the Ralston Valley Mustangs at Ralston Valley High School in Arvada, Colorado

With no spot marked out for media, I had to shoot from the dugout.  Not my favorite place to shoot from.  I do not like having to worry about players and coaches getting in my way or me in theirs, and I honestly like to be a bit further up the sidelines to get closer to the outfielders and get me a little further away from the batters in case of a lined foul ball into the dugout.

April 24th, 2013: The Arvada West second baseman sets to throw a Ralston Valley Mustang runner out at Ralston Valley High School in Arvada, Colorado

April 24th, 2013: The Arvada West second baseman sets to throw a Ralston Valley Mustang runner out at Ralston Valley High School in Arvada, Colorado

However, it did give me a great vantage point to shoot what was going on at second base, although, there was not a lot going on at second.

April 24th, 2013: The Ralston Valley Mustangs right fielder makes a catch in the game against Arvada West at Ralston Valley High School in Arvada, Colorado

April 24th, 2013: The Ralston Valley Mustangs right fielder makes a catch in the game against Arvada West at Ralston Valley High School in Arvada, Colorado

I really like the photo above, but I hate it too.  I love the fact that you can see the water spraying up from the player running, I love the fact that the ball is in the frame and not caught yet, and I love the look on the players face.  I hate the fact that I was so far away that this ended up being a heavy crop, that the sun was behind the player, and that he was wearing sunglasses.

April 24th, 2013: The Arvada West right fielder makes a catch in the game against the Ralston Valley Mustangs at Ralston Valley High School in Arvada, Colorado

April 24th, 2013: The Arvada West right fielder makes a catch in the game against the Ralston Valley Mustangs at Ralston Valley High School in Arvada, Colorado

Same thing here.  I actually like this one a bit better, because the ball is so much closer to the glove, but not caught yet, and the fact that the right fielder is not wearing sunglasses.

April 24th, 2013: A Ralston Valley Mustangs batter makes contact with a pitch in the game against Arvada West at Ralston Valley High School in Arvada, Colorado

April 24th, 2013: A Ralston Valley Mustangs batter makes contact with a pitch in the game against Arvada West at Ralston Valley High School in Arvada, Colorado

When I shoot baseball, I like spending time on both sides of the plate to get batters from each side of the plate.  The RV dugout was a little full, and really too muddy to get to easily in my new tennis shoes, so I spent the first two innings in the Arvada West dugout, then shot for a couple innings from behind the backstop to get head on shots of the pitcher, and found a gap in the fence along the third base side I could shoot through.  But, because of the sun, the best shots were shooting the batters from the visitors dugout with the sun behind me.

April 24th, 2013: A Ralston Valley Mustangs batter watches the ball he just hit in the game against Arvada West at Ralston Valley High School in Arvada, Colorado

April 24th, 2013: A Ralston Valley Mustangs batter watches the ball he just hit in the game against Arvada West at Ralston Valley High School in Arvada, Colorado

A lot of times you will hear, photograph a right handed batter from the first base side, and lefty’s from the third base side.  This is so you do not get the batters back.  However, like the shot above, when they hit the ball and have a good follow through, you can get some great off side shots of the batters.

April 24th, 2013: The Ralston Valley Mustangs pitcher delivers the ball in the game against Arvada West at Ralston Valley High School in Arvada, Colorado

April 24th, 2013: The Ralston Valley Mustangs pitcher delivers the ball in the game against Arvada West at Ralston Valley High School in Arvada, Colorado

With the sun coming from right field, moving to behind the backstop, I had to drop my shutter speed to correct the exposure of the batter since his face was now in the shade.  I could have upped my ISO, but I would rather shoot at a lower ISO for overall quality, but you can see in the pitchers hand above that there is some motion blur from the slower shutter speed.

April 24th, 2013: The Ralston Valley Mustangs pitcher delivers the ball in the game against Arvada West at Ralston Valley High School in Arvada, Colorado

April 24th, 2013: The Ralston Valley Mustangs pitcher delivers the ball in the game against Arvada West at Ralston Valley High School in Arvada, Colorado

Shooting through the fence can be tough too.  The fence can cause autofocus issues, with the camera trying to lock onto the fence instead of the player, and it can throw your contrast off some.  But using a fast lens, in this case, my Sigma 120-300 2.8, and a APS-C DSLR like the 7D, I was able to avoid most of the shooting through fence issues.

April 24th, 2013: The Ralston Valley Mustangs third baseman tags out the Arvada West baserunner in the game against Arvada West at Ralston Valley High School in Arvada, Colorado

April 24th, 2013: The Ralston Valley Mustangs third baseman tags out the Arvada West baserunner in the game against Arvada West at Ralston Valley High School in Arvada, Colorado

In the top of the 5th inning Arvada West loaded the bases and had a inside the park grand slam to take a 7-0 lead (another run was also scored in the 5th).  It looked bad for Ralston Valley.  In the bottom of the 5th, RV finally scored a couple runs, and added one more run in the 6th and the 7th, but the Wildcats had already done their damage and took the game 7-4

To view and purchase photos from this game, please visit MaxPreps.

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