Two different kinds of stop motion photography….

Softball Game

Over the long weekend, I took two very different kinds of stop motion photography. The first was during our annual 4th of July neighborhood block party (I smoked nearly 30lbs of ribs for the potluck dinner). In particular, during the softball game.

I find photos like these to be very much like shooting photos of wildlife, only the subject is much closer and not afraid. Like wildlife photography, using a fast shutter speed is key. I shot most of the softball shots at 1/1000 or 1/1250th of a second. Frankly, I should have shot with a faster shutter speed at f/2.8 to narrow the depth of field and block out the noisy/busy background.

Softball Game

I have found that the focus point selection feature of the camera to be more and more useful. In the case of shooting a batter, I observed that batters typically step into the hit. Thus, if I set the camera to use the left most or center left focus point, I could focus on the batter and take a series of frames with the batter swinging through the frame while remaining in focus (as the batter doesn’t move that much).

Perhaps, the most difficult part was to learn to shoot with my left eye while watching the pitcher with my right eye. That way, I could start the shot sequence right after the pitcher threw the ball.

A faster camera — one that can take more frames per second — would definitely have improved the number of “interesting” shots. With only 3 frames/second, the ball is generally only in frame for 1, maybe 2, frames of the 5 or 6 frame sequence. Of that, whether the ball is anywhere near the bat is entirely coincidental.

Party Popper into a Glass of Water

Later on that same day, Ben and I played with a bit of high speed photography. Abbie — Ben’s wife — came up with the rather brilliant idea of playing with some party poppers. They worked rather brilliantly, though my focusing skills did not.

Of all the shots, this is the most interesting because the point of focus — the end of the popper — is so close to where the action happens.

This shot could be improved. Notably, going with a tighter aperture such that the depth of field is increased while also reducing light sensitivity would have improved the quality of the photo.

I think.

Not sure.

I guess I’ll have to pick up a few dozen of these party poppers and experiment.



3 Responses to “Two different kinds of stop motion photography….”

  1. Vivek says:

    The party poppers might be interesting for your earlier experiments with the sound activated flash photography as well. Would be neat to try, I might have to even try it myself.

  2. jpg says:

    who is these photos takers

  3. bbum says:

    Me.

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