Sunday, May 6, 2007

Softball: Maryland vs Boston College

With about 30 seconds left in the 4th quarter of the men's lacrosse game the skies opened up and it rained like crazy. I pay a lot of attention to weather forecasts and I had heard Saturday's forecast called for showers and possibly rain. So when it started raining I was worried that it would keep raining and I wouldn't be able to shoot the softball game. I hung out under Tyser Tower for a bit and put all of my gear into my bag and then ran back to my car.

When I got to Comcast Center the rain had fortunately stopped. During the drive over there I thought about doing some weatherproofing on my camera and lens. My D200 is weather-sealed, and my 70-200mm VR lens is supposedly weather-sealed as well, but it wouldn't hurt to put together something to better protect them in case of inclement weather. I have an old wetsuit that no longer fits and I think I can cut it apart and re-sew it as a cover for my camera. Julie can probably help me with the sewing project as well.

The game was pretty fun to shoot but it was difficult due to the low light. The cloud cover was really thick and it was getting later in the day so I had to increase the ISO setting and lower the shutter speed to properly expose the shots. Even doing that I underexposed most of my shots. I haven't yet figured out if it's better to use Aperture priority mode and let the camera calculate the proper shutter speed or if I should use Manual mode and try my best to learn what the best settings would be.

In between innings I spent some time navigating around the menus. On my D40 I knew almost every menu item by heart by the time I sold it. I haven't had that much time with my D200 and because there are so many dials on the outside of the camera I've had little need to poke around in the menus. I decided to use "More Vivid" image post-processing to see what that would do to my shots. I've noticed that in a lot of my pictures the subjects are soft. I was hoping that Vivid and More Vivid reduced the softness and sharpened the photos. I don't think this is a good test tho due to the low light conditions. I'll have to try it again.


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