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July 24 is a holiday in Utah, we celebrate the arrival of the Mormon pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley in 1847.  Since it fell on a Sunday this year (and we keep the 7th commandment) we celebrated it on Monday the 26th with a family outing to our local AAA Baseball team the Salt Lake Bees (affiliated with the Anaheim Angels).

I had fun finding out if they would allow DSLR’s at the game and after quite a run around and many conflicting answers, and definitions, along with a plea from me to post the info on their website, I finally received an email from the stadium manager stating that all cameras were allowed  but no tripods or monopds, and to be respectful of the other fans ie: don’t hit them in the head with your camera. Great so I could take my 18-200mm but tough luck on the fireworks. I tried anyways but.. well, you’ll see.

OK so hand held with a f/3.5-5.6 lens and low light and to make it worse what daylight we had was falling fast as a storm moved in.

We reached our seats and I took a metered reading switched to manual and fired off an 11 shot pano:

17 shot Panorama @18mm, f/3.5, 1/400sec, iso 200 Stitched in Autopano Giga

We were just off the backstop netting so we had to keep an eye out for those foul tip nose breakers. Just as an aside panos at 18mm gets nasty due to its vignetting, it just about killed Photoshop so I used AutoPano instead and it did a better job removing the vignette.

Here’s a3 shot sequence of the first pitch:

Coming forward...

The throw...

The follow through

Love our seats! Those were taken at 200mm, f/5.6, 1/400sec, iso 800 in continuous high mode, and using back button focus 3D tracking.

BTW that’s Matt Palmer pitching and he did a great job!

Here’s the Mascot the lovable and uber friendly Bumble:

The Salt Lake Bees Mascot "Bumble"

Mascots get to watch the game as well

That little bit of sun you see on Bumble was the last we’d see of it.

Here are some random shots…


Some random couple doing the Facebook "hey were here at the game and here's our crappy cell phone pic to prove it" shot.

I made the big screen! This was about 2 stops under exposed thank goodness I was in RAW

How about a few “action” shots?

A Tacoma Rainer player almost gets tagged leading off of first too far.

I believe I can fly...

We got a triple off that play, the fielder missed the bounce and pick up off the wall.

So by now it was getting a bit darker and I wanted to get some Panoramas from other areas of the park before it was too dark, so I headed out to left field.

A 3 shot Hand Held HDR from Left field.

Hand Held HDR Panorama from Left Field. 6frames x 3brackets=18 shot panorama!

See the rain coming?

Here it is:


Some creative umbrellas for the dedicated fans:

Programs work, at least for a little while.

Plates! These were my favorite.

We chickened out and hid under the 2nd deck overhang until it stopped just after sunset. (I’m still babying my D7000) However before it stopped completely we got a nice treat that I just couldn’t capture very well but I tried.

Rainbow(actually a double - but very faint) Handheld 3 bracket HDR

The Bees at bat - 3 bracket Hand Held HDR

I headed out to right field to try and capture what little color I could in the sunset from there with less than stellar results, sure could’ve used a tripod!

Looking from the right field fence - 3 bracket Hand Held HDR

Well lets do a pano, but it’s too dark now to bracket hand held that many shots so it’s a “normal” pano.

A poor sunset from the right field General Admissions area

Looking down the 1st baseline - 3 bracket Hand Held HDR

That’s one of my favorite shots from the night! Wish I’d had a 300mm.

The walk of shame - 3 bracket Hand Held HDR

This poor guy! Notice how no one’s looking at him, they’re all looking at the Tacoma dugout, and I’m mad I missed focusing on him but check out the umpire doing the whole “does my butt  look fat in these pants?” thing in the background.

OK so we win the game – Yay!

After a little wait for the wind to settle they put on a nice fireworks display. I did my best but I had no tripod, just a camera bag on my lap jammed up agaist the seat back infront of me, and the guide wires for the backstop netting in the middle of my view but here ya go with a few I liked.

And my favorite fireworks shot which was a semi accident. I was zooming in to recompose (All with the camera in my lap so I was just guessing) and after changing the zoom I waited for a blast and I wiggled the camera to settle it into the bag for better support and I liked what it did to the firework.

 A fun night with the family and my wife and I extended our vacations one more day so we could go hiking with my brother and his family, but that’s for next time…

Happy Shooting!