Some Minor League Fun

A recent work trip took me to Indianapolis for a few days.  A client was down there at a facility and I was meeting with them on a number of topics over a few days.  Since we were all staying away from home, we had free time at the end of the day when we could go out and see what the local area had to offer.  The first night I was there, the rest of the guys had already worked out what they wanted to do so I was happy to tag along.

Indianapolis has a minor league baseball team, the Indians.  They are based at a nice ballpark close the the heart of downtown.  For those that have been following this blog for a while, you will recall that Nancy and I had a weekend in Indianapolis last year when the baby elephant was first appearing in public at the zoo.  The hotel we stayed in was very close to the ballpark and from one end of the building you got a great view of it from above.

This time I was going to get to see the inside of the park and enjoy an evening of baseball.  It should be noted that I am not much of a baseball fan.  I know some imports like me that are huge fans of the game but I have never really got into it.   I used to think that it was something you had to grow up with but that is obviously not the case given the friends I have that have got into it.  For me, it is another sport I am happy to watch but one that doesn’t get me passionate.  As with many sports, though, seeing it in person is so much more fun than watching it on TV.

A trip to the ballpark is a social experience for me.  You get to hang out in a (usually) good-natured crowd, watch some sport, eat some food that you wouldn’t normally bother with and drink some beer.  On a warm evening, there really isn’t much to complain about with that.  If you don’t know either of the teams, you tend to root for the home guys and, in this case, that worked out pretty well since they won convincingly.

I took my camera along because I knew that we were heading to the game before I left home.  It was an evening game and the stand was blocking the sun from the west so light was always going to be an issue.  As the game wore on, the ISO settings went higher and higher.  Looking at the shots at full zoom, they really show the impact of the noise.  However, since these are small versions of the shots, they shouldn’t look too bad.  They were never intended for publication so it is far better to have clarity of the shot than to have a lot of blurry shots with low noise!

I was shooting with the 100-400 which is not a great low light lens at the best of times but it did reasonably well.  I also took along the fisheye zoom since a sports stadium is an interesting shape for that type of lens.  The park allowed you to walk all around the perimeter so I did take a stroll at one point to see what everything looked like from other parts of the ground.  It was nice to see the different perspectives.

I did try shooting from directly behind the batter’s position as the pitcher faced me.  The netting is a problem here, of course.  A faster lens may have better allowed me to take the net out of focus but it was already pretty dark by then so I was fighting on a few fronts.  It didn’t really matter of course.  I was doing this for fun and if the shots are not quite Sports Illustrated standard, I am not going to lose too much sleep.

A fun night out and a win for “our” team.  In the end, that was enough and getting to take a few pictures along the way only made it better. Thanks for the idea guys.

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