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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Anticipating Victory

The best photos of kids' sports capture their emotions, reactions and expressions.

Acton, Ma. Girls’ softball players react as their team explodes for six runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to rally for the win in a Youth League tournament game vs. Woburn, Ma. (© Michael Maher, The Lowell (Ma.) Sun).

The Photo:
Nearly all the action was over when I arrived during the final inning of a girls’ softball game, but I didn’t want to settle for the boring picture of last resort -- a pitcher throwing the ball. Luckily for me, this Acton girls’ softball team was in the midst of rallying after trailing for most of the contest. I had never before seen a group of kids jointly react so strongly in anticipation. The players on the bench got increasingly more excited as their team scored six runs to win. Throughout Acton’s rally, these girls showed their excitement and amazement in an increasingly animated way. I didn’t take my focus off the bench players because I knew their facial expressions would far exceed anything I could shoot on the field and, therefore, I didn’t need to photograph any action plays during this game.

3 Tips:
1) Periodically focus on the faces of players on the bench or in the dugout.
2) Use a longer lens to provide close-ups of players’ facial expressions.
3) Keep shooting until you have a powerful photo of animated expressions.

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