Big-Light Baseball Portraits


We all may have extra times on our hand due to the “shelter in place” directive.

But, actually, I don’t have any extra time. My day job is keeping me busy, the kids are home all day, there’s still the mundane things of keeping Krajnak & Co running on a day-to-day basis (who knew my my asked questions in life wouldn’t be “What if…?” but “what should we have for dinner?”)

Anyway, I am taking this time try some new things out, continue to learn my camera gear and especially my lighting. So, this past rainy Sunday, I set up the garage studio as I had some ideas for baseball portraits with Chase

I have a decent size garage and it more than adequately holds my gray seamless and, in this case, a 72″ parabolic umbrella with my Neewer Vision4 wireless strobe.


I’ve always wanted a big parabolic like this one. A large light diffuser is a great tool to have in your bag and can help overcome many challenging lighting situations. After watching this video by Sean Tucker, I went out and purchased a big parabolic umbrella. I just haven’t had the chance to try it out yet.

I had this idea for more gritty, stylized photos of Chase showing just his glove and his eyes, as if he’s standing on the mound peering down at the batter.

Here’s an early test shot, unedited.

Test shot1_032920_DSCF0169

Basically what I was looking for, so I had Chase get into his jersey and start to dial it in. Another starter test shot, with jersey. Lighting is pretty much where I want it. I was at 1/32 on the strobe, f/2 on my Fuji X100T.


I wanted to add a bit more character to his face, so added some eye black in. Pitchers don’t normally wear eye black, but hey, this is my concept.


Ok, so that was good. I did a few more shots, and knew that I’d process them in post to give them that more gritty look, almost like something you’d see on a PS4 video game cover.


Unfortunately, I seemed to have missed this focus on Chase’s eyes in these. I didn’t notice this as I shooting him, but the Fuji locked on his glove, not on his eyes. While I like this how this looks, wish his eyes were sharper in these particular photos.

To achieve this look, I brought the image into my Photoshop program, and then opened Nik>Color>Bleach Bypass and adjusted from there.

My friend, Gary Chapman, suggested I try B&W, which I did. Again, I like it – I always like B&W – but my goal was that gritty color look, which I still prefer.


A few more baseball-card type poses.



Another BTS shot. I didn’t move the parabolic at all, really just wanted to use it as the big main/key light source. Not getting into any crazy shadows or anything like that.


Annnddd….a pre-shoot shot with another stand in, and a crooked seamless….


My goal is to keep keepin’ busy, keep practicing and keep getting better.

Let’s keep getting after it!

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2020

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