I’ve been fiddling around with macro photography for a while now, mixing different lenses with focus stacking techniques. The results have been pleasing – several different flowers and petals and flora, all clipped into an alligator-clip armature, then several photos taken and stacked to bring out the sharpness.
Now I’m going back to an idea I had several years ago – to create a macro photo of the stitches on a baseball. And luckily for me, I still had one of my old minor league baseballs. I had some that I purchased as part of this photograph experiment, way back in 2014.
But when I looked at the photo in 2020, I decided that I wasn’t pleased with the results. It’s just … there. I need to get closer.
So I set up a little shoot. I put the ball on the open top of a pill bottle, then I set up my Nikon Df with my Laowa super-macro lens, and strapped it to a Neewer manual focus rail. I want to get so tight on this picture, there should be splinters from the bat that knocked this ball down the first-base line.
I angled the ball so that, instead of straight shot, I would photograph along the ball’s seam. If I was successful, I should be able to get the weathered stitches and the pock-marked cowhide.
It’s good enough. No. I will never settle for “just good enough.” Besides, this looks as if it was the last thing Tony Conigliaro saw. What, too soon?
Forty-two photographs later – with the camera creeping forward, millimeters at a time – I had another stack pile.
Now with a little focus stacking, and some adjustments in levels…
Here’s what I achieved. Say hello to High and Tight.
That looks so powerful, John Sterling would make up a call for it. And then Suzyn Waldman would gush about John Sterling’s call. And I would listen to the two of them until my ears started bleeding, which usually means I can hold out for at least three pitches. 😀
But yeah, High and Tight will go in the short pile for Competition Season 2020 … if there IS a Competition Season 2020.