Shooting Hockey

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by benstewart, Jan 17, 2007.

  1. benstewart

    benstewart TPF Noob!

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    Hi all,

    I recently started an internship with a local community newspaper. I received my first assignment today: Accompany the experienced staff photographer for a hockey game. Whether or not I become an all-around photographer in the next couple weeks depends on my success.

    Here is the problem: I have been on a few sports shoots, but never hockey. I watch hockey on TV occasionally and certainly enjoy some hockey video games, but I've never seen one through my own lens.

    That said, I have the following equipment and plans:
    Canon Digital Rebel XT
    Tamron 28-300 3.5-5.6
    A basic flash

    Here is a small picture of the arena:
    http://images.google.com/images?hl=...G=Google Search&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wi

    I plan on going there tomorrow to see just how good/bad the light is and how my camera will react to it.

    I know of a few of the problems associated with shooting hockey: Anticipation, fast shutter speeds, and low lights.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I think your biggest problem will be getting fast shutter speeds. Even though those rinks look bright, they usually aren't...although that one looks better than a lot of rinks I've been in. Part of that problem is you lens. With a maximum aperture of F3.5-5.6...you aren't going to get very fast speeds unless you crank up the ISO...which will, of course, introduce noise. However, if it's a choice between noise and a lot of blurr...the noise is probably better.

    Getting the exposure correct might be a problem as well. All the white ice and boards will throw off the camera's meter...causing it to underexpose. You will probably have to use positive EC...but that will only slow the shutter down even more.

    As you are accompanying an experienced photographer...ask plenty of questions. The light in the rink won't change...so you can probably just ask what setting he uses...and just keep the camera in manual mode.

    If you buy, borrow or steal a faster lens...that might help. The pro might even lend you something...which would be a bonus.

    If you can't get a faster lens...and can't get fast enough shutter speeds with your lens...then you will need to concentrate on getting shots where the subject isn't moving too fast. There will be plenty of options for this. Right before a face off is a good time....or right after a goal...or any whistle for that matter.

    Focusing...I'm not sure if your camera & lens will be able to keep up with all the moving action. You may have to pick your moments to focus...or maybe even pre-focus and wait for the action to move into your area.

    Most importantly...keep your eye on the puck while play in underway. Yon don't want to take on in the head.
     
  3. benstewart

    benstewart TPF Noob!

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    I had to laugh at the last sentence, but I know you were being serious :D

    How about manual focus? I'm not sure what ages we are looking at, but probably high school or younger - meaning that they really won't be moving too fast.

    The noise issue: The newspaper I am working with does not print large in the first place, so I'm not overly concerned about a tad bit of graininess, as some already have that effect.

    I work at a camera store. Perhaps I can buy a faster lens till Saturday, then return it ;) I wish I could afford a good one at the moment.
     
  4. pacereve

    pacereve TPF Noob!

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    I would be too concerned with a high level of noise in your shots.
    The paper that newsprint gets printed on is one step up from toilet paper. It tends to soak up a lot of ink and bleed. This will smooth out most of your noise. Be sure not to have much black/dark colours in the same image or most of it will "bleed" together and your picture printed will look like a pile mush.
     
  5. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I wonder why I'm not surprised that Big Mike has some experience at photographing ice hockey games? Perhaps specifically Oilers games?
     
  6. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think the 2 most important things for you to do would be to ask the guy you are going with what he is going to use and if you have the same system try and borrow it for a few shots. The most important part of an internship I think anyway is to learn so do not be afraid to ask for help.
     
  7. benstewart

    benstewart TPF Noob!

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    I will go there tomorrow to see if my lens can handle it with no players on the ice, unless they have some skaters by chance.

    If it's REALLY bad, I'll either give in and purchase a lens or ask to borrow one.
     
  8. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you really want to get into photojournalisim as a profession you and can afford it you should already have "given in" and bought a good fast long lens it is almost a necessity for what you are doing especially sports.
     
  9. benstewart

    benstewart TPF Noob!

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    Ok. Well, I have an employee discount and financing.

    What do you recommend? :D
     
  10. ShelleySnapz

    ShelleySnapz Photographer for hire!

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    Ive shot hockey before...
    Behold...the Buffalo Sabres, shot from the nosebleed seats!
    Taken with a Caanon 70-200L UMS Lens

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I have a few more but you get the picture
     
  11. benstewart

    benstewart TPF Noob!

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    A tripod or steady, steady hands?
     
  12. ShelleySnapz

    ShelleySnapz Photographer for hire!

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    LOL I have very steady hands!
     

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