September 18, 2014, 04:06:37 PM

Author Topic: Tips on shooting hockey?  (Read 11547 times)

FTb-n

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Re: Tips on shooting hockey?
« Reply #45 on: February 27, 2014, 09:35:52 PM »
Pakneh, sharp and noisy is better than clean and blurry.  I've shot thousands of images of figure skaters with a 7D and the Canon 70-200 f2.8.  Early on, I regretted not going higher with both ISO and shutter speed.  Don't be afraid of 3200-4000 (even 6400) with the 7D.  If you don't already have Lightroom, get it.  It's noise reduction is quite good.

Like Northstar said, expose to the right.  Overexpose 1/3 to 2/3 stops.  This will actually reduce some of the noise since more pixels will be exposed to more information.  Correcting for exposure and noise in Lightroom will give you some good results.

I would most often shoot JPGs to maximize the 7D's burst rates (and, admittedly save some disk space).  But, now it's all RAW.  RAW cleans up better and I don't rely on the burst rate as often as I anticipated.

Best advice -- experiment.  Next time you shoot, try shooting higher ISO than you're used to, or shoot RAW if you don't, and play with shutter speeds.  I prefer 1/640-1/1000 for figure skating and would presume similar speeds for hockey, at least for the players.  The puck may still be blurred.

Absolutely give the 6D a try.  I now use a 5D3 and went from 8 fps from the 7D to 6 fps of the 5D3.  For figure skating, I can't fully rely on either frame rate to make up for poorly timed shots.  (This is where the 12 fps of the 1Dx may shine.) 

So, with the 6D, you will need to work on your timing and your tracking with that single focus point.  I'm guessing that the 6D doesn't have expansion points.  This will be a challenge, but it will certainly sharpen your skills. Again, the key here is to experiment.  Give the 6D a try.

FWIW, at the rink that I shoot, I typically shoot at f2.8, 1/800-1/1000, and ISO 3200-4000.

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Re: Tips on shooting hockey?
« Reply #45 on: February 27, 2014, 09:35:52 PM »

Pakneh

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Re: Tips on shooting hockey?
« Reply #46 on: March 07, 2014, 09:57:33 AM »
I just want to say thanks to FTB-n, tolusina and NorthStar for all the advice. The forum community here is very helpful and the primary reason I frequent this site. I just wanted post an update, I am currently shooting at a Hockey Tourney fundraiser for the LNHL in Ontario and have swapped my 7D for my wife's 6D. I am applying the advice you all provided and am having much improved results in acquiring more "keeper" photos.

Once again, thanks for the advice and I have two more days hockey photography to put to practice!

-Pakneh

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Northstar

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Re: Tips on shooting hockey?
« Reply #47 on: March 07, 2014, 01:08:14 PM »
I just want to say thanks to FTB-n, tolusina and NorthStar for all the advice. The forum community here is very helpful and the primary reason I frequent this site. I just wanted post an update, I am currently shooting at a Hockey Tourney fundraiser for the LNHL in Ontario and have swapped my 7D for my wife's 6D. I am applying the advice you all provided and am having much improved results in acquiring more "keeper" photos.

Once again, thanks for the advice and I have two more days hockey photography to put to practice!

-Pakneh

good improvements Pakneh....make sure you look at the image in post editing for ways to improve the image...boosting exposure usually helps with hockey to see their faces a bit better.

it looks like you're really in a dark ice arena if you're shooting at iso8000....tough conditions.

i took the liberty (i hope you don't take offense)  to show you what I would do with the last image...

straighten..cropped...add exp...a little contrast..sharpening...added some light to the players face...and noise reduction.

obviously i'm just working with a small jpeg file and would be better with RAW.

unless you're planning to print it out in a larger size(rare now days) don't be afraid to crop it tighter to bring us closer to the action.  with sports, there's a reason why people pay more for the front row.  ;)

looking forward to seeing more!
« Last Edit: March 07, 2014, 01:13:44 PM by Northstar »
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Pakneh

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Re: Tips on shooting hockey?
« Reply #48 on: March 10, 2014, 11:49:38 AM »
Well the Sagamok Family Hockey Tournament has come to an end this year, and all fundraising goals were met, I am proud to say my photography booth contributed $250, half the days work to our LNHL teams.  Once again I have to thank you all for the advice and guidance. I'd like to contribute to the forum discussion on hockey with regard to my experience over the weekend.

*The abundant technical advice here is awesome, so I do not think I need to add anything else to that but in terms of tips here is what I have to say!

1. Fans are an integral part of the hockey experience, I regret not taking the time to mingle amongst the audience and capture all the drama and emotion they exude with every puck pass and goal!

2. Depending on how much access you have, try and get shots of the players on bench. For this tourney I had unrestricted access all around the arena. Side portraits of players on bench is great because you witness the exhaustion, will power and mettle these players have. You can lower you shutter speed because they are not moving at 20km/h It is also a great way to break up a couple hundred photos of people wearing helmets and skating real fast.

3. Take the time to get comfortable with "Register Camera settings" which designates the settings for "C1" C2" and "C3" on your mode dial. I had my camera settings prepped for three different lighting conditions, those being "on ice" bench/audience bleachers and inner hall/cafeteria. You be far more productive this way, instead of constantly switching up lighting, aperture, speed and iso as you move about the arena.

4. This pointer maybe specific to my case of total unrestricted access, switch sides of the arena half way through each period to provide both sides the opportunity to be photographed "in action"

5. Did not do this shot this year, but I like to do one behind the goalie and behind the protective glass, where it is a long exposure where the goalie is motionless and the players are a blur either in the distance or coming his/her way.

6. Make use of any opportunity for a new angle or perspective. A goalie was injured during one of the games(nothing serious), so I went on ice and got photos of the two teams mingling with their friends, family, team mates and fellow players.

7. Some of the best photos occurred during warm ups. Such as father providing his daughter a crash course in hockey scrapping. Just to note fighting is banned at the tourney but this mock scrap with a daughter trying to tune her dad up was fun to catch on camera.

8. When players exhale their breath turns to mist and can either add some atmosphere to your photo or.....add this layer of grey that kinda kills your portrait. Get your timing down!

Things to note, I did not shot raw for this tourney as I had my wife manning the print station and she was feeling intimidated by the software. She got over it by day 2 but for expediency sake I stayed with JPEG for action shots and shot RAW for team photos. The first day was in regards to selling prints a flop. No one wanted action shots, they wanted team photos and players themselves did not stay when their game ended. This is a fundraiser tourney and many of them had work in morning, so I can't blame them. All our sales came on the last day when everyone was at the tourney for the finals and we had lots of team photos. A great inefficiency to profit was actually "action shots" where we would have a customer search for over 5- 10 minutes for a good photo of themselves or a relative on ice, thinking a separate PC and printer for those photos in the future.

One of the best take aways for this event for me was that it killed my lingering case of Gear Acquisition Syndrome.  I shot the entire thing with a 6d/70-200mm and a flash without a fancy diffuser. I am way more interested in refining my technique with what I have and not thinking about how a new piece of equipment will make me a better photographer. That is where this forum came in, so once again thank you! Chi-Meegwetch

 
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Northstar

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Re: Tips on shooting hockey?
« Reply #49 on: March 10, 2014, 08:56:21 PM »
Well the Sagamok Family Hockey Tournament has come to an end this year, and all fundraising goals were met, I am proud to say my photography booth contributed $250, half the days work to our LNHL teams.  Once again I have to thank you all for the advice and guidance. I'd like to contribute to the forum discussion on hockey with regard to my experience over the weekend.

*The abundant technical advice here is awesome, so I do not think I need to add anything else to that but in terms of tips here is what I have to say!

1. Fans are an integral part of the hockey experience, I regret not taking the time to mingle amongst the audience and capture all the drama and emotion they exude with every puck pass and goal!

2. Depending on how much access you have, try and get shots of the players on bench. For this tourney I had unrestricted access all around the arena. Side portraits of players on bench is great because you witness the exhaustion, will power and mettle these players have. You can lower you shutter speed because they are not moving at 20km/h It is also a great way to break up a couple hundred photos of people wearing helmets and skating real fast.

3. Take the time to get comfortable with "Register Camera settings" which designates the settings for "C1" C2" and "C3" on your mode dial. I had my camera settings prepped for three different lighting conditions, those being "on ice" bench/audience bleachers and inner hall/cafeteria. You be far more productive this way, instead of constantly switching up lighting, aperture, speed and iso as you move about the arena.

4. This pointer maybe specific to my case of total unrestricted access, switch sides of the arena half way through each period to provide both sides the opportunity to be photographed "in action"

5. Did not do this shot this year, but I like to do one behind the goalie and behind the protective glass, where it is a long exposure where the goalie is motionless and the players are a blur either in the distance or coming his/her way.

6. Make use of any opportunity for a new angle or perspective. A goalie was injured during one of the games(nothing serious), so I went on ice and got photos of the two teams mingling with their friends, family, team mates and fellow players.

7. Some of the best photos occurred during warm ups. Such as father providing his daughter a crash course in hockey scrapping. Just to note fighting is banned at the tourney but this mock scrap with a daughter trying to tune her dad up was fun to catch on camera.

8. When players exhale their breath turns to mist and can either add some atmosphere to your photo or.....add this layer of grey that kinda kills your portrait. Get your timing down!

Things to note, I did not shot raw for this tourney as I had my wife manning the print station and she was feeling intimidated by the software. She got over it by day 2 but for expediency sake I stayed with JPEG for action shots and shot RAW for team photos. The first day was in regards to selling prints a flop. No one wanted action shots, they wanted team photos and players themselves did not stay when their game ended. This is a fundraiser tourney and many of them had work in morning, so I can't blame them. All our sales came on the last day when everyone was at the tourney for the finals and we had lots of team photos. A great inefficiency to profit was actually "action shots" where we would have a customer search for over 5- 10 minutes for a good photo of themselves or a relative on ice, thinking a separate PC and printer for those photos in the future.

One of the best take aways for this event for me was that it killed my lingering case of Gear Acquisition Syndrome.  I shot the entire thing with a 6d/70-200mm and a flash without a fancy diffuser. I am way more interested in refining my technique with what I have and not thinking about how a new piece of equipment will make me a better photographer. That is where this forum came in, so once again thank you! Chi-Meegwetch

 


some good shots Pakneh....question, are those two people fighting in the first image? 

anyway, it sounds like you learned a lot, that's the most important thing.

look at image 1 and 4....remember to STRAIGHTEN ....very easy and quick fix. 

good luck
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Pakneh

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Re: Tips on shooting hockey?
« Reply #50 on: March 11, 2014, 07:25:45 AM »
The first picture is the father daughter sparring match I mentioned, for this particular tourney any fight on ice results in both teams being banned from next years fundraiser.
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FTb-n

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Re: Tips on shooting hockey?
« Reply #51 on: April 08, 2014, 12:53:48 AM »
3. Take the time to get comfortable with "Register Camera settings" which designates the settings for "C1" C2" and "C3" on your mode dial. I had my camera settings prepped for three different lighting conditions, those being "on ice" bench/audience bleachers and inner hall/cafeteria. You be far more productive this way, instead of constantly switching up lighting, aperture, speed and iso as you move about the arena.

I have also found this quite useful for the same reasons.

Glad to have helped and I, too, love this site for sharing and learning from others.

Action shots for a fundraiser is difficult.  To get "the shot" you end up shooting lots of images.  If you need to turn this around for print-ready images before skaters or family leave the arena, there's no time to filter and post process anything.  And, you don't want to filter too much because you want family to find at least one shot of their skater.

At figure skating competitions, we hire a photography group who uses one photographer at rink side getting action shots and a second in a meeting room getting solo and group shots of medalists.  The photos are downloaded to a server and they use several laptops for participants to view and select their photos.  The vast majority of their sales occur during the competition.  It's rare that anyone buys online.  A benefit from the competition is that many skaters enter different events which are often scattered throughout the three day event.  So, they have time between events to view their photos.

If you find a solution to make action shots profitable for a fundraiser, please share.
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Re: Tips on shooting hockey?
« Reply #51 on: April 08, 2014, 12:53:48 AM »

Northstar

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Re: Tips on shooting hockey?
« Reply #52 on: April 08, 2014, 05:54:59 AM »
3. Take the time to get comfortable with "Register Camera settings" which designates the settings for "C1" C2" and "C3" on your mode dial. I had my camera settings prepped for three different lighting conditions, those being "on ice" bench/audience bleachers and inner hall/cafeteria. You be far more productive this way, instead of constantly switching up lighting, aperture, speed and iso as you move about the arena.

I have also found this quite useful for the same reasons.

Glad to have helped and I, too, love this site for sharing and learning from others.

Action shots for a fundraiser is difficult.  To get "the shot" you end up shooting lots of images.  If you need to turn this around for print-ready images before skaters or family leave the arena, there's no time to filter and post process anything.  And, you don't want to filter too much because you want family to find at least one shot of their skater.

At figure skating competitions, we hire a photography group who uses one photographer at rink side getting action shots and a second in a meeting room getting solo and group shots of medalists.  The photos are downloaded to a server and they use several laptops for participants to view and select their photos.  The vast majority of their sales occur during the competition.  It's rare that anyone buys online.  A benefit from the competition is that many skaters enter different events which are often scattered throughout the three day event.  So, they have time between events to view their photos.

If you find a solution to make action shots profitable for a fundraiser, please share.

good advice FTb!

how about that winter we just had?  :'(

earlier you asked about the 12fps and how much it contributes to getting "the shot".   i think it contributes greatly!  for serious sports photography, the 1dx can't be beat.  in a few years when the next 1 series comes out and the current 1dx is being sold in the used market for $3500, it might be worth consideration.

here's an example....this capture was from a burst of about 20 images....i wouldn't have got this shot with my 5d3 because the window of time where the puck is viewable(between the goalie's glove and the net) as she shoots is maybe 1/15th of a second? 

1/640
iso4000
f2.8

ps...are you still shooting figure skating?

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FTb-n

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Re: Tips on shooting hockey?
« Reply #53 on: April 08, 2014, 10:13:27 PM »
Great shot, Northstar.  I'll definitely have to watch 1Dx prices when it's successor comes out.

Regarding winter, I hope it's really over.  Summer is supposed to arrive tomorrow for a brief visit.  I'm hoping it likes it here well enough to return after spring -- if we get one this year.

I'm entering the busy season.  Right now warming up with 7-8 grade volleyball -- timing the shots have to be a lot easier than timing puck action.  The big ice show is in a few weeks and a competition in May.
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Re: Tips on shooting hockey?
« Reply #54 on: April 10, 2014, 08:10:21 PM »
Here's my Hockey Rink.

   /------------------------\
 /                                     \
l                                        l
\                                      /
  \                                   /
    --- - -------------------

I would try and use the natural foreground and background.  I'd place myself right next to the glass, and shoot with in portrait mode with the goalie and the net at the bottom right of the frame and maybe someone doing a one timer in the rest of the frame. 

That's all I got... I don't know hockey very well... but I guess maybe being close to where players get checked into the glass... because that might be cool... so a 16-35 might be a good option.  Having a 2nd with off camera flash might be good and you can position them at 4p.m. in relation to you... but even that... that might have a horrible reflection off the glass.  Damn glass. 
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Re: Tips on shooting hockey?
« Reply #55 on: June 27, 2014, 09:14:23 PM »
I've been looking at this thread since it started and been looking forward to trying out some of the invaluable tips you guys have provided.  I will finally get to try them out when I shoot my first game here tomorrow night:D  I've got the 5D3 and 70-200 2.8 set up and ready to go and got a rubber lens hood for the occasional shot when I can put the camera against the glass.  One shot I would like to try is a slow shutter panning shot with a skater/s going past a blurred team bench.  Not sure I'll get a chance but do you think that's a do-able shot? 
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Re: Tips on shooting hockey?
« Reply #56 on: June 29, 2014, 09:31:21 AM »
Well I did my first hockey shoot. Apart from a couple of dodgy bulbs, the light was reasonably good in the middle of the rink but it dropped off a bit at the edges.  I learned not to chase the puck - shoot ahead or behind because that's where the action usually is.  A few times I focused on the goalie when the puck was in the area and listened for the shot and then hit the shutter for a burst.  Other times I would look behind the puck for the body checks.  Overall it was fast and fun :)
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Northstar

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Re: Tips on shooting hockey?
« Reply #57 on: June 29, 2014, 05:19:10 PM »
Well I did my first hockey shoot. Apart from a couple of dodgy bulbs, the light was reasonably good in the middle of the rink but it dropped off a bit at the edges.  I learned not to chase the puck - shoot ahead or behind because that's where the action usually is.  A few times I focused on the goalie when the puck was in the area and listened for the shot and then hit the shutter for a burst.  Other times I would look behind the puck for the body checks.  Overall it was fast and fun :)

Nice shots Roo!   You caught some good action and you nailed your exposure!
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Re: Tips on shooting hockey?
« Reply #57 on: June 29, 2014, 05:19:10 PM »

Roo

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Re: Tips on shooting hockey?
« Reply #58 on: July 10, 2014, 06:51:01 AM »
Well I did my first hockey shoot. Apart from a couple of dodgy bulbs, the light was reasonably good in the middle of the rink but it dropped off a bit at the edges.  I learned not to chase the puck - shoot ahead or behind because that's where the action usually is.  A few times I focused on the goalie when the puck was in the area and listened for the shot and then hit the shutter for a burst.  Other times I would look behind the puck for the body checks.  Overall it was fast and fun :)

Nice shots Roo!   You caught some good action and you nailed your exposure!

Thanks Northstar!  I really appreciated being able to take advantage of the advice offered freely by yourself and others in this thread.  I also had a 7d shooting friend at the rink who was able to provide local advice.  I normally shoot 9 point expansion mode and this was the first time I took full advantage of the 61 point af and it was stellar - hardly an oof shot in amongst 500+.  Most of my misses were caused by some obstruction (usually a ref) getting between me and the action.   It looks like I may be given a few more opportunities next season;)
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Northstar

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Re: Tips on shooting hockey?
« Reply #59 on: July 10, 2014, 02:05:13 PM »
glad you're having fun shooting hockey!!

as i said, your shots are very good...could easily be used for professional coverage!

if posting for online and small print use only, you could crop a couple a little bit more like this example i provided....it brings the viewer in closer to the action like being in the front row.

it's all subjective though...your composition looks great too!

original and then one that i cropped a bit more.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2014, 02:09:18 PM by Northstar »
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Re: Tips on shooting hockey?
« Reply #59 on: July 10, 2014, 02:05:13 PM »