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Old Jan 17, 2008, 1:36 AM   #1
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Well, I have been trying to get good hockey shots. I was taking them from the stands, but going through the glass is a pain because it's always scratched, etc. Well, I know the coach of the University team here, and I was able to go up on the obersvation deck. With that, I was able to get a few decent photos....

attached is one.



If you want to see the others, I have them on facebook. http://uwec.facebook.com/album.php?a...mp;id=59503611
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Old Jan 17, 2008, 6:54 AM   #2
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Preface my comments with the note that I know nothing about hockey and even less about photographing it. I have heard others on this forum talk about the difficulties that the ice creates with exposure and white balance, but hockey is one sport I have never even thought about photographing simply because we don't have it here.

I like several of the shots in your facebook group, but I notice inconsistency in the colors, particularly on the Augsburg jerseys. The shot of the faceoff shows the maroon, but on several of the others, the jerseys come out almost a dark blue. I suspect this is due to the WB/exposure difficulties from the ice. I notice from your EXIF that you shot at 1/200 and f5.0. If you can get your light levels up by opening your lens more (I don't know what lens you used, or if it can open more), I think your color balance would be better.

The detail on the face-off shot is good, and you've done a good job of getting the faces, but the point of contact is to be at ice level, which is not in the frame. I might have backed off enough to be able to get the point on the ice where the puck is to be dropped.

Overall, though, nice work. Glad to see you posting here.

(BTW, as an old broadcaster who once covered an NAIA national basketball tournament in which both Augsburg and Wisonsin-Eau Claire participated, your shots stirred some memories, lol.)
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Old Jan 17, 2008, 8:12 AM   #3
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I think you're off to a good first start.

For the posted photo:
WB looks OK as does exposure
Sharpness is so-so - was this a crop or the original image? Also I realize the resizing could reduce apparent sharpness

The biggest area for improvement though is the composition. As Paul mentioned, you're in too tight to see any action down at the ice. But you're way too loose to capture expressions - there is no facial detail - especially not the eyes.
The angle also works against you here - tough to capture good eye contact when you're looking down on your subject.
The end result is a shot with some decent technical characteristics (wb, exposure) but not much interesting going on.

Unfortunately I don't shoot ice hockey, so I can't provide examples of types of shots that work from overhead. But, from shooting other sports from above I would suggest you'll have a higher likelyhood of getting interesting shots by sticking to the action - where facial expressions aren't as important. You'll still want to capture faces in those shots. But it isn't as important to see facial expressions/eyes as a shot like this is.

Hope that made sense. And please don't get discouraged. As indicated, I think you're off to a good start here. But you have to move past the 'wow, I got a shot that's exposed and I can recognize they're human" factor we all go through and start asking yourself "what is a really interesting shot".
I would encourage you to look at professional shots of hockey and see the types of shots they're doing. That should be your goal as well. Sure you don't have the $10,000 equipment they do but you can get an idea for compositions and styles of shots that are interesting.

Good start!
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Old Jan 17, 2008, 3:20 PM   #4
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Thanks for the comments. It is really tough because of the lighting in the arena. I used an external flash most of the time, so those that are further away from where I was, were darker of course, making the WB/Sharpness etc very difficult to get.

I had 2 lenses. 1st is my 75-300mm f4.0 is lowest opening. 3200 is fastest shutter. (Canon XT) the 2nd lens is the original lens, which doesn't offer much for the ice arena. I am trying to do my best with it because I enjoy hockey and know many of the guys on the team, so am trying to get some decent shots for them.

I have wondered how it might be to go to the ends of the rink, and2 weeks agoI did so. It was through the scraped glass, so was difficult to shoot through that. I did get some decent shots.

http://uwec.facebook.com/album.php?a...mp;id=59503611
http://uwec.facebook.com/album.php?a...mp;id=59503611

These are against UW-Steven's Point. Good hockey game. One of my favorite is seeing the player in the net.

Plus found this pic of another faceoff on level ground.
Again, feel free to let me know what you think.

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Old Jan 17, 2008, 5:13 PM   #5
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wrestlinboy wrote:
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I had 2 lenses. 1st is my 75-300mm f4.0 is lowest opening.
Yeah, it's going to be tough to get good results with those limitations. Both lenses are fairly soft and neither bright. Given the limitations I think you did a good job!
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Old Jan 17, 2008, 9:48 PM   #6
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i agree with johng, you did really well with those lenses, i have been trying with my 2.8, but the rink i shoot at should really just turn the lights out and save some energy, becasue its a cave.
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Old Jan 18, 2008, 6:58 PM   #7
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Steve, I definitely think the shots you took from the ends of the rink are stronger. With the lens you used, you've done very well, but it's definitely going to limit you.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"One thing you might try experimenting with is to open your ISO to 3200...lens at its widest f-stop...and shoot aperture priority mode. This will give you a shot with some noise that will need to be cleaned up with noise reduction software such as Neat Image, Noiseware, etc. (free downloads available--I use Noiseware--google for "Noiseware Community Edition") Sharpen after your noise reduction. The noise reduction will cost you some in image detail, but hopefully, the amount of IQ you pick up with faster shutter and better light will more than offset the loss.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"When shooting through the glass, get your lens right up to the glass. That will minimize the effect of the scratches on the glass because it won't focus closely on them.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"You're getting some pretty good shots. Keep shooting and look at the work of other shooters who post in this forum and other sports forums. You'll get some good advice on techniques. The best piece of advice I ever got on sports shooting was in aset of guidelinesJohn posted about best practice in shooting soccer. "Faces--ball--opponent." I use that idea constantly in framing, not just with soccer, but with other sports I shoot. There are certainly good shots that don't have all three elements, but it's a great guideline with which to start.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"Good sports photography is not easy, but when you start getting ones that are really interesting, you'll know it, and so will those with whom you share your worki.
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Old Jan 18, 2008, 10:02 PM   #8
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trojan, thank you so much for all of that advice. I printed it out for future reference., as well as all of the advice others have given here.

I have also shot some rugby shots for the local U club team (do their website also). It really helps knowing some good tips/techniques. I am an amateur, but trying to build a good portfolio.

I know the rugby guys really enjoy my being at the matches and really want to see the photos, even several of the parents have bought pics too.

again, thanks for all the help! I love being able to bounce all these photos, etc off others and get better help.

Thanks again all!

Steve-o
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Old Jan 23, 2008, 4:13 PM   #9
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I actually shoot a lot of Hockey. It is definately more tricky than other sports, because of the lighting, and white balance issues, but once you get used to it it is not so bad. I took the liberty of processing both photos posted here, to show you a few tricks I learned over the years. Mainly exposure, white balance, and tonal adjustments...


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Old Jan 23, 2008, 4:14 PM   #10
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And one more...
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