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Old Feb 4, 2010, 4:05 PM   #1
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Default Help making white WHITE (Hockey)

I'm having trouble getting the ice WHITE in my ice hockey shots. I've been out on 3 shoots now, and I'm still spending hours in post trying to get white ice. White jerseys? no problem. Ice? Ice either comes out looking like a return to the 80s (Neon PINK! Electric BLUE!) or comes out with a yellow tint that looks like someone did you-know-what in the zamboni. Lens and distance are probably adding to the problems, but I'm pretty sure 80% of my color issues are of my own doing. Any ideas would be really helpful!

Here's the original:

This is after over an hour of post production work, through 3 separate programs:

The ice here STILL has some yellow/blue in it that I just can't get rid of without wrecking the image.
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Old Feb 4, 2010, 4:07 PM   #2
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You have several issues going on here. First, the shot is underexposed - that will happen with ice. You need to be about +2/3 to +1 exposure compensation.

Second, white balance is off - set a custom white balance in your camera - the manual should show you how.
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Old Mar 8, 2010, 3:53 PM   #3
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An hour of post-production work in three seperate programs? You're a glutton for punishment, aren't you? Why not just download a free editing program like PhotoScape. I saved your original photo, opened it in PhotoScape and got the same results you did in about 30 seconds. I also cleaned up the noise, but I won't count that. http://www.photoscape.org/ps/main/download.php

Otherwise, it's a lighting issue and a glass issue. You need at least a 2.8 lens to shoot hockey. Shoot at 2.8 and a fast shutter speed. I'd start at 1/400 at the very least and work from there. With little kid hockey, you can probably get away with something a bit slower. You'll also have to use a high ISO. I'd start at 1000 and tweak as necessary. Yes, higher ISO will introduce some noise to your pictures, but a sharp picture with noise is better than a blurry picture without noise. You can't fix blurry in post-production. And before you shoot, do a custom white balance off the ice from wherever you'll be taking pictures. If you're going to move between shooting from above the glass and shooting at ice level from behind the glass, take a new custom white balance from each place because obviously the lighting changes.

Hockey arenas have the worst lighting imaginable in which to shoot fast action sports. It's fun to shoot if you let your camera do the work, but you have to tell it what to do. And remember the golden rule when shooting hockey...faces and pucks, faces and pucks, faces and pucks.
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