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05-07-2013, 09:07 PM
Join Date: Apr 2013
I used to do sports for a newspaper and I still do the occasional wedding or model... shooting a hockey game has to be pretty rough. Those really great pro-looking shots are the guys that shoot through the little holes at the corners in the glass (you can see them on TV in the background sometimes), but if your rink doesn't have that on the bench or in the stands is probably your best bet for crystal clear, though the shots through the glass would at least be good enough for looking at form and positioning stuff.
Also, I don't know what type of camera you're leaning towards, but you pretty much HAVE to use a real, interchangeable lens SLR camera for this... hockey rinks, regardless of how well lit they may seem, are extremely dark and you can't (and shouldn't) use an external flash unit. Earlier SLR's with lower ISO limits are going to be struggling autofocus and shutter-speed wise, but semi-new cameras like say, the Nikon D7000 and above or the Canon 60D and above will be decent. It also helps a lot to have a wide aperture telephoto lens, like a 70-200mm f/2.8. I used an older Sigma (off-brand) model of that and it performed great, and they run less than half the price of the Canon/Nikon equivalents. Lenses also hold their value really well, I sold mine for basically what I paid for it 3 years earlier.
Good luck, if you get any good shots post them up here. I love that stuff.
Detailed settings: Shoot manual, at the widest possible aperture (say, f/2.8 if you can) and put the ISO the highest you're willing to go before the grain (noise) gets so bad it smears details. Try to keep the shutter at 1/200 or higher... I got some pretty good shots from up in the stands at an Atlanta Thrashers game way back, but it also was a pro-lit rink. I was at ... let's see... 300mm @ f/5.6, ISO 1600 and 1/800 shutter. The shots were intentionally too dark, but I shoot RAW and brought the exposure up in photoshop afterwards. Here's one from that game:
.. you can sort of tell it was too dark and I couldn't make it lighter without getting artifacts in the grain. I probably should have been at 1/500 or 1/400 instead, but then more blur starts to creep in.
Last edited by lonewolfsx: 05-07-2013 at
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