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Thread: Advice/tips for shooting hockey

  1. #1
    Member Rogue's Avatar
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    Advice/tips for shooting hockey

    This Saturday I will be attending an NHL hockey game and I'm unsure what settings I really need to capture images. I shoot mainly landscapes so this is new territory for me. I will be bringing my 7D II with my 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM. My niece got the tickets and I'm pretty sure they are in the uppermost part of the arena so I'm not sure the 200 will be long enough. I do have the EF 2x III extender but I'm not sure the lense will be fast enough with it attached. Any tips and or advice will be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.
    EOS 7D II, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM, EF 85mm f/1.8 USM, EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, Extender EF 2x III, EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM, EF 50mm f/1.8 STM, EF 35mm f/1.2 IS USM, GORUCK GR-1 with TrekPak insert

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    There may be rules preventing your from bringing your camera... check in advance. Some old discussion for reference.
    On Flickr - Namethatnobodyelsetook on Flickr | On the web - http://www.GrassStainedPhoto.com
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    Member Rogue's Avatar
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    Was the first thing I checked after my niece asked me to go. Going to a Buffalo Sabers game and the Key Bank Arena site says cameras (including digital) with long lenses are allowed. Monopods and tripods are not.

    Thanks,

    Trent
    EOS 7D II, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM, EF 85mm f/1.8 USM, EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, Extender EF 2x III, EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM, EF 50mm f/1.8 STM, EF 35mm f/1.2 IS USM, GORUCK GR-1 with TrekPak insert

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    Administrator Sean Setters's Avatar
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    That's a very lenient policy regarding ILC gear. Just to be safe, I'd print out the page with that information and stick it in your back pocket. If you run into a newly hired security worker, he may not realize that such gear is allowed through (it often isn't).

  5. #5
    Member Rogue's Avatar
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    Good tip, never thought of printing it off.

    Thanks,

    Trent
    EOS 7D II, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM, EF 85mm f/1.8 USM, EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, Extender EF 2x III, EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM, EF 50mm f/1.8 STM, EF 35mm f/1.2 IS USM, GORUCK GR-1 with TrekPak insert

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    As other advice doesn't appear to be forthcoming, and I have no idea what NHL arena lighting is typically like, I did a quick Flickr search of your arena to get an idea of what a good exposure is: LINK

    Some example exposures in the first few results:
    f/3.5, 1/1600s, ISO 3200
    f/4.5, 1/1000s, ISO 4000
    f/3.2, 1/1250s, ISO 2000

    On a slapshot image, where the end of the stick is a bit blurred:
    f/3.2, 1/1250s, ISO 2500

    All these shots appear to be from someone with access to the edge of the ice, or perhaps on ice, with frame-filling shots. If you're shooting from further up in the stands, and getting a wider view, you can likely drop your shutter speed, and thus reduce your ISO.
    On Flickr - Namethatnobodyelsetook on Flickr | On the web - http://www.GrassStainedPhoto.com
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    Oh, and general sports advice...

    Ensure your lens IS is set to panning mode. Nothing worse than blurry shots because you're tracking the action and your lens is fighting your movement.

    Use AI Servo focus mode to enable tracking and prediction.

    Ensure you half-press the shutter well in advance of action to allow time for the IS to stabilize and AF to lock and track.

    Don't smack the head of the guy sitting in front of you with your lens.

    Go into the settings (link) and change the first shot/subsequent shot priorities to your liking. Shutter priority will take the picture when you press the button, whether focus is locked or not, and, for the first shot, not taking into account focus prediction. Use this if you want exact timing, and are willing to accept slight OOF for a fast moving subject. Focus priority will wait for focus lock and prediction before taking a shot. Use this if you desire sharpness over timing. I use Focus/Focus. Serious Pros who need "the shot" might use shutter/Focus.

    Sports shooting settings that won't apply to you - dealing with varying light levels (ie: cloudy days):

    I tend to use M mode to choose both my shutter and aperture manually. I set ISO to auto, then choose an exposure compensation for my environment. This lets the camera adjust ISO for changing lighting. Setting the EC is actually harder on the 7DmkII than it was on my old Rebel. There is no dedicated button. You can remedy this though. I changed the focus-mode-toggle lever around the joystick to be an exposure compensation adjust lever.

    Take a test shot.
    Review.
    If I need EC changed, pull the lever, spin the adjustment wheel, release lever. Repeat taking test shot.
    On Flickr - Namethatnobodyelsetook on Flickr | On the web - http://www.GrassStainedPhoto.com
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    Administrator Sean Setters's Avatar
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    Actually, I'd shy away from Auto ISO under these circumstances and instead go with an all-Manual setup after determining the optimal exposure parameters. The reason to avoid auto exposure is because the lighting at the venue won't likely change very much as it pertains to the actual rink (if photographing people in the stands, that's a different story). Auto ISO will vary the exposure depending on how much white fills the frame, which can vary dramatically depending on how many players are in the frame at any one time.

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    Hi, I’ve covered quite some hockey games over the years but not from “aerial view” – I usually shoot from photo seats fairly rinkside or from even lower level through the plexi. My team’s home venue (Swedish second league) is fairly well lit but you’ll most likely have even better light at Keybank Center.

    The exposure is easy: Set your camera to max aperture and around 1/800 sec, and then adjust ISO until you get proper exposure. At f/2.8 I guess ISO 2000 could be a good starting point for you (or ISO 4000 with the extender).

    Keeping all exposure settings manual is best – otherwise varying amounts of ice and dark Sabres jerseys in the frame will keep fooling the AE measurement.

    Set white balance using the ice if you want OK colors out of camera, otherwise WB is easy to correct in post.

    I mainly use 70-200 on a FF body when shooting from rinkside. I get the impression you’ll be seated quite far up, and you’ll likely want as long focal length as possible – 70-200 with extender on a crop body seems like a good idea.

    Set AF to thumb AF only – disable trigger AF. That makes it easy to pre-focus on something interesting (e.g. the goalie) and just shoot when something happens. (But remember to use the thumb for AF tracking – if you’re not used to thumb AF only, it may be better to stay with the usual trigger button AF.)

    Use high speed shutter to capture the “right” moment but use it with care – you don’t want several hundreds of crappy frames to delete in post. (Use bursts of 3-4 shots when something interesting happens rather than bursts of 10-20.)

    Don’t bother trying to capture everything that happens – you won’t succeed. For example you could pick a player and follow his actions during a shift instead of following the puck only. (Many interesting “scenes” take place far from the puck and players are far easier to follow than the puck.)

    Look up – shots of engaged spectators may be at least as interesting as shots of the game itself. (Keep separate custom settings for the rink and the audience.)

    Enough said – have a fun night!

  10. #10
    Member Rogue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidEccleston View Post
    As other advice doesn't appear to be forthcoming, and I have no idea what NHL arena lighting is typically like, I did a quick Flickr search of your arena to get an idea of what a good exposure is: LINK

    Some example exposures in the first few results:
    f/3.5, 1/1600s, ISO 3200
    f/4.5, 1/1000s, ISO 4000
    f/3.2, 1/1250s, ISO 2000

    On a slapshot image, where the end of the stick is a bit blurred:
    f/3.2, 1/1250s, ISO 2500

    All these shots appear to be from someone with access to the edge of the ice, or perhaps on ice, with frame-filling shots. If you're shooting from further up in the stands, and getting a wider view, you can likely drop your shutter speed, and thus reduce your ISO.
    Thanks for this, gives me a baseline to work off of.

    Trent
    EOS 7D II, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM, EF 85mm f/1.8 USM, EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, Extender EF 2x III, EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM, EF 50mm f/1.8 STM, EF 35mm f/1.2 IS USM, GORUCK GR-1 with TrekPak insert

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