Shooting Hockey Pictures - yet another :-)

Discussion in 'Sports' started by scott_c|4, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. I have a Canon Rebel XS. Recently I purchased a Tamron 70x200 f2.8 lens. One of the things I do is take pictures for my local hockey association. This past weekend I took my new Tamron lens to a game and based on the suggestions from members of this forum tried a variety of settings.
    The coach allowed me to sit in the penalty box to take pictures. The lighting in this particular rink is flourescent and pretty poor in some areas. Despite my best experimentation, most of my photos came out underexposed like the sample below. Many of the pictures came out with good focus and I was able to repair the exposure problem in Pshop but I was wondering if I can do better with my settings.
    The picture I took below had the following settings:
    Manual Mode -- f2.8 -- 1/400sec. -- ISO 400 -- Exposure bias 0 step -- Focal length 123mm -- metering mode-pattern. I'm pretty much a rookie with this level of equipment. I also tried some shots on Tv mode with f2.8 and 1/500sec and came up with similarly underexposed images.
    The image below was only resized. There was no other processing done to the image. Any suggestions for getting the exposure better?
    00UmT9-181459684.jpg
     
  2. Your image is underexposed because the ISO is too low for the shutter speed and aperture you have selected. You can increase the ISO and/or lower the shutter speed to correct the problem.
     
  3. The bright white scene of the ice and boards is causing the exposure system in your camera to stop down the shutter speed too much. You are probably 1.5 to 2x underexposed. 1/400 and 1/500 are likely the slowest shutter speeds you are going to want to use and since you are already wideopen at f2.8 your only option is to set a higher ISO. You will need at least ISO 800 and likely more like ISO 1600. You may have to use manual exposure mode or you can dial in overexposure in one of the auto modes. Check your histogram on the rear LCD to evaluate how you are making out.
     
  4. Thanks for the advice. That might be the trick (fast ISO). I was afraid if I set the ISO up much more that the images would get grainy.
    I dug through my images and found this one that I took at the following settings (Tv mode):
    f2.8
    1/500
    ISO 800
    Exposure bias 0step
    metering mode Pattern
    white balance = auto
    I was a split second late on the shot so the main subject is partially covered by the red jerseyed skater in the foreground, but other than that the color looks better. Being a complete amateur I'm pleased with the results for the first time out with this lens but still the colors don't "pop" like I had hoped.
    00UmTr-181469684.jpg
     
  5. rnt

    rnt

    If the lighting was truly fluorescent you may run into trouble with shutter speeds faster than 1/125 of a second or so (1/60 is better). Fluorescent lights flicker at 120hz and depending on the point in the flicker cycle youmake the exposure you might find your shot underexposed, color shifted or both.
    I understand the problems these slow shutter speeds cause for sports shooting. Panning will help but otherwise... Sorry.
     
  6. You should have no problems with noise at ISO 1600 with the XS. It's really quite good.
     
  7. Get it off TV. Use a manual setting as the ice messes with the exposure modes. Look at the histogram and you will see that you are at least 1 stop underexposed. The exposure metering is attempting to get a 18% gray exposure. If you want to use TV set it for +1 exposure or more and check exposure from there. You could also look into doing some off camera flash if you have 2 or more hotshoe flashes. You can even use monolights bounced off ceiling if you have them.
    00UmVW-181489584.jpg
     
  8. Here is what you get by just sliding the right slider to left and lining it up with the shown pixels.
    00UmVh-181491684.jpg
     
  9. Bump up the ISO. The Rebel should still give you pretty good shots. Keep shutter spd at 1/500 - you need that speed for hockey, and the f2.8 gives you nce blur in the background.
    deal with the grain, that does develop, in PP. You need to get brighter (better exposed) images to start with.
    I've got the Nikon D300 and D300s bodies and can't wait to start shooting HS ice hockey again. Well, not that overly anxious, as it's cold and lighting sucks, but the grain is much lower than in the D70S I had been using.
    So bump up that ISO and see what you get at 800, 1000 and 1250. Don't 'guess' that it will be lousy!
     
  10. Ben,
    That's exactly what I did for all of the pictures. They brightened up nicely by adjusting the levels in Pshop. That being said, I'd like to start with brighter images in the first place.
    I'll try shooting some more shots this weekend with the ISO set to at least 800 and see what I get.
    Thanks for the advice everyone. Looks like I'm on the right track. Just need more practice.
     
  11. How big are your prints, Scott?
     
  12. Original size off the camera is 3888x2592
     
  13. Scott,
    I asked how big you print these images, not the original pixel dimensions.
     
  14. Oh, duh. I should have read more closely.
    Much of the work I do is for our website or I hand off the files to parents for them to print game pictures of their kid. Occasionally I'll print off an 8x10 of my son or members from his team or make team posters as gifts for the season.
    Most of the hockey photography is just for fun since I'm at the rink already watching my son play so I'll hop over to any of the other 2 rinks and snap pictures of whoever is on the ice. Separate from that I do freelance web design work when I'm not teaching high school info tech classes.
     
  15. Try shooting wide open at 1/125 or 1/160 maximum shutter speeds. This will give you the nicest colors (you won't have issues with the lights), lowest noise (due to lower ISO) and perhaps more interesting shots (as you will see a bit of motion blur).
     
  16. I can do that for the mite, and maybe even the squirt level but when I shoot with that low of a shutter speed for Peewee level and up there is too much blur even when I try to pan while shooting (which I'm still not very good at). And at the HS level forget about it unless I'm shooting a face off before the ref drops the puck.
    I'll try this weekend shooting some shots at 1/500 and ISO 800 and see what I get.
    Thanks again to all of you for your suggestions.
    BTW, Elliot - I looked at some of your work in your gallery. Very nice work. Hopefully some day I'll be able to catch shots like that. :) Were those surfing shots taken at Hunting Beach? I was in Cali this past summer and that pier looks familiar.
     
  17. Scott, I shoot adult hockey all the time at the slower shutter speeds and get great results most of the time. Give it a try - Perhaps start with slightly faster speeds like 1/160 or 1/200 until you get more comfortable.
    The surf shots were taken in Deerfield Beach, Florida (Fort Lauderdale area).
    00UncO-182023584.jpg
     
  18. Make sure you "expose to the right" Make the camera "think" it is overexposing by at least a stop and that will get you better in the ball park for a better exposure.
     
  19. Elliot Bernstein... Those shutter speeds are not fast enough to freeze the action. You example above shows motion blur on the goalies legs.
     
  20. Ben your are correct. that is the whole point of shooting at slower shutter speeds. Scott's comments were that there is too much blur shooting adult hockey. Some people prefer to freeze the action. I prefer to emphasize it. It is up to the photographer to choose.
     
  21. The blur is an interesting effect, but I didn't spend the money on an f2.8 lens to get blur. I could do that with the stock lens that came with my canon XS body. What I want is shots where the main subject is crystal clear and frozen in time. If the action around them is blurred (ie the puck flying off the players stick, or another player moving in the foreground or background) all the better. My problem was the underexposure problem but I think we have a handle on that. I'll find out when I take some pictures this weekend.
    Again, not that I don't appreciate the motion blur look that can be acheived with a slower shutter, I just want the "frozen" shots. Being that i'm pretty much the definition of amateur photographer, I've got too many blurry shots from last season already! :)
     
  22. When camera set on manual I don't believe the metering is doing anything to change camera settings. Someone said something getting off manual because mettering is working on the white ice. Well, it isn't! With constant(generally speaking - in a building, manual works fine and is less that the cameras computer has to do. I use center area for metering when not on manual. You mentioned some areas of ice are dimmer than others. You may have to apply PS adjustments as noted above to those images, but big deal, the other 300 shoould be pretty good. They all may need some brightening or color 'pop' added later. Things like that and WB adjustments can be done as a batch process in PS. Just get it going and grab another cup of coffee!!
    Steve
     
  23. This was taken at a semi pro game in Las Vegas with a 20D and a sigma 120-300 f2.8.
    00UpC2-182919584.jpg
     
  24. I'd probably have missed that shot screaming, get the PUCK, get the puck!!!!
    :)
     
  25. The shot went right between his legs for the score
     
  26. Did you see the video on yahoo sports of the recent Washington Capitals game where a player shot the puck the length of the ice without really much speed on it and it skipped just before the goalie and went over his shoulder and in? It looked like he was trying to pass it to another player at center ice but it went the full length. The goalie looked like he was just going to casually stop the puck and sweep it away and it went over his shoulder and in. I'm not a Capitals fan by any means, but it was hilarious.
     
  27. Just got back from shooting a couple of squirt games. 1600 ISO did the trick. The levels came out just right. Yes when You zoom in tight they are a hair grainy but printing them at reasonable sizes they look great. I also tried 800 and they end up just a touch underexposed. I can probably lower the shutter speed from 1/400 down a notch and I'd get what I'm looking for at ISO 800. For squirt and peewee hockey 1/320 or 1/250 should be plenty fast enough. Here's a few samples:
    00UpiG-183231784.jpg
     
  28. Another...
    00UpiJ-183231884.jpg
     
  29. Another...
    00UpiN-183233584.jpg
     
  30. Use some sort of support, monopod tripod, something.
    Even though 1/focallength will aid in reduction of camera shake at slower speeds, some motion blurr, focus camera shake will still show. You have to keep the camera steady as possible
    At it's far end 150-200mm the DOF at 2.8 is about 6" at 200mm and 12" at 150mm.
    As you've found out you are pretty limited at most rinks.
    00UrSA-184361684.jpg
     
  31. Another,
    00UrSH-184363584.jpg
     

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