White Balance and exposure settings for shooting indoor Ice Hockey

Discussion in 'Sports' started by f1-fanatic, Oct 27, 2004.

  1. Hello all,

    Funny question with the lock-out and all but I was wondering what the
    exposure and white balance setting would be or how to check them in
    the field for photographing an Ice Hockey game.... Any ideas or

    Norman Perkel
  2. AHL, ECHL, CHL, UHL, SPHL is your answer; to reduce craving :)<BR><BR>Usually a meter tries to make the ice grey; like a snow scene; beach; etc. A tad more exposure helps. With some cheapie digitals I dial in 1/2 to 1 stop + exposure. If too much highlights can be blown. If none; darker uniforms may sink into the shadows. Rinks vary alot in brightness levels; and type of lighting. With film I usually use 1/250 @ F2.8 as a ballpark; with iso 800 print films; ie the 4 layer Fuji products. In some brighter rinks 1/250 at F4 is ok; in some dim amateur rinks the exposure can be low. Some places use only one set of lamps for amateur games. An ancient rink can have bare edison bulbs. <BR><BR>The 4 layer print films help alot with fixed lighting. With digital; one can force the white point after the shoot. <BR><BR>
  3. If you are worried about getting the color right before opening it in Photoshop ,and since you mentioned white ballance, I assume you are talking about a digital camera. With most cameras you can set the color temp.by taking a grey card, and do a white ballance by shooting the card.This will give you the right color temp. in the camera. If you are using a professional camera with a large storage card, I would shoot in Raw and correct the color there.
  4. Thank you both for the help. Yes I am shooting Digital (Canon 10D) and in RAW format. I am some what new. Can you explain the "gray card" and possibly an example of what type I should purchase?
  5. An autoexposure camera aimed at the ice will see "alot of white" usually. The camera will make the exposure "not enough"; it thinks the image is mostly grey. The images you get then will have the ice then as grey. A histogram will show the gap of underexposure. Adding 1/2 tp 1 stop more exposure during a shoot is a starting point for better exposure. If too much; the highlights can be blown on digital. The RAW system allows abit better post processing.
  6. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    If you're shooting in RAW, the white balance setting on the camera is immaterial.
  7. Okay.. I know that everything can (and most likely will) be adjusted while editing in RAW mode. That's understood. However; what I am interested in is understanding how to properly get the settings right in the field. A lot of people mention a "gray" card. Can someone please point me in the right direction here...? Maybe an example?

    Thanks again.
  8. Norman - A gray card is a 18% gray,You can buy them at photo stores or find a medium gray matt board and make your own. I take one that is around 8x10in. and cut it in half. I then gaffers tape the back side so that it will fold and will fit in the back pocket of my photo vest or camera bag. You need to look in your cameras instruction book to find out how you do a light balance. With the cameras I have used you set the camera up ,make like you are taking a exposure of the card,which sets not only the exposure, but the color balance. This will stay the same till you reset the camera,or in some cases turn the camera off.
    With some cameras you can do a white balance the same way.Check under the custom functions if you are using a Canon or Nikon DSLR .Good luck
  9. Thanks Michael.. I really appreciate the help.
  10. Norman; in shooting hockey the greater problem is underexposure; than color balance. The rink surface is mostly white; the meter "thinks" the scene is "grey". Adding 1/2 to 1 stop more exposure is a good starting point; to prevent underexposure. This is the same as shooting a sandy beach; of a snow covered area. A grey card allows one to get a better exposure. In practice with moving players; different lighting and lenses; just dialing in some trial exposure offsets and shooting is very productive. If the "+ overexposure offset" is too much; the digital scene saturates in the white areas. You can look at the exposure histogram of the digital images; to check for too much offset/overexposure. In a static team photo; a grey card is usefull. In a real game; there is so much movement of you and the players; that a + 1/2 to 1 stop offset is a good starting point for experiments. With no offset; a teams dark jerseys tend to to be in the dark shadow; ie noise.

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