Alveric wrote in post #18199326
Personally I think you want to leave the ambient exposure at the level it is, for several reasons:
- Darker ambient brings out the subjects more: the photo isn't about the rink, but the team.
- The ambient's light colour is a terrible green, and the more you bring it up the more it will contaminate your subject's hues and you'll end up in colour-cast correction hell.
- With the ice providing natural and neutral fill light, you don't need the ambient as fill. Again, if you bring the ambient up, you'll contaminate your fill source as well.
Picture's lighting is mostly fine as it is, with only the back row being a bit underexposed. Don't be taken by the HDRI mindset that every detail must show. Embrace shadows and it'll go well with you and your photos.
As a person that shoots in arenas quit a bit, I want to first agree with some things but also disagree (and I accept there are different opinions so it isn't personal). Lets start with what I agree with - i.e embrace shadow. As a photographer, I couldn't agree more - shadows are most often what creates a great portrait. That said, this is a sports team portrait and while I actually love black and white artistic type hockey pictures and have delivered many of them to parents who love them, more light / brighter is what hockey parents want. There is something about an arena that the mind sees different when you are in one that doesn't photograph well from the perception of those that live in hockey arenas watching their kids play - ie. parents, kids and coaches have in their mind a brighter / whiter arena - which when you see what a DSLR in automatic mode does to the picture you think - 'god - it isn't this yellow, dark, ugly is it?' - and that is why, from experience, upping the exposure (significantly) makes the overall picture look more like what people in arenas know it to be. If you look at the ice and the walls behind the flashed team, it appears brown - that isn't how people know hockey arenas to be. I will say that if you crop the image much tighter it will be better. But also, given the flash distance from the players and coaches, it creates a hard light (again I'm not debating in portraits if this is a good or bad thing) but bringing up the ambient (with a gelled flash in this case doing a decent job of matching the ambient colour) would make for a better overall picture - in my opinion.
To the poster, if you crop the image tighter, I think it would be better.
Hockey and wedding photographer. Favourite camera / lens combos: a 1DX II with a Tamron 45 1.8 VC, an A7Rii with a Canon 24-70F2.8L II, and a 5DSR with a Tamron 85 1.8 VC. Every lens I own I strongly recommend [Canon (35Lii, 100L Macro, 24-70F2.8ii, 70-200F2.8ii, 100-400Lii), Tamron (45 1.8, 85 1.8), Sigma 24-105]. If there are better lenses out there let me know because I haven't found them.