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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Sports Talk 
Thread started 24 Oct 2011 (Monday) 11:56
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First Experience with Ice Hockey and Canon 70-200 f2.8 mkII

 
General_T
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Oct 24, 2011 11:56 |  #1

Hi,

First off - I am very new to photograpy (5DmkII is my 1st DSLR - although I did have a 7D for about a month - then returned for a 5D) and really don't know what I am doing - thank G-d these cameras are forgiving!! But I do want to learn.

I am this years volunteer for team photos for my childs hockey team (Novice A). They were having their first out-of-town tournament this past weekend and I decided I would rent the 70-200mm and try it out. I thought I would share my experience.

1. Overall Appearance - I was expecting the lens to be white. Its kind of a light beige, would have preferred white. The weight is fine, I hand held the lens for the 4 games and it wasn't an issue - I am only 130lbs so if I can manageit, I'm sure anyone can.

2. Ease of Use - Couldn't be simpler. Fast AF and clear pictures - well if you exclude user error! There is a "thingy - hope I'm not getting too technical:lol:" on the lens (some sort of ring) that is ideal for supporting the lens while shooting.

3. Focal Range - Here I was a bit surprised. I was expecting the 70-200 range to be perfect for ice hockey. I situated myself in the penalty box - so for all intensive purposes at center ice. But I found that the reach at 200mm wasn't enough for the far corners. I had to crop a number of pics to get them to the size I wanted. I am thinking a 70-300mm would be optimum - or using a 7D with the 1.6x crop factor. I noticed there was an "official photographer in the adjacent penalty box using the same lens on a 7D - now I know why:D

4. White Balance - Initially started off with the AWB which wasn't working well so I switched over to "flourescent lighting". This kinda sucked as well so I opted for custom WB and shot a pic of the ice for that. This worked ideally. Although, I will take others advise though and next time shoot the exposures about 2/3 of a stop to the right even with the custom WB because they still are a bit dark. I wonder if shooting a grey card - which I don't have - would get the exposure closer?

5. Getting the right Shot - This was challenging. Getting a shot of an individual player is pretty easy - but trying to get those shots of player interaction and emotion was challenging. I can now appreciate the difficulty in getting that "perfect" shot.

6. Number of Pics - I think I got lucky here. I only have a 16 gig CF and only shooting RAW. So I ended up shooting around 1000 pics over the 4 games ( about 250/game) before the card was full. Is that about the norm? Or is there a norm? Of those 1000 pics I ended up saving about 200 as "Keepers", not that the others were bad - they just weren't worthy of filling up HD space.

Here are a couple of shots FWIW. I enjoyed doing this for the players and their parents and will hopefully get the opportunity to do it again at their next tournament (in NY state I believe).

Please note that for some reason they show up dark on Flickr?

IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6107/6274346127_f41b38aa54_b.jpg
IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6103/6274886920_f2582c618d_b.jpg

Canon 5D Mk III | 24-105 F4 L IS USM | 100 F2.8 L Macro IS USM | 70-200 MK II F2.8 L IS USM|580 EX II

  
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HeaTransfer
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Oct 25, 2011 01:49 |  #2

Since you have the flexibility to move, do so. I don't know if your rink has glass cutouts in the corners like NHL arenas do, but the corners are a good spot to get shots of action near the net or goalie shots. Here, the 70-200 should be fine. When shooting sports you'll probably want to crop a fair bit anyways - there is often plenty of extraneous junk in the frame.

As to white balance, it looks OK. However, your shots are underexposed - what exposure mode were you shooting in? All the white on the ice will fool a camera's meter into underexposing the scene.

cheers and keep shooting!




  
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JeffreyG
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Oct 25, 2011 05:34 |  #3

Once you get past the basics of selecting the gear you need, getting a proper exposure and such, you get to the meat of sports shooting.

The biggest challenges are to identify the shots you want to take, place yourself in the best position for those shots and anticipate the action so that you capture them.

I don't know how limiting the glass is at your arena, but shooting between the blue lines is going to be one of the dullest spots. If there is any way to shoot from the corners or ends, do so. At a youth level you may get some checking bringing the puck over, at higher levels only about 2% of the game is played between the blue lines.....maybe 3% for a trapping team.

If you come watch the Detroit Red Wings play, you will note that they have a small window in the glass in all four corners of the arena. The working photographers all shoot from these locations and never from the team bench areas or penalty boxes.


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Drewc2010
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Oct 25, 2011 08:46 |  #4

These are great for your first time and I think the lens was a good choice, better on a crop body, but a 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 isn't going to be ideal as it has a variable aperature (ask me how I know =P)

The photo's are underexposed and could be brought up in post but the noise would start to come out. I would expose just a little longer next time but don't go below probably 1/320 1/400 in order to stop motion but expose a bit more proper.

Also watch those horizons =]


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General_T
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Oct 25, 2011 11:39 |  #5

HeaTransfer wrote in post #13302231 (external link)
As to white balance, it looks OK. However, your shots are underexposed - what exposure mode were you shooting in? All the white on the ice will fool a camera's meter into underexposing the scene.

I was in manual using a custom WB from a pic of the ice. I guess I will set the exposure +2/3 stop in the future from what is metered as "correct exposure"


Canon 5D Mk III | 24-105 F4 L IS USM | 100 F2.8 L Macro IS USM | 70-200 MK II F2.8 L IS USM|580 EX II

  
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General_T
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Oct 25, 2011 11:41 |  #6

JeffreyG wrote in post #13302667 (external link)
I don't know how limiting the glass is at your arena, but shooting between the blue lines is going to be one of the dullest spots. If there is any way to shoot from the corners or ends, do so. At a youth level you may get some checking bringing the puck over, at higher levels only about 2% of the game is played between the blue lines.....maybe 3% for a trapping team.

Hi,

Only one arena had the corner cut out option. At the others I would have to shoot through the glass - which isn't great as you know.

Thanks


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toadhunter911
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Oct 27, 2011 19:42 |  #7

General_T wrote in post #13303995 (external link)
Hi,

Only one arena had the corner cut out option. At the others I would have to shoot through the glass - which isn't great as you know.

Thanks

Disagree completely. No access holes, thru dirty glass...

IMAGE: http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5214/5484383576_2b85454e70_z.jpg
Whalers-Knights 02-26-2011 006 (1)a_filtered (external link) by toadhunter911 (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5259/5484387254_aa1897717e_z.jpg
Whalers-Knights 02-26-2011 037 (1)a_filtered (external link) by toadhunter911 (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5299/5544944328_d6b9aec62b_z.jpg
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HockeyFan
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Nov 03, 2011 15:12 as a reply to  @ toadhunter911's post |  #8

I'll put in my two cents, although I've already found out that some people are critical of what I do and how I do it.

I show up to the rink early. Talk with management. See if they will let you get out on the ice (not right after they zam the ice, because the ice will be wet; you can't walk on wet ice very well); and clean the glass from the ice side before the game. I usually clean the glass if I can. It can take some serious rubbing to get it and in most rinks, the glass will be barely useable even after cleaning.
I'd also check just in case you're the only photographer, because sometimes rink management will let you photograph from the penalty box/scorekeeper area. Some rinks have this area with no glass in front of it. You have to watch for swinging sticks and flying pucks, but it's a great place to shoot from.
In some rinks, I shoot from the penalty box, but there's glass in front of it, so I stand up onto of the boards and shoot over the glass. If I ever want to preview what I've just shot, I always duck down below the glass to do that (to avoid sticks and pucks).
If one penalty box gets crowded, I walk over to the other.
If they don't have penalty box attendants for the game, sometimes if you offer to run one of the penalty boxes, they'll let you shoot from there just so you'll be there to open the door for players when it's time for them to return to the ice.

Being there early, I try to make myself a custom white balance to use for getting good colors during the game. I use an Expocard (an early version of the Expodisc, but there are other white balance tools to use) and shoot through that at one of the light sources. This gives me a good neutral gray that I use for my custom white balance. It works a whole lot better that AWB.
I'll add that because of the refresh rate of some of the lamps, to get my reference shot, I usually set the ISO is low as it will go, so that I can take the shot with a shutter speed of 1/30 or so. This allows the camera to get a good view of all the colors in the light, and a better white balance reference. Once I have that, I set the ISO up to 1600 (that max for my camera).
For rink lighting (and rinks vary), I shoot with the aperture wide open and a shutter speed of 1/200th or so.
If I'm shooting in an arena where the light is much better, I'll shoot at 1/500th of a second and usually that allows me an aperture of f/4 or so, which gives me a little more depth of field than f/2.8.

I wish I could think of more pointers, but this is what I do and I get decent results.


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EmaginePixel
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Nov 08, 2011 08:43 |  #9

Thanks for the tips HockeyFan... Although I will be shooting some roller hockey, I'll note your advice.


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F14fanatic
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Nov 13, 2011 11:24 |  #10

HockeyFan wrote in post #13349156 (external link)
I
I'll add that because of the refresh rate of some of the lamps, to get my reference shot, I usually set the ISO is low as it will go, so that I can take the shot with a shutter speed of 1/30 or so. This allows the camera to get a good view of all the colors in the light, and a better white balance reference.

Use this method but take a photo of the ice after it has been skated on, usually just before the Zamboni does its thing




  
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king ­ grant
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Dec 18, 2011 14:51 |  #11

I may be mistaken so somebody correct me if im wrong but i think the reason your custom white balance off the ice caused your under exposure because there is a different light intensity on the ice then there is from the area say 4 feet above the ice. Next time try setting your white balance from something white set where the players will be exposed. The back of a business card usually does pretty well and a clothes pin and your tripod can help support it. The shots you posted look pretty good though. You can't really expect the greatest action from youths in hockey but you seemed to find some moments that had interest in them. Good Job.


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HockeyFan
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Dec 18, 2011 15:00 as a reply to  @ king grant's post |  #12

I use something like an Expodisc and shoot through it, up at one of the light sources. That has given me the best custom white balance at hockey games. I will say that if shooting in RAW, you have plenty of flexibility to correct white balance and exposure in post processing.
Something like Lightroom or Photoshop where you can set up adjustments in batch, would be the thing to do.
For several years, I did batch adjustments using DIgital Photo Professional (from Canon; comes with DSLR).


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Mar 03, 2012 21:03 as a reply to  @ HockeyFan's post |  #13

Custom white balance doesn't help for long because the ice changes color and gets whiter the more it's skated on. My settings are:

7d
1/500
70-200 IS ii @ 2.8
Iso 1600
Ai servo
High speed burst
Exposure compensation +2/3

Hope that helps,

Jeff


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Mar 06, 2012 11:59 |  #14

great stuff toad


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jaggman
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Mar 06, 2012 17:33 |  #15

I never could balance those white spots. It does take a lot of work but you have some great shots anyways.


Jaggman

  
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First Experience with Ice Hockey and Canon 70-200 f2.8 mkII
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