Here's my two cents, hope some of it helps.
Mtjtc4 wrote in post #16554296
All the pictures were taken with a Canon 30D (yes I know that is my first problem)
Nonsense. 30D is a nice camera. I used one for years and loved it. Took great shots with it. High ISOs are a bit noisier than newer models, but this will work fine. Are there better? Sure, but it's a poor carpenter who blames his hammer and saw.
using a Sigma 70-200 2.8mm lens.
Don't know it, but have read many on here who love it and have seen many examples of it in use in these sports threads.
They were shot on RAW Manual setting (ISO: 800, EXP 1/1000), also used custom white balance by taking a picture of the ice before they cleaned it.
You don't need 1/1000 s/s. Hockey is fast but 1/640, maybe 1/500 will stop the action. For little kids you can even get away with 1/400. Forget that it's hockey in a dark barn for a minute, and ask yourself a photographic question - my subject is moving, how fast a s/s do I need to freeze it? Then set your camera up to use that s/s giving yourself as low an ISO as possible. It will likely get you to f2.8, which is fine. You may see some loss of sharpness on surrounding players not on the same plane as the subject at f2.8 due to the short dof. There's always a trade off.
You have one shot of a player standing still at a face off - shot at 1/1000. Not necessary. If you want shots like this, 1/200 or maybe 1/160 will work. Any slower and you get long lens shake issues. You have all kinds of possibilities for these shots. It's not hard to freeze a player that isn't moving.
Use center point focus & Ai Servo. Learn to use back button focus. On the 30D, it's a custom setting. It may help you focus faster.
I was positioned either above the glass or with the safety net pulled against the lens hood. None of them were shot through the glass.
Can you get lower? The best looking shots are from just above the boards. Look where the pros shoot from - photo holes in rinks that are about a foot above the top of the boards. Chances are your rinks don't have photo holes, but can you get in the penalty box? or on the bench? Depending on the quality level of the hockey, many coaches don't mind. If not, ask the coach if you can shoot a practice from the bench. That way it can be practice for you too as you find settings with which you can get comfortable.
You may have to go through the glass (ttg). Bring a rag to wipe it off. There are areas on the glass that are cleaner than others like on the sides just before the curves and about 0-8 inches up from the dasher. Behind the net is the worst - zillions of puck marks. I have taken and have seen posted on here from others, many shots ttg that are very nice.
If you do go ttg, keep the lens hood on and pressed up against the glass to reduce and hopefully eliminate glare.
I used Canon's program that the camera came with to somewhat brighten them up and fool with the color. Used Picasa to crop and then ran the images through "Neat Image" to try and fix the noise. I know the images are slightly out of focus, don't know if its the old camera or operator error.
Sorry don't know this program. I use CS6 after years of Elements.
They're too dark. Oof never makes the cut in my opinion - straight to trash. Keep horizons level. Sometimes you can get fooled by the curves of the boards - but remember verticals are always vertical. And there's lots of them in a rink - glass separators, board cuts at doors etc.
For your CWB shot of the 'dirty' ice - take it at 1/60 s/s. Use the Tv setting in the camera. At this speed you won't catch a light cycle to tint what is supposed to be a white shot.
Photoshop Elements is a great program - you can pick one up for about 60 bucks on Amazon. Try it or Lightroom. ( I don't know LR that well, but it seems about a third of the members on here have it) . You'll notice a big difference.
My question with these is when shooting hockey, and putting the images through post processing how much brightening is acceptable before the picture is too blown out. Also area these cropped too much, is it ok to have more open space in the image. Feel free to rip these images apart. I can and want all the critiques and suggestions that I can get.
Don't blow out the ice. If you can't see markings on the ice, like paint and skate markings, you're too hot and you need to reduce your highlights. Sometimes lightening shadows and bumping saturation helps after a reduction in highlights. You're shooting RAW, so you have all kinds of latitude.
Long focal lengths, high ISO and heavy crops make for a noisy image you're sure to dislike. As with any shot, if your subject is moving in a direction, you have to give it somewhere to go. Your third shot is a bit wide, there's lots of room to move, but if you crop back to just get his whole stick in the frame, the space between his body and the edge of the frame should be sufficient.
Shoot tight and crop tighter is a rule of sports. Hard to follow sometimes with hockey if you want all of the stick and puck because the stick extends from the body 5 feet.
Face-puck-net is the trifecta. 2 of the 3 are usually needed in a decent image.
Last question regarding my camera...I am only a hobbyist and shoot for my sons HS hockey team and take pictures of my daughters gymnastics and dance. I cant afford the dream cameras (1Dx or 5DMIII) but don't really know which of the next three would best suit taking pictures of these low light, no flash allowed high action shots. I know I wont get the shots that the 1Dx or the 5D would give me but the next best is better than what I am getting from the 30D. Sorry for the long thread, but I am getting frustrated with every aspect of doing what I love
As I said, I loved my 30D. After about 150K images, the shutter went wonky. I upgraded to a 7D. Much better at higher ISOs. Individual back-button focus, faster tracking, reasonable price. A 1Dx would be nice, but the price is steep.
Most of all - practice a lot, change your settings, change your shooting position, change from landscape to portrait...no two rinks are the same. Often the light changes from one side of the rink to the end. Just keep shooting to see what works best.
Go to NHL.com and look through their galleries. See what the pros see.