Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Photographing beer league ice hockey

I thought playing ice hockey was humbling -- until, last night, I tried to photograph my friends' upper division game at the Pasadena rink.

Check out the results here. One of the better shots is above and it's not that good.

Yeah, I know. I suck!

I've spent some time reading up on photographing ice hockey today and here are a few things I've learned:

•It may be a good idea to rent a fast telephoto lens. I used my Nikon 70 to 200 mm 4-5.6 telephoto. Too slow. Way too slow. My Nikon 5100 DSLR is perfectly good -- but these cameras are only as good as the lens you put on them.

•At the least I should ditch the lens (or rented a good one) because the autofocus is busted -- and ice hockey is a big-time test of autofocus because of the speed and poor lighting.

•Don't use shutter speeds of less than 1/1,000 second. I was shooting on 1/250th to 1/400th and that was generally no good. I don't think shooting through the glass helped -- may be best to hang out near the bench and be careful you don't bonked with a puck or stick.

Here is a good post on shooting ice hockey. Basic tips: fast lens, high shutter speed, high ISO and find a clean spot in the glass. I'm looking forward to trying again -- God knows the sport is photogenic enough.


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