Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Second stab at photographing hockey

 In order to help my team recently, I declared myself a healthy scratch for a summer league game and took another stab at photographing the exciting sport of adult recreational hockey. Here's the gallery.

I wouldn't call the latest batch epic, but they're better and crisper than my previous attempt. The big difference was that I boosted the ISO to 3200 in order to shoot faster shutter speeds. Most of the shots were taken between 1/500th and 1/1000th shutter speed. Some of the photos still had a lot of noise -- because of the high ISO -- but I also shot in RAW and the RAW editing tool in Photoshop Elements helped pull the noise down to manageable levels.

That was important because I heavily cropped some of the photos to better focus on the action. Shooting through the glass is still a pain in the ass and I need a much, much better telephoto lens than the cheapo one that came with my Nikon D5000 (I drowned that one so now I'm shooing with a D5100). The lens got a soaking in the same kayak accident, which came just six months after the lens survived a sandstorm on the Kelso Dunes of the Mojave National Preserve. Sometimes it focused and sometimes it didn't.

The obvious remedy is to spend $2,000 on a really fast telephoto, but that would cut into the money I need to pay league fees, pickup fees, adult clinic fees and stick time fees each week. While on my smugmug site, feel free to lurk around and look at my NatureBoy photos; I highly encourage you to spend hundreds of your hard-earned dollars on prints. The last couple batches from the Sierra this summer turned out well: Kearsage Pass and Big Pine Lakes.

The sun sets over Fourth Lake in the Big Pine Lakes basin of the John Muir Wilderness.


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