My first crack at sports photography

This weekend, the Iceplex was hosting youth hockey tournaments. And since I was going to go out to meet Chad Streck, whose in town from Appleton for the tournaments, I decided I should probably bring the camera. I was out there for Chads sons whole game and filled up my 1gig flash card. I shoot in RAW format so that’s only 133 pictures, but I think it’s the first time I’ve ever filled up the card while doing a shoot.

Also, my first 30 or so shots were taken before the game even started while I worked with settings to get the exposure right. It’s also the first time I had the ISO cranked up to 800. With action photography, it’s important to have high shutter speeds to freeze the action and prevent too much blur. In order to get 1/500th second shutter speeds at f2.8 required the ISO800. The higher ISO results in grainier pictures as you will see in the gallery. Since I’ve never dealt with grainy pictures before, I have no software for cleaning them up, such as Noise Ninja.

I quickly realized, that I don’t have the proper glass for this type of photography(at least not yet). The only lens I could really use was my 50/1.8. This is not a great lens. Certainly not a fast focusing lens.

Ok, so of the 130 pictures I took, I only processed 21 of them. None are remarkable, but some are ok.

The experience was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed the game. BTW, Chads sons team won. I hope to invest in some more glass this year as I really want to expand in youth sports photography.

View the photos here.

2 thoughts on “My first crack at sports photography”

  1. Yo! They looked pretty good Chad! Some tips that I’ve learned so far:

    1. Bring a gray card to get a white balance setting. Really easy to make in photoshop. Drop me a line and I’ll send you the file.

    2. Press the shutter a hearbeat BEFORE the anticipated action and then let the Continuous Shutter work through the moment. Oh and pan with the action while you do this. It makes for some really interesting stuff.

    Indoor lighting stuff is hard to shoot but that Ice rink worked well as the ice was bouncing the light around pretty good. Most of my shots in a gym always get a yellowish cast form the floor. But that’s what the gray card if for eh… :-) Definitely some frameable stuff in that lot!

  2. Thanks.

    I do not have a grey card, but have been thinking of adding one to the arsenal. I did some extensive research before I went out and while some did use grey cards for WB most either know the tempurature of the lights, or like what I did, shoot RAW and correct in post processing.

    Most shots were done in AI Servo mode with continuous shutter. The problem is the $70 lens I was using. That sucker just can’t keep up with focus.

    This rink is lit fairly well, most of the research I did before going had me believing I was going to have to shoot at ISO1600 to get the shutter speeds I needed, but I fine at 800 and even messed around with 400 for a little while. But I think 800 produced better exposures.

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