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Archive 2013 · Post Processing for Hockey
  
 
JFreeman
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p.1 #1 · Post Processing for Hockey


Hey Guys
Was wondering what most people do in in PP to get there photos to the next level. Normally I will do a levels adjustment and a sharpening. We shoot a lot of hockey tournaments and this forum makes me feel like a pile when I see how good most of the photos are. Normally we do a ton of photos and don't even bother tweaking photos unless someone wants to buy it. But I would sure like to be able to get some of my photos to look like the ones I see on here. And would there be a good batch method? Thanks

Joe



Jan 02, 2013 at 05:01 PM
Kenneth Farver
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p.1 #2 · Post Processing for Hockey


maybe you could post a few so people could see what's lacking.


Jan 02, 2013 at 05:15 PM
JFreeman
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p.1 #3 · Post Processing for Hockey


Here is one I did just now quick.....This is one of the best lit arenas I ever get to shoot in. I will post another that is not as well lit.

1/640 3.2 2000







Jan 02, 2013 at 05:29 PM
JFreeman
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p.1 #4 · Post Processing for Hockey


Here is another in an arena that is not as good.

1/800 2.8 3200








Origianal

  Canon EOS 7D    200mm    f/2.8    1/800s    3200 ISO    0.0 EV  







After a quick PP




Jan 02, 2013 at 05:37 PM
ACNYPhoto
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p.1 #5 · Post Processing for Hockey


I think the original looks better then the one that has some post work done on it...

I'm with you on the tweaking, I only PP the ones I'm going to use... I've started to shoot just a hair on overexposing the ice because I seem to have less white balance problems that way.

I don't shoot hockey professionally, I shoot car racing... But my son plays on a travel team and I've found that I bang on the glass much less with a camera in my hand so I've taken to shooting all the games, lol.



Jan 02, 2013 at 05:56 PM
Hammy
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p.1 #6 · Post Processing for Hockey


Joe,

For your market, you are shooting to sell. There is no time for PP'ing each image.

Of course you're going to see gorgeous images here on the forums, people tend to crop, color correct, sharpen, saturate and generally make their images beautiful for others to oogle over. That is the 'customer' of the forum. Your customer is different.

Yes, you'll have to deal with light cycling, some shots will be loose and some not centered. Ideally cull as many of the OOF shots before downloading (in camera), otherwise, set your camera to the venue and shoot, download, sell.

Parents are NOT worried about:
- horizons
- color
- sharpness
- noise
etc... all the things that we as photographers stress about.

They are interested in... THE SHOT! Something with their child in action. And once they see that, buy it, then you can tweak it and make it slightly better. But if you don't have images in front of customers when they show up at your booth, then you have nothing to sell.

My company started off with gymnastics competitions where ISO3200, f/1.8 @ 1/320th was the norm. This is on state of the art Mark 1 bodies of the time! Noise was off the charts, light cycling like a disco hall and shooting primes leaving the framing to what it was. But parents will buy any to all of their child - because you have to remember that what you have captured, is usually 10x-100x better than what they could!




Jan 02, 2013 at 06:11 PM
danmc
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p.1 #7 · Post Processing for Hockey


I use lightroom and this is my import settings preset, pretty sure camera raw has same options. Overall contrast boost but opens shadows preserves highlights details.
highlights -20
shadows +20
whites +10
Blacks -20
clarity +15
vibrance +15



Jan 02, 2013 at 06:15 PM
JFreeman
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p.1 #8 · Post Processing for Hockey


Thanks guys for all the help. So can anyone help on what I would do to this to take it to the next level? Is it the original image? It seem like both of my 7d's are not as sharp or clear as they were last year.




  Canon EOS 7D    145mm    f/2.8    1/640s    3200 ISO    0.0 EV  




Jan 03, 2013 at 03:01 AM
Jim Clarke
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p.1 #9 · Post Processing for Hockey


I shoot through the glass, so I adjust my contrast and saturation. I also only pp inages I will be using. Nice Images


Jan 03, 2013 at 04:36 AM
Scott Sewell
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p.1 #10 · Post Processing for Hockey


My initial thought when I read the original post was that I've never thought of taking my processing to the "next level." Photography, yes. Processing...it's never crossed my mind. Once I saw the images posted by the OP they pretty much confirmed my initial thoughts. Work on the photography and the processing is secondary. Very secondary.

The goalie shot with the original and cropped versions is a prefect example. IMO, the original is barely sharp enough to process, but the processed version actually makes it worse. I'm not trying to be harsh, but there's just no reason to beat around the bush. Sure, that original can probably be processed to make it a bit better. But focus on making those originals better and taking them to the "next level" is likely going to be a better approach in the long run.

While I agree with what Brian said about people posting their best to share here on the forum, I would venture to guess most pros don't do a lot of processing to those images. And he knows as well as anyone the importance of having originals that work and don't need processing.

I won't speak for anyone else, but my processing is simple. Crop, adjust levels or curves, maybe a bit of dodging or burning, slight sharpening and save it. For web (and sharing here), I resize and apply another bit of sharpening (very slight!) and post 'em up! IMO, if one feels the need to take their processing to the next level, they might want to really focus on taking their photography to the next level first and let the processing take care of itself.



Jan 03, 2013 at 06:39 AM
 

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ACNYPhoto
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p.1 #11 · Post Processing for Hockey


The majority of us are shooting through the glass and I usually go for contrast and clarity bumps to make up for the loss of both from the glass. From there I'm trying to get WB as even as I can across the ice, we all know that the overhead lights can drastically vary in color temp and even exposure from one part of the ice to another not to mention shot to shot.

I've got sequences with my D3s set at the full 9 fps where each shot in the burst is not only a different color but the exposure is different depending on where I catch the lights in the cycle.

My worst rink I shoot in I can get a 1/320 shutter speed at f2.8 and 12,800 ISO. It's an outdoor rink with all the lights on one side and no ceiling to help bounce the light around. PP is really necessary to get nice shots because there is just no light to work with.



Jan 03, 2013 at 03:25 PM
JFreeman
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p.1 #12 · Post Processing for Hockey


Thanks Scott,
I was thinking that as well, It seems like my photos are lacking this year from Last. I can't seem to get the clarity and sharpness. Any thoughts what may cause this? Or any thoughts on what I can do to improve that? I have 2 7d's and a 1d mark3 and use 2 different 70-200 2.8. And just for the record the examples above are in reverse order. The one on top is the processed and the one on the bottom is the original.



Jan 03, 2013 at 05:35 PM
JFreeman
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p.1 #13 · Post Processing for Hockey


Honestly looking back at my pictures from last year, I have a ton of better, sharper clear pictures shot with a 550d and one of the same 70-200's. How is this possible? And at lower ISO in the same arena.


Jan 03, 2013 at 06:12 PM
clarence3
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p.1 #14 · Post Processing for Hockey


JFreeman wrote:
Honestly looking back at my pictures from last year, I have a ton of better, sharper clear pictures shot with a 550d and one of the same 70-200's. How is this possible?


Focus configuration and technique can be more critical than camera and lens.

Are you using AI Servo? Are you manually selecting a specific focus point? Are you continually keeping that focus point on a high contrast part of the subject? Are you using back-button focus? Are you giving the camera and lens enough time to acquire and track the subject?

AFAIK, the Rebel 550d doesn't have many AF CFn's as the other bodies, nor microfocus adjustments. But if you were shooting with a 7D, 1D, or 5D3, that's the next place I would check.



Jan 03, 2013 at 06:33 PM
BillP57
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p.1 #15 · Post Processing for Hockey


I am not a hockey shooter and I have my own struggles with indoor sports. As light bulbs age the light output and color output can change enough to effect exposure and WB. Other things to check would include any filters on the lenses and any in camera processing for noise reduction or sharpness. Personally I avoid in camera processing as I feel I can do it better in post. Also check any camera settings or custom function settings that you may have changed from last year. Some settings may affect your images in ways you hadn't planned. These are just some things to consider that could make a difference in your originals.

Bill



Jan 03, 2013 at 07:05 PM
JFreeman
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p.1 #16 · Post Processing for Hockey


Are you using AI Servo? Are you manually selecting a specific focus point? Are you continually keeping that focus point on a high contrast part of the subject? Are you using back-button focus? Are you giving the camera and lens enough time to acquire and track the subject? AFAIK, the Rebel 550d doesn't have many AF CFn's as the other bodies, nor microfocus adjustments. But if you were shooting with a 7D, 1D, or 5D3, that's the next place I would check.

Al Servo-yes
Focus point- Yes a one spot normally in the middle.

Yes normally I will try to keep it on the face or neck line where the jersey meets the neck

Back button focus-Yes

I feel like it will look in focus through the view finder and then it is either out of focus or soft. Seems like a lot of soft pictures with muddy faces. Don't get me wrong I get some keepers to, but it just seems like there are more muddy face soft photos than ever before. I no longer have 550d.

Thanks for taking time to help.



Jan 03, 2013 at 07:08 PM
clarence3
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p.1 #17 · Post Processing for Hockey


JFreeman wrote:
Honestly looking back at my pictures from last year, I have a ton of better, sharper clear pictures shot with a 550d


JFreeman wrote:
I no longer have 550d.


Ah, I checked the EXIF and saw that these were from your 7D and 1D3.

Your exposure settings seem fine...
1D3, 1/640", f/3.2, ISO 2000, 98mm.
I would probably bump ISO up to 3200 and get SS up a little faster, but I don't think motion blur is the culprit for the soft, dull muddled look.
Instead of AWB, I prefer a fixed kelvin or preset to match the rink lighting.
Was this an extreme crop or was she really close to you?

And then the second one...
7D, 1/800", ISO 3200, f/2.8.
Again, seems very reasonable.

In that case, if you're already using AI Servo, selected focus point, and back button focus, then I'd check microfocus and AF CFn settings.

I agree with Scott... work on getting these better in-camera, not via PP. Are you shooting RAW? Turn off all in-camera NR. Was IS off on your 70-200/2.8L II?



Jan 03, 2013 at 07:28 PM
JFreeman
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p.1 #18 · Post Processing for Hockey


The Picture of her was a crop and was processed.

I shoot Jpg because I shoot hockey tournaments and need to ingest/upload them to the server after games quickly.

I have been looking into my microfocus and what settings would be best for my AF cFn settings?

I do have low noise reduction on inside the camera. I will turn that off.



Jan 03, 2013 at 07:33 PM
rcbarr
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p.1 #19 · Post Processing for Hockey


I thought that RAW files were unaffected by in-camera noise reduction?


Jan 03, 2013 at 07:38 PM
JFreeman
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p.1 #20 · Post Processing for Hockey


My understanding is that is does not, but don't quote me on that.

What are people using for Picture styles in the camera. I am usually 1 below the highest on sharpening and +2/3 on contrast when I am shooting through the glass. The others i leave alone.



Jan 03, 2013 at 10:33 PM
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