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Archive 2013 · Hockey Photography Tips
  
 
Ben Amato
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Hockey Photography Tips


What tips might you pass along that has helped your hockey photography? These might include white balancing, shooting thru glass, shooting locations, lenses, tips on shooting the goalie, products for cleaning the glass, etc. I know I could use some help and Iím sure others can too. Thanks!

Ben



Jan 08, 2013 at 07:45 PM
Caleb Williams
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Hockey Photography Tips


For TTG, I like some time of gobo (maybe a rubber lens hood) to cut down on reflections of what's behind the glass. In my case because that the reflections nearly always white and really mess up the exposure. For the goal, I find that shooting above the glass or if there is a photo area in between the benches is best. I've never been to rink with photo holes (maybe one day), but I don't like those angles.

For cleaning glass, good luck. I've always used my shirt sleeve. I find the back side of the glass is just gunk, but the front size is usually plastic/rubbers bits from the puck and then ice and water from checking on boards.

---

EDIT: If you're shooting in the area (not behind glass or up top), bring a helmet. BMZ/Military-style helmets:

http://www.evanscycles.com/product_image/image/7d9/bcb/9eb/35999/product_page/tsg-evolution-bmx-helmet.jpg



Jan 08, 2013 at 11:51 PM
ACNYPhoto
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Hockey Photography Tips


Expose to the right, as far right as you can without over exposing, especially if your shooting with available lighting.

Using a slow shutter speed you can white balance off the dirty ice and be pretty close for the majority of the photos.

I find that almost clipping the ice to white also helps when you have lights that cycle badly, the mismatched color temps don't show up as much.

If you can shoot over or from the bench with no glass in the way it's always the best. If you have to shoot through the glass you'll find glass many times that isn't easily cleanable and you just have to do the best with what you have.

I don't use a lens hood when shooting through the glass, I use my hand over the top of the lens to help block glare. I started making a rubber lens hood but never finished it.

Get used to a sequence of shots being a different color and exposure under the lights in many rinks, it is what it is...



Jan 09, 2013 at 12:07 AM
Ben Amato
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Hockey Photography Tips


Caleb: I have gotten some rubber lens hoods too. Seems to help. I also purchased a lenskirt which looked sweet to block reflections but it makes it tough to use to bodies. I haven't been given permission from the college to shoot from the benches so no need for a helmet quite yet but thanks for the tips.

ACNY: I agree about exposure. I am shooting available light but fortunately it's fluorescent (big help). Wish I could get permission to shoot from the bench but no luck so far.

I typically get to the game a couple hours early if I want to clean glass, so I know I will have some time before teams want on the ice. I have been using glass cleaner, magic eraser and razor blade to clean up the spots I want to shoot from. Seems to work alright but it does take some time.

Ben



Jan 09, 2013 at 12:42 PM
Rick Denham
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Hockey Photography Tips


two ways to clean the glass.
1. ask the rink rats and bribe them with something...prints, food, alcohol. tell them where you are shooting from so they can give that piece a good scrub. They have stuff that will take anything off of it, just need to ask and maintain.
2. magic erasers + automotive windshield bug remover + paper towels + clean glass.

MOST IMPORTANT TIP - Shoot straight, editors despise horizons that are off

As for basic tips on shooting. Look at how and where everyone else shoots, go shoot there for a period. During the second period go wonder, shoot from places you don't see others shooting from. grab crowd shots, detail shots, wide angle shots, anything above and beyond the norm. Third period, go sit at the end with the goalie who's team is winning, he'll have the most pressure on him during the third period, especially if its a close game.

white balance, you said you're there early, so during warm up grab a shot of white off the players jersey when he's relaxing at the bench. To be honest though, 7 years of shooting hockey and not once have I ever set a custom wb.

most important though, and I touched on this earlier, if you want to stand out from the crowd then you need to stand away from the crowd.

Hers's a few of my shots that i try to get original with, stuff most people don't shoot.



















Yes, I know, I have an issue for b+w hockey...I don't know why I just love it.
When I shoot hockey, I get the action shots, it's dead easy at 12fps. It's the shit away from the game that people notice. When i shoot, I almost bring my wedding mentality to the game, look for the details, the things that people want to remember.

Just have fun though, its a day out with your camera.



Jan 09, 2013 at 01:49 PM
 

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Ben Amato
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Hockey Photography Tips


Wow! Thanks Rick. Some really good stuff. Love your b&w's, I always watch for your posts. Gonna get me a can of bug remover too! Thanks again, much appreciated!

Ben



Jan 09, 2013 at 07:23 PM
6kimages
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Hockey Photography Tips


Like your work! CWHL is a good league those ladies can play!


Jan 12, 2013 at 01:04 PM
ggreene
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Hockey Photography Tips


If you are not on deadline try shooting in RAW. I have a LR preset that locks in temp and tint for each rink I go to. It also lowers the whites some as I usually shoot to the right and the ice will inevitably be hot.

I shoot through the glass almost 90% of the time as it just gives you better access to faces. It also will allow you to get the players with fans in the background. Media Relations likes photos of athletes where it looks like the arena is full. On sparsely attended games I'll look for angles where I can put a pocket of fans behind the player.

Look for different shooting positions. 5 or 6 photographers all in the same spot will mostly get the same type of shots. I'll try to get a baseline of offensive shots in the first period and am usually with other photographers. After that I'm all over the place looking for something diffferent.





Jan 12, 2013 at 02:30 PM
capitalK
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Hockey Photography Tips


I have different approaches depending on why I am shooting a game. If I am shooting for editorial stock (used when player gets traded, player gets injured, arrested, dropped, drafted, etc) then my focus is less on the action and more on isolating the players.





If I am shooting for a newspaper, unless they have a specific request for a player, the emphasis is always on last night's battle between the two teams. I have filed shots of goals on net, player celebrations, etc but 9/10 times what gets used is a shot of one player smashing into another in the corners so I always make sure I get that shot and if I am able I will try and get one shot with the home team player doing the body check and one with the away team doing it.





The last approach is attempting what Rick does so well, telling the story of the game. I'm just trying to get my head around that aspect now. For me it tends to be shooting very tight or very wide with an emphasis on capturing emotion or trying to get inside the head of the athlete or fans.











I am almost always shooting through the glass, very rarely to I go up into the stands unless I am shooting wide crowd shots. I might do some player shots from above for some variety, but only after I have gotten good faces from ice level. Shooting from above is good for capturing goals and celebrations (and fights) because you can see everything but I don't like the backgrounds. The most important thing I have learned is when to let things go. Yes you can see everything from above but it doesn't mean it is the best shot. Just because there is a fight in the far corner doesn't mean I have to shoot it. It is better to wait for the action to come to me when I am at ice level than to shoot things that are too far away.

I still have a lot to work on but I do feel that things are improving over last season and the season before, etc. I looked at some shots I took in 2008 and there is a definite marked improvement.




Jan 12, 2013 at 07:31 PM
jamez
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Hockey Photography Tips


Rick Denham wrote:
two ways to clean the glass.
1. ask the rink rats and bribe them with something...prints, food, alcohol. tell them where you are shooting from so they can give that piece a good scrub. They have stuff that will take anything off of it, just need to ask and maintain.
2. magic erasers + automotive windshield bug remover + paper towels + clean glass.

MOST IMPORTANT TIP - Shoot straight, editors despise horizons that are off

As for basic tips on shooting. Look at how and where everyone else shoots, go shoot there for a period. During the second period go wonder, shoot
...Show more

All excellent advice and the reason I gave Rick a call...



Jan 16, 2013 at 07:20 PM





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