Thursday, September 07, 2006

Sports Photography

Sports photography is not something I get too excite about although it is fun to do once in awhile.


The weather for the first football (soccer) match I photographed was cloudy and cold but I manage to get a couple "acceptable" shots. The lack of keepers was not the fault of my Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM but the fact that I was still learning how to use my camera at this time. Consider this photo,


with the follow properties:

Exposure: 1/800 sec,
Aperture: f/3.2,
Focal Length: 93 mm,
ISO Speed: 200, and
Exposure Program: Shutter priority.

If you view the larger version of the photo you will see it is a littled blurred. Looking back to freeze the action I should have up the ISO to 400 to gain a stop of shutter speed. Don't be afraid to up the ISO, a noisy sharp photo is better than a blurred photo.

Since my first attempt I have photographed several more games including a Canada vs. US men's under 20 game (on the left).

Friendly shirt grab


For my first hockey game shoot I attended the Golden Gaels (Queen's University) vs The Stingers (Concordia) at Jock Harty Arena in December 2005.

Big save

To photograph a hockey game you have to deal with fact action and
poor overhead lighting on a white surface. The white ice surface can confuse the cameras metering even on partial meter. This is why you should use manual and not Tv or Av. According to the camera the above shot was 1.5 stops over exposed, I think not. When the metering is not reliable take a couple shots and use your histogram to pick the right settings. For most shots I set the camera to manual, ISO 1600, shutter speed 1000 and wide open f2.8.

Friendly conversation

Perhaps, the hardest part was getting the timing of the play right. This is an impossible task if you are zoomed in and looking through the viewfinder. So while the play is not around the net or area of
interest, focus your camera there. Then holding the camera in place, stop looking through the viewfinder and watch the play normally. If you are watching the overall play you have a better chance at knowing when to hit the shutter. A tripod or monopod might help here if there is room to use it. Anyway it was a bit like shooting with a digi-cam again.

For more photos look at hockey.


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