Shooting Ice Hockey Tips

  • By Vien
  • 4 January, 2015
  • Comments Off on Shooting Ice Hockey Tips

First of all, Happy New Year!  Hope you had a great year.  A lot of you should know by now that I love to play ice hockey every chance I get.  If I’m not playing, I’m running around the rink with a camera shooting the sport.  You probably seen me around, the guy with a big lens on his camera.


People say that it’s hard to photograph ice hockey because its the “fastest sport on ice!”  Yep, they are right.  Even for the guy that plays ice hockey, I should know we the pucks gonna be, at all times.  But I get caught up in composition mode and interesting shots, framing and that causes me to lose the puck.  My advice to you is… shoot with both eyes open.


My setup: D7000 with grip attached to a Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 VR1.  One of the dilemmas.  If you shoot RAW, you get more latitude in post but lose fps on shot burst.  In JPG I can get up to 20 burst, In RAW I only get 10 burst before my DSLR go to buffer mode.  So you decide whats important to you.  Make sure to turn off your Vibration Reduction, You should be shooting 800-1000 shutter speed, therefore the VR is counter productive.  Don’t be afraid to crank up your ISO to 2000-2500, Newer cameras are almost noise free at that range.  Beside, its better to have your picture in focus by freezing action with a little noise that you can remove in post than have a blurry noise free pictures.


I always shoot in Manual mode because I’m a control freak, don’t be a slave to auto mode, you will never learn from it.  Your best friend is the “Continuous AF” and “AEL/AF-L”, make sure you learn how to use it.  Don’t forget to set your white balance to Kelvin temp, so it easy to fix WB in batch.


Take more picture of the Ice and less ceiling or glass, trust me on this one!  Just go out there and practice, practice and practice some more… Shoot above the glass were the fan sits.  Shoot through the glass right or left, behind the goalie.  Shoot from the players bench.  Look for drama… fighting, cheering, celebrating and etc…


After you took some good shots the real magic happens in Photoshop.  For the new guy, LightRoom(Instagram on Steroids) is the answer.  Because Photoshop has a steep learning curve, and he’s afraid of layers.  And yes I have taken classes on Adobe Photoshop and had plenty of experiences to get me to where I am today.




Anyone can get a good shot after awhile of practicing but what separate the boys from the men is Photoshop!  You have to find your own style and once you do, Photoshop will help showcase it.  If you have problems with any of the four things below…….You need to learn how to use Photoshop today!

1.  great shot but your “white balance” is off.

2.  your photo looks great but its “under exposed.”

3.  your photo is very good but its “kinda soft.”

4.  your photo just don’t “pop and is kinda flat.”

Know your way around Photoshop to make your photos pop(curve, burn & dodge, sharpen, masking and etc…) and get you out of tight situation.  Knowledge is power, don’t ever stop learning!


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