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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 8:53 pm 
Ok , I am going to be taking photos for our Government Members vs Protection Staff annual hockey game. It will be taking place indoors at a regular arena with no special lighting or setup.
I would liek to catch the action shots and will be using my Olmpus e-510 with a 25-42 and 40-150 lens.... i also only have the built in flash at the moment.
Luckily i will be in the penalty box so i will not have to shoot thru plexiglass .....

Any suggestions for shutter speed vs Fstop or others would be great!

Thanx in Advance


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 3:57 am 
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Hi TheHawk1973, you might want to browse the action and spoerts photography section on the forum - lots of good stuff there...

But in the absence of a superbright lens (with a small f-number) or a big flash at close range, you'll simply need to increase your ISO sensitivity in order to achieve fast shutter speeds under these potentially dim conditions.

I'd do some tests first with any continuous AF options on your E510 to get a feel for tracking moving subjects.

And in order to force your camera to use the fastest shutter speed it can for the given light, try using aperture priority mode and selecting the smallest f-number. If your ISO is also high - say 800 or 1600 ISO, then what your camera selects will be the quickest shutter you can use without underexposing.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 12:16 pm 
Thanx for the input..

I am actually attending the arena this weekend during a housleague game in order to test my camera and its properties in the environment....
I was looking for a starting point for settings ....which i now have..thanx...

Any more input is appreciated..


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 12:21 pm 
What about manual focusing? maybe that can help you out here for quick shots? even thoe you might not really get the sharpest shots if you can aticiapte where the action is going to happen you can try to manualy focus there and then just wait for it to come.

whos playing? considering you have kids and your not going to a NHL game the autofocus should just be fine..but if it was an NHL game i think it would be a diff story.

I rember most of the hokey arenas that i been to here in sweden are REALLY birght, reflection of the lights on the ice on everything that is white...

its nice that you can go there ahead of time, take some pictures play around a bit and get the near perfect setting


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 12:29 pm 
Its all our Ontario govenment members verses us guys who keep them safe all year....
I am the photographer by default.... my 4yr old skates better than me..lol

Its a pretty big game, and for Charity... so there is a chance the pics will be published in local papers ....and media is not invited ...it will be mine and the Premiers' Photographers photos to chose from .. :lol:


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 12:34 pm 
TheHawk1973 wrote:
Its all our Ontario govenment members verses us guys who keep them safe all year....
I am the photographer by default.... my 4yr old skates better than me..lol

Its a pretty big game, and for Charity... so there is a chance the pics will be published in local papers ....and media is not invited ...it will be mine and the Premiers' Photographers photos to chose from .. :lol:


How nice, this is a great opportunity for you to shine.

i did some googling and got some tips for you:

LENSES -- you need a fast aperature (f2.8 for zooms, faster if you can use primes) and a lens with a fast focusing mechanism (USM for canon, HSM for sigma) or a really quick hand at manual focus. A 70-200 f2.8 (not the f4) from either canon or sigma works pretty well. If you can do without the zoom, the 50f1.4, 85f1.8, 100f2, and 135f2 should be excellent. The 50f1.8 focusses to slowly to be useable.

FOCUS -- put the camera in AI SERVO mode. PIck the center focus point only (more accurate and faster). PRACTICE.

EXPOSURE: Set ISO1600 and get noise reduction software (neat image or noise ninja). If the lighting is fairly constant, use manual exposure. Leave Custom Function 4 set to zero, so all you have to do is half-press the shutter button to activate focus. If the lighting is variable, set Custom Function 4 to 3, and use the * button to focus. For sports like ice hockey make sure you're exposing the players correctly, forget about the bright glary ice. Select the wide open aperature (f2.8 if you're using the zoom lens), try a bunch of shutter speeds before the game, look at the histogram and pick your shutter speed. Dial in as M mode.

WHITE BALANCE: Bring a white card (piece of paper, etc...) or for ice hockey just use the ice. Don't use jerseys, t-shirts etc -- they're not really white. Purists use expensive gray cards. Whatever, the object just has to be color neutral. Take an out-of-focus photo of the neutral object, nearly filling the frame. If the object is white, make sure your exposure for this shot makes it look gray (eg, histogram should show a large spike near the middle). Now set the WB (white balance) to custom (setting uses buttons & dials on back of camera) and go into the menu to "custom white balance" to select your neutral object as the white balance guide. indoor swim meets are the worst.

RAW or JPG -- you have much better control with RAW, and can fix exposure and WB errors better, but the downsides are two: A) your CF card fills faster and B) in shooting rapid sequences, your camera buffer fills faster. I use JPG, but it's up to you. Along these lines, get a fast enough CF memory card. I use scandisk ultra II.

Some more hints:
- scout your best shooting locations and angles in advance.
- for kid's teams & school events, make sure you get each player
- start the game taking safe easy shots and get daring later
(easy shots in basketball are free throws, times when the players stop, passes, etc harder shots are jumps, dunks, and drives)
- watch for moments in play where the players motion is sideways rather than towards or away from you - focus is easier then.
- watch for your own safety. ice hockey from the penalty box, wear a helmet. basketball from the sidelines, watch for players falling on you. etc....


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 8:45 pm 
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Good tips Alex, but I'd avoid RAW for sports photography unless you have stacks of memory AND crucially a huge RAW buffer - and this rules out all but the priciest cameras.

The last thing you want is to run out of shots in a continuous sequence. All sports pros I know shoot JPEG for this reason.

The manul focusing is an interesting idea too and one I've used for quick response at times when you know wher the action is going - of course if the action is unpredictable, it may not be so useful, but if you know someone or something's gonna pass through a certain point, then you can manually focus on it and wait for it...


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 3:16 am 
Gordon Laing wrote:
The last thing you want is to run out of shots in a continuous sequence. All sports pros I know shoot JPEG for this reason.


Yea, I've only got one 4gb card that I took to the F1 race. I shot RAW initially but the camera slowed down after 5-6 shots. I ended up taking 1400 shots too so no way the card could have done all that in RAW.

I was taking shots of a an overtaking manouver, and just as the two cars crashed I had run out of space. How embarrasing! Until I get 32gb cards, no more RAW for me.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that I only avoid RAW when it comes to sports.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 5:59 pm 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/25206957@N ... 347270085/

I tried..lol

This is 20 of the 100 i took ..i am still proccessing the rest


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