So, editing the video from the Bay State Cyclocross race has been going incredibly slowly. Whenever that gets done, it will be posted. For now I'm trying to expand my sports portfolio a bit. I realized a short while ago that I had only really shot cycling and a little football. It doesn't exactly make for a well rounded portfolio. So I went out and shot most of an ice hockey game here at Fitchburg State. I ran into two big problems: Light and shooting location.
At first glance, it looked like it was plenty bright enough inside the rink but I'll be damned if it wasn't dark as hell. I was shooting at 1/640 (should have been about a half stop slower for a better exposure), f/2.8 @ ISO 3200. Dark. I figured it was probably going to be dark inside, but I didn't expect it to be that dark. The overhead lights seemed to be daylight balanced with a big green spike. Next time I'll be shooting a gray card to help sort out the white balance issues. I'll also be bringing my speedlights and my wonderful new Flex TT5 radios. There's not a lot of places to mount the lights inside the rink, so I'll probably bring a couple big stands for them. The dim lighting did give me a challenge and I made the most of it. Dealing with a crappy lighting situation like that without adding light to it is probably good practice. I'm certain I won't always have the opportunity to light stuff when it's needed.
The second issue was finding a place to shoot from. The glass that surrounds the rink is beat up and eats light. No way to shoot from the ground. I thought of trying to get on the bench but that would leave me with a limited field of view right at center ice. I didn't see much opportunity for great shots in that area, especially with my available lens. Luckily I had about the entirety of the away team's bleachers to pick from for a position. While it elevated me far above the ice and didn't give me the personal feel I was hoping an on ice shot would give me, it was the best compromise I could find.
My 70-200mm f/2.8 was a good lens for the action. It gave me the range needed to photograph the area right around the goal. A bit short for getting the opposite end of the rink but overall it was a pretty good compromise. An 85mm f/1.8 would probably be great on a cropped sensor camera.
For my first time shooting ice hockey, I think it went pretty well. I feel confident I could walk into just about any sports related photographic situation and make the most of it. It also turned out to be a little more fun than I expected. The action came around often enough to keep me busy and watching the game was a lot of fun. At one point the away team, Salem State, scored a goal. Unfortunately for them the puck just barely passed the line and the throng of players obscured the movement of the puck. The only reason I knew it was a goal was because I got a shot just as the puck crossed over the line. Too bad they didn't ask me for an instant replay. I'm definitely looking forward to shooting more hockey.