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Thread: It's that time of year again

  1. #1

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    It's that time of year again

    Hockey season is upon us. While minor hockey is my usual thing, two college teams were in town on Friday night. They're a little faster than the younger players.

    This year, two new lenses and a camera have found their way into my bag. Both lenses are f/2.8 While I appreciate the zoom on the 70-200 and the angle of the 24-70, I miss the f/1.8 of my trusty 85mm that I used almost exclusively for the past two years. With the 85, I could leave my ISO between 800 and 1000. Now, I have to ramp it up to 2000 or 3200 and still have to increase the exposure in pp and use a fair amount of noise reduction. On the plus side, I don't have nearly as much zooming and cropping to do in post, and I can get shots that are closer to the glass.

    Any ideas for getting the cleanest shots possible would be appreciated. I'm shooting in small town rinks (not great lighting) from behind plexiglass. I find that my faces are muddy and plasticy and my blacks are just blobs of black with no definition. I've seen shots on other sites that are amazing. Not sure if the light at the rink is better or if flash is involved or...? Camera is Canon 1D III with settings tweaked for action sports. (No in camera NR, shoot RAW, slower tracking, etc etc)

    Ignore the poorly placed signature. These were just quickly thrown on a site where it's better to have a sig attached.


    Thanks for any advice!

    It's that time of year again
    947Z4772 copy by M.J. Hencher, on Flickr



    It's that time of year again
    947Z4668 copy by M.J. Hencher, on Flickr

  2. #2

    Re: It's that time of year again

    Hey Myra,

    Your photo's look great to me.

    Try reading through this post Iso 6400 with corrected image and the other links it has in them. I hope it will help you out.

  3. #3

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    Re: It's that time of year again

    Thank you, Carl. I just read through most of the links. I think some of the ideas might better apply to stationary subjects, but some are worth a shot. I just tried converting one photo to a tiff file after removing the black, noise and sharpening in camera raw. That might be a bit time consuming with a batch of 200+ photos taken at various spots around the rink. I think what I will try is pushing the iso to 6400 just to see what happens. I always forget the ETTR with the histogram as I'm always more concerned with shutter speed have the lens as open as possible. If I set the EV for a +number, I'll end up with a slower shutter speed...blurrier photos.

    I just want to find a happy processing medium between plasticy smooth/bright white and speckled gravel/dingey white.

    Thanks!

  4. #4
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    Re: It's that time of year again

    Myra

    Good to see you back into the hockey arenas.

    As to your point about "my faces are muddy and plasticy ...". Is that what's coming out of the camera, as opposed to something happening in PP?

    If so and thinking about those other images that you see are great, do you know oif they, too, are shot through plexiglass.

    As you can tell, I'm wondering to what extent, if any, the plexiglass is the culprit. Have you got the lens pressed up against the plexi?

  5. #5

    Re: It's that time of year again

    Going to ISO 6400 is going to increase the noise and will have to be dealt with in PP. The steps for processing ISO 6400 can be applied to ISO 3200 and or all high ISO shots. I was in no way suggesting you go to ISO 6400 unless you just have to. For action shots you may need to increase ISO to increase shutter speed to be able to stop action and that's with +1/3 to 2/3 EV.
    I think Colin's reply on the second page at the bottom of the above posted thread will help you out as it did me. Teamspeed's PP steps are listed on the first page.
    I shoot indoors also without flash thus the interest in higher ISO's to deal with the poor light. I had the same problem as you did but with the steps for PP these type of shots it has helped. I do not use DPP for processing my images and had to learn how to PP them in LR4 and Nik software. I hope this will help you a little anyway.


    Quote Originally Posted by Maritimer1 View Post
    Thank you, Carl. I just read through most of the links. I think some of the ideas might better apply to stationary subjects, but some are worth a shot. I just tried converting one photo to a tiff file after removing the black, noise and sharpening in camera raw. That might be a bit time consuming with a batch of 200+ photos taken at various spots around the rink. I think what I will try is pushing the iso to 6400 just to see what happens. I always forget the ETTR with the histogram as I'm always more concerned with shutter speed have the lens as open as possible. If I set the EV for a +number, I'll end up with a slower shutter speed...blurrier photos.

    I just want to find a happy processing medium between plasticy smooth/bright white and speckled gravel/dingey white.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Carl in Louisiana; 1st October 2012 at 11:35 AM.

  6. #6

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    Re: It's that time of year again

    Hi guys. Donald, it was SO nice to be outside in the fields and by the water shooting this summer, but winter is fast approaching. I don't press against the plexi glass as it hinders my movement. I have to go with the players as they dart to and fro. Being against the glass would not allow me much freedom of movement. I also don't use a lens hood. It just gets in the way. The plexi glass is likely a big issue. I might go back to the 85mm for part of a game just to see what difference the f/1.8 will make with this camera. The muddy faces seem to be the result of the NR program. Without it, though, they are speckled messes.

    Carl, my shots are underexposed out of the camera even at 2000 with a shutter speed over 1/400. I try for 1/640 and would love to get clean shots at 1/800. For the past two years, I shot in full manual; this year I've tried using shutter mode. Think I will just stick with manual as if I shoot at 2.8 and let the camera set the shutter speed, all my shots will be too blurred. I shot a few from the stands (through net and not glass) with a flash bouncing off the ceiling. It helped with the exposure, the stationary goalie was great but, again, the movement of a player was blurred.

    Thanks for the comments and advice. I'll go over the tips again, Carl, and see what I can do to keep improving.

    TC!
    Myra

  7. #7

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    Re: It's that time of year again

    Carl, I decided to go to 6400 ISO and was quite happy with the results. I was able to go between 1/500 and 1/400 for two games this weekend. The noise is more grain than luminosity/colour issues (hope I wrote that correctly). In the end, I didn't use any more NR with the 6400 than the 3200, likely as more light was able to brighten my shadows. One of my games was helped a bit as it was held during the day, so some natural light was coming in at one end of the rink from the front of the building.

    I am also at the point of asking myself, "Why does the ice have to be so white/bright?" When looked at in "real time", it is far from white and has many tones of grey, many areas of reflection etc.

    If anyone is interested, one of the games is posted at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mhenche...70723514/show/

  8. #8

    Re: It's that time of year again

    Myra I am glad that the 6400 ISO is working out for you. I did check out the photo's and they looked great to me. Are you using a Whibal WB reference card to set your WB? I started using one after reading many posts on this forum and it helps with the colors being more correct.
    The floor in the building I shoot a lot in is gray but will show up as white before the WB is set using the Whibal WB reference card, after it is gray and the whites are whiter.

  9. #9

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    Re: It's that time of year again

    Carl, here's something I came up with last year taking photos of two grandkids in the same small arenas. High shots over the glass with the 70-200 is sometimes OK with the little kids because they don't draw many people so it's easy to move around. Most places they play in are well lit but for ice level shots the problem with the glass is still there. What I did was pick a spot in a corner where I thought I could get some half decent shots. I have a spray can of a product called Plexus which I use to clean the visor on my motorcycle helmet. It cleans the plastic visor and also makes many of the scratches vanish. It helped a bit but most of the big scratches are on the ice side, especially in the corners. If you'd like to give it a try stop at a local motorcycle shop and see if they have the Plexus or a reasonable facsimile.

  10. #10

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    Re: It's that time of year again

    No, I don't have a reference card. Last year, with the 40D I usually had to tweak the WB in post; the present camera's WB seems much more accurate. What happens, a lot, is that reflections from around the ice surface (lights, garage door lines, vending machines, exit lights, etc etc) all show up when shooting through that greenish plexi glass. How would one go about using a WB card in the rink? Would I have to ask someone to hold it while out on the ice? Seriously, if I had to, I likely could manage to get someone (like my husband), to pop out for a moment before all the players stream out.

    Andrew, I have two corners I like to shoot from. You are so right about the marks being on the other side of the glass. I bought a rubber lens hood to protect my lens when I get close to the class, but getting really close doesn't seem to make a huge difference.

  11. #11

    Re: It's that time of year again

    Quote Originally Posted by Maritimer1 View Post
    No, I don't have a reference card. How would one go about using a WB card in the rink? Would I have to ask someone to hold it while out on the ice? Seriously, if I had to, I likely could manage to get someone (like my husband), to pop out for a moment before all the players stream out.
    Yes! I get to the building early enough to set up the Whibal WB Studio card kit 3.5x6" take a shot of it and put it away. In PP you select it as a custom WB and apply it to the photo's you want and that is it. I think this one cost around $36.00. With the Canon Cameras it only has to fill the circle in the eye piece not sure how it has to be used by Nikons or any other brand. Here are the links to check them out. They come in different sizes but this one really works well and I think it was the one recommended by Whibal for what I wanted.

    http://www.whibalhost.com/_Tutorials/WhiBal/01/

    http://michaeltapesdesign.com/whibal.html

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...G7_Studio.html

  12. #12

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    Re: It's that time of year again

    Carl, I have three or four spots from which I shoot. Would I then have the card placed at each of these spots? What about focal length? I've used a grey card for a few portraits (I usually forget it!), and know that the subject holds it for the test shot.

    Thanks!

  13. #13

    Re: It's that time of year again

    Quote Originally Posted by Maritimer1 View Post
    Carl, I have three or four spots from which I shoot. Would I then have the card placed at each of these spots? What about focal length? I've used a grey card for a few portraits (I usually forget it!), and know that the subject holds it for the test shot.

    Thanks!
    The building I shoot in has pretty much the same lighting throughout so I get one shot and use it for all areas and focal lengths seems to work okay.
    If the light is very different then I suppose I would get different shots of the WB card.
    I get there early and set the card on a table and take a shot and the set WB in PP and then sync all the photos at once. For portrait I would want the person to hold the card then.

  14. #14

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    Re: It's that time of year again

    Thanks, Carl. I appreciate your advice!

  15. #15

    Re: It's that time of year again

    Quote Originally Posted by Maritimer1 View Post
    Thanks, Carl. I appreciate your advice!
    Your Welcome Myra, although I am not sure it will work in all situations it's worth it to experiment with to see if it would work. If it does that's one less thing to worry about the next time out.
    So far it has worked for me and the Whibal card stays in my camera bag as though it was glued in lol.

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