Photo Tip Series – Photographing a Hockey Game


Written by Nathan Wertheimer

The next Photo Tip Series I will be writing about is photographing a hockey game. This is a great winter sport to capture. I have photographed a few National Hockey League (NHL) and minor hockey league games too. These tips can be used for amateur hockey leagues too.

Depending on the location of the game will determine what lens to use. The lenses I like to use are 70-200mm lens, 24-70mm, and 12-24mm. Do not use a Speedlight/flash during a game. This will impact the game of play. Plus, the players don’t want flash into their eyes. Plus, their maybe camera/video restrictions for any professional hockey games in your town. Be prepared before photographing a hockey game. Here are a few items you have need. They are a folding chair, monopod, wear warm clothing, and a jacket.

Most fans will be photographing from their seat. The best seats are the front row and at Club level / Handicap seating. As a professional, I was able to photograph at the ground level along the flexi glass, and at Club level. Each arena is setup differently with their layout. The key is to be the closest to the action as possible.

Another factor when photographing a hockey game is the arena lighting. The huge indoor professional arenas have great lighting. This can’t be said for the small amateur hockey rinks. Work with the equipment you have. Always make adjustments on your camera settings if needed. Don’t photograph under usually 1/500 second and higher shutter speed because, it is hard to stop the action on the ice. Any slower shutter speed will cause your subject to be blurry. Keep your aperture in the area of f2.8, f4, and f5.6. Using a high aperture will be dark and will not provide enough light on your subject. It is advised to set your camera on manual for both the aperture and shutter speed. The photographer can control the setting to get the right image balance. Don’t worry it the shot is coming out too light or too dark. Just make some camera setting adjustments.

Always have your camera and lenses ready for action. During your down time always conduct regular maintenance on your gear to have it ready. Clean the front of the lens if needed. Sometimes your lens may even fog up from the cold. This depends on the temperature at the game.

In any sport, it is best to follow the puck/ball and anticipant and stopping the action for an image. It takes practice to find the right moment. Not all action shots are good. Don’t be discouraged if your not getting the right images. Look for a variety type of shots to take. Some photographers will focus on a single player shooting into the goal, a player traveling down the ice with the hockey puck, players facing off, and much more.

Go out and have fun photographing a hockey game. Enjoy the moments. If you like this article, then like it on our Otownfun WordPress account. Also, join to be one of our followers at otownfun on WordPress. For more great events, places, and articles, please visit us out at .

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Source of information: First hand experience


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