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I shoot hockey with a D300 and my 70-200 2.8. My main settings and approach are:

  • Turn off VR (takes too long and eats batteries)
  • Set white balance for each rink manually via PRE
  • Manual exposure
  • f/2.8 (wide open baby!!)
  • Continuous focus
    • Single point focus with focus point above center (trying to focus on the helmets)
    • Focus tracking on "normal" (Custom Setting a4)
  • Grid lines on (to help with alignment)
  • ISO 1000-1250 or 1600 max (depending on lighting - I trade off higher ISO to get the shutter speed below)
  • Shutter speed about 1/250-1/320+ (depending on lighting)
  • I shoot in Ch (high speed at 8 fps) with the grip
  • I zoom typically anywhere from 105-200mm mostly above 135 range and closer to 200mm (fill the frame)
  • Anticipate the play
  • Lock focus on the goalie for a shot from the point/blueline with the lens focus lock button
    • Fire the shutter when you hear the shot coming in a burst
  • I shoot above the glass from the stands or from the penalty box in our home rink
    • I classify rinks as 1/2 or 2/3's meaning I can shoot above the glass 1/2 or 2/3 of the ice horizontally
  • During a breakaway zoom out to capture the entire sequence and squeeze the trigger panning with the play.
    • Crop in post for closeup
  • I've tried a monopod but I feel it gets in my way and my technique needs to improve

Tips and Tricks

Sports Photography