Photography Tutorial – How to take Ice Hockey Photos

or copy the link How to take ice hockey photos. Ice hockey is one of the hardest sports in my mind to try and photography. It was my first passion as a photographer and though many photographers tried to steer me clear of shooting it, I stuck with it and felt like I got as close to mastering it as possible. There are a lot of factors you need to take into consideration when you are shooting ice hockey. You have to think about the basics like what should my ISO, Shutter Speed and Aperture be but than you also have to think about what will make for a good image. That is where a lot of people get lost when it comes to sports photography. You see a lot of images of players standing around because action shots tend to be more difficult.


Julianne Neathery says:

Greetings! Have you ever tried photo sfxart tricks (search for it)? My mate Charley made some amazing pics with their video tutorials.

glaslr says:

Hello, do you know “Photo SFXart Tricks” (just do a Google search for it…)? There you will find a great free video showing the best way to shoot brilliant photos. It made it possible for Daniel to shoot pictures which have that wow-effect when you take a look at them. Hopefully it works for you also.

gettle323 says:

no foil, coach?

gettle323 says:

excellent. going to become the official photographer of our Friday night rat game. with a bunch of old guys stopping the action shouldn’t be that difficult. crappy lights in our rink with a d200 = lots of noise.

Uppercornerhockey says:

wow awesome set up! That must of cost like 2000 bucks for that synthetic ice!


where i can buy that base where you skate ??

rimabd says:

Hi, have you come across “PhotoSFXart” (search on Google for it)? There you will find a great free video showing how to create impressive pictures. It made it possible for Matt to take photos which have that jaw-dropping-effect any time you look at them. Hopefully it works for you too.

XxGluie says:

you should do a tutorial on how to shoot Football (soccer)

a3w3m says:

are your sofas in yet?

Ahmed EL Mohalawy says:

Hey there, have you come across “MagicSFXphoto” (just search on Google for it …)? On their website you will find a great free video explaining the way to shoot amazing photos. It made it possible for Joe to make photographs that leave you with a jaw-dropping-effect while you look at them. Perhaps it will work for you too.

Ahmed EL Mohalawy says:

Hey there, have you come across “MagicSFXphoto” (just search on Google for it …)? On their website you will find a great free video explaining the way to shoot amazing photos. It made it possible for Joe to make photographs that leave you with a jaw-dropping-effect while you look at them. Perhaps it will work for you too.

john2737 says:

Thumbs up for the playoff beard!
Double thumbs up for the Flyers orange shirt!!

startphotography says:

Thanks for the excellent tutorial!

NalleM4 says:

Thanks! Wish I had thought to search for this at the beginning of the hockey season…but now I’ll be ready for next year. You’ve been very helpful.

JaredPolin says:

not sure exactly what it is but its from global synthetic ice.

ElliottMascart says:

is that Polytatrafluoroethene (PTFE)… i wanna get some… looks fun :L

pi11ybi11y1919 says:


Raulinc says:


Tamim Aflah says:

thank you, very good to know ..

HHMultimedia says:

On a 7D, are you kidding??? Crank that thing up to 6400 and even 12,800! Now, will there be noise? You bet there will be but you can correct for it in Lightroom and you’ll be surprised at how much detail is preserved — some will be lost, it’s a fact, but you’ll be surprised at how much detail is retained. Go out and shoot to find out for yourself.

HHMultimedia says:

I think you’d be surprised at how many people have tried to shoot ice hockey with their brand new DSLRs and failed miserably. I shoot hockey 5-6 days per week as a pro photog and even I, after many years of shooting the game, appreciate this video. Besides, you can always learn something no matter what the subject mater is.

HHMultimedia says:

This is a GREAT question! The deal is, the higher the ISO the more sensitive you camera’s sensor is to light. When we increase the ISO sensitivity, this opens new doors for us as a photographer: 1) we can increase our shutter speed to stop the action (never shoot any sport with a shutter < 1/400th) 2) we can also increase the depth of field to settings like f/4.5 - f/5.6. To do this at a local rink, you need a cam that has great ISO performance such as a Nikon D7000, Canon 60D...

HHMultimedia says:

Sometimes there’s just no where to shoot from. I took a trip with a college hockey team. They played at a rink that had 360 netting and horrible glass. Not much you can do about scratches but if you talk to the rink manager before hand, he/she might clean a small space of the glass for you to shoot through. I’ve had no problem getting this from the local rinks here in Atlanta but they see me and know what I’m doing so… I’d give it a try, most managers are pretty cool.

HHMultimedia says:

My D7000 states the same temp. range. I shoot hockey about 5-6 days per week at local rinks that are freezing for hours at a time. I’ve never had an issue. The D5100 manual mentions that figure with reference to chaging the battery and the brightness of the view finder possibly changing under extreme temps but it’s a pentamirror vs. the pentaprism (much brighter) found in the D7000.

HHMultimedia says:

The 70-200 f/2.8 is a fixed aperture lens throughout it’s entire range.
When we talk about the “exposure triangle”, it’s important to have all three sides of it as “fixed” as possible to ensure that the exposure is does not change when you zoom in or out for a shot. The 70-200mm is also a great general purpose lens that great for just about anything as long as the subject is 10-15 feet from the lens (on a DX/cropped sensor).

HHMultimedia says:

Wow, I’ve never heard of that before as most pro hockey shooters use the 70-200mm f/2.8. I use the VR 1 on my D7000, it’s perfect and I could not shoot hockey without it. Some even use a 200-400 but that’s WAY too big a lens unless all you want are headshots from across the rink. I use the 24-70mm f/2.8 for shots through the glass (Jared is correct about shooting through glass but sometimes you have no choice — you’ll need to maxout the contrast in post to get rid of the haze).

HHMultimedia says:

You are going to LOVE the 5100. I shoot mostly hockey from youth to professional ice hockey (and some inline as well). A parent saw my D7000 and asked a few questions and I noticed she had a 5100. Being a photog that loves to share what I’ve learned over the years, I jumped at the chance to set her camera up.

HHMultimedia says:

I agree with Jared. 99 percent of the time I usually use 9 points on my D7000. Sometimes in a great blue moon, for like faceoffs, I’ll switch to 1 point. But over all, 9 points.

When there is a great crowd as a background I’ll go f/2.8 between whistles and grab a shot of the goalie against the crowd. To do this, I usually set up presets before the game on my D7000. U1 is usually set to f/3.5 or f/4.5 while U2 is used between whistles for the f/2.blown-out background shots.

Kimilovesphotography says:

Loved the video, very helpful. I bought a Nikon D5100 & have started a college photography class to learn how to use it. My son has played hockey for 14 + yrs & the guys want me to take pics of them. I’ve been shooting at an inline hockey rink & the light sucks. I was getting VERY discouraged with my results but am going again today & I will apply the techniques learned from your video. It’s great to see someone who knows, understands & oviously loves the sport teach how to shoot it. Thanks!

ATXMidget says:


JediFarce says:

It sounds like you’re on a basketball court. A loud screech.

andyt5303 says:

wasn’t too bad actually haha

andyt5303 says:

Im shooting a hockey game in a few hours with a sony a390 and a tamron 70-300 5.6 … IM SCREWED!

Dombowerphoto says:

that synthetic ice even sounds like real ice when you skid to a stop. is it getting really rutted?

DCassidy42 says:

This is a ton of great info, but it would be waaaay sweeter if you managed to do this at a game.

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