Taking sport photos in the dark

When taking sport photos, you would naturally say, “put the shutter speed up!” What if it was at night with no natural light, and you’re trying to take photos of hockey players. Well there are a few things you can do. I used the Lumix FZ300 for this tutorial.

The first thing is, limit your ISO to 1000 because anymore than that and your pictures with be really crappy with a lot of noise and grain. If you have your ISO between 400 and 1200, that’s fine. Now you’re asking, “how do I get those really nice stills?” Well, if you wanted to get nice clear shoot of hockey mid-action, take photos when its sunny so you don’t have to crank the ISO up. Now, if it’s dark outside but you still want to take some photos without losing quality, put your shutter speed between 1/20 and 1/60.

Now with those shutters speeds, you have to pan the camera along with the subject (hockey player, puck etc) and then take the picture, that way, the subject is in focus and clear and the background will be blurred. If you don’t want a blurred background, like I said, take pictures when the sun is out. Also, some flood lights will give your photos a green tint. You can always take that out with a photo editor, but if you don’t have a photo editor, try taking your photos in monochrome.

This is what is looks like in color with the flood lights

Here are some examples of pictures taken with a slow shutter speed using the camera panning technique to keep the subject clear.

Here are some examples of pictures taken using a fast shutter speed, and you can see that they are more grainy and have a lot more noise. Also, in general, the ISO is way higher.

So, if you want some action shots, my recommendation is that you take the photos during the day and not at night. But if you do find yourself in the dark, you can lower the shutter speed and use that panning technique to get some clear shots

Also, thanks to my friends Jasper, Travis, Trent, Terry and my brother Jacen for letting me take photos of them!

Thanks for reading this and feel free to leave a comment below!

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