How to film Hockey Games and Practices

This article gives you tips about shooting better videos in arenas, to make the best of your footage. Your highlight video is the first step, you need to take in the sport recruitment process, so let’s try to get the best possible videos. Filming hockey isn’t difficult, just have to keep a few things in mind.

filming hockeyThe Lighting

This isn’t a slam against hometown arenas.  They are often booked solid for ice time and don’t really generate a lot of revenue.  The lighting often becomes older, dimmer and takes on a horrible color cast in some areas. I suggest using Automatic White Balance (AWB). It is unlikely to be perfect but does a very good job considering the light quality, or lack thereof. We can color correct and adjust the brightness and contrast during editing, but using the white balance option, when filming will just improve the overall quality.

Shutter Speed

There is one consideration for shutter speed when shooting sports you need a shutter speed high enough to stop the action. When filming hockey, you could select a higher shutter speed if your camera allows it. During editing process, higher shutter speeds will result in a much nicer, smoother video, when using slow-motion effects.

Autofocus Settings

Your subjects are moving, so you will want to be in continuous autofocus. Hockey is a fast moving sport. Anticipate where the puck is going and how the players will react to help you frame your shots. This gives you time to get your focus points where the play is going to be and prepare yourself, to focus and snap, instead of spinning and chasing players around through your viewfinder.


While it’s convenient and comfortable to shoot from the bleachers/spectator area, the best place in the arena to shoot is at ice level. Whether you are sitting or standing, get as close to ice level as possible, as this gives your videos a more intimate feel and will give the viewers a sense that they were right in the action. If possible, try shooting from behind the net or in the corners. Hockey is focused around the net as everybody is either trying to put the puck in the net, or keep it out. This means the players will often be facing towards the net, so placing yourself behind the net or in the corners will increase your chances of capturing facial expression and the concentration in the eyes of the players and goaltenders.

Battery Life

Make sure that your battery is fully charged before the game. Have spare batteries.  While your battery will likely last the entire game, if something goes wrong, your shoot is over. If your battery light is flashing, indicating low battery, don’t attempt to change the battery, while the camera is in record mode. Powering off the camera might cause loss of footage.

At Gift Video Production, we offer professional video editing services Canada-wide. Filming hockey? Let us bring your footage to the next level.

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