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When I produce soccer or other sports videos I obtain access to the field, bring my shooter’s ladder and videotape from there. I will occasionally climb down for a few sideline positions at the goals or for shots of the benched players or coaches.
This has made a tremendous difference in what happens with the lighting, as even the shorter more direct lights aren’t hitting my lens so heavy as they would be if I’m up in the stands.
That and the suggested manual white balance is key to avoiding weird coloration and flare/glare from the more direct lighting systems. I’ve run across guys who claim to use a half-ND filter with the top half above the horizon and the bottom half clear or coated. I’ve not tried that. While on the one hand it makes some kind of sense, on the other, being fairly familiar with the run and gun aspects of game shooting, it seems such a device might be more hassle than it’s worth.
The biggest problem I see, from my experience, is that with you up in the stands all that light is sure to stream right into your camera lens, causing flare, glare, your particular problem and much more aggravation.
I always follow the ball except when I’m hired by a player or parent to shoot a specific player, then I follow that player during action, the game when the player is benched, and the ball when the player (of course) is involved. If the player isn’t actively engaged I move to the action as well. I rarely show full field, except maybe once or twice to establish a setup or want to add the entire two teams in a segment, then cut to each of the goals.