Sunday, February 9, 2014

The women of USA hockey beat the Finnish team

Yesterday was the first hockey game for the women of Team USA, and they took on the team from Finland. The game started at noon which meant that I had to be at the rink by 10am, to secure a good shooting position on the glass. This was not an easy task since after shooting and editing the photos from opening ceremonies, I did not get to sleep until 3am.

As I arrived at the rink, I saw our team outside getting warmed up. Just like in the NHL, they play some soccer to warm up. I quickly grabbed one of my cameras, put on the fisheye lens and shot some photos of them. But, as always, I wanted to get something different. So...

...knowing the girls well enough to ask...I suggested that I lay down in the middle of them and shoot up on the warm ups. We all had a good laugh and they kicked the ball around and tried to avoid kicking me. :)

At the Vancouver Olympics, getting a shooting position on the glass for the women's games wasn't too difficult, as they had a lot of positions. This time is different. There is really only one side of the ice to shoot from, and many of the large agencies and broadcasters have permanent spots which are reserved for them. But, after some negotiating with the venue photo manager, I got the spot I wanted. Then it was waiting time. Even though the game had not started yet, that does not mean that there are no good shots. I always scan the crowd for interesting fans, and grabbed this image for the USA Hockey web site.

Then it was time for the game to begin, and the girls did their customary huddle at the net. For shooting this event, I used two Canon 1DX cameras, one with the 70-200 2.8 lens and one with the Sigma 15mm fisheye lens.

Right off the bat, the American team scored a goal, and since it was at the other side of the rink, I could not get a good shot of the goal. But, I looked over at Jessie, the goaltender, and she had a big smile on her face as she went over to congratulate her teammates.

And then the game evened out a bit more and I went to work shooting the action. I was a little frustrated by the fact that 2/3 of the action was away from my shooting position, since I normally always sit on the side where my team shoots twice.

I love the action in front of the net.

One good thing about this shooting position, is that I was right next to the team bench. Which meant that I could get up and shoot photos of the players and coaches during the game.

Part of my job is to get good shots of the athletes, even when not in full action.

Here is one of my favorite photos from the game, as Kelli Stack gets a great scoring chance.

Here, Amanda Kessel clanks the puck off of the goalpost. So close!

Monique Lamoureaux, one of the twins on the team, taking a shot.

The Finnish goaltender not looking very happy after the U.S. scored another goal against her.

Here is Jenni Hiirikoski doing her best to clear the zone from behind their own net. I saw this photo on the back of the camera, just after shooting it, and loved the fact that she is in mid-air. I also like that the puck is still in the frame.

The U.S. scores again!

Here are some of the fisheye shots from the game.

As the women were waiting to come out for the third period, I reached the camera out and grabbed some photos of them in the hallway.

Here is the equipment manager, who is a really nice guy. We were joking around before the game, and I decided to grab a photo for him. I waved for him to come over by the hockey sticks and got this.

And then, two and half hours later, the game was over and the Americans prevailed.

To be honest, I was not very happy with my photos from this game. So, I stayed at the venue to write the last blog and then went back onto the ice to shoot some of the Canadian hockey game. I decided to change some of the focusing settings on the Canon 1DX, and found that I had sharper images. Tomorrow I hope to get a better "take rate".

FYI - many of you have asked how I have time to blog while doing everything else. ain't easy. Time is always against you at the Olympics, with so much to shoot and then needing time to edit and submit. But I love sharing this experience with everyone, so sleep can wait. Actually, I am writing this blog on a press bus as I head up to the mountains. I am hoping to cover some new sports today and tonight. Maybe some slope style, luge and ski jumping. Time will tell!


Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing Jeff! Always look forward to seeing some great images.

Unknown said...

Let's see some of those photos of team Canada! LOL

Larry S. said...

Thanks Jeff, as always, for sharing your great photos, and insider details. Where else could we get the first hand experiencpce you are affording your followers! Thanks also for sharing you most precious time, the time it takes to make your posts. We know you could use it for other things like sleep, family communication or more shooing.

I would love to know the settings you use for some of your shots, and what changes you need to make as your subjects move about.

Thanks again,
Larry S., Philadelphia, PA USA!

Larry S. said...

Thanks Jeff, for sharing your great images, excellent insider reporting and valuable time. You are making my Olympics experience far more interesting, and hopefully my photography a little better.

If time allows, could you share with us the settings on some of your shots and what changes you need to make as your subjects move about? I will find this detail extreme,y interesting and helpful.

Thanks again,
Larry S., Philadelphia, PA, USA!

Unknown said...

amazing shots. Try as I might I can not get the right exposures for hockey either the ice is on the verge of being blown out or the players are under exposed. These are spot on!

Anonymous said...

It's the first time I comment here even though I'm a long time reader, So I'll take the opportunity to say I love reading your blog!
Could you please share the settings you used on the 1DX to get sharper photos? I recently upgraded to the 5DM3 and I'm still not sure sure which are the best setting to use for moving objects. Since the cameras share some of the features, I'm interested to know which setting do you recommend. Thanks a lot for sharing!

RGunter Photography said...

Great images, Jeff. Thank you so much for sharing your images on your blog and taking time to write the blog. Good shooting for the remaining games!

Anonymous said...

Jeff, thank you for taking the time to keep us Photographers updated on your journey at the Olympics.. I love your work and aspire to be as hard working and successful as you are some day.

Unknown said...

I wanted to thank you for taking what little time you have to share your photos and experience with us. Keep up the great work.

Richard Weaver said...

I (and I'm sure everyone else) am glad that you are taking the time out of a very busy schedule to update your blog. Thanks.

rcortinas said...

Thanks for sharing those momments with us. I am not a proffesional photographer, but I love it, specially sport photography. It is really nice on you to spend some of your precious minutes to let us know how is the life of a photographer in the olimpic games.
I really wish everything continue going good for you and be safe.


Anonymous said...

Wondering if you will be posting some of the Team Canada photos you took for us Canadian fans following you? Great shots by the way!

dmsphoto said...

Hi Jeff, thanks for all the info! Would be an amazing experience to photograph an Olympics. Curious if the settings you adjusted was the AF focus speed adjustment. Has the hotel accommodations improved? Hopefully your at least getting a hot shower!

Unknown said...

Thanks for your blogs and sharing the shots. Pics are just amazing.We wait for your shots from hockey game SVK - USA. Good luck.

rcortinas said...

Great pics those from the men's Luge. I was looking at the settings and I wonder if you did any panning effect on this venue. I now it sounds crazy, knowing the speed that these guys comming down I don't even think is possible, but, I have curiosity.
Also, did you take any shot at 1/125, 1/160 or even 1/200?. I was looking at the shot you took at 1/80 and I was thinking if will be possible to blur the Luge less without completly freez it.
Also, I love the shot with the fisheye lens. How close were u for this shot?
Again, thank you for sharing all this momments with us. You are the best !!

Roberto C.

Unknown said...

Jeff. You rock. I really appreciate your inspiration and instruction. Thanks dude.

Unknown said...

Thanks Jeff. I really appreciate your inspiration and instruction. U rock dude.