Thursday, February 13, 2014

The men of USA hockey win convincingly over Slovakia

I just got done shooting the USA vs. Slovakia game, and I am cranking out this blog before heading back down to the ice to shoot a little of the Canadian game (specifically to get shots of my friends from the SJ Sharks).

As usual, I started my shooting, looking for cool fans. (For these shots, I quickly switch the camera from manual mode to aperture priority and from servo focus to fixed focus.)

And then I shot some of the warm-ups. I love this shot of Patrick Kane playing with the puck.

The game started a little slow for the US team. Not too far into the game, a penalty was called on the Slovakian team, and I grabbed this shot of Jonathan Quick skating over to the bench, to get an extra skater on the ice.

There was a lot of good action in front of the net. I should also mention that I was much happier with my photos today, as compared to those from the last couple of games. I swear that my 70-200mm lens was front focusing. In other words, it seemed to be focusing a couple of inches off where I thought it should be. I took it over to Canon's repair desk last night at 11pm and got it back this afternoon. It is MUCH sharper now. I am glad to have that problem solved.

A close call for the Americans in the first period.

The Slovakian team scored in the first 30 seconds of the second period. But I think that this just woke up the Americans and they went on a scoring rampage.

Dustin Brown celebrating a goal.

Another puck in the net. One of 7 for the night.

Time to celebrate...

Unlike the NHL, the Olympics does not have any holes in the plexiglass, so we have to shoot through that. This severely limits the angles in which we can shoot. In this case, I was able to shoot pretty far to my right and not get very much distortion from the glass.

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, we photographers love it when the puck is in the frame.

One advantage of me sitting near the players bench, is that I can get up and shoot some images of the players when they are not on the ice.

Yep - another score...

...and more celebrating. I was very happy that the American's scored so many goals in the second period, since this was the side where I was shooting from.

James van Riemsdyk scored on this shot. As a photographer, the challenge for me is determining whether to capture the shooter or the goaltender. In this case, I stayed on James, and I am glad that I did.

The Slovakian team changed their goalie, but Peter Budai didn't fare much better than the previous goaltender, Jaroslav Halak.

I caught this moment when the US goalie, Jonathan Quick, came over to the bench to cool off. It would have been a much better photo is I was not shooting through plexiglass...but...

All smiles on the US bench.

I like this moment, not because it is significant to the outcome, but because it shows a different part of the game, where a player is just casually talking to the ref during a break.

A scoring chance for the Slovakians...

If you read the last blog post, about my shooting workflow, I mentioned that I was using a remote camera. I had the Canon 1DX, with a 16-35mm lens, mounted on a Manfrotto magic arm, using the Superclamp, and I was firing it with a Pocketwizard. Every time there was action down at the other end of the ice, I would wirelessly fire the camera from my position. This was the best of my remote shots.

One interesting point here for all of you. Each photographer is assigned a specific wireless channel, so that we are not firing each other's cameras. But in my case, I was able to get a custom frequency from the good people at Pocketwizrd, so this would not be an issue. And, they are only allowing two cameras to be fired remotely behind the nets (one on each side), I am lucky to be one of those people.

More fan reactions. But this was fun to shoot, because these are some of the parents of the USA women players. I met them at the team party last night, so they flagged me down and we talked for a couple of minutes. This is the benefit of shooting for the team. I get a chance to meet the athletes and their families, which makes it even more special for me.

One last stop by Jonathan Quick and the game was over with a final score of 7 to 1.

Well...they are now introducing Team Canada, so I am heading back to the ice to shoot more photos.


Unknown said...

Nice work Jeff. I like the shot of the goal tender taking a water break through the glass.

Unknown said...

Nice work Jeff. I like the image of the goal tender through the plexiglass.

Ralph Hightower said...

I love reading your behind the scenes of shooting the Olympics. I'm also glad that you were able to get your 70-200 lens adjusted. I wonder what Olympic photographers did in the old days before there was autofocus digital cameras. I'm a Canon guy, having used Canon for 34 years with my A-1, which I still use.

Arturo said...

Good shots Jeff. Keep having fun!

Sullivan J Photography said...

I really like this set Jeff...I also love hockey :)

John Kosak said...

Awesome shots. I'm partial to the one with Tomas Tatar (#90 Slovakian team) as I've had the pleasure of shooting him when he played for the Grand Rapids (MI) Griffins of the AHL. I've learned a lot about shooting hockey and just photography in general from your B&H videos and now your blog. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Very nice and thanks for telling me what the camera was set at and how you shot the photos. I really like the shots of the skiers when you shot in a multi shot per frame. How did you make the back ground look like night. that was a great shot too. Thanks Jeff first race is tonight I will try and put some of my shots of the races on my FB , as I do not know enough about BLOGING. I guess I should learn. I am not really a computer person. I am just learning my mac. Jeff do you shoot all your shots in raw? and how do you work your photos in light room or photoshop. Thanks Fred Stoll