I used to shoot quite a few hockey games. Like, a LOT of hockey games. So many, that I burned out the autofocus motor in a Sigma lens one season. There were quite a few occasions where I'd cover three games in one night, catching the initial minutes of the first period in one town, driving to the next for 10-15 minutes of the second period, then catching the final moments of the game in Town Number Three. As many of you know, I used to be a media guy, and at one product I worked for as editor, we busted our butts to cover a huge area (and we did it well, quite proud of our work there!).
Anyway, this season, I am proud to announce that I'm the official team photographer for the Brooks Bandits. Now, I won't be at every home game, but will endeavor to hit as many as possible - keep an eye out for me!
It's been a little while since I've shot hockey at this level, but the AJHL is my favourite. The guys seem just a little more hungry when they're on the ice; they have a little more to prove as the AJHL essentially launches careers into the big league. It is exciting hockey to watch, and the Bandits are an intense team to follow. The fans know this secret, as Game Night in Brooks is a big deal.
Shooting hockey can be a little tricky, and it isn't something you can do well with any old gear. Fortunately, the CRA has great lighting, and several sweet spots for me to get all the action. Where things get a little tricky lies in the speed of what's happening on the ice.
With the high action comes high shutter speeds, so it's a fine balance of how high one's ISO can be set without adding too much grain. You want crisp, clear images of high speed action with little distractions. Oh yeah, and make it look interesting to boot. Yes, shooting hockey isn't easy, but the challenge is lots of fun! Fast zoom lenses are key, and being able to predict where the action will happen allows more opportunity for those cool images.
Want to see the final product? Keep an eye on the Bandit's Facebook page. If you see an image you like, and you would like a print or any other product I offer, by all means drop a line.