I received more visits to the blog after Part 1 of this weeks blog than ever before! So it's just as well I have more pictures to share from the Canucks vs Oilers pre-season game I attended on Saturday night.
At the beginning of the 2nd Period the score was 1-0 Canucks. Roberto Luongo looked calm, cool and collected in net.
And it was just as well since he was certainly challenged by the Oilers, facing several Edmonton powerplays and several breakaways.
Here's a nice blocker save... See that black thing sticking out of Lou's blocker? Yes, that's the puck. I got lucky on that one...
WARNING: CAMERA GEEK STUFF TO FOLLOW!
This was my first time shooting a professional sport close-up. There are a number of challenges too. Firstly, many sports arenas have strict policies when it comes to non-pros bringing their semi-pro gear into the building. In the case of Rogers Arena DSLR cameras are allowed providing the lens on the camera is less than 6" in length and/or the focal length of the lens is less than 70mm. All of these pictures in this weeks entries were captured with the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 a.k.a. "The Nifty Fifty".
And it needed to be pretty nifty. Shooting a fast moving sport like hockey means a fast shutter speed otherwise movements are blurred. This then means a wider aperture causing less depth-of-field. It also meant a higher ISO to give me a fighting chance of getting any kind of an exposure and some room to work with focusing.
Auto-Focus was not an option with any of these pictures since the glass kept confusing it so every single one of these pictures was taken completely manual. I found I got better (i.e. more usable pictures!) the longer the game went on.
All of these pictures were captured with a shutter speed of 1000 and with ISO set to either 640 or 800. Aperture was set to f/2.8 throughout.
In my opinion, some of the best pictures in this series are those that freeze dynamic action but even these pictures end up lacking when there is no sign of the puck. The picture feels like it's missing a certain amount of context.
Which is why this next one works on multiple levels - It showcases dynamic movement, the crush of bodies in the crease that is so much a part of the game, the goaltender fighting to keep sight of the puck and... making the big save when it counts...
This next one shows great movement but sadly no puck. Maybe I should have cheated and photoshopped it in flying towards the lens. I love the expressions and degree of effort on the players' faces.
Something the Canucks have been criticized for in the past is a supposed "lack of grit". This years' team sees the addition of a couple of new players who look like they'll be bringing some great muscle to the fourth line alongside Maxim Lapierre who was once again mixing it up at Saturday nights game.
This scrum resulted from a hit that Edmonton took issue to. I love how everyone is just standing casually watching as Lapierre slams a fist into Theo Peckham's chin amid a mess of thrown down sticks and gloves!
Thanks Maxim for dragging the fight a little closer to where I was seated so I could get a close-up.
Just another day at the rink. "So how's the wife?"
Off to the sin-bin for Lapierre.
Despite Luongo making some great saves, the score was tied at the end of the 2nd.
Final round of pictures from the 3rd Period tomorrow. Until then, thanks for visiting!