Dropping the puck

Thanks to the media relations staff with the Syracuse Crunch, I was given the opportunity to photograph my first, professional hockey game on February 9, 2018. Syracuse was facing off against the Hartford Wolfpack in regular season American Hockey League (AHL) action at the the Oncenter War Memorial Arena

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I was able to work opposite the Crunch team photographer, shooting through one of the cutouts in the glass along the corner boards. This was so much nicer than trying to shoot through dirty glass at a high school rink, with the overall lighting being much better overall. 

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The speed of the players and pace of the game was much, much quicker than the high school games I'd photographed to that point, and had to be hyper-vigilant to know where the players and action were lest my camera get nailed by a stray puck or player.

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To protect my Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8 IS USM, I borrowed a suggestion from Toronto Star NHL photographer Steve Russell, fashioning a flexible lens hood out of a rubber gasket from the hardware store I bought for less than $3. It did the trick (not that I had to test it), and is a neat hack I'll certainly put to use again.

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While the full frame of the 6D is nice, especially when paired with the 70-200 it is FAR from ideal for high speed, sports photography; the fps is way to slow. Next time, should the opportunity present itself, I'd like to rent a 7D mark II, not just for the much faster frame rate, but for the added reach the crop sensor will provide. All in all, not bad for my first, professional game.

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