The Official Photoblog of the Seattle Thunderbirds

Opening Night pt. 2

We left off with me scrambling off the ice after Glen Goodall dropped the ceremonial first puck (again, I didn’t fall on the ice, I’m so proud!) .  In addition to missing the ceremonial puck drop, though, I also missed the drop to begin the game.  For the first period I wanted to shoot from the upper level of ShoWare to get above the glass, so I was running up and around to my vantage point.  After missing just half a minute of action, I settled into my position by a couple of suites and started to fire away.

The nice thing about being up high is that you can shoot above the glass instead of through it.   That makes the photos clearer since there’s nothing to ruin the camera’s focus.  I’ll give you an example…


Jacob Doty checks a Winterhawk into the boards, which mess with my focal point.


Canon 7D, 70mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1600th, Manual

This photo of right winger Jacob Doty checking a Winterhawk into the boards is slightly out of focus.  If you look close, you can see that the glass is the focal point of the photo, not the players even though that’s what I was focusing on.  This fore-focusing is a result of having something—even though it’s translucent—in between the lens and the subject.   My focus was tricked into being wrong by the glass.


Calvin Pickard saves a shot in the first period.


Canon 7D, 165mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1600th, Manual

The focus on this shot of a goaltender Calvin Pickard save is in focus, seeing as the glass doesn’t rise high enough to be in my line of sight.  When shooting from a high vantage point, I mainly shoot the goalie and the part of the ice not behind the glass and safety nets that hang behind each goal.  Unfortunately that takes away many shots from when the T-Birds are when offense, but I can make up for it when I head down rinkside and shoot through the glass there.

Speaking of going rinkside, I’ll share just one more photo before we head down there. During one of the timeouts in the first period, Cool Bird walked into one of the suites behind me with a t-shirt cannon.  As he was firing t-shirts into the crowd, I snapped a few frames.  I managed to press the shutter exactly when Cool Bird shot out a shirt.


Cool Bird shoots t-shirts into the crowd during a break from the first period action.


Canon 7D, 70mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/320th, Manual

For the second period, I went down to the edge of the rink behind the Winterhawks goal to get some shots of the T-Birds on offense.   Since I’m new to watching hockey, it sometimes is difficult for me to keep up with the speed of the game in front of the goal.  Until I can anticipate what’s going to happen better, I do have to take whatever shot I can get.  Here’s me  doing that: a photo of a face-off right in front of me.


Center Connor Sanvido takes part in a face-off in the second period.


Canon 7D, 70mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

The second period was a pretty good one for the T-Birds, offensively.  They scored two goals and had a good number of breakaway opportunities.  Here’s one of those breakaways, this one by center Travis Toomey.


Center Travis Toomey tries to get past the Portland defense in the second period.


Canon 7D, 120mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Speaking of goals, one of them happened right in front of me.  Unfortunately I didn’t catch it on film (figure of speech, I don’t use film anymore), but I did get right winger Marcel Noebels’ unique assist.  That just goes to show that you don’t need a stick to help your team win.


Marcel Noebels kicks the puck to Luke Lockhart for a goal in the second period.


Canon 7D, 70mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

And such a cool assist like that certainly deserves a celebration!


Noebels celebrates Lockhart's goal.


Canon 7D, 70mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Noebels wasn’t the only one celebrating.  The ShoWare Center erupted after that goal, and fans got out of their seats and cheered on the Birds while the game was paused.

Canon 7D, 70mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual

Canon 7D, 175mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/500th, Manual

For the third period, I shot from the box between the team’s benches (another trip onto the ice where I didn’t fall, I getting good at that…).  That’s my favorite place to shoot since there’s no glass to look through and you can cover both ends of the ice pretty well.  Here’s one from the T-Bird’s offensive half.


Noebels fights with a couple of Winterhawks for control of the puck.


Canon 7D, 145mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

And here’s one from when the T-Birds were on defense.  Defenseman Brenden Dillon wrestled the puck away from the Winterhawks’ Sven Bartschi on this play.


Defenseman Brenden Dillon wins the puck in the defensive half during the third period.


Canon 7D, 85mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

During the third period, the Thunderbirds clinched their first win of the season by scoring two more goals, one by right winger Burke Gallimore and the other by center Colin Jacobs.  You can see the photo of Jacob’s goal with the team’s story of the game at, so I won’t repost it here.  I will, however, post Jacobs’ reaction.


Center Colin Jacobs celebrates his goal late in the third period.


Canon 7D, 200mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

In the photo business, reaction shots are commonly called ‘jube’ (for jubilation).  I’d say that’s some pretty good jube shown by Colin right there, although it’s too bad the referee completely ruins the background.  Jacobs was clearly fired up by his goal as he was still celebrating while skating back to the bench.


Jacobs' celebration continues towards the bench.


Canon 7D, 70mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Down by three, the Winterhawks spent the last five minutes of the game desperately trying to get one more goal.  Calvin Pickard didn’t let any garbage-time goals in, however, as he stopped anything that got through to him.


Pickard makes a late-game save to keep the score at 4-1 in favor of the Thunderbirds.


Canon 7D, 135mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

And with that, the Thunderbirds won!  They beat the rival Winterhawks 4-1 and earned their first victory in the new season.   That’s it for this edition of the photoblog, but keep an eye on this space over the weekend for a post about the game against Lethbridge tomorrow.  I hope to see you all there!

Til then, go T-Birds!

One response

  1. Erica

    This set has some FABULOUS shots! The one towards the end of Colin Jacobs is classic! Nice work!

    October 11, 2010 at 11:41 am

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