The Official Photoblog of the Seattle Thunderbirds

Archive for October, 2010

Game 4: Thunderbirds go to Shootout vs. Americans

I was hoping to get this post up yesterday, but unfortunately some errands unexpectedly came up and I couldn’t get it done before work.  Have no fear, though, as I’m off today and can spend it all on the blog!

Tuesday night’s game against the Americans was a well fought game, I thought.  As always with these ‘birds, the outcome wasn’t decided until after they played five extra minutes and took three extra shots on goal.  Unfortunately, the Americans slipped two shoot-out attempts past Calvin Pickard while only one of the T-Birds found the back of the Tri-City net.

We’ll start, however, before all of that; even before the game started.  Before the game, equipment manager Jason Berger brought out the pucks for pre-game warm-ups and formed the letters W,H, and L with them. Director of Media Relations Ian Henry told me about the pucks and asked for some photos, so I happily obliged.  I got three frames of the design that I really liked, but this one stood out above the other two.

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1600 ISO, f/1.8, 1/60th, Manual

Having shot the pucks, I had nothing to do until the players came out for warm-ups.  Normally I don’t shoot that seeing as I’ll be getting the same photos during the game, but I needed to get some photos of backup goalie Michael Salmon for a newspaper in his hometown of Red Deer, Alberta.  I took a couple nice shots of Salmon but couldn’t decide between the two.  I’ll let you guys see both of them and decide what one’s better…

Canon 7D, 90mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Canon 7D, 70mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Now for in-game photos.  I wanted to go back up and shoot from the suite level again for the first period.  I like the angle it gives, I just wanted to do something different from the game against Calgary.  The nice thing about shooting from the suite level is that I have a great view of most of the ice and bench area.  That view allowed me to get this photo of Head Coach Rob Sumner during a timeout in the first period.

Canon 7D, 200mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/640th, Manual

I like this photo because you get to see the play designed.  Taken from any other angle, the players would be blocking the view of the whiteboard, but this time I was high enough to see over the players.

Remember a couple of posts ago when I said that there’d be games in college I’d get great photos of the opposing team and not the Huskies?  Well that happened to me again Tuesday.  I seemed to get many photos where you could see Americans players well, but the T-Birds guys had their back to me.  These next three are good examples of that.  Oh well, at least the pictures show the T-Birds doing well and having success…

Center Connor Sanvido has a shot blocked by Tri-Cities goalie Drew Owsley in the first period.

Canon 7D, 140mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Rightwinger Jacob Doty (left) and Sanvido (right) sandwich Tri-Cities center Justin Messier in the first period.

Canon 7D, 200mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Defenseman Travis Bobbee knocks a Tri-Citiy Americans player to the ground.

Canon 7D, 125mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

And to close out first period photos, how about a good ole’ Calvin Pickard save?

Goalie Calvin Pickard (middle) blocks a shot while center Luke Lockhart (right) and Tri-Cities leftwinger Justin Feser fight for the rebound.

Canon 7D, 160mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Due to a terribly stupid operator error, most of my shots from the second period were not useable and were only worthy of being deleted.  So let’s forget the second period ever happened, assume the score magically changed to 2-2, and move onto the third, shall we?  Ok? Okay!

Since this was the third period (wow, it just seems like seconds ago we were in the first, where does the time go?)I went to my typical spot in between the benches, and was rewarded for going in between the benches by a shot of Luke Lockhart scoring a goal to take a 3-2 lead.

Lockhart tries to slip a slapshot past the Tri-City defense in the third quarter.  The puck did find it’s way to the back of the net, giving Lockhart his second goal of the evening.

Canon 7D, 78mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

And as always, a goal shot deserves a celebration shot…

Lockhart (right) and right wing Burke Gallimore celebrate Lockhart’s third period goal.

Canon 7D, 165mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

That lead, however, wasn’t a permanent one.  Just a few minutes later, the Americans evened up the score with this goal.

Tri Cities center Mason Wilgosh (left) gets a shot past Seattle goalie Calvin Pickard during the third period of a WHL game in Kent, WA, Oct. 26.

Canon 7D, 130mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

A bit after that goal, there was a small dust-up between Marcel Noebels and the Tri-Cities’ Spencer Humphries.  I couldn’t see the fight or what caused it since it took place in a corner I can’t see from between the benches, but I did get an important shot of the aftermath: Marcel Noebels being escorted off the ice.  He got more penalty minutes than what was left in the game and so was taken off the ice (note: he was eligible, though, to return in overtime).

Linseman David Tise escorts Seattle rightwinger Marcel Noebels off the ice after Noebels received a 10-minute miscondcut in the third period.

Canon 7D, 125mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Here’s an attempt on goal by Travis Toomey.

Seattle center Travis Toomey (left) can’t knock the puck past Tri-Cities goalie Drew Owsley in the third period.

Canon 7D, 160mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Luke Lockhart had a good game having scored two goals.  Since he had one of the better games, I tended to get more good photos of him. Here’s two of those…

Lockhart (right) runs into Tri-City left wing Justin Feser during the third period.

Canon 7D, 78mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Canon 7D, 115mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Now onto the overtime period where I got my best photos from the game. Both teams had some good chances in overtime, but neither could punch it through.   I’ll just let my photos describe it to you, as they’re a good representation of what happened.

Seattle goalie Calvin Pickard (right) blocks a shot while defenseman Dave Sutter (left) and Tri City right wing Jordan Messier fight for the rebound in the overtime period of a WHL game Oct. 26 in Kent, WA.

Canon 7D, 130mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Seattle left wing Marcel Noebels (right) and Tri Cities defenseman Zachary Yuen fight for the puck during the overtime period of a WHL game Oct. 26 in Kent, WA.

Canon 7D, 80mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Seattle defenseman Erik Bonsor (right) disrupts the possession of Tri-City defenseman Zachary Yuen.

Canon 7D, 100mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Seattle center Charles Wells skates past Tri-City right winger Patrick Holland in overtime.

Canon 7D, 100mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Tri-City goalie Drew Owsley stops a Thunderbird attack late in the overtime period.

Canon 7D, 100mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Now that overtime is over, it’s time for the shootout!  There was really only one good photo from the shootout that I got, and thankfully it shows what happened in it.  So it is with great sorrow that I end with this photo of Pickard not being able to save a shootout attempt.

Tri-City right wing Patrick Holland slips a shoot-out attempt past Pickard.

Canon 7D, 125mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

You know what, I really hate ending with that photo.  So instead, let’s see some of Center Colin Jacob’s infectious smile…

Center Colin Jacobs is all smiles after Noebels converted his shootout attempt.

Canon 7D, 70mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

If you got this far, thanks for reading!  As always, I’d love to hear any comments, questions, criticisms, quandaries; anything you want me to know or answer, I want to hear it.

Oh, and Erica and Erik?  It was great meeting you Tuesday night!

Til next time, go T-Birds!

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T-Birds v. Hitmen- A Look Back

With a good four days left until the next home game (and four since my last post), I think it’s time for more game photos!  Since it’s the most recent one, let’s take a look back at the game against Calgary, shall we?

Note: Due to time constraints (like me having to run off to work), this post will involve less than normal commentary.  I’ve captioned each photo, though, so you’ll always know what’s going on in the picture…

The beginning of the game started off with the Thunderbirds playing more defense than offense early on, as my photos will be able to show.

Defenseman Dave Sutter looks to pass the puck to a teammate and get it out from behind the Seattle goal during the first quarter.

Canon 7D, 100mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual


Goalie Calvin Pickard makes a save in the first quarter.

Canon 7D, 70mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual


There’s always an ethical quandary when someone gets hurt.  Do you take a photo of him?  How many?  On one hand, a photographer needs to do his or her job and document the game and everything going along with it.  One another, it is a bit of an invasion of privacy during a moment most would not want their pictures taken.  I bring this up because this next photo I—at the time—thought that this could be a moment like that.  Calgary rightwinger Cody Beach got wrapped up with Tyler Alos in front of the goal.  On the way down to the ice, I heard Beach’s helmet (or so I think… it could have been the puck I guess) strike the post.  I didn’t see much immediate movement from Beach, so I decided to snap a few frames of him getting medical care, just in case.   Luckily, he turned out to be ok and would reenter the game later.    So crisis averted, but I thought we had something big on our hands.  Thankfully I was wrong.  Here’s the photo…

Center Tyler Alos lands on top of a Calgary Hitmen player after the two got entangled in front of the Seattle net.

Canon 7D, 145mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

 

And here’s the last two photos from the first period…

Defenseman Travis Bobbee and Calgary leftwinger John Lawrence jockey for position while chasing the puck.

Canon 7D, 70mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

 

A young fan cheers on the Thunderbirds during a break in play.

Canon 7D, 200mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/640th, Manual

 

Easily the most frustrating thing for me while shooting is having part of a shot blocked by either a player not involved in the play or a referee.  For football, you will ALWAYS have either the back line judge or side judge coming into and going out of your shots as long as you are ahead of the ball.  Well, in hockey if you’re behind the nets, you will ALWAYS have an official coming into and going out of your shot.  Sometimes it works out and the ref is merely in the background: something not wanted by any means, but you can deal with that.  With this, though, there’s nothing that can be done…

Leftwinger Mitch Elliot (center) is checked by Calgary defenseman Matt MacKenzie.

Canon 7D, 95mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

That shot would have been a pretty good one.  It has good action, it’s crisp, and it’s fairly representative of the game.  Except for one teensy thing… can you name it?

 

And now let’s finish out the second period…

Leftwinger Chance Lund (left) stretches past Hitmen defenseman Ben Wilson to control the puck in the second period.

Canon 7D, 120mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

 

A young fan can’t hide her joy while taking a photo of Cool Bird.

Canon 7D, 100mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/800th, Manual

 

Check out the background of this picture… notice anything hanging around?

Defender Brenden Dillon tries to get the puck to a teammate.

Canon 7D, 95mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

 

Well, it looks like the same can be applied here, as well…

Rightwinger Burke Gallimore can’t quite get the puck past Calgary goalie Juraj Holly.

Canon 7D, 90mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

 

This one’s safe though!

Center Tyler Alos celebrates his second period goal by slapping hands with the Seattle bench.

Canon 7D, 155mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

 

Rightwinger Jacob Doty pins Calgary rightwinger Cody Beach during a fight in the second period.

Canon 7D, 160mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

 

Now for the third period (and overtime)!

Defenseman Brenden Dillon tries to skate past Calgary forwards Misha Fisenko (left) and Chase Clayton (right).

Canon 7D, 200mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

 

Center Tyler Alos passes the puck to a teammate.

Canon 7D, 140mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

 

Center Charles Wells controls the puck in the third period.  Wells scored his second goal of the season in the first period.

Canon 7D, 90mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

 

Rightwinger Burke Gallimore chases after the puck alongside two Calgary Hitmen late in the third quarter.

Canon 7D, 180mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

 

Goalie Calvin Pickard makes a save in the third period.

Canon 7D, 175mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

 

That’s it for this post.  Sorry for the abbreviated one, but I didn’t have much material for you this time.  The next few weeks should be better.

Till next time, go T-Birds!


Game 3: Thunderbirds Upended by Hitmen

Hello again everyone, and sorry for the delay in getting this post up.   Here’s the game thread for last Saturday’s overtime loss to Calgary.

It was a good hockey game that had a bit of everything: great-looking goals, last-second saves, and even a couple of pretty decent fights.   In fact the only thing missing from the game was a second point for the T-Birds, as that game was just their first overtime loss of the season.   So enough with the chit-chat, let’s get to the photos!

For this game I tried something different: I didn’t start out shooting from above the glass.  Eventually shooting from the same spots every game will get repetitive and you’ll start seeing the exact same shot as you did a game ago or two games ago.  So to break myself of that (and to keep it more exciting for me) I’ll change up my routine.  Today I spent the first two periods behind the glass, moving between spots behind the goal on the north side (the side where the players and zambonis get onto the ice) and right across from the T-Birds bench.  In any rate, I got luckier with the glass that night, as a number of photos I took from that spot are pretty clear and unaffected by the thick plexiglass.

Defenseman Erik Bonsor (right) battles with Calgary center Jimmy Bubnick for the puck early in the first period.

Canon 7D, 98mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Now I’m going to teach you a trick that’s useful in all sorts of photography, but absolutely necessary in sports photos: cropping.  It’s needed in sports photography to focus in on the action and eliminate all dead space surrounding it that ruins the photo.  Let’s use a shot of Calvin Pickard making a save.

Goalie Calvin Pickard makes a save during the first period.

Canon 7D, 70mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Now as you can see in the photo above, I was as wide as my lens would allow me to be (98% of my shots are taken with a 70-200mm lens).  Since I had Pickard centered in my shot for focusing reasons, there’s a lot of dead space on the left of the shot, and the players to the right merely distract from what’s going on.  So let’s take them out of there, shall we?

Canon 7D, 70mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Now, by merely cutting out what I don’t want seen, we have a pretty nice shot of Pickard making a save.  It’s also now easier to see the puck in the middle of his pads.  Before, there was just too much distracting information for your eye to notice it.  With all of those distractions gone, however, the puck is much more visible.  Amazing, huh?

Onto the next shot now.  Here’s a photo of Brenden Dillon fighting Calgary’s Ben Wilson.  For whatever reason, I got numerous good shots of Dillon Saturday night.  I tried to get as many other players in the post as possible but apparently Dillon was working it for the camera that night.

Defenseman Brenden Dillon throws Hitmen defenseman Ben Wilson to the ice during a fight in the first period.

Canon 7D, 135mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

And here’s some more photos.  Sorry there’s no cool intro for them, but I can’t think of a good one right now.  Let’s just say they’re a good representation at how even the two teams played.

Bonsor keeps the puck away from Calgary leftwinger Justin Kirsch.

Canon 7D, 95mm, 800 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Center Luke Lockhart fights for the puck with the Hitmen’s Bubnick behind the Calgary goal in the second period.

Canon 7D, 70mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

 

I’m proud of myself for this next shot: I actually remembered something I had to look for during the game!  Media Relations Director Ian Henry told me to look for kids wearing the beanie given away before the game.  Well, I found a group of excited young boys during a break in play that seemed to really want to get on the jumbotron.  I’m not sure if they ever did or not, but they were dancing well enough to be put on there…

Young T-Birds fans dance during a break in the action in hopes of getting shown on the jumbotron.

Canon 7D, 145mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/800th, Manual

I’m still looking for a good goal photo from behind the glass: one where you can see both the puck going into the net and the face of the player who got it.  I know I’ll get one eventually, but sometimes it’s hard for me to remember to concentrate on the player in front of the goal instead of the guy with the puck.  In the second period of Saturday’s game, though, I thought I might have had a chance when Luke Lockhart had a nice shot on goal.  Unfortunately, it was blocked by the Calgary defense and eventually cleared.  What turned out was still a nice photo, but unfortunately one of a great play for Calgary instead of for Seattle.

Lockhart battles with Calgary defenders to get the puck into the net in the second period.

Canon 7D, 100mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Here’s another Brenden Dillon sighting.  He got an assist for a pass to Tyler Alos in the second period.  Of course I had to put this shot in…

Dillon passes to teammate Tyler Alos- who then put the puck in the back of the net- in the second period.  It was the first of two assists on the night for Dillon.

Canon 7D, 70mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

And here’s Alos acknowledging Dillon’s pass after the goal.

Canon 7D, 80mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Here’s a photo of the second fight of the evening.  In it, rightwinger Jacob Doty took Calgary’s Cody Beach to the ice.  In fact, the two T-Birds fighters of the evening both took their opponents to the ice.  Even if it didn’t matter on the scoreboard, that was nice to see.

Rightwinger Jacob Doty (right) lands a punch on Calgary rightwinger Cody Beach during a second period brawl.

Canon 7D, 155mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

In college when shooting for The Daily, there’d always be games where I’d get better photos of the other team than I would of the Huskies.  Sometimes it would turn out ok because we’d run some of them as long as they made sense with the game story and every once in a while we’d send them to other school’s student paper.  When shooting for a team, though, there’s no spot for these photos to go.  That’s why I like having this blog; in it, I can put all my shots from a game.    I don’t have to worry about will it make sense with a story or is it a photo of the other team.    So I’ll throw in this photo of Calgary goalie Juraj Holly knocking away a shot by Chance Lund.  I thought Holly had a pretty good game and was pleased to have a photo of him.

Canon 7D, 1140mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

During the third period, I was in my normal third-period spot between the benches.  Despite what I said earlier about changing things up every once in a while, I thinkI’ll be spending every third period there so I know I’ll have some good pictures no matter where I am for the first two.  Anyways, I remembered to keep an eye on the T-Birds bench for any good photos there.  During one of the timeouts in the third, I found assistant coach Turner Stevenson talking with one of the T-Birds.  I remembered to take the photo, I just wish I thought to stand up.  That would have made Stevenson’s arm visible and made a much, much stronger photo.  I’ll get it next time, though…

Canon 7D, 70mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

And here’s another Dillon sighting.  He’s getting good coverage right now…

Dillon chases after the puck with two Hitmen in pursuit.

Canon 7D, 200mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

I like trying to get photos of players on defense.  It’s a side of the game that doesn’t produce quite so many images as offense or hits, but it’s still important to play good D.  Here, center Travis Toomey is covering a Calgary attacker well.

Toomey covers Hitmen center Chase Clayton late in the third period.

Canon 7D, 125mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

I think these next two photos would be great for a caption-writing contest.  In fact, if I ever get to give away something in a contest, that’s what I’ll do.  But until then, just enjoy them and that what you like about them.

Center Travis Toomey (right) and Calgary center Cody Sylvester both have a good view of the puck while battling for it in the third period.

Canon 7D, 70mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Head Coach Rob Sumner discusses things with Coach Stevenson in the intermission between the third period and overtime.

Canon 7D, 98mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/800th, Manual

And here’s the last of Brenden Dillon for the post.  But of course, it’s a series of photos.  Watch as he takes a slapshot towards the Calgary goal in overtime.

Canon 7D, 105mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/800th, Manual

Canon 7D, 108mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/800th, Manual

Canon 7D, 110mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/800th, Manual

Canon 7D, 120mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/800th, Manual

Overtime was just as hotly contested between the two teams as regulation was.  Let’s include a shot of Burke Gallimore trying to disrupt a Calgary player to prove that…

Rightwinger Burke Gallimore tries to disrupt a Hitmen’s handling of the puck during overtime.

Canon 7D, 105mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/800th, Manual

That’s all the photos I have for you today.  I unfortunately didn’t get a good one from the game-ending goal, but that’s just the way it is sometimes.  I’ll do better next time, I promise.  As always, feel free to tell me what you like, don’t like, want to see more off, or any other comments you may or may not have in the comments section below.

Til next time, go T-Birds!


There’s Nothing Better than the Sound of Slapshots in the Morning…

Remember last post when I promised to find ways to get new content on the blog during road trips?  If you don’t I’ll give you time to go find it…

Got it now?  Good.  And if you didn’t go check, trust me it’s there.   Just a few hours of writing that post, I found out that King 5 would be taping some news segments about the Thunderbirds early Tuesday morning (October 12th).  Having shot a live tv show before last February when College Gameday was at the University of Washington, I knew I could get some nice shots of the taping so I committed to wake up early and head down to the ShoWare Center for the morning’s events.

When I got to the ShoWare Center, the players were in the locker room getting their gear on while the King 5 crewpeople were finishing setting up the camera and discussing the day’s takes.  Since all of the takes would take place on the ice, reporter Christie Johnson would be on ice skates to move around most easily.   Since the players weren’t out of the locker room yet, I snapped a few frames.

King 5 reporter Christie Johnson laces up her skates before taking the ice to file reports from the ShoWare Center early Tuesday morning.

Canon 7D, 50MM, 1600 ISO, f/3.2, 1/100th, Manual

I really like this shot.  A lot.  For one thing I have a thing for darker photos, and also the hallway between the rink and the main concourse (by section 108) had some very nice side-lighting (where the only light source for a photo comes from the subject’s side).  Overall, I thought this photo was a decent starting image and a good omen leading into the rest of the morning.

Defenseman Brenden Dillon was the first of the participating T-Birds (right winger Burke Gallimore, defenseman Luke Lockhart, and goalie Michael Salmon were the other three players that showed up), so he got to do the first teaser with Christie.  Little did he know that Christie had experience in figure skating and wanted to open up with one of those moves for the tease…

Defenseman Brenden Dillon, along with Christie Johnson, shows off his figure skating skills during a teaser for an upcoming segment on King 5.

Canon 7D, 70MM, 1600 ISO, f/5, 1/400th, Manual

Don’t worry, Johnson didn’t force anymore figure skating moves on the guys; they quickly moved on to half-speed plays, and even a mock face-off.  Here, Johnson takes a shot after “winning” one of those face-offs.

Reporter Christie Johnson skated with a few T-Birds early Tuesday morning.  Here, they include her in a mock play after a faceoff.

Canon 7D, 50MM, 1600 ISO, f/3.5, 1/800th, Manual

Johnson and her photographer Jim had the segments planned out for the most part before the morning started, so there wasn’t a lot of time spent designing what would be on camera.  After a few minutes of Christie and Jim explaining their visions, there’d be one or two run throughs of the shot to nail down the details of a shot and so that both the players and Christie knew their assignments and timings.  Here’s a photo of Christie explaining the plan for a teaser that included a check into the boards.

Johnson plans out the next take with right winger Burke Gallimore (left), defenseman Brenden Dillon (center), and center Luke Lockhart (right).  Goalie Michael Salmon was also part of the shoot, but is hidden behind Lockhart in this photo.

Canon 7D, 50MM, 1600 ISO, f/3.5, 1/800th, Manual

Here is a continuous set of shots that show part of the teaser.  That’s Burke Gallimore in grey and Brenden Dillon in blue who are smashing into the glass in front of Christie.


Canon 7D, 50MM, 1600 ISO, f/4.5, 1/400th, Manual (all photos)

This next photo might just be my favorite from the day.  Not only had the guys had been good sports for the camera, but they had to get up pretty early to do so (they arrived before 5:45 am).  They were understandably tired and so during a break between live takes, Luke and Burke decided to take it easy right out there on the ice.

Canon 7D, 50MM, 1600 ISO, f/3.5, 1/800th, Manual

During the time in between live takes (and while the T-Birds players were relaxing), Jim and Christie would consult with producers back at the King 5 production room.  Instead of having to call someone in the studio, though, they merely had to talk through their microphones (the same ones used while taping) in order to be heard.  In addition, Christie could look through the camera so as to “look at” the producers while talking to them.  For whatever reason, I thought this to be somewhat interesting.  So of course I snapped a photo.  What else would I do?

Christie Johnson talks with producers back at King 5 studios through her hidden microphone and by looking at the camera.

Canon 7D, 75MM, 1600 ISO, f/4.5, 1/400th, Manual

After the 40 or so minutes after the first live segment, the second one aired.  For this, Christie asked Thunderbirds head coach Rob Sumner a few questions about the T-Birds’ season so far.  There was also a quick explanation about how to check a guy into the boards.  Since you can scroll up and find plenty board-checking above, here’s a shot of Christie talking to the Coach.

Christie Johnson interviews head coach Rob Sumner during a segment that aired Tuesday morning.

Canon 7D, 70MM, 1600 ISO, f/4.5, 1/400th, Manual

I had been trying all morning to get a cool photo of Christie talking into the camera while still being able to see Jim (photographers always take pictures of other photographers; it’s just something we do), but I hadn’t seen anything good.    Finally, during the segment with Coach Sumner, I got what I wanted.   You can see the camera and everything.  Hey, even photographers deserve to be recognized every now and then…

Christie Johnson opens a segment.

Canon 7D, 70MM, 1600 ISO, f/4.5, 1/400th, Manual

The last segment was all about slapshots.  In it, Luke Lockhart explained how to hit one, Michael Salmon explained what it’s like to try and stop one, and Christie Johnson even attempted to take one.

Luke Lockhart goes through the basics of a slapshot.

Canon 7D, 50MM, 1600 ISO, f/4.5, 1/640th, Manual

Christie Johnson asks Michael Salmon about facing slapshots coming at his head.  “I try not to think about the speed [of the pucks,]” he said.

Canon 7D, 50MM, 1600 ISO, f/4.5, 1/640th, Manual

The T-Birds players taught Johnson the basics of a slapshot, which she’s practicing here.

Canon 7D, 50MM, 1600 ISO, f/4.5, 1/640th, Manual

Once Christie got her shot off, Burke, Luke, and Brenden unleashed a volley of slapshots at Michael.  Despite the multiple pucks coming at him seemingly at once, he did well to block many of them.

Salmon got a leg pad in front of this slapshot.

Canon 7D, 50MM, 1600 ISO, f/4, 1/500th, Manual

After the slapshots, there was just one more thing to film as a possible space-filler in the noon broadcast.  For this, Christie met Luke in a face-off and once again “won” it.  She seems to be pretty good at those…

Christie Johnson takes one final faceoff before signing off from the ShowWare Center.

Canon 7D, 70MM, 1600 ISO, f/4, 1/500th, Manual

After that segment was completed and the producers okayed it, all the taping was done.  After cleaning up all the pucks shot at Michael, Christie got a picture with Coach Sumner and the guys.

Johnson wanted a photo of everyone involved for her own blog, http://www.christiejohnsonking5.blogspot.com.

Canon 7D, 50MM, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

If you didn’t catch the segments live, here’s a link to them on King 5’s website.

http://www.king5.com/video/featured-videos/On-the-ice-with-the-Seattle-Thunderbirds-104794044.html

A special thanks to Christie, Jim, and everyone else at King  5 that helped with the broadcast from ShoWare Center.  I had a blast shooting it, and I hope you guys have enjoyed this behind-the-scenes look at how it was made.

And as they say in show business, that’s a wrap!

Til next time, go T-Birds!


Mid-Road Trip Photo Break

Hello everyone!

Sorry I haven’t posted anything in a week, but there hasn’t been anything new to post.  I’ll try to get some extra content during the next home stretch to give you something new to look at while I’m not following the Thunderbirds on the road.
To try and make up for my lack of posts, how about more game photos?  I have some form the first two home games I’d love to share with you all.

These first few are from the home opener September 25 against Portland.

Center Charles Wells skates up the ice with the puck during the Sept. 25 home opener against Portland.

Canon 7D, 185mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Defenseman Brenden Dillon controls the puck during the Thunderbirds’ 4-1 victory over the Winterhawks.

Canon 7D, 165mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual


The Thunderbirds celebrate a goal in the 3rd period of their home opener Sept. 25 against the Portland Winterhawks.

Canon 7D, 165mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual


Ok, so there were only three from the home opener.  I had a bad game that night (unlike the T-Birds with their 4-1 win), and didn’t get too many great photos.   Oh well, it happens and I’m used to it.  The next game, the game October 1 against Lethbridge, however, was much better for me.  I feel some of these were good enough to go into the game post if they matched the theme I picked for it better.

Rightwinger Jacob Doty takes the puck past the center line during a game against Lethbridge Oct. 1.

Canon 7D, 170mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual


Center Colin Jacobs has a clear view of the puck after being knocked to the ice during an Oct. 1 game against the Lethbridge Hurricanes.

Canon 7D, 185mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

This next photo I nearly used in the game thread.  I ended up going with one a few frames and about a second later (I love having a camera that takes 8 frames per second).

Hurricane leftwinger Jacob Berglund takes a shot on goal with Thunderbird defenseman Ryan Aasman (behind) in pursuit.  T-Birds goalie Calvin Pickard blocked the shot and the T-Birds won the game 3-2 via a 2-0 shootout win.

Canon 7D, 170mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual


Rightwinger Marcel Noebels battles Lethbridge defenseman Mike Reddington for the puck during a game Oct. 1

Canon 7D, 155mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual


Goalie Calvin Pickard saves a shot by Lethbridge leftwinger Max Ross.

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


Now for this next photo, I’m not quite sure why I’m including it.  It’s not the best photo ever, there’s just something about it that draws my eye every time I pass it.  I figure that has to mean something, so I decided to include it in this blog.  Let me know what you guys think of it in the comments section below…

Center Colin Jacobs tries to get past Hurricane defenseman Daniel Johnston.

Canon 7D, 115mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

This next photo was taken just a few frames after the previous one.  Maybe that’s why I included that picture just before, to tell how that possession ended?  Yeah, that’s it… That’s the excuse I’ll use!

Jacobs and Johnston race for the puck after Johnston knocked it away.

Canon 7D, 105mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Now this next one is a pretty cool photo.  It would be even better if Wells was over to the right more and not directly behind the goal, but I still think it’s pretty good.  I like how you can see the puck a few inches away from Anderson.  Someday I’ll get Pickard in a cool photo like that.

Seattle center Charles Wells watches as Lethbridge goalie Brandon Anderson  blocks a shot in the second period of a game Oct. 1.

Canon 7D, 78mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Erica, you said you wanted to see more celebration shots.  Well here’s one for you.  Let’s call it a continuation from the last post…

Leftwinger Chance Lund, Rightwinger Burke Gallimore, center Travis Toomey, and defenseman Brenden Dillon celebrate  Toomey’s goal in the third period of a game Oct. 1 against Lethbridge.

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

I had a decision to make with this next photo.  I had a frame where Lund was in focus by the net and the one below where Bonsor is in focus in the foreground.  I think they’re about equal quality, I just decided to go with the Bonsor pic because the puck is closer to him than it is to Lund.

Seattle defenseman Erik Bonsor attempts a pass to Chance Lund.

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

This next photo isn’t an action shot, but nice nonetheless.  It’s an environmental portrait of sorts of Dave Sutter.  While in the box between the benches, I need to remember to grab a few shots of the Thunderbirds’ bench.  I figure you guys would like to see that and I have a responsibility to show you that area since I have access to it.  So keep reminding me to look over my right shoulder while on the ice, okay?

Defenseman Dave Sutter listens to Coach Rob Sumner before the overtime period.

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

Lastly, who doesn’t love more Calvin Pickard shots?  Here’s Calvin making a save during the shootout in the Lethbridge game.

Goalie Calvin Pickard saves a shootout attempt by Lethbridge’s Cam Braes.

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

Since both Gallimore and Noebels hit their attempts and Pickard blocked both of Lethbridge’s, the Thunderbirds ended up winning the shootout and the game.  So let’s celebrate another T-Birds victory, shall we Calvin?

Pickard celebrates saving a shootout attempt by Lethbridge’s Dylan Tait, the play that clinched a victory and two points for the Thunderbirds.

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

That’s a resounding yes from Pickard!

That’s it for this post, ladies and gentlemen.  As always, thank you for reading and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.
Til next time, go T-Birds!


Game 2: T-Birds Weather the Storm

For the second (home) game of the season, the Thunderbirds played host to the Lethbridge Hurricanes.  It was the only time this year that the ‘Birds and the ‘Canes would face off, and the players seemed intent on being as hitting each other as much as possible because of it.  It was easily the most physical hockey game I’ve seen (although that number is quite low).  Because of that, I’ve decided to focus on the hits for the first half of this post.

The hits started early as shortly into the first period, Lethbridge defenseman Brennan Yadlowski (left, 9) tried to start a shoving match with T-Birds center Travis Toomey (middle, 37).  Despite having his helmet knocked off, Toomey couldn’t retaliate as he was quickly wrapped up by an official.

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

There were, though, a couple fights during the first period.  The first one was between Thunderbirds rightwinger Jacob Doty and Hurricanes center Neil Tarnasky.  Unfortunately the referee was in between me and the two fighters throughout the whole thing and ruined every shot taken during it, but I did manage to get a frame when they were finally separated.

Canon 7D, 195mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

The second one, between T-Birds leftwinger Chance Lund and Hurricanes defenseman Derek Ryckman, came after T Lund put a hard check on ‘Canes right winger Alex Kuvaev.  Ryckman hit Lund in response, and the fight was on.  Thankfully the referees were off to the side throughout the fight so I got plenty of good shots during it.  Here’s my favorite one, where Lund seems to land a good shot on Ryckman’s chin.  Maybe I should start taking boxing photos to improve my fight shots…

Canon 7D, 175mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Hits didn’t come merely in fights, though.  The whole game featured a lot of hard checks by both sides.  Here, Seattle defenseman Dave Sutter forces a Lethbridge player into the glass while pursuing the puck…

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

And here Seattle defenseman Dustin Baecker forces Yadlowski into the glass, preventing him from racing after the puck.

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

It wasn’t just Seattle players throwing their weight around, Lethbridge got a few good checks in as well.  Here Hurricanes defenseman Cason Machacek throws Thunderbird center Brendan Rouse to the ice.

Canon 7D, 195mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Despite all the hits, the two teams still managed to threaten the goal a few times.  In the first period the Thunderbirds managed to earn 13 shots on goal while Lethbridge had 9.  Here, Seattle rightwinger Burke Gallimore tries to sneak the puck past Lethbridge defenseman Daniel Johnston and goalie Brandon Anderson.

Canon 7D, 125mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

And here Thunderbird center Connor Sanvido takes a shot on Anderson.

Canon 7D, 105mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Late in the first period, Lethbridge leftwinger Jacob worked his was in front of the net and tried to sneak the puck past Seattle goalie Calvin Pickard.  Pickard, though, was ready for it and blocked the shot.

Canon 7D, 175mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

All of these photos are from the first period, where I was standing along the top row of suites for 10 minutes and inside a suite for the other 10.  Overall, 9 photos I’ll use in this post are from the first period when I was along the top, 10 or so are from the third are from the third period when I was between the benches, and just one from the second period when I was shooting through the glass behind the Lethbridge goal.  This points to two things: 1) not much happened in the second period—which is true—and how hard it can be to shoot through the glass since there’s a not-quite clear barrier between the lens and the action.  Mainly, though, it just goes to show me where I have room for improvement.  Once I learn to select positions along the glass at either end of the rink, I’ll get better photos from those positions.  Until then, I hope you enjoy this photo of T-Bird center Luke Lockhart passing to a teammate…

Canon 7D, 78mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Onto the third period!  It seems like just a second ago we were just on period 2, doesn’t it?  Anyways, just over a minute into the period, Toomey found himself on a breakaway with no one between him and the goalie.  He calmly aimed and fired 15 feet or so away from the goal and scored!  Being between the two benches, I had a great view on the play and expected to have a pretty decent shot of it.  I’ll share it with you now…

Canon 7D, 115mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1600th, Manual

Amazing! Spectacular! What a photo!

Yeah, this is a typical occurrence in photography: a random object that has no place being in the frame but is and ruins the photo.   I guess I can take comfort in the fact it wouldn’t have been a great photo anyway: the goalie’s leg is cut off, only Toomey’s back is visible, and the puck is hidden behind the stick.  But still, it’s pretty annoying to have to have a random stick block your shot… (What’s that?  I shouldn’t complain because I get to sit between the benches?  You’ve got me there, I’ll stop now.)

I did get something good from that goal, though.  In his celebration Toomey rolled out to the right, giving me a clear line of sight to shoot the reaction.  Here’s one of them…

Canon 7D, 108mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1600th, Manual

After Toomey’s goal came a series of pretty good defensive plays (or at least a series of good shots of defensive plays).  Since I can’t think of a better way of introducing them to you, I’ll just post them and you can decide for yourself if they’re good or not.

Canon 7D, 110mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1600th, Manual

Canon 7D, 98mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1600th, Manual

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

Being right beside the team bench, I can hear some of what’s said in the bench (a lot of which I can’t repeat on this blog) and have a good view of coach Rob Sumner.   Here’s a photo of Coach Sumner instructing a player during a break in the action.

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

Up just 1-0, The Thunderbirds really could have used another score or two to really put the game away.  Apparently rightwinger Marcel Noebels thought that as well, seeing as he buried a shot from distance past the goalie Anderson and into the net.  My photo of the goal isn’t good—you can’t tell what’s going on and it’s very cluttered with players—so instead I’ll show you Noebel’s high-kicking celebration.

Canon 7D, 108mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual

Now that the Thunderbirds were up 2-0 with six minutes to go, things were looking pretty good.  The Hurricanes, however, didn’t give up and kept pressing the attack, hoping to shoot themselves back into the game.  Finally, they pulled Anderson in favor of having a sixth attacker and the move seemed to pay off as they snuck two past Pickard in the last two and a half minutes.  Here’s a photo of the first goal from Lethbridge by leftwinger Jacob Berglund.

Canon 7D, 185mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1600th, Manual

With the score tied 2-2, we were now heading into overtime.  It was a defensive extra period, as there were only three shots on goal in extra time, all three by the Thunderbirds.  None went into the net, however, and a shootout would decide who would escape with two points.

In the shootout, Gallimore shot first for the T-Birds…

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

I’m not exactly sure what happened with the shot.  From my picture, it looks like it may have deflected off Anderson’s glove and into the goal, but I’m not confident in that guess.  What I do now is that it eventually crossed the blue line between the pipes and gave the T-Birds an early lead in the shootout.

First up for Lethbridge was leftwinger Max Ross.  He did not convert his shot, though, as Pickard followed the puck all the way to his left leg pad and blocked it.

Canon 7D, 140mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Up next for the Thunderbirds was Marcel Noebels.  He also converted his shootout goal, and then Calvin Pickard blocked the attempt from Lethbridge leftwinger Mitch Maxwell.  The T-Birds won the shootout 2-0!

Of course, everyone rushed out to Pickard to celebrate the win with him.

Canon 7D, 108mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Blog note:  The T-Birds are now on a two-week road trip and I won’t be following the team much—if at all—on the road this season.  My question is, what do you want to see on the photoblog for the next two weeks?  Give me any suggestions in the comment section.  Of course, if you want to critique my work, that’s fine too!

Till next time, Go T-Birds!