The Official Photoblog of the Seattle Thunderbirds

View From the Top

Hello again everyone!  The T-Birds have just two more games on their road trip, but won’t be back at the ShoWare Center until next Friday.  To celebrate the road trip so far (five points in four games), how about we take a talk about what it’s like to be up on the ShoWare catwalks?

In this post I’ll be trying something new: video!  My camera has video capabilities and I tested those out along with my video-editing know-how (or should I say no-how, as I have none?).  Since these are my first videos they’ll be short and have abrupt transitions.  I promise to keep working at making better ones, though.   Oh, and they’ll be out of focus at times.  My camera can’t auto-focus while in taking video.  Just warning ya…

So let’s get up to the catwalks, shall we?  Since the doors to the catwalks are on the roof, we have to get up there.  Let’s get past this sign, go up the staircase and hit the roof then!

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/80th, Manual

Thankfully it wasn’t raining Nov. 2 (the night of the Red Deer game and when I was on the catwalks), although it was kind of chilly.  Here’s a video of the walk on the roof to the center ice door.

Timeline note: at the end when we’re inside the arena, you see some actual game footage.  That video was taken before and during the second period and not before the game.  I did this because my video from before the first period was taken inside when I was figuring out where to stand.  In fact, let’s watch it now…

At the end there, I mentioned I was going to stay over the T-Birds goal in the north end for the first period.  Well I got over there in time for the players to be introduced on the ice.  Since there’s a spotlight that lights up the T-Birds players as they’re introduced, there was some nice lighting for a few pictures.  Being behind them and facing the spotlight, I got nice, long shadows off the players.  Since this isn’t even making sense in my head, much less in writing, I’ll just show you the picture.

Canon 7D, 70mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/320th, Manual

There!  There’s my cool photo from the player introductions, it’s exactly as I described it.  😛

After the introductions came the national anthem(s).  Since Red Deer is from Canada, the Canadian anthem was sung as well as The Star-Spangled Banner.  Having shot many sporting events—and listening to the American anthem before every single one, too—I’m not quite used to sitting through two yet.  Oh well, at least O Canada is just as nice to listen too, especially Anne Jones’ (the singer that night) rendition of it…

Canon 7D, 115mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/160th, Manual

Now for the game to start!  I actually found myself moving around a lot.  I started out at center ice (although over the fans on the one hundred-tens side—the sections are all in the one-teens, or whatever the proper term for 110-119 is), moved to left of the Seattle goal (over the ice), then to just above the crease (still over the ice).  I got this photo of Pickard returning the puck to a referee from just to the left the Seattle goal…

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

When over the goal, the bottom of the catwalk prevented me from seeing all but just the goal and one corner of ice.  If I just leaned to the other side of the walkway, though (as the catwalks are pretty much bridges over the ice: a walkway with pipes on either side to prevent you from falling down), I could see both neutral zones and both benches.  That viewpoint gave a cool photo of the T-Birds bench during a media timeout.

Canon 7D, 70mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/640th, Manual

When the puck was in play, I’d be switching between my goal vantage point and my neutral zone vantage point to get the most photos possible as I subscribe to the theory “the more I shoot, the more good photos I’ll have”.  Despite getting dizzy when the T-Birds kept clearing the puck, I did actually get some cool shots.  Here’s one of Pickard right after making one of his 46 saves.  You can see the puck on his glove, which is why I like this shot…

Canon 7D, 145mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

Unfortunately I couldn’t see the south goal where the T-Birds were shooting at thanks to the hanging scoreboard. Of course, the only fight I was on the catwalks for happened at the far end of the ice.  As you saw in the last post, I used the video screen to see the fight and to “shoot” it.  Here’s a shot of the screen, or a shot of a shot of the fight, as it were…

Canon 7D, 120mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

After the fight, Mitch Elliot was sent off the ice since his five minute penalty wouldn’t be over until the second period.  His teammates had to collect his stick, gloves, and helmet off the ice and take it over to the bench.  There, equipment manager Jason Berger laid them aside to give back to Elliot for the next period.

Canon 7D, 165mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

Right before the game restarted, the officials chatted with players from both teams, again in my sights from above.

Canon 7D, 145mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

For the second period, I continued my roving ways.  I started out over the Seattle bench so I could see more of the ice; from that vantage point I could see both goals.  I also had a very nice view of the Seattle bench, which I’ll show you now…

Canon 7D, 90mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/800th, Manual

From there, I went back to above the north goal (this time defended by Red Deer) and hoped for some offense from the T-Birds.  Luckily I got it, but those photos were already posted in the last post.

That’s actually all the content I have for you today.  Sorry for the short post, but I didn’t shoot as much of the actual catwalks as I should have.  Next time I’m up there, I’ll try to remember to give you guys  more.  Sound like a deal?
As always, feel free to leave me a comment or two in the comments section below.

Til next time, go T-Birds!

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One response

  1. Erik

    I’m making the picture of the players being intro’d into my wallpaper on my iPhone. Stop by next week to check it out 🙂

    Videos were very cool – I always wondered how you got up there!

    November 11, 2010 at 1:03 pm

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