Monday, March 31, 2014

Desperate Dive

"Patrick Wey #56 of the Washington Capitals dives and reaches for the puck in attempt to stop a goal by Patrice Bergeron #37 of the Boston Bruins in the third period during an NHL game at Verizon Center on March 29, 2014 in Washington, DC."

In the world of professional photography, it's easy to get caught up in the digital age of high-end cameras and their impressive specifications.

With these monster cameras shooting more than 10 frames a second and sensors reaching upwards and onwards of 20 megapixels, everyone wants the latest and greatest camera to help them capture the peak moment in a fast-paced world.

With that in mind, I recently covered for a friend, teammate serving as the team photographer for the Washington Capitals for a night. For the most part, everything was the same as if I covered the game for any other editorial client, so I wasn't too nervous.

However, one factor that was very different was shooting on strobes instead of available light. Rather than shooting 10 frames a second on action and emotional storytelling moments, I had to choose when to fire the camera with thought, patience and precision.

Shooting on lights meant shooting only one picture at a time - and every three to four seconds at that  - as the lights recycled. A millisecond before or after the peak action moment and you're left with sub-par imagery

In the end, it was very challenging, as it's something I haven't done in a couple years. Yet it was very rewarding as it makes you focus on the fundamental skill of timing.

In a period where I only shot 67 frames, I think the above is a perfect example of getting a decisive image with just one frame. When that's all you have to work with, it gives you even more respect for the team photographers that work on strobes all season. Their images are continually inspiring as they shoot them one click at a time.


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