Shooting hockey tournaments on a regular basis, I consider myself a seasoned veteran on the ins and outs of shooting hockey, such as keeping the equipment up and running in cold rinks and how to adjust for the challenging lighting situations. As experienced as I am with these, I still feel I was caught a little off guard when I agreed to shoot the Great Lakes Girls Hockey League Playoff Tournament at an outdoor twin rink complex in Buffalo in late February.
Photography in winter can be a challenge. And when I say “winter”, I’m not talking of winter in the sense of majestic snowcapped peaks framed by freshly powdered pines with perfect golden light and firetone brushstroke clouds, I’m talking more of the winter of dirty refrozen slushpiles downtown three frigid days after a mid-January sleetstorm around 11:17 on a grey Tuesday morning when it seems there’s nothing magical left in the world worth getting out of warm car with a camera for.
Winter has its challenges, for sure, especially in the deciduous zones, where skeleton trees thrust bony fingers at the sky, and vistas and sweeping wild scenes are brushed widely with swaths of stingy browns and grays, instead of the festive pastels of spring, the lush greens of summer and the fall fireworks palette. But winter has it own charms and own rewards, and for photographers looking to challenge themselves and experiment, it can be a great time to get out and explore with a long lens, like the new 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG HSM OS | Sports lens.
Having been an ice hockey goalie for the last 30 years, my passion for hockey photography runs deeper than any other sport. The speed of the action along with the close quarters of the action relative to the camera create a challenging environment to shoot in. Throw in frozen fingers, pucks whizzing by your face and the occasional stick in your ear and the task becomes downright treacherous. Here are some tips to not only get better hockey images, but to also keep your equipment safe and yourself out of the emergency room.
The Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports has been generating a ton of buzz since its announcement at photokina in September 2014. This Sports update of the 150-500mm supertelephoto zoom lens is one of two 150-600mm zoom lenses announced at the show, along with the 150-600mm DG OS HSM | Contemporary.
As a sports photographers, I need a big, fast zoom lens to keep up with the action. The new Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 | Sports lens is just about perfect for the sidelines. With the performance customization available with the USB Dock, it is perhaps the ultimate field sports telephoto zoom. Right out of the box, this lens is one of the sharpest pieces of glass I have ever used, so I was a little hesitant to play with the settings using the USB Dock. However after exploring the options with the easy to use Sigma Optimizer Pro software, I was comforted knowing the Restore to Defaults option was always just a mouse click away.
Our new video quicktips for photographers series offers advice for anyone who is looking to understand more about the techniques and technology that can help them make better pictures. Each episode is just a few minutes long and looks to explain and offer advice in an easy-to-grasp way. Check back all month long as we add new episodes to this series.
Supertelephoto lenses can help bring a whole new level to your photography; and it just takes a little practice to get the hang of some of the particulars of working with long-reach lenses. Here are some top tips for making the most of supertelephoto zoom lenses.
Over the last weekend a huge swell focused giant waves on California triggering a high surf advisory and I had my Sigma 50-500mm to document some of the action. By the end of the weekend the awe inspiring power of this swell took its toll with lots of snapped surfboard leashes, broken surfboards and injured surfers (one had to be taken away by ambulance), my friend Jim broke his foot on Sunday dropping into a huge wave!
At my local beach in south Los Angeles the waves break close to shore so my Sigma 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM works very very well to document the action in the water here. Prime lenses are much harder to shoot with at beach breaks especially when the surf is large.