One of my goals for this year’s high school ice hockey season was to capture more peak moments. The last two years, I felt I had missed many good photos by missing those times when the action was at its peak. I knew going into this season I could not blame the equipment. The Nikon D700 camera coupled with the battery grip is capable of 9 frames per second and the Nikon 70-200VR lens I use is one of the fastest focusing lenses Nikon makes. Putting the burden squarely on the photographer, moi.
With that in mind, I present photos and my commentary where I feel I captured the peak action during this season’s games.
This is one of my favorites this season. Even at f/2.8, the players and puck are in sharp focus. Both player’s eyes are concentrating on where the puck is going as they fight for position to best go after it.
The fast frame rate helped here. The red player got in alone and I started taking photos three frames before he cut to his left sharply and shot the puck. The goalie stretched out and stopped the puck with his leg pad.
Hockey is an impact sport as this photo of a body check demostrates. Capturing both player’s skates off the ice gives this photo an extra jump.
Hockey goalies are a big part of the action. They are a team’s last defense and have heavy, specialized equipment to help them in the task of keeping the puck out of the net. I try to highlight their work in every game I photograph.
Scoring a goal is a time for a team to celebrate and this photo captures the white team raising their arms after they scored. The framing is a bit tight but I feel the excitement of the moment is still there.
I do keep missing peak moments but my percentage is getting higher with each game I attend.