I noticed during player introductions last season, I would sometimes capture the spotlight behind the players as they skated onto the ice. I watched how the spotlight operator would follow a pattern. Once I figured out about when the spotlight would swing in behind a player, I would position myself in the face-off circle nearest where the players entered the ice surface. It took a few games last season to dial in everything. This season, I’m ready for them.
Even at f/5.6, the 9 bladed aperture diaphragm of the Nikon 24-120mm f/4 VR lens created a sunburst effect from the spotlight. The arena is bathed in blue light from the Ephesus Lighting LED stadium lighting which the flash counters by bouncing it off the built-in bounce card.
The Nikon D500 camera was in Manual mode with the shutter speed set to 1/250th of a second which is the fastest sync speed for the flash. The ISO can change from 400 up to 1600. In this lighting, 1600 is usually the result.
The only thing I can not control is how the players skate past me. Some come straight out and turn past me like Tanner Richard did in the photo used for this blog. Some keep going straight out and are not lighted by the spotlight in time. Others are too slow or too fast. Over the course of a 38 game season, I will get most of the players like this. The Crunch like to use them in promotional pieces. I just like them.