Photo By Barnick
The Story Behind the Shots
Minnesota vs. Quinnipiac Hockey Frozen Four Championship
April 8, 2023
For this game, I was requested by my client to obtain pictures of Matthew Knies, Brock Faber, Logan Cooley, and Skyler Brind’Amour. Photos apart from these would still be welcome but should be kept separate.
After the game, I had what I considered to be such good shots of the celebration by Quinnipiac (both after their 3rd period tying goal and their OT winning goal) that I first concentrated on getting those to the client. I figured that these shots would be most necessary for their website and that the others could follow shortly. I believe I was right. I’m certainly not as fast as some photographers but I wanted to especially get the OT celebration photos to them so that they had those quickly.
Shooting this game was a little frustrating. Unlike the previous two games, I was not provided one period at ice level even behind the glass. So, for all shots from the stands, I used the Sony A9 and the 70-200 2.8 version 2 lens. At the time of this blog, 13 of the shots on my site are from that viewing angle.
In order to get at least some shots from the rink level, I asked one of the administrators for just 10 minutes of game time. He was polite and said that I could shoot the first 10 minutes of the first period at the zamboni entrance. I ran over to that location and tried to scootch between the other photographers during warmup. Warmup at ice level, if handled well, could be better than the shots from where I had to shoot the rest of the game. Especially considering I was trying to capture specific players.
While shooting, another photographer was nice enough to allow me to shoot through the hole for about 5-10 minutes of warmup. That was great, and I was able to get some clean shots. At the time of writing this blog, 5 of the shots are from that location.
As soon as the game started, I was kicked out from the hole area (was hoping someone would have forgotten about it (lol)). I moved over to the glass area and at the 10 minute mark I left and shot from upstairs. All shots taken at rink level were taken with the Canon R6 and the 24-105 F4 RF version.
I’m going to write about a couple/few of the photos on this site.
The warmup photos and most of the shots from the top of the stairs of the lower bowl of seats are pretty simple shots. Shots from the top are pretty easy to get and as long as I kept the netting and glass out of the photos, they could be reasonably good.
1. The shot of Skyler Brind’Amour seemingly staring at me through the glass was a cool shot. His face is slightly soft in the shot but I still love the expression. The eyes are great.
2. The tying goal from Quinnipiac with Skler Brind’Amour in front, with the puck going through the net, was one I was happy with. There’s a tiny bit of glass on the bottom right of the shot, but because of the importance of that goal, I figured I’d include it. I couldn’t crop it out and still get the meaning of the shot.
3. The celebration shots after the tying goal by Quinnipiac are a fun sequence to look at and remember. Although shooting from above is not my favorite, it proved to be a great place to get those shots. I had a hard time determining which of these is my favorite of the bunch. I was a little disappointed that they didn’t make it on my clients’ site, but the OT goal obviously was more important. What’s also cool is that there are 6 guys celebrating. I like the early shots because they have good facial expressions for those in the group. I like the later ones because they include the jumping player piling on. I do wish that I had a shot with both those aspects so I could just pick that one. Maybe just being picky. I do have more of that sequence on my hard drive so even dwindling those down to the ones on my site wasn’t easy. I’m very happy with these shots!
4. The celebration photos after the OT goal. I’m standing at the top of the stairs having just finished shooting the photos of the 3rd period tying goal and celebration. Then I see someone with his photography gear coming towards me up the stairs. I ask him “are you done?”. He said, “Yes. You can have it”. So I rushed/ran down the stairs and had the last two minutes of the third period and the OT (all 10 seconds of it) to shoot behind the glass. Glad that the celebration was in my area so I could shoot it. When I went down there, the fans sitting there said “he left NOW?”. I said yep, and they couldn’t believe it.
For these photos and the photos of Brock Faber in tears, I had to do quite a bit of editing. Shooting through glass isn’t too bad if you’re shooting with the lens either straight-on or shooting down to the glass (See my photos of the Michigan vs Boston U game – all of them were through the glass). Shooting with your lens at an angle up to the glass is a recipe for disaster. All kinds of reflections make their way into the photos. Also, one thing you try to do is pre-plan where you’re shooting from behind the glass to avoid the smudges. However, when the action like this happens quickly, you do not have that option. You shoot whatever is happening where it is and then pray that you got something workable.
Even with the haze, reflections, reduced sharpness, and a weird color shading at the top left of the photos that I cropped mostly out, I still love these shots. To have captured the celebration of an OT win in a championship game is, for this photographer, a thrill.
The Brock Faber shots required the most work in editing. They had very weird color casting. But they were worth it. It’s sad to see someone in tears after the game. But I knew I had to capture it. And hockey’s emotions are not always happy, and Brock will have a hopefully long career in the NHL.