Photo: Jason Krog

Jason Krog

Photo: Chicago Wolves Captain Jason Krog on the attack in the offensive zone early in a match-up against the Rockford Ice Hogs.

As I eluded to yesterday, we had amazing seats to Sunday’s Wolves game against (our favorite) Ice Hogs. Only with seats like that would I be able to get a shot like the one above, which believe it or not, I managed to pull of in-camera without any cropping in post. Talk about great timing and a whole lot of luck (more of the latter, actually).

The image is a little noisy, and that’s because I had to shoot at ISO 800 to get some of the shutter speeds fast enough to freeze the action.  This one’s 1/320 sec. at f/5.6, which is as wide open as I can shoot with my 70mm-300mm telephoto zoom set anywhere passed about 200mm (this one was 240mm). I know there are really good noise reduction tools in Photoshop and as plug-ins, I just haven’t used them too much yet. I’ll certainly be revisiting this one in the future once my noise reduction skills improve over time.

New Gear Needed

It’s worth noting that the cameras I shoot these games with now – my Canon 20D and Canon Rebel XSi – and while they have served me well in so many capacities, shooting pass ISO 400 for sports is a bit of a stretch. So, the bad news is that I would have to upgrade my gear if I wanted to do this more often. The good news is that I have more options than I did before.

Both options are pricey, as it would be a matter of buy/renting faster glass to shoot at f/4 or upgrade to a full-frame DSLR. While I would absolutely drool over having a full-frame sensor like the Canon 5DMKII, it’s way out of my price range right now. But the good news is that the newer cameras like the Canon 7D (hopefully my birthday present) have advanced to the point where ISO 800, 1600 and even ISO 3200 in some cases have much less noise than my Rebel XSi of a year ago.

Shooting from the same seats with a 7D and possibly an upgrade (and rented) lens with a constant aperture of f/4 would be such a thrill. Who knows, maybe by next season.

It’s Hockey Week

This is only the first of about 20 images I pulled out of the pile from Sunday’s shoot for processing this week, so it’s certainly going to be a hockey themed week for sure. While I won’t post all 20 in a row, I’ll have a note at the end to highlight the photoset on Flickr where the rest will end up. So if you’re a puck head like me, put on the foil, lace ‘em up, and get ready for more of the greatest game in the world!

– Kris

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