As a photographer, one of the most common questions I’m asked is, “which photo is your favorite?” The answer to this question is impossible to come to. I take roughly two thousand photos in every game and submit an album of about one hundred. However, each photo serves it’s own purpose. There are photos that contribute to the story of what happened: big hits, goals, and fights. There are also photos that do not: portraits, player assignments, and aesthetic images.
Many of my photos are featured on Philly Sports Network, but there are a lot more where those came from. From month to month, make sure to check back at Philly Sports Network for my personal top ten that you may not otherwise see scrolling through Twitter or Instagram.
During warmups of my very first NHL game, I was looking to capture as much as I could because I wasn’t sure if I’d have an ice level position my first time in the building. The warmup period is a good sixteen minutes of complete creative freedom. Braun skated to about five feet from my portal and stopped so I captured this on a 70-200mm lens. The bokeh (the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light) in this photo is just present enough to give the scene depth but also compliment Braun as the subject of the image.
Co-host of the Pod Street Bullies podcast, Managing Editor of the Flyers division at Philly Sports Network. Follow me on Twitter @PodStreetBobb and follow the Pod Street Bullies @PodSTBullies.
“To play the game is good, to win is better, but to love the game is best of all.”
This was a game of “firsts,” for me, including the game itself. This was the first fight I ever photographed. Personally, I think shooting a fight can be difficult. They skate in quick little circles, the referees often surround them, and they don’t last very long. This falls in one of my favorite images because I was proud of capturing an image that captures Stewart’s expression given the circumstances I had while shooting.
Carter Hart doing the Carter Hart thing. This photo is special to me because I tried so hard [and failed] to capture this moment during his time with Lehigh Valley. What I didn’t know then was the settings I was using were never going to capture this moment the way I wanted to: exactly like this. This wasn’t my first, second, or third try but I wasn’t going to leave this game without it.
Another shot created during warmups – Claude Giroux during the Military Appreciation night. He leaned over in front of me and in front of my portal. What happens when something blocks your shot? You do what you can to create. I stood up and Giroux was perfectly parallel to me; this was shot through the glass but, with the help of the dehaze tool, we created this beauty.
One of the most common misconceptions of Jake Voracek is that he’s heartless. He has blocked most of the fanbase, often keeps a straight face, and he saves his emotions for the locker room. One thing I can say: he loves kids. This is a picture of Jake having fun with a child fan in the stands. When I look at this photo, I can actually hear the little boy giggling.
This photo is from Hockey Fights Cancer night and I really like the purple glow casting over the crowd. Without telling, you can see that this photo was shot on a different night, a theme night. It has a special feeling to it. The slight purple detail accentuates the other colors in this photo and makes the colors appear slightly more vibrant.
Another one of the, “make the most of what you have,” situations. Scott Laughton skated up to my portal, leaned over, and blocked half of my field of view. To my right, the players are skating and constantly moving… which loosely translates to constantly blocking a shot. Working with the situation, I used my 70-200mm lens again and opted to captured the details.
Photos like this are funny to me. They make you remember just how important the glass is. When this photo happened, JVR had just fallen behind the goal and got up, smacked his stick against the glass, and skated over to set up camp in, “his spot,” in front of the net. How would this have gone if there really was no glass?
Why does Carter Hart spray the water bottle at just about every stoppage? Many of you know, but many of you may not. Carter sprays the water bottle, selects one water droplet, and watches it travel from mid-air to the ice. This helps him gather his focus before the resume of play. What’s unique about this photo is I feel like you’re looking at the water from Hart’s perspective. You see every singular drop instead of a stream of water.
Who doesn’t love to see the pure joy from The Kids™? This was shot after the Flyers beat the Sharks. Travis Konecny, clearly thrilled with Carter Hart’s performance, had banged helmets with Hart and made an inaudible joke. This is one of my top photos because it makes me stop and think that these are the photos people will look at when these two are in their prime and even retired. Its an honor to capture the early days.
Mandatory Credit – Alex McIntyre