"One of my greatest Olympic moments was shooting the Gold Medal Hockey game at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics!!! I was sitting front row between the Newsweek and Sports Illustrated photographers right next to the goal, the crowd was electric and the game was beyond EPIC!! I was so very honoured have been able to shoot Team Canada win Gold on Canadian soil, and capture so many Hockey moments with excellence."
For a photographer the Gold Medal hockey game is by far the toughest Olympic sport to get in to and shoot because there are only a certain amount of spots available for photographers in the stadium. So when I got there, even though I had credentials, I didn't know where I would be sitting or if I would be able to get in to the game at all. I kept positive and ended up getting very lucky with the spot I got in the front row, but I was right behind the glass. I had to improvise on the spot and I extended my lens hood with black tape to be able to attach to the glass to minimize reflections. It worked great and I was able to get a fantastic eye-level perspective and still got razor sharp images. Pro Tip: always keep some black electrical tape in your camera bag for situations just like this. Speaking of luck: during the game an olympic puck flew off the ice, into the air and actually landed in my open camera bag without even breaking a lens!! It sits in my trophy case as a reminder of what happens when you go for it, allow and surrender to the flow.
It was an amazing game and I fed off the energy capturing hundreds of great shots of our Team Canada!! I took time whenever there was a break in the action to review my images, zoom in and make sure my images and settings were dialled, including the perfect colour balance. My exposure setting was generally around f/5.0 at 1/1600 sec - ISO 5000 on my Nikon D3s. I hope you enjoy a few of my favourite shots from the game and share on Facebook / Twitter by clicking below.
Capturing Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir win Gold for Canada in Vancouver was definitely one of the highlights of my Olympic experience. They were outstanding and amazing to shoot!! I used my Nikon D3s with Nikon 200-400mm lens (the perfect zoom to shoot the figure skating). I was able to shoot at 3200ISO which allowed me to exposure at f/5.6 at 1/1250sec.
Wishing you both good luck in Sochi!!!
One of my greatest all-time olympic moments was capturing Catriona LeMay Doan winning the gold medal for Canada at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake, Utah. It was really early on in my sports shooting career and I was actually shooting a commercial job in Utah at the time. My client had a place I could stay there and asked me if I would like to stay for the olympics. I said "YES"... and thats when my olympic journey really began!
The day of Catriona's race I was actually out shooting mogul skiing. I had heard that Catriona was in the finals and I decided to try to get to the venue which was very far away. I was told that it was impossible to make it there in time by several people, but I trusted my gut. I went anyway, even without a ticket to the event or accreditation. My positivity perservered and I was able to get to the venue in time and was even given a ticked by a coach I bumped into outside the arena.
During her two laps of the oval I got some of the best shots in the world of Catriona's win on my Nikon D1X (my first pro digital camera). During one of the laps I decided to take a risk and do a pan shot where I shot at a much longer shutter speed than normal and panned the camera perfectly to have Catriona sharp but give the background a motion blur. I got lucky with the red background and nailed the technique... the feeling was exhilarating!!
I am very proud to have been able to give Catriona the composite of images that I used in this feature which she hangs on her wall and many wonderful images for her book. When she retired from speed skating they printed a 16x20 foot print of my pan shot of her and unveiled it at the Olympic Oval in Calgary with a plaque under it with my name. I feel honoured to have been able to capture Catriona's gold medal win with excellence and be able to contribute to our Canadian athletes and the Olympics with my own talents.
I learned two important lessons here that have been transformative in my life:
• When the opportunity calls out to you ... always say YES!!!
• When you trust your gut and are willing to take a risk and just go for it, the payoff is always tremendous!