As seen from above: Shooting from a fresh perspective helps you stand out above the crowd
posted Friday, November 18, 2016 at 3:30 PM EDT
Sports photographer David Berding is based in Minnesota, which means that he shoots his fair share of hockey. Typically when photographing hockey, you shoot through a small hole in the glass at ice level. This affords you a great look at the action, but it means that many photographers end up with similar shots captured from similar angles. The best way for your work to stand out? Shoot differently.
For Berding, standing out means getting above the ice and shooting remotely. At the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, where the National Hockey League's Minnesota Wild play their home games, there is a catwalk over the ice. Not for the faint of heart, the catwalk is a prime spot for Berding to set up a camera. The setup is simple, says Berding, although it is concerning to think about your gear falling hundreds of feet down onto the unforgiving ice surface (and who knows what would happen if it ever struck a player or referee skating beneath it).
David secures his Canon 7D and 24-105mm f/4 lens using a Manfrotto Magic Arm and Super Clamp. He also uses three safety cables for extra protection. To capture images remotely, he uses a Pocketwizard Plus III system and a Canon pre-trigger cable. He uses gaffer tape to keep the zoom and focus ring from moving. You can check out a behind-the-scenes video below.
To see what kind of results Berding achieves with his distinct vantage point, check out the cool shot from the November 17 tilt between the Wild and the visiting Boston Bruins and one from a month ago when the Wild were victorious against the Winnipeg Jets.
Shooting remotely comes with unique challenges, such as not being able to have a live view of what your camera and lens are seeing. During a game, Berding typically captures between 400 and 500 shots, of which he keeps five or six, if it was a successful game. To learn more about David Berding's overhead hockey photography, check out this article. You can view more of his work at his website and on Instagram.