On the Ice with Millie

Today’s Post by Mildred Alpern

Invited to watch a hockey match at Chelsea Piers in NYC, I grabbed my Olympus M. Zuiko 40-150 f/2.8 Pro lens and headed off to the rink. The first thing I noticed was a six-foot high Plexiglas on a waist-high wall encircling the perimeter of the rink to protect viewers from flying pucks. I would have to shoot through it. In some standing spots, reflections marred clear images, but at a far end of the rink, close to the goalie’s station, the images were clear.

Explaining the game and players’ movements to an extraterrestrial alien would be difficult. Let me try. To begin, there are hulking padded figures in two different shirt and sock outfits wearing helmets and face masks. They carry long slender sticks, each stick ending with a flat extension. These oversized figures swirl swiftly about on an enormous oval of smooth ice. With sharpened metal blades attached to the soles of their boots, they chase singularly or in groups after a tiny slithering black disc towards a solitary figure, even more heavily padded, at each end of the oval. He crouches before a net and attempts to obstruct the disc from entering his protected space. Finally, a figure in a striped shirt and conventional street pants glides about but generally stands apart from the vigorous activity. He blows a whistle and outstretches his arms on occasion. “Very strange,” thinks the extraterrestrial alien. Is the disc potent? Why does the crouching figure try to repel it?

I set my camera to Shutter Priority, a fast speed, and tried to follow the action as best as I could, looking for moments of high drama. I ignored the thudding sound of the puck crashing into the wall near me, concentrating on the fast moving players and clicking away rapidly. This was fun to shoot, a challenging new experience that boosts my admiration for sports photographers.

All images were shot with the Olympus M. Zuiko Mark II and the M. Zuiko 40-150 Pro f/2.8 lens; the referee, at 48 mm with an exposure of 1/ 500 sec at f/2.8, +2/3EV, ISO 1250; the goalie attempting the save, at 40mm with an exposure of 1/500 sec at f/2.8, +2/3EV, ISO 1250; the single skater with an exposure of 1/500 at f/3.5, +2/3EV, ISO1250.


Mildred’s books Winter Garden and Seedhead and St. Agnes Public Library Exhibit are available from MagCloud in print or digital form at most affordable prices.