Other than a couple of my daughter's track meets, I haven't shot any sports photos since my days as the photographer for my high school's newspaper. Back then I shot with a Yashica twin-lens reflex, which had a fixed 80mm (normal) f/3.5 lens. It was a real challenge to shoot a night time football game on Tri-X film. Occasionally we photographers became part of the action when we weren't able to get out of the way of a tackle after getting the shot.

So I was a bit skeptical about what I'd be able to do at a youth league hockey game using my Fuji X-T1 and a 50-140mm f/2.8 lens. I figured the autofocus just wouldn't keep up with the action, so I used the same strategy I used in high school, focus on a particular spot and wait for the action to hit the mark. I also figured I wouldn't have much depth of field, but there was enough light at the rink that I was able to shoot f/4 with a shutter speed of 1/500 sec at ISO 6400. Since I was shooting black and white JPEGs, I didn't worry about sensor noise.

I was very surprised that I ended up shooting most of my photos at the short end of the zoom range. I needed the wider field to show enough of the scene to tell a story. The shorter focal length and my focus strategy seemed to work pretty well as a very high percentage of my shots were in focus. I think I made some pretty good action photos, and I had a great time. I plan on continuing to shoot as much as possible for the remainder of the season.

One More Favorite Image

A few days after selecting and posting My 2015 Top Ten Photographs, I decided there was one more that I wanted to include. Rather than go back and modify my original list, I'm just going to add it here.

I made this photo in New Mexico on the day before Rick Sammon's Bosque del Apache workshop started. Andi and I had arrived a couple days early and decided to drive over to the Very Large Array. It turned out to be a spectacular day for photography. We had sunshine, rain, hail, and snow. We ended up in one thunderstorm three times. The constantly changing weather and light was amazing.

New Mexico Thunderstorm. To fully appreciate the size of this storm, notice the building in the foreground.