Dragons vs Sting Pre-Season: North Wales and Chester Photographer

Shooting my First Ice Hockey Game at Deeside Ice Rink, Flintshire

Face-off: Sunday 19th August at 5.45pm

The Game

This pre-season friendly between my local team the Deeside Dragons and Sutton Sting was a good warm up for the season ahead (for myself as well as the players). Both sides played extremely well, but it wasn’t an easy game for the Dragons with Sting being on top form. Sutton Sting won the league last year and will be playing in the league above us this season. Well done to all players, but in particular to our #20 Jonah Armstrong for being awarded ‘Man of the Match’ for the Dragons. Sutton Sting went away with a 5:2  win, but the Dragons can hold their heads up high as they continue their warm up for the new season.

Dragons coach Gary Shaw believes it’s been a positive preseason… “The lads have been back on the ice for 4 weeks now and fitness is improving every week, Sunday’s game against Sutton was exactly what we needed and we probably came up against the toughest opposition we will face this year”.

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The Challenge

Before shooting my first ever game, I read that ice hockey was the single most challenging of sports to capture – this was true!!! Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed shooting this fast paced, energetic sport and what made it even more of a buzz was that it was also the first game I had ever attended.


Why Shoot Ice Hockey?

Ice Hockey is my new love. My passion for the sport began just a few months ago when deciding to join ‘Paul’s Sunday Night Ice Hockey Group’. This is a fun group based at Deeside Ice Rink, where people of all abilities are welcome. It’s such a good feeling to be on the ice and part of a team – there is always something new to learn. So with my new love of hockey and my love of photography, it was obvious why I would soon want to start shooting it. I just need to learn the lingo now to be as cool as the rest of the group he he.


Was It What I Expected?

No. I have to admit, I thought I would be so busy concentrating on getting decent shots that I would not fully enjoy the game. That could not be further from the truth. I have photographed football in the past and it didn’t have the same effect (but that’s because it was football ha ha). It really was amazing and I look forward to shooting many more games!


What Have I Learned?

Shooting Ice Hockey is difficult and intense. The action is incredibly faced paced so a good camera and lens is essential. I used my Canon 5dmkiii with 70-200mm lens which is a fairly decent combination to shoot with, but then having the skills to capture the right moments is another story. I feel I’ve picked up a lot from this first game and I look forward to putting what I’ve learnt into practice next time.

Here are a few more shots from the game… enjoy!

north wales wedding photographerMy favourite shot from the game. These guys actually fly!

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north wales and england ice hockey sports photographer

Man of the Match #20 Jonah Armstrong

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Camera Settings

Remember that different gear and different ice rinks will need different settings. I set my white balance manually at 4000k to ensure a cool colour tone, it’s definitely best to try getting the ice to look white than worry about the colour on the players being slightly off. The last thing I would want is pink/green ice ha ha! I always shoot in RAW not JPEG, as this give you more image information to enable more effective editing if required. A fast shutter speed is needed and although I played around a little with settings, I kept it at around 1000/1. I wasn’t too fussed about having my aperture wide open so I set it at 5.6 to ensure enough of each image was in the focal plane, but I found I wasn’t getting enough light and switched to 2.8, which was fine. ISO I kept really high at around 6000, my camera can handle that and I can always reduce grain in Lightroom if needed.


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Dragons game dates for 2018/2019

This seasons prices will be
Adults £7
Children £3
Family tickets £16 (2+2)
Season ticket information will be announced shortly via the Dragon’s website.

deeside dragons game dates 2018 2019