Monday, 12 July 2010

Weird Technology

I was on a hunt for pictures today from the past NHL season. Basically, I was looking for images with something that caught my eye in terms of seeing an oddity that might seem out of place. While there were a few photos that will be seen in the future on HBIC, there were a couple of images found on the Florida Panthers' site that had me scratching my head. While I understand that various teams use different technology and gadgets to produce photos that deliver a different view, I have absolutely no idea why the Florida Panthers used an overhead, infrared camera in their game against the New Jersey Devils on April 8, 2010. You'll see why in a second.

While overhead still cameras are nothing new in the NHL for photojournalists, this new technology provides absolutely nothing in terms of its effect or the resulting photo. Case in point? This looks ridiculous! And what purpose does it serve? I'm not a scientist, but all I see is a ridiculous pastel image of hockey players.

They took a few photos as well. Martin Brodeur stands alone in his net in this image, but you'd have a hard time recognizing Brodeur from this picture. Again, I can't see a purpose at this point in using an infrared camera to capture images.

If there is one thing I can possibly justify in using this technology is that the black puck would appear very clearly in the back of the net as long as no player is on top of it. But how often do close plays on the goal line have no players near the puck?

If the rule about players in the crease was still valid, I could see a use for this technology as the blue paint of the crease is very clear in the images. But that rule has gone the way of the dodo, so that line of reasoning is out.

Can anyone think of a reason that would prompt the Florida Panthers to use infrared cameras for overhead shots? And, as far as I can tell, these are the only pictures that were published using this camera for all thirty NHL teams. Any ideas as to what the Panthers might be doing with an infrared camera?

I'm all ears if you have any ideas.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!


Duncan Kinney said...

As a guy who's shot a few NHL games and knows news and sports photographers, it was probably just a photog noodling around, trying to find a different look.

It's not a technical or rule related issue, the photog was just shooting from the catwalk for fun or style purposes.

The thing is, is that after you shoot a couple hundred games there are really only so many pictures. Big hit, big save, goal jubilation, goal dejection. Peak action and celebration essentially. Once you get good at that you start looking for ways to render the game in different ways. Remote cameras are a way to get a different angle (netcam) and are now heavily used. Infrared is another.

Also, the photos are listed as Panthers photos because it was either the staff photog messing around or as a condition of letting a photog in there to take those pics the photog gave some rights to the Panthers to use the photos.

Teebz said...

Great comment, Duncan, and thank you for this answer. I never thought about how it might just be the photographer playing around with shots.

This is why HBIC's readers are awesome - deeply knowledgeable and brilliant! :o)