Upstairs or Downstairs, what to do at the Toronto Maple Leafs
Steve Russell - Staff Photographer
To go upstairs or downstairs is always a question we ask ourselves when going to cover the Toronto Maple Leafs.
What is the difference?
Well upstairs is considered the safe angle, you can see a lot of the ice, the pictures end up somewhat clean and the game doesn't seem to move as quickly.
Downstairs, the action always seems to look better, we can use depth of field to isolate players a little better. But, it does have its challenges, the game is much quicker, you have to juggle two lenses, there is a greater chance of getting blocked and you have to shoot through a hole that is just wide enough to get a 300 mm f/2.8 through (and the hole is big enough for a puck to get through).
I had planned to shoot from upstairs, it was the Leafs 33rd home game so I wouldn't get the deep hole (The Star and the Sun alternate use of the deep hole, they get odds we get evens, the deep hole allows you to shoot up the ice with a 300). I was also getting there late from another shoot so I wouldn't be able to try to get another hole that was equally deep.
I didn't really want to go upstairs because the last few games we covered our photographers had covered it from upstairs and I wanted to switch things up for the paper.
Thankfully the Sun photographer had decided to shoot from upstairs and freed up the deep hole.
The photo Gods were shining on me because within a few seconds I had a pretty good picture in the bag from down low too. That never happens!
Good luck right off the get go, my first picture of the night, Toronto Maple Leafs right winger Nikolai Kulemin (41) tries to get around Pittsburgh Penguins defense man Kris Letang (58) in first period action.
The danger of shooting ice level, Mikhail Grabovski gets the puck by Marc-Andre Fleury but all I see is referee Kelly Sutherland as the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 in overtime.