For this week’s photo challenge, I needed a picture of a sign.  And I knew the perfect place to find one:  Consol Energy Center, the brand new home of the Pittsburgh Penguins.  At the very least, I knew I could find a corporate sign here as everything (and I mean everything) has a sponsor in this arena.  But my hopes were to get a shot of a fan with a homemade poster board sign.  So even though I’ve been to about half a dozen games already this season, my dSLR made it’s debut appearance at Consol last night.  And we had alot of fun ..

My goal was to get to the game early for the pre-game warm-ups — I knew my chances to find a fan & sign here (rather than in my season ticket holder section) were good, and plus I wanted to fulfill my media photographer dream, a la Getty Images, by taking shots through the hole in the glass.  Unfortunately, they don’t just let anyone stick their lens through the hole

1/13  f9  26mm  ISO 800  S

So guess what – more pictures behind glass!  I should be getting good at this.  But once the players hit the ice, shiny object syndrome hit me, and it was tough to focus on camera settings with all of my favorite hockey players only a few feet in front of me.  I did my homework prior and had an idea that for indoor sports shots, the lighting would be bad, and I should try to get the ISO as high as I could.  I shot on ISO of 800, which at the time looked fine but now I see the images are a bit grainy.  Swapped between manual shutter priority, both with a quick shutter speed.   Here are my favorites

1/500  f5  20mm  ISO800  S

1/640  f5.6  40mm  ISO800  M

1/500  f6.3  18mm  ISO800 S

1/500 f6.3  44mm  ISO800 S

1/640  f5.6  55mm  ISO800 M

What’s that?  Oh!  I need a sign shot still!  As luck would have it, the girl right next to me was celebrating her birthday.  And she wanted her favorite player to know

1/640  f5.6  35mm  ISO800 M

That was my official submission for this week’s challenge.  It was my favorite shot, though it also probably has a lot to do with what ensued after this shot.  Fleury did take note of the sign .. not sure if it was the sign or our repetitive glass banging (I quickly signed onto her birthday mission) that got his attention … but either way he grabbed a puck and tossed it over to the girl.  That’s one happy birthday girl

Last shot I’ll share – from my seat this time – is an anthem picture worthy of The Pens Blog

1/80  f5  36mm  ISO800 P

A Penguins win, and extremely rare goalie fight followed – will have to bring my camera more often now!