Gangneung, South Korea: Delly Carr, Australia-based sports photographer and Nikon ambassador: “So what does an Australian photographer know about ice hockey? Absolutely nothing! I come from a land down under: an open land of heat, desert and white sandy beaches.
I have been to 2 prior Winter Olympics. I shot poorly. Why? Because I didn’t know the sports well enough. That is so important in becoming a good sports photographer.
I attended the gold medal, final women’s ice hockey match between the two heavyweights – Canada and the USA. I had been shooting prior hockey games here in Pyeongchang from the Field of Play, through the glass. No other sport lets you get this close to the action, only centimetres when the athletes hit the glass. I had used my familiar trusted pro DSLR with a wide zoom like the 24-70mm.
This time it was different. I wanted an elevated position. To have some control. This was the gold medal match. There was bound to be celebratory mayhem when the final buzzer went. This mattered more than the game action. I couldn’t trust myself shooting through the glass on such an important game.
I chose my long telephoto zoom lens, knowing it was able to catch sincere action at 400mm, and wide enough for the anticipated action at the end of the game. It was to be one of the great ice hockey games in the Olympic history. First, overtime and then a shootout to decide the medal.
All throughout I was confused. Not knowing what was coming next when the teams were deadlocked at the end of regulation time. Then the end of overtime… And the shootout was so foreign to me.
But I held on waiting to see what was coming next. Then after 90 minutes of play, the action turned into raw powerful emotion. I had witnessed and photographed everything a sports photographer dreams of”.