Not with a puck but a whimper

April 5, 2013 

For the last few hockey seasons, I've been intrigued by shooting from between the benches where John Allen, left, and Doug Love typically shoot:

As I noted before, a previous volleyball injury always made me hesitate, but with the Americans on the brink of playoff elimination last Saturday, I decided to finally give it a go.

It was a refreshing change of angle, and a pleasure to not have to shoot through dirty old glass:

It was also fun to have a close-up angle of the bench:

It wasn't all sunshine and lollipops, though, and a frequent bane of other sports photography often blocked my shots:

The close action was exciting, though, with an OK check in my face,

although the regulars had an even closer encounter later in the game:

I'm not sure if I would have shot or recoiled in that situation. John told me he's been hit countless times and a fan took a puck to the face in this game, a scene I missed while cursing our slow, old laptop and poor internet reception in the Toyota Center while transmitting back to the office and to the Spokesman Review.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to use the ice-level shots in our paper, but sent two from below to Spokane,

while running two from above in the Herald:

It's too bad that's how it worked out, but the above shot of a Spokane goal showed more disappointment from the Ams' players and fans, while the lower level version of a different Chiefs' score had the good reaction from their guy. The higher angle from the second shot shows the Ams' difficulty in scoring during the 3-1 loss, while the lower angle showed the strong goalkeeping by Spokane.

It wasn't the strongest showing for me or the Ams and it's too bad the season had to end on a whimper, but at least I wasn't whimpering from taking a puck to the face.

Speaking of good access...

Perhaps nothing beats the access you get as a White House staff photographer. Talk of the Nation on NPR, which is sadly ending its 21-year run, has this cool chat with Eric Draper, who worked as the White House photographer for President George W. Bush, and Robert McNeely, who served under President Bill Clinton. Draper's phone line unfortunately suffers from some annoying glitches during the piece, but it's still worth a listen.

A judge ruled in favor of photographer William Eggleston after art collector Jonathan Sobel filed suit against Eggleston for creating a new version of a limited edition print he had previously purchased.

The New York Times created a minor stir by running an Instagram photo on its front page.

And in other old-meets-new news, an enterprising duo has a Kickstarter campaign for a portable large-format camera.

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