Silly Buffalo Wild Wings commercials notwithstanding, there's a lot to love about overtime. They usually come as a nail-bitingly pleasant surprise tacked on to a back-and-forth shootout or a thrilling comeback. It's more time to cheer, more time to stress and more time to drink.
There's nothing like deadline to take the fun out of such a great situation, though. After completing a sweep against Everett in overtime, and giving me an early present by negating the need for a late birthday-eve shift, I wasn't surprised when the Americans and Chiefs faced off in a tightly contested series opener last Friday.
Besides the obvious time constraint of a game that goes late, these close calls make for tough calls on what photos are appropriate. Further clouding that decision is the fact that we agreed to trade photos with the Spokesman Review. While their deadline for photos from me was 10 p.m., I try to send a couple options after the second period in case the third drags on past 10.
On Friday, I shipped out some Chief-friendly snaps to start, with a hard check on Mason Wilgosh,
breaking up one of several failed Americans power plays,
and a bland goal photo:
It was tied up after two, but Spokane had looked more aggressive and the top two would have worked OK as secondary photos for the Spokesman regardless of the outcome. Of course, while I'm keeping track of this, I'm being even more mindful about what I have in the bag for the paper that pays my bills.
After the Chiefs netted a 2-1 lead without a strong photo to show from the score, I figured this shot of Blake Gal checking Brendan Shinnimin behind the goal could work,
though the check on Wilgosh above also combines a Chiefs save during an Americans power play with the hit. If only Shinnimin had been out of the way for that extra bit. Shinnimin factored into another contender as he tried to break up a fight, and the crowd helps the frame illustrate the rowdy rivalry between the clubs:
The crowd did their part again as (who else?) Shinnimin celebrated Wilgosh's tying score:
I looked through and tagged photos from the third period during the 15-minute overtime intermission and banked on making some storytelling shots during overtime. Spokane wrapped things up quickly, mercifully scoring in about a minute. I could have used stronger excitement and dejection in the shot I sent to Spokane,
but I like Americans goalie Ty Rimmer's lonely bowed head in the one we ran:
The fun continued on Saturday night. As expected, the Americans came out with some fire, but continued to fizzle on power plays. I followed a similar game plan, sending a couple pro-Chiefs shots as placeholders after the Ams led 1-0 after two periods:
I had another shot that I kinda liked as a backup for either paper, which would have worked fine for a close game,
and a featurey crowd shot after the Ams scored their first goal, which I also had a decent shot of:
The aftermath of the Tri-City Americans' second goal made for a good follow-up to Spokane,
which I sent along with this expletive-inducing near goal by the Chiefs that was a split second away from forcing another overtime:
We ended up running this defensive moment along with the first goal photo in the Herald:
I get another crack at the match up on Saturday, and I'll be surprised if it's not another nail-biter. It'd be a pleasant surprise, mostly because I wouldn't be a slave to capturing those game-defining moments. While I always try to have a photo that works well with the story of the game, close playoff contests create a greater obligation to capture those big plays.
As the only shooter for the paper, this drive holds you in the safer, more boring positions to shoot from, especially late in the third or in overtime when I'm spending every break in the action preparing the next transmission.
While a blowout may not be as fun to watch or cover, I wouldn't mind a lopsided, stress-free shoot after a long day at the Pasco Invite. A chance to roam without the fear of missing something crucial would be nice.
Of course, if the Ams win on Friday and Saturday's match carries the possibility of ending the Chiefs' season, I'll change my tune in hopes of some good emotion. Despite the elevated pressure, nothing makes the stress worthwhile like some sweet shots as hockey season glides through its overtime.
For a sport that's just starting...
Check out these cool animated GIFs of the Toronto Blue Jays' home opener. It's a clever twist on these exquisite cinemagraphs and something I've been thinking about playing around with.
Sports shooting superstar Mark J. Rebilas has a lengthy look at how a big-time pro approaches baseball. Thanks to the Herald's youngest curmudgeon Craig Craker for passing that along.
Vogue has a nice example of very sloppy, uncreative and laughable digital butchery by amputating some fingers off of Kate Moss' daughter.
Even Hillz is loving the latest meme to overrun your news feed. Palin and Boehner probably aren't big fans of the Tumblr that shows Secretary of State Hillary Clinton responding to various celebrity texts, and neither were photographers who decried the lack of photo credits in this age of constant free image "borrowing." Time had an interesting post about it, and Texts From Hillary has since added photo credits.