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Sherwood Park Photographer

Hockey Photography Gear


Hockey Photography Gear

The second half of the hockey season is kicking off this New Year and I wanted to take the opportunity to show the camera gear I use when shooting hockey action. I'll get the occasional question about a camera body or camera lens that I am using, but mostly there are a lot of glares and staring from fellow photographers or hockey parents eyeing up the gear. 

In full disclosure, there is better camera equipment available then what I am using but I have found success with this setup I have been using. An example would be in camera bodies where the gold standard for Canon is the 1DX Mark II. It is a full frame professional body that shoots a decently with a fast frames per second rate, quick focusing system, higher dynamic range and larger sensor size while handling low light situations extremely well. This of course carries a large price tag with a new Canon 1DX Mark II sale priced currently at $7,699 at McBain Camera for the body only. Nikon and Sony will also have some high end camera bodies which will definitely satisfy the needs of sport photographers.  

So here it is, my list of equipment;


'll start with the 7D Mark II as it is definitely my work horse when it comes to sports photography. The 7D II is a crop sensor camera meaning it will take a 70 - 200 mm lens and essentially make it a 112 - 320 mm due to the 1.6 crop factor. The added length that it provides lenses means that I can get a tighter shot on the defencemen at the blue line in the offensive zone, stretch across the ice on a forward breaking into the zone or filling the frame up with a tight shot of a goalie. The 7D II also shoots a pretty fast frames per second at 10.0 FPS in continuous shooting, which is nice to try and capture a burst of shots during a play. The 5D II has a 6.0 FPS in continuous shooting. Along with the higher FPS, a couple more advantages the 7D II has over the 5D Mark III is the autofocusing seems to be a little faster and the buffer is definitely faster, which allows those bursts of images to be written to the memory cards faster. The biggest advantage of the 7D Mark II over the 5D III is the anti-flicker feature that helps significantly with the fluorescent light flicker of hockey rinks and gymnasiums. The anti-flicker isn't as useful in extremely well lit LED lit rinks and gyms but those are fairly hard to come by when shooting amateur sports right now.

A couple noticeable short comings for the 7D II compared to the 5D Mark III is the performance in low light situations, like a community arena, and the dynamic range. The 5D Mark III can easily be pushed to 5,000 - 6,400 ISO in order to keep a fast shutter speed, but the 7D II seems to peak around 3,200 - 4,000 ISO before getting a little more digital noise then I would like. The 5D III also has a noticeably better dynamic range, so the dark colours are deeper and the colours more vibrant. This helps a lot when shooting a set of photos in a JPG format for a quick turnaround when getting things looking as perfect as possible in camera is essential. 

Both cameras are weather sealed, have the same ergonomics when holding it, same battery size and both have duel memory card slots (one CF card and one SD card). The Canon 7D Mark II is a terrific sports camera, and wildlife camera, while the Canon 5D Mark III has been a phenomenal portrait, wedding, landscape and event camera to have. I typically will have a 70 - 200 mm lens on my 7D II and then a 50 mm lens or 24 - 70 mm lens on my 5D III for a hockey game. 

CANON 70 - 200mm IS II 2.8 LENS

This has been a fantastic lens for sports, as well as for weddings, portraits and landscapes. It is what I shoot the majority of my hockey images with either from a spot on the bench or through the glass in the corners. It is primarily attached to me Canon 7D Mark II camera body which then turns it into a 112 - 320 mm lens. The image stabilization doesn't play a major role in shooting sports action, in fact I often have it turned off, but is amazing for other types of photography. It also a great low light lens with a wide open aperture of f2.8 which helps significantly in arenas compared to the Canon 70 - 200 mm f4 lens. It is a tank of lens weighing just over 3 lbs, which doesn't sound like a lot but over the course of a game you can really feel it. I like the heaviness to it as it makes it feel durable and strong while still being easy to handle and zoom quickly when needed. 

CANON 24 - 70mm 2.8 LENS

A versatile zoom lens that lets me grab shots of action that happens right in front of me or wide angle shots of a large portion of the ice. I will typically have this on my 5D III and get those nice wide shots or some between action shots on the bench with it. The lens is a workhorse in most of the photography I do, including weddings, landscapes and events. It is a decently fast focusing lens, not quite as fast as the 70 - 200 mm lens but still can hold it's own. Again, an aperture of f2.8 helps immensely in arenas where lighting is often less then desirable. 

CANON 50mm 1.4 LENS

I will use this lens sparingly as an alternative to the 24 - 70 mm 2.8 lens for when action gets closer than the effective range of the 70 - 200 mm lens. It is an extremely wide open lens with an aperture of 1.4 so getting shots of a dark players bench or poorly lit hallway is a benefit of the lens. It is also great to really blow out the background for close shots between whistles for player portrait style shots. It is extremely small and low weight so very easy to handle, get a couple of photos and move it out of the way. Again, I would use this lens with the 5D III if I was going to use it in a game. 


Both cameras I use have the ability to shoot to two memory cards. One card slot is for a Compact Flash (CF) card and the other for a Secure Digital (SD) card. Shooting to two cards helps ensure that if something goes wrong, I will have a back up of the images in some capacity right away. I will typically use 32 GB or 64 GB cards, shooting JPG images to one card (usually the SD card) and RAW images to the other card. The SD card allows me to quickly plug it in to my laptop to upload an image or two during the intermission or to ingest the images from the card to a hard drive for a third back up set. Having two or three sets of the images is just something I have grown accustomed to from shooting weddings and not wanting to lose images due to a card failure. I will typically have six to eight different cards, formatted and ready to go, with me should something happen to a card or two at the game. Better safe then sorry. 

The specifics of the cards I use are as follows; all of my CF cards are SanDisk Extreme or Extreme Pro ranging from 16 GB to 64 GB to allow for a lot of photos and fast write speeds and my SD cards are Lexar Professional ranging from 32 GB to 128 GB. 


I will generally take a total of four batteries with me to a hockey game. Two for the cameras and two for back ups. I always make sure they are charged and ready to go prior to the game, but like memory cards I feel more comfortable being over stocked with batteries should something fail. I couldn't imagine having no battery life left with ten minutes to go in a great back and forth game. For a tournament or back to back games, I will pack a charger or two that I can plug in during an intermission or between games if needed. 

So that's it. That is what I use when I shoot hockey photos. Nothing too intense like strobes, remote cameras or net cameras. Not yet anyways! 

I have included some hockey photos below, but if you would like to see more you can check out the sports section of our site or our sports specific Instagram account @TwoPointPhotographySport


Our Instagram Best Nine of 2017


Our Instagram Best Nine of 2017

Well another year has passed us by, this year seemed to go really fast! It seemed like we were just getting to enjoy summer and along came fall and before we knew it Christmas was upon us. The New Year gives us an opportunity to reflect back on 2017 and as such, here are our top nine photos from our Instagram account (@twopointphotography).

#1 - Ashley & Ross' Engagement Session


#2 - Molly & Steve's Engagement Session


#3 - Jade's Newborn Session


#4 - Karey & Kiel's Engagement Session

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#5 - Karey & Kiel's Engagement Session

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#6 - Ashley & Ross' Wedding

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#7 - Charlie's Newborn Session


#8 - Ashley & Ross' Wedding

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#9 - Karey & Kiel's Engagement Session

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So there you have it! Our nine best Instagram photos from the 2017 year. We had an amazing year getting to meet more beautiful couples and precious little ones. We are excited for another year of amazing opportunities in the 2018 year. 

If you would like to see what your Top Nine Instagram photos are from 2017 you can check it out here | 

Be sure to check us out social media, give us a like or a follow as we continue our amazing photography journey. 

Twitter | @TwoPointPhoto

Instagram | @TwoPointPhotography

Facebook | Two Point Photography


EGHA vs Harbin Sport School


EGHA vs Harbin Sport School

Earlier this month I was given the opportunity to capture game action between the Edmonton Girls Hockey Association (EGHA) and Harbin (China) Sport School in exhibition hockey. EGHA would have the PeeWee Swarm, Bantam Sabres and Bantam Inferno take on the young Chinese hockey team who were also involved in attending Wickfest, the Canada vs United States women's hockey game and various hockey sessions such as skating with Serdanchy Power Skating in Edmonton. 

Harbin is located approximately 1,200 kilometres north east of Bejing in the Heilongjang province.  The capital city of the province is home to 10,500,000 people with hockey becoming a growing interest in the area.  There is a good relationship between Canada and China in terms of hockey development with various Chinese teams training and playing games in Canada to develop their hockey skills for events as big as the Olympic games and international junior hockey tournaments. There are multiple news stories about the game of hockey growing throughout China, moving from something people did on frozen lakes, to now most large cities having multiple hockey rinks like the 14 spread out across Beijing accommodating 2,500 hockey players. The 2022 winter Olympics are right around the corner and China is looking to groom skilled hockey players for the event. The National Hockey League held their first ever games in China this season, as the Vancouver Canucks and Los Angeles Kings played a couple of exhibition games in September. 


It was amazing to be a part of the exhibition series and capture the joy of amateur hockey at a grass roots level. Skill development and knowledge of the game are two things that are at the forefront of coaches minds at this level of hockey, but the passion and excitement for the game is as high as it is in any level of hockey I've seen.  

Below are some of the images from the exhibition games between EGHA and Harbin. More photos can be found in our Sports gallery and the EGHA gallery on our site. 


We Had To Say Goodbye


We Had To Say Goodbye

Last month we had to say goodbye to our ten year old malamute/sheppard, Zeus. The cancer that invaded his body became too aggressive and too much to overcome. In mid-August he was diagnosed with cancer as a soft tissue sarcoma grew on his right hip and in mid-September we were told that the cancer has spread to his lymph nods. Ever since we rescued him we always felt that we were giving him a great second chance to have a happy life. Even after we found out that he was suffering from hip dysplasia which would more than likely cause him some loss of quality of life as he aged. As a giant breed (or breeds) of dog we also assumed that ten years was going to be a significant milestone for him and his hip dysplasia, it just sucks that something like cancer had to be the reason why he needed to go. 

Some final goodbyes

I have a little sales pitch for you to read. When it was time to make the decision to let him go, we had nothing but tremendous support from our vet and the staff at Vets To Go. Between making the decision and when it was time we had numerous supports from them to make sure any questions we had would be answered, even if we needed help breaking the news to our two year old and five year old. The care and compassion that was shown definitely made the process easier and much more calming then we expected. The amount that they cared about our well being was evident in the unscheduled check up calls just to see how we were doing while we waited and the condolence notes we received afterwards were very thoughtful. We can’t thank the staff at Vets To Go enough for everything they have done over the last few years from our regular vet appointments and check ups to saying goodbye to Zeus. 

While we never really did official pet portraits with our dogs, I am happy I took a lot of photos of our dogs over the years. Sometimes I would use them as subjects to test our different camera settings, lighting settings or just video functions on a phone or app. Other times I would try to capture them being seemingly much more agile and athletic then they perhaps really were. The dogs always seemed to be more calm and able to take better instructions then a couple of busy little kids, although both would get equally distracted by the squirrels in our yard.  

So take lots of photos of those furry members of your family! Capture all the details of their life as they experience things like snow for the first time. Get photos of them interacting with kids as something that they can look back upon if they are too young to remember at the time. Through the photos you take you'll be able to capture your dog's personality and quirks that made them who they are and I guarantee you that you will be glad that you took as many as you could. 

Here are some of our favourite photos of Zeus from the last ten years. 


Tessa & Warren


Tessa & Warren

It was an absolute pleasure to be able to capture Tessa and Warren's big day a couple of weeks ago in a small ceremony held on the homestead that the happy couple will start their lives together on. 

As with most small town weddings, it was truly fantastic to see a large number of people from the community in which Tessa and Warren call home join them and their family to celebrate. The meal was prepared locally, and if you have ever been to a small town wedding you know just how good those suppers with locally grown food are.

One of the most amazing things we get to capture as photographers is the first time the groom gets to see the bride. Tessa and Warren had a spectacular first look prior to the ceremony that showcased how deeply in love these two are. 

We want to wish Tessa, Warren and their one year old son Brody all of the best in the future and congratulations on your special day! Thank you for letting us capture your love for one another.


Nicole & John


Nicole & John

We were happy and grateful to spend Canada Day, Friday July 1, with Nicole and John as they said their vows in Vermilion, Alberta in a wedding full of love, laughter and fun. 

The church and the banquet hall were packed with friends and family, both young and old, joining this awesome couple in a fun filled celebration. Bride and groom games, stories, an amazing slideshow of the couple that had the entire hall in tears from laughing and a shot-ski to allow for group shots were an amazing way to allow their friends and family to see what a loving couple Nicole and John are.  

A wedding day can be long and exhausting for a bride and groom but Nicole and John are a photographer's dream as the fun loving couple gave us free reign to capture the mood, excitement and fun.

We want to give Nicole and John a HUGE congratulations on their big day and we hope that there are many more slideshow worthy moments for this couple in their future!