Photography

What It’s Like Photographing an NHL Game During COVID


Photographer Paul Rutherford specializes in photographing sports and has shared his experiences both with the MLB and NFL during the age of COVID. His latest video goes over his experiences with the NHL, where he details what he looks for and how he approaches the shoot.

Rutherford spends the majority of the first few minutes describing what his experiences have been in the past when it comes to shooting NHL, and how different positions contribute to better shots that have more dynamism (for example, he prefers to shoot at ice level rather than from the stands). But the rules and changes to how games are played and documented have changed since the proliferation of the COVID-19 coronavirus, and Rutherford shows how he was tasked to capture a Boston Bruins NHL game with no audience in attendance.

On this particular assignment, Rutherford is positioned up in the stands in a specifically assigned location so as to not come into close contact with any other photographer. He was required to also sign a waiver stating that he does not have any symptoms and also has not been in contact with anyone exhibiting symptoms or have a confirmed case of the virus.

Once he is past check-in, he then reports to his assigned area. In this particular case, Rutherford noted that his assigned location had a visual obstruction, which would inhibit his ability to do his job. In cases like this, he emails his contact and asks for permission to move. Permission was granted, and Rutherford says that organizations like the Bruins understand he’s there to do his job and will accommodate his requests if they’re reasonable.

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One thing Rutherford says is that after he’s good with his location, he leaves his photo gear in his position to grab something to eat. The idea of leaving photo equipment unattended sounds bizarre, but since the stadium only has other photographers and staff, it’s perhaps a “perk” of the effects of the pandemic, if there ever was one.

Rutherford details what cameras and lenses he uses and how he uses them in the full video above, which we highly recommend you watch in full. For more from Rutherford, make sure you subscribe to his YouTube Channel.





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