The Hockey Writers’ Club (HWC) has chosen this image taken by Andy Mair of UmpireCam as its April photo of the month.
The members of the HWC Photographers group have voted for their favourite image for its competition entries nd selected Mair’s image of Anne Veenendaal of Amsterdam H&BC making the winning save in the shoot-out for the Euro Hockey League title.
“Congratulations to Andy on capturing the split-second of the full impact effect of the save,” the voting panel said.
What Andy said:
“This was the only ‘shoot-out’ that I took pictures of during the whole competition, as there were plenty of other photographers to record the other occasions, and I don’t see the point in us all taking the same picture from the same place. On this occasion, I was one of only two photographers on this side (and end) of the pitch, and the shootout was being presented right in front of us.
This frame was one of those rare occasions of satisfaction, when I first viewed it on my laptop for editing, being able to see how far the moving ball had pressed into the goalkeeper’s protective equipment. The fact that it was also the ‘winning’ save for the EHL title, certainly added to the importance of the captured moment.
Tips for hockey photographers
“Think about the ’sweet spot’ of your photography equipment. Don’t over-reach with your lens for example. You may capture the moment that you wanted at the far side/end of the pitch, but rarely will the quality of the image be worthy. Be satisfied with what is happening in your ‘zone’.”
Andy’s camera equipment: Nikon Z9, with Nikon 400mm f/2.8G ED VRii lens. This image was shot at f3.5, 1/6400th of a second, ISO 720.