What a great way to close out the regular season at home last night at CONSOL Energy Center for the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Pens put up four goals on former Penguin netminder and current New Jersey backup goalie Johan “The Moose” Hedberg to move one step closer to clinching home ice for the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The start of the game was a little shaky, as the Pens were trying to break the 1-3-1 trap that the Devils play, but once they got in the groove, they owned the ice, picking up goals Jordan Staal, Chris Kunitz on a great feed by Tyler Kennedy and two from Pascal Dupuis, one being an empty netter with time expiring in the game during a Devils powerplay.
There is something magical about playoff sports, well at least for playoff hockey. I’ve never been to a Pittsburgh Pirates playoff game and only one Pittsburgh Steelers playoff game when I was younger, so playoff hockey is really the only playoff action I know. Don’t get me wrong, the regular is awesome, especially against rivals like the Flyers and Capitals. But everyone just seems to cheer a little bit louder, the players skate harder, and there is just a buzz that resonates throughout the entire building.
Very few times will you see someone sitting back in their seat, casually watching the action. No, everyone is hanging on the edge, just waiting for that big goal to be scored by a superstar like Sidney Crosby or Jordan Staal, a talented young star like Mark Letestu or Chris Conner, or a grinding role player who is ever so important to the team like Craig Adams (pictured in the first shot above) or Max Talbot. Playoff hockey is about watching Marc Andre Fleury make an unbelievable save to bail out a defenseman and keep the game close or seeing Brooks Orpik or Deryk Engelland flatten someone into the boards so hard you need a spatula to get them off. I can’t wait.
Today’s shot keeps with the theme of the post as it is the exterior of CONSOL Energy Center. While the new home of the Pens doesn’t quite have the character of the old Civic Arena, it still as its own mystique, especially early in the morning with the sun rising. I took this one a few months back during an early morning photowalk around downtown Pittsburgh. This is the lower gate of the arena, the American Eagle Gate, located on 5th Avenue. I thought that it was so cool how you can see reflections on the left side of the glass on the building, but in the front you can actually see right through into the stairwell that ascends to the seating level.
This is a nine exposure HDR processed in HDR Efex under the “Clean” HDR method. After fixing some of the dust spot, I masked in the entire blue sky, because I wanted it to be rich and contrast nicely with the warm look of the building. I also added blue and red layer curve adjustments to bring out some contrast in the sky and building, and a slight selective coloring layer to enhance the sun. Finally I added a Tonal Contrast filter in Color Efex and sent it off the blog.
Thanks to everyone who stops by, see y’all tomorrow.
Woo hoo, Pens win! Went to the Pens-Red Wings game last night as we emerged victorious 4-1. Penalty shot goals, more awesome penalty killing…all around a great game. Although let’s be honest: it’s hard to say this was a REAL rematch when they had 7 guys on the injured list, including Datsyuk and Howard. Doesn’t matter in the win column, if they had the Pittsburgh Pirates playing for them, still counts as win.
It’s really not right to bash the Pirates I guess. I live here though, have watched this 18 year collapse, so I think I’m allowed…I mean 18 straight years of sub .500 ball? Are you kidding me? Oh wait, that’s right. They’re rebuilding. Rebuilding what? The Pyramids? Ancient Rome? A full size Empire State Building with toothpicks? The Pens rebuilt in 4 years.
Speaking of the Pens, the shot above is from the game last night. It’s a shot of Craig Adams taking a shot in warm ups. In case you ask, no, those are not my seats, I just sneak down there for practice. He’s one of my favorite players, vital to the #1 ranked penalty kill the league. Not the most well known, but we never would have won a Cup without him.
On to today’s shot (finally). We’re heading back to New York! This is another one that I took from the Brooklyn Bridge on the last day that we were in New York, Sunday. As you can imagine, there are plenty of other people trying to get pictures at the same time. I thought that I would try to get a shot of one of these photographers. This guy was pretty serious, and he never took his face away from the camera. Took a ton of pictures, never looked at the viewfinder. Not sure what he was shooting, but he had no idea we were even there! Rattled off 5 handheld exposures, and away we went!
I’m liking this blogging everyday type thing…I’ll think I’ll keep up with it! No weekends (well, maybe Sunday, depending on how my Saturday night was), but I think I can do everyday!