Monday, September 21, 2009

Maple Leafs Fans First Game, part 2.

I'd like someone to explain the silly photography rules that venues tend to have. Air Canada Centre's photography policy is as follows: "Non-flash still photography is permitted; however, if the lens is detachable, it must not exceed 75mm." I can understand my 400 mm L glass might obstruct somebody's view, and potentially ruin somebody's evening, but A) I don't own such a lens (I wish!), and B) what purpose does this possibly serve? I was stopped at the gate because I tried to bring in my 55-200mm lens in with me, and when I asked what the reason was I was told a lens that size is considered "professional" and therefore it's not allowed in the building.

Believe me, there is nothing "professional" about my zoom lens. The optics are about average, it's not stabilized, it fringes badly in high contrast situations, it's a little soft at the long end, and it focuses slowly. Add to the fact that I'm either shooting from insanely far away, or if I'm lucky enough to be close, then I'm shooting through rather thick glass with all sorts of nicks and scratches in it. The likelihood that I'll get a "professional" photo with this lens is extremely low.

The second argument that I was presented with is longer lenses can obstruct a spectator's view, disrupting their enjoyment of the game. That's when I countered that without the hood on my 200mm, my 17-70mm lens with the hood on actually extends out further than the 200mm. So wouldn't that mean that my 70mm lens would actually be more of an obstruction than the 200mm?

The security guard merely told me I had two options: either check my 200mm lens, or take it back to my car. I opted for the latter.

Actually what I did was I walked away, and I mounted my 17-70mm lens on my camera. I tucked my 200mm lens in my camera bag and entered at a different gate. The guard there checked my camera and, satisfied that my lens didn't exceed the "professional" limit of 75mm, let me pass without bothering to check what else was in the bag.

Gripe out of the way, I'm happy to say my seat was awesome. I was three rows from the glass, towards the corner of the rink, and I had a great view of all the action. The game was pretty good, and even though the Leafs lost 3-2, a handful of fights broke out, and The Leafs won all of those. So I consider it a moral victory.

I'm glad I was able to smuggle my 200mm lens inside, because as close as I was to the ice, 75mm didn't get me anywhere near close enough to the action. Nobody bothered me about my camera once I was inside. I made a point of removing the lens hood in an attempt to make it look as small as possible, and I guess I didn't look "professional" enough for an usher to hassle me.

Being the Fan's First Game, the atmosphere in the ACC was rockin'! No suits attending half the game in the platinums. People were -- get this -- actually standing and, even YELLING at the players on the ice... FROM THE LOWER BOWL!!! I was lucky enough to get tickets to a playoffs game once, and the atmosphere on Wednesday rivaled that.

Here are a handful of the photos I took. You be the judge and tell me if they are too "professional" looking and therefore should be confiscated. As always, click on them for larger versions and more photos.


- jc

No comments :

Post a Comment