Above: Here’s our class group shot, taken with a remote camera mounted inside the goal. On Sunday morning we had a session just on mounting and using remotes. 

I thought from the beginning it was going be the coolest hands-on workshop I’ve ever been involved it, and it totally, totally was! (If this is the first time you’re hearing about, first go watch this very short video clip which explains the workshop).

Above: Here’s our workroom for the weekend, inside the VIP Club at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Sweet digs!  (Photo by Brad Moore)

Above: Here’s Scott Audette (far right) doing a presentation on what makes a good hockey photo; which types of shots make it, and which one’s don’t. Really eye-opening and candid. That’s me (left center) and Mike Carlson (far left). (Photo by Brad Moore)

I’m going to tell the story with captions, but here’s a 30-second synopsis:

(a) We had an awesome group of photographers in our workshop. Totally into it the whole time, and we saw lots of great shots throughout. It was a weekend of non-stop laughing, learning, and making new friends.

(b) Tampa Bay Lightning’s Team Photographer Scott Audette did an absolutely kick-butt job from start to finish. His insights, tips and real-world advice really resonated with the class. He really worked hard to create something very special, and it showed. What a great teacher! (I picked up a ton from him myself).

(c) Our guest speaker, pro-sports photographer Mike Carlson was a tremendous addition to the workshop and everybody loved him.

(d) We were all, and still are, amazed at the incredible access we had throughout the workshop (hats off the Scott and the entire Lightning organization who totally supported the workshop from the start).

Now onto the workshop, which started off Friday night with a “Burgers & Beer” get-together, followed by a presentation from Scott and Mike covering everything from Safety to Camera Settings. Apparently, the safety briefing wasn’t for nothing (see below).

Above: Yup, that’s what his 70-200 f/2.8 lens looks like after getting hit with a puck during Saturday night’s game. He’s OK but the lens, wellâ¦not so much. Luckily, he wasn’t hurt, and he had a great attitude. Plus, the great folks at LensProToGo.com (totally awesome lens rental company —- I rent from them myself), helped ease his pain and gave him a $150 gift card while his lens is being repaired. How cool is that! We went to great lengths to warn our students about the realities of shooting “at ice level through the openings in the glass” but after this, they totally got it.

Above: Here’s a view of the class while they’re working on shots from the Lightning’s morning skate. The class shot from the first Mezzanine and the shooting holes at ice level (we rotated students in/out). I taught a session on post processing with Photo Mechanic and Lightroom, and my latest sports photography workflow. (Photo by Brad Moore)

Above: After the class had some time to work on their images (and I answered a number of  one-on-one post-processing questions), we did some in-class blind critiques.  Scott Audette’s and Mike’s comments were incredibly helpful and the class SO got it!!!! (Photo by Brad Moore)

Above: I did shoot the pre-game warmups from the ice (my buddy Brian Blanco was covering the game and let me shoot some of the warming from his assigned position). Guess what — my 80-400mm lens took a direct hit shortly after this photo was taken, but thankfully it didn’t crack the glass; though it cracked the plastic outside ring around the lens in a couple of places, and smeared the glass with ice, but luckily it wiped right off. (Photo by Brad Moore)

Game Night
After a dinner break, we all came back and got ready to shoot that night’s game at the Forum: The Tampa Bay Lightning vs. the Carolina Hurricanes (great game, especially since the Lightning won 4 – 1). The class shot from both “Overhead” locations (shooting spots at the first mezzanine level, which give an unobstructed view of the entire rink) and from 3 shooting holes at ice level (we rotated the students each period). I shot from the overhead positions and with Scott & Brad Moore’s help, we mounted a remote camera up in the ceiling of the forum aiming down at one of the goals.

Above: Here’s one of my shots from the remote camera up top. You guys know how I love remotes!!!! :-)

Above: Thank God for Brad Moore, who climbed with Scott up to the rafters way up above the ice (since I am, wellâ¦scared to death of heights) and rigged my D3s in place with a couple of magic arms. Lots more on this later this week, but for now, here’s the view from the rafters. Yikes! (don’t look down Brad!).

Above: Although I’m not a “climb up in the ceiling” kind of guy, I don’t mind hiking up to the top of the stands for a wide-angle shot or two, and I got this one as the Lightning scored their 2nd goal of the night. 

Above: Here’s workshop participant Matt Sunday shooting during the game Saturday night from one of the ice-level shooting positions with a hole in the glass (photo by Pete Collins). 

Above: One of our shooting holes at ice-level — you can’t get much closer to the action than this! (Photo by Pete Collins).

Above: Shooting from the 1st mezzanine shooting locations (you only needed a 70-200mm or a 300mm tops). It’s MUCH easier to capture the action from up here, and most of the images chosen as finalists for the “end of workshop competition” were taken from this overhead angle which offers an unobstructed view of the entire rink, and much less chance of being hit by a puck square in the face or having it break your lens and/or nose. This is where I shot from during the game (this isn’t my first rodeo). (Photo by Pete Collins).

Above: She’s rockin’ that 300mm — right over the glass with a clear view of both goals. (Photo by Pete Collins).

Above: Sunday morning kicked off early with a session on setting up and using remote cameras. Scott actually makes (and sells) the enclosures approved by the NHL for remote cameras inside the goal, and he knows this stuff inside and out. He set one up in the goal and the class all got to take remote goal shots with two skaters rushing the goalie. It made for some awesome shots (and we got together for that group shot at the top of this post). (Photo by Brad Moore)

Above: Here’s one of the goal cam shots; this one taken by workshop participant Thomas Quinn.

Above: Here’s Scott and his assistant Casey (she was awesome and helped out the entire workshop), showing the class how to rig an “ice level” remote.

Above: After the remote camera session, we put on “grippers” and headed out to the ice to do some portrait lighting. We set up three stations and broke into groups of seven. Here’s my station where we’re shooting with a Nikon SB-900 and a pop-up 24″ softbox. Once it was set-up, each student got to direct the subject, try out different settings and poses. (Photo by Brad Moore)

Above: Here’s one of my test-shots from my hot-shoe flash station. I did two looks: (1) One dramatic look where I clamped down on all the ambient light and let the background fall to black (shown above), and (2) One where we lots of the ambient light show and it was clear he was at center ice.

Above: Going over the different settings with my group. I used some of the new PocketWizard Plus IIIs to trigger the flash, and I’m totally digging them (everybody brought their own PocketWizards). One student brought the new PocketWizard Plus X (which I talked about a few weeks ago), and it rocked — the model of simplicity. (Photo by Brad Moore)

Above: Here’s Mike (2nd from left) at his  shooting station (we rotated groups so everybody got to shoot at each station with each athlete). On the far left is Ingo Meckmann, a very cool guy, and darn good photographer, who came all the way from Lucerne, Switzerland to attend the workshop.  (Photo by Brad Moore)

Above: Here’s Scott’s shooting station and a three-light portrait set-up using his Elinchrom BXRI’s. (Photo by Brad Moore)

Above: Here’s one of the goalie portraits (photo by workshop participant Ingo Meckmann) 

Above: After the portrait shoot, it was back to our workroom for another post-processing session, and then everybody gathered their best three images from the game on Saturday night to enter into our “Blind Critique” Contest. The winner would take home the coveted “Kick Ice” hockey trophy (shown below) and besides insane bragging rights, they won a full-conference pass to the Photoshop World Conference & Expo.  (Photo by Brad Moore)

Above: The best shot from Saturday night’s game walks away with with cool trophy and bragging rights to last a lifetime!

Above: Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a winner! From L to R: Scott Audette, Yours Truly, our “Kick Ice” trophy winner, photographer Thomas Quinn, and Mike Carlson (the human trailer hitch).  (Photo by Brad Moore)

The Wrap Up
You know what was really cool? The whole time, the teachers, the students, the assistants — everybody knew we all involved in, and experiencing something really unique and that feeling just ran through everything we did. The group got close really fast (we shared a lot of time and meals together, including a wonderful lunch over at the Columbia Spanish Restaurant), and even though we all came through the doors of the Forum as strangers, by the end we all left as friends.

We all learned a lot (the students and the teachers), and the entire workshops was permeated with laughs and learning and that sense that we had all been a part of something really special. Something that happens just once. Or..ya know…maybe twice. ;-)

Thanks to Scott, Mike, Casey, Brad, my wonderful assistant Susan Hageanon who did a fantastic job organizing the event, and to Pete Collins who came to help out and share some “Pete-a-cisims,” and of course to the wonderful folks at the Tampa Bay Lightning and The Forum whose support and enthusiasm for this workshop from the very beginning helped make this dream a reality. #kickice

About The Author

Scott is a Photographer, bestselling Author, Host of "The Grid" weekly photography show; Editor of Photoshop User magazine; Lightroom Guy; KelbyOne.com CEO; struggling guitarist. Loves Classic Rock and his arch-enemy is Cilantro. Devoted husband, dad to two super awesome kids, and pro-level babysitter to two crazy doggos.


  1. Sounds like it was a great time Scott. Kudos to the Lightning organization and to Scott Audette for pulling this all together for everyone!

  2. Scott,
    Thanks for the workshop summary. It sounds like it was really breaking new ground.
    You mentioned your “Photo Mechanic / Lightroom” workflow. Has this changed since your post last October? If so, would you mind sharing the changes?

  3. Sounds like a fantastic day. Nice little workshop for sure……Hats off to Brad, he got some nice shots for this post.

  4. Scott – this looks awesome. As an avid hockey photographer and the parent of 2 Junior level players, any chance you will release a video of tips for post processing? I have been shooting sports and hockey for many years but unless you are shooting in the NHL arenas, lighting and good vantage points are a real challenge. Thanks for sharing!

  5. It must have been a fantastic workshop. It would be nice to see the winning image.

  6. Can we see the winning image?

  7. Great workshop! Would love to see the winning image – and finalists. Aaaaaand, how about a Colorado Avalanche workshop??

  8. Excellent wrap-up, Scott! An amazing time for everyone involved, I’m sure. Thanks to Brad for the behind-the scene photos (and for climbing WAY up to the rafters for that remote mount. He must be as fearless as Joe McNally! :-) ). I shot youth hockey once, and it was a real challenge in the arena I was in, so I can appreciate how much work this was.
    One thing you didn’t show was the winning image! What a tease! Thanks for sharing everything else, though.

  9. Where can you get the camera enclosures that are approved for the goals? I would be interested in seeing them.

  10. Of all the photo workshop opportunities I have ever seen… THIS is by far the best. Perhaps it’s the Canadian in me, but I would gladly sell my taxidermied moose collection to experience something like this.

    I’m not surprised the Tampa Bay Lightning organization were so supportive…. their leadership on-ice (stars Stamkos, Lecavalier, St. Louis, etc.) and off-ice (General Manager Yzerman) are well known in the hockey world for their class and grace.

    This was one of my favorite posts from your blog. I’m hoping we get to see the images shot during the workshop.


  11. How many lenses and cameras does a team photographer go through in a season?

  12. This was an amazing workshop. I would go again in a heartbeat!!! Thanks Scott Kelby, Scott Audette, Mike Carlson, Brad Moore, Pete Collins, Susan, and Casey for all the hard work. The effort did not go without notice! Thanks to the Lightning and the Tampa Bay Times Forum for the unbelievable access to the arena!

  13. Ingo’s goalie portrait looks great! My sympathy to the gentleman whose lens sacrificed itself to save his face. Glad he’s OK.

  14. This looks awesome! How many portholes are there to shoot from? I guess just looking through one is a no-no. :)

  15. Scott,

    If you plan to do this again count me in. I would love to get out there. No one in skates on Sunday? I played goal in college, and have shot college hockey for many events. The mezzanine level is fine, but it is too much TV type action. At the glass is the best. Even shooting through plexiglass is good if you find a decent spot. Just like in hockey, you have to know the players, the shooters, and keep your eyes moving. I also refereed games, and know you can get hit from any angle. I hope the glass that shattered got cleaned up from the ice – almost nothing worse on the ice (pennies are pretty bad, but an old time goalie used to spit chewing tobacco through his mask – UGH!)

    Bill Bogle, Jr.

    • We were fortunate to be able to get ice in the morning on the Sunday. Schedules just worked out the way. We have the best ice crew in hockey and they had it cleaned up ASAP. It happens…trust me…I know first hand.

  16. Looks cool! I hope you do this again, I was at work so found out about this after it had filled out, but I completely would’ve flown to Tampa to do this.

  17. Please, please, please work on setting up a workshop like this for football photography? I would jump on a plane right now for that. Thanks!

  18. It was an awesome weekend. Scott, Brad and Pete were great. Scott Audette and his staff were amazing. Huge thanks to the Tampa Bay Lightning. This organization really has their act together. We could not have asked for better hosts. There are so many great things to say about this event that would make this a really long reply. I will say if you get the chance to attend another event like this. Go for it!

    I was not a hockey shooter before but I am know. Great, great workshop

  19. Scott, why not teach this class in one fo the most photogenic complexes in all of sports, not to mention one of the most well respected college hockey teams in the country! That’s right, I’m talking about coming to the Ralph Engalstead Arena, Home of the Fighting Sioux…err…North Dakota hockey. This would be a fantastic course to teach in this facility, and it would be an honor to be a participant. Please consider this…..I’ll buy you a beer :D

    This building is rated as one of the 10 best in all of sports, and Gretzky called it “One of the nicest buildings in North America”.

  20. I’m pretty sure that I saw the guy get his lens busted while watching the game on TV…and John Forslund and Tripp Tracy (the Hurricanes’ broadcasters) were none too happy with the photographer.

  21. Scott, I wish you would do a Kelby training focusing on the use of Photo Mechanic and Lightroom. I have been using Photo Mechanic for 8 years and it is just too awesome. Perhaps you could have Dennis Walker the president and head dude at Camera Bits, makers of Photo Mechanic on the the grid. Most people have never heard of, let alone used Photo Mechanic. For such a simple product, it is truly very powerful. My two cents and shameless plug for Photo Mechanic. – Graham Hedrick

  22. Not to answer for Scott but after seeing it this weekend first hand this would be a hard workshop to take on the road. The amount of access and hospitality the team show us was incredible. Scott K bent over backwards for this workshop. Scott A was so giving of his time and talent. I can’t say that enough! Scott Audette was incredible with spewing his knowledge.
    Mike “the crusher” was also bending over for us as was Kacie who was Scott A’s assistant. It was the Staff that made this workshop a killer.

    But the Forum and team gave 20 of us access like I never thought. Three holes during the game. Sunday access to the ice for portraits and remotes. Holy cow I could go on and on.

    Bottom line is this was an event which took a lot to put together and I don’t know if it could go on the road. But Chicago is nice!!!!

  23. What an amazing experience! My sincere thanks to Scott Audette and the Lightning organization to allow us the opportunity of a lifetime to shoot an NHL game. Thanks also goes to Scott Kelby, Brad Moore and Pete Collins who were absolutely amazing at helping everyone and making sure everyone enjoyed their experience at this workshop. I almost had to cancel due to my work schedule but I’m so glad I was able to be part of it and meet all the other participants who were an awesome bunch to hang out with. If Scott ever offers it again, do not miss the opportunity to be part of it.

  24. I had the opportunity to attend this workshop and all I can say is that it was AWESOME. Scott A’s knowledge of shooting hockey and all sports is unbelievable. I felt so lucky to be able to learn from him and hear about his experiences. If you want to learn from the best, Scott A. is the man. He couldn’t have done a better job organizing the event and getting us access to the facility. And then, not to mention Scott A., but we also had another expert, Mike C. another seasoned sports shooter who gave us great advice and support. Scott K’s great advice on shooting portraits and helping us with post-processing just made the whole workshop come together. I also want to thank The Tampa Bay Lightning, Casey, Brad, Susan and all the others behind the scenes who made the event a success. Even though my 70-200 didn’t make it through the night (yes, it is insured), I would attend this workshop again in a heartbeat. Lastly, just want to thank Pete at Kelby Media for letting me borrow his 70-200 on Sunday. Thanks Pete.

  25. I had the opportunity to attend this workshop and all I can say is that it was AWESOME. Scott A’s knowledge of shooting hockey and all sports is unbelievable. I felt so lucky to be able to learn from him and hear about his experiences. If you want to learn from the best, Scott A. is the man. He couldn’t have done a better job organizing the event and getting us access to the facility. And then, not to mention Scott A., but we also had another expert, Mike C. another seasoned sports shooter who gave us great advice and support. Scott K’s great advice on shooting portraits and helping us with post-processing just made the whole workshop come together. I also want to thank The Tampa Bay Lightning, Casey, Brad, Susan and all the others behind the scenes who made the event a success. Even though my 70-200 didn’t make it through the night (yes, it is insured), I would attend this workshop again in a heartbeat. Lastly, just want to thank Pete at Kelby Media for letting me borrow his 70-200 on Sunday. Thanks Pete.

  26. Lol guys is not fair for the Hokey guys, you all should of wear skates and try to reduce to a minimum the camera/hand shake ;)

  27. I am so jealous of all 20 participants! I am a huge hockey fan (be it the Pens) but I only live 2 hours from Tampa and would have loved to have been there! I am going to keep my eyes open if this is ever planned again. Last season when I was there for a Pens game I swear I saw someone resembling the above pictured Mike Carlson shooting the game.

  28. Scott, I hope you are able to do more of these. I did a one day similar to this with Bruce Bennett up in New York in January of 2011 and learned a lot. Unfortunately I found out about yours too late, thus the hope for more! Also, because I don’t seem to luck into these things at the right time, I would request that you dedicate one of your blind critique Grid episodes to hockey or at least sports and invite Scott and Mike to join you for that episode. Even if my shots didn’t get chosen for the critique, I would learn so much from listening to your expert panel’s advice for others as I have on past blind critique episodes. It is difficult to find professionals like Scott and Mike who are willing to share their time and their talent to help others, which may explain why it’s been two years since my experience with Bruce Bennett before I saw anything like it again. I hope you will follow up on some of the suggestions here as I share the requests of many for a class in post processing my hockey shots (most of the barns I shoot in aren’t quite as well lit as The Forum). Even having a taped version of Scott Audette’s presentation I’m certain would be eye opening for the rest of us as the attendees have stated. Thanks for doing this and I hope you can see from the comments that you’ve started something very popular with a lot of us hockey photographers!

  29. Outstanding. Totally wish I was there! I’ve been shooting NAHL, USHL, ECHL, and AHL this year, but not NHL. Can’t wait for the opportunity!

  30. Only two women? Looks like a lot of testosterone.

  31. Awesome workshop Scott. I think I would cry if one of my lenses got smashed but the photos you guys got are awesome!

  32. It would sooooo fun to shoot hockey for a living!
    Looks like a fantastic workshop!

  33. Great Job Scott like all your workshops. Photography would not be so loved without you.The hockey photos were great. Is this workshop going to be on Kelby training that would be awesome? Wish I could be at hockey workshop. My email zphoto1@aol.com

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