Archive for January, 2015

Crashed Ice, 2015: St. Paul, MN

January 25th, 2015

It isn’t often enough that I get to venture away from the studio and have the opportunity to photograph an incredibly awesome event such as Crashed Ice. This is an event I’ve been wanting to shoot for the last few years. The weather was even fairly cooperative. A steaming 20 degrees above zero. Here are […]

 

It isn’t often enough that I get to venture away from the studio and have the opportunity to photograph an incredibly awesome event such as Crashed Ice. This is an event I’ve been wanting to shoot for the last few years. The weather was even fairly cooperative. A steaming 20 degrees above zero. Here are a few of the many great shots I captured. High speed skating is by far one of the most difficult to freeze the action when shooting- so- here is a bit of my personal advice. Now, there are a bunch of different ways one could go about capturing this type of event, everyone has something that works best for them.

Gear:

Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 135mm F2Monopod

ISO: 1600
F-Stop: f2.8
Shutter: 1/640

Here are a few tips. First, yes, I went with a fixed lens instead of my 70-200mm because I knew that it wasn’t going to be possible to zoom in and out and get the camera to refocus on subjects during the 1 1/5 seconds they would be flying past me, therefore, I opted for my sharpest lens. My 135mm never lets me down! With that insanely sharp outcome, I knew that cropping ability was going to increase drastically. I also new that I wasn’t going to get multiple shots at shooting these guys. Many of the teams are a one and done kind of deal. Even though I understand the inner workings of the Canon 5D highly intricate focusing system designed for high speed action, I wasn’t going to take a risk of relying on it. Therefore, I chose to pick where in the jump or area of the frame I was most interested in freezing the skaters and locked my focus in on the one spot. The outcome was better than I could have hoped for. With the Canon’s 5D Mark III 6 fps in full resolution capability, I was able to capture multiple tack-sharp, mid-air skaters with each run. Also, PUSH that ISO! You can always use the Canon software, or Lightroom to help reduce noise, but you can’t undo a blurry subject. I do like how my images came out, but in hynes sight I would have pushed my ISO to 3200 and stopped down my lens so that I could get a little more in focus. But, there is always next year, right? Last tip, get there EARLY so you are right by the track and when you find a good spot, covet it. I made the mistake of thinking I could walk around and jump in at another area of track but boy was I wrong. Any other area I found was open for a reason, last pickings!

Skating down the cathedral in st paul, minnesota Skating down the cathedral in st paul, minnesota Skating down the cathedral in st paul, minnesota Skating down the cathedral in st paul, minnesota Skating down the cathedral in st paul, minnesota I hope you enjoyed this post. I’d love to hear your comments and any tips you might like to share on how you were most successful in capturing crashed ice photos. I also LOVE learning new tips and tricks!

Love, Kristen

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Minnesota Zoo: Winter 2015

January 23rd, 2015

One of my favorite things to do? Go to the zoo and take my camera. I LOVE LOVE LOVE animals! This is one of my happy places. Over this last year, I have been blessed to befriend one of the zoo photographers, as well as his fiance, the tiger keeper. Yup, he gets to go […]

 

One of my favorite things to do? Go to the zoo and take my camera. I LOVE LOVE LOVE animals! This is one of my happy places. Over this last year, I have been blessed to befriend one of the zoo photographers, as well as his fiance, the tiger keeper. Yup, he gets to go photograph these fur-balls whenever he wants and she gets to hang out with tigers all day. Good friends to know! I learned something new this day, the zoo animals are most active in the morning when they get let outside, around 9 am, AND there are little to no visitors yet at this time of day. Win win!

GEAR:

Canon 5D Mark III
Tamron 150-600mm VC
Canon 135mm F2

 

Minnesota Zoo Wolf Minnesota Zoo lynx Minnesota Zoo Flamingos Minnesota Zoo Monkey in tree Minnesota Zoo Monkey in tree 2 Minnesota Zoo Tigers fighting

Meet Nadia and Dari, two gorgeous tiger sisters! I have a confession to make. When these two were kittens, I would spend an embarrassing amount of my time watching them on the zoo cam. I was even able to get my boss and coworkers on board with this and every day, maybe a few times a day, the staff would stand around the computer watching these two beauties! They were so much fun to photograph. Let me just say that it was like 40 below zero, my fingers and toes became frost bit, and I didn’t even notice! I could have watched them all day.

Gear note: this was my first time taking out my new Tamron 150-600mm VC (which I sold my Canon 100-400mm lens to buy). The sharpness and clarity of this lens is magnificent! I instantly fell in love with my new upgrade. *mind you, this statement is coming from a Canon snob! 🙂

Minnesota Zoo Tigers playing in snow Minnesota Zoo Tigers roar

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Snowflakes!

January 23rd, 2015

If you have read any of my winter time posts, then you know by now that winter is my FAVORITE season!!! Yup, I’m one of the few weirdos who lives in Minnesota because I love cold and snow. This was the first year that I tried to capture some snowflake pictures. The adventure started out, […]

 

minnesota snowflake 1If you have read any of my winter time posts, then you know by now that winter is my FAVORITE season!!! Yup, I’m one of the few weirdos who lives in Minnesota because I love cold and snow. This was the first year that I tried to capture some snowflake pictures. The adventure started out, like many do, due to a very snow snowy day spent working retail. When you just happen to spend some of your week at a store that specializes in camera gear, there is no reason one should ever get bored! So, my coworker friend and I ran out side and ran around the parking lot like idiots, trying to catch perfect snowflakes. We got a few pictures snapped before the storm kicked into high gear.

GEAR:

Canon 5D Mark III
Tamron 90mm F2.8 VC Macro- I don’t own this one, but I wanted to take it for a test drive, I have the Canon equivalent

SETTINGS:
F 2.8
1/800 Second
ISO 1600

Here are a few tips I discovered while photographing snowflakes. First, catch them on a dark background so that they really stand out. I chose to use my black gloves because that is what I had at the time. As you can see, there is a lot of detail in the woven gloves. In the future, I think I’d use black fabric instead because the knitting is a little too distracting for my taste. Trying to capture them on low branches and brush would be cool as well. Next, if you are going to hold the snowflakes in one hand and the camera in the other, make sure that your shutter speed is set high enough. I wouldn’t go below 1/500, personally. Lastly, I think that in this case, using the manual mode on the camera is going to give you the best possible outcome. The camera is going to go crazy trying to expose for black and translucent with a white sky. Once you have a good exposure, you will be set for the rest of your pictures. One more thing, if you can stop your lens down more than I did, do it (it was pretty dark out when I took these). I had to toss a lot of photos because when the depth of field is that shallow, even breathing is enough to move the cameras locked-in focus- out. Happy shooting!

minnesota snowflake 2 minnesota snowflake 3If you have any other tips, please share in the comments. I LOVE learning and trying new things!