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.
Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 135mm F2Monopod
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!
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!