Ryu: Day 2 Figure Skating – Free Program

It’s midnight at the moment, so I’m doing a bit better than last night. I decided to skip ice dancing altogether as I didn’t really enjoy shooting it last night. If I offended any ice dancing fans out there with my decision, I apologise. It was intentional.

To start off our 2nd day, here are the images that I’ve uploaded (the latest start from the lower right corner):

Trophee Eric Bompard 2011 – Day 2

First and foremost, I got to see the 14 year old Russian Elizaveta Tuktamysheva again and she didn’t disappoint with her free performance. I had the same feeling with her that I had when I saw Kim Yu-Na perform for the first time. This girls is a genius. The scary thing is that A) she’s only 14 and B) apparently the Russians have another 14 year old who is as good as she is. Like someone said, here come the Russians.

Now that I’ve had my daily figure skating geek rant out of my system, let’s get down to the dirty business of shooting the event.

As I stated yesterday, I wanted to get shots I wanted but couldn’t because of my suckery. Well, I sucked again and as you can see from the photos, there is no picture of the “throw” which I wanted to get. Basically, I screwed up the only chance I had as I waited to shoot a “throw” where the dude will throw the chick towards me. Therefore, I was going for a shot with a bit of depth rather than shooting a “throw” where the chick will be thrown to the left and the dude will be on the right. Hope you understand what I want to say here. I’ve waited and waited and it happened during the last pair. The throw was there and it was perfect. Obviously, I was less than perfect. Sometimes you just have to forget it and move on. Thus is a life of a sports photographer.

Let’s move onto my other goal, the super blur of pairs. On the spur of the moment, I vetoed my own decision and went with getting other shots during the pairs free program. My super blur project was cast upon the first 4 contestants in the women’s free program. You can see the result on the link provided above. I personally think this series could become something very interesting in the future as I further develop the technique and get consistent results. Found out that I get better exposure when I don’t have ice as the backdrop. Other than that, it’s a bit of a crap shoot, steady hands, and more crap shoot.

The one regret I did have from today is that I didn’t get a very good picture (or pictures) of Elizaveta Tuktamysheva. I have yet to figure out how best to shoot her. I’ve tried ground level shots with her today as well as yesterday, but the pictures were less than impressive. Tomorrow, I will shoot her from the top and see if that will work.

One other thing. I’ve said before about getting close to athletes and if you want to do so, you have to get them during warm ups and practices. These occasions are ideal when you want close-up shots which will not be available to take because of the restrictions the event organiser gives you during the competition. Those bastards. For example, I shot through an opening directly on the ice during this morning’s practice sessions. My intention was to capture a super low spinning jump shots. I got one shot that I liked, but it’s not a true spinning kind that I wanted. Looks like my sucking will have to continue until the next time.

I almost forgot (yes, if I ever had to keep a diary, it would go on like this). It is imperative that you have a camera with a very good high iso performance. Indoor arenas are horribly lit and I have to admit that Bercy is not that bad compare to others. I’m sure there are listeners out there who have horror stories to tell of high school gyms and high school gym like places. You also are not allowed to use any flash during the competition and therefore if you want to shoot figure skating, you have to get a good body. Working out won’t help matters.

That’s it. I think I’ve wrote enough and tomorrow is gala / exhibition time. Excited about this as I’ve never shot one because I thought it would be lame. Having seen some photos from galas in other competitions, it is more of a show than anything else. Which means lots of spot lights and all that fuzz. Should be interesting. At least it’s only 3 hours long tomorrow. :)


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