An hour on the ice today at the Hull Ice Arena photographing a semi-professional skater who has no ice portfolio. I have an idea of completing an ice portrait for her after we completed the studio session last week. Today was a quick session for us both to find out what could be achieved. I needed to know what the available lighting was like and therefore the shutter speed limitations along with an ISO capable of leaving me with usable images. For Lea it was to then find parts of her routines which could be caught within my camera parameters. Yes I could push the ISO through the roof but it was my intention to capture the images at the lowest possible for image clarity.

I found an acceptable trade off at 1/250th sec at ISO2000 at f/2.8 but with jump moves there would be some expected blur on at least one moving limb. I subsequently increased the shutter speed to 1/320th and traded a stop of exposure compensation to keep the ISO down and the speed where required. Several moves later and things were coming together. I was happy with the image quality and Lea was happy with the moves but not the smile or pose or leg or arm; you get the idea.

An hour gone and with the public being allowed I used flash to capture a simple image that she wanted which is one of the final poses to a routine. Unable to get on the ice and meter this properly I just went with an educated guess on flash strength and took the shot. A slight reduction on the second attempt and it was in the bag.

We have agreed to give this another go when there is more time to discuss and progress the ideas Lea wishes to cover. Our plan is to meet before this time, discuss what we have captured and how to improve from both sides.

I found that some of the later images taken whilst I was standing on the ice hockey players benches were more aesthetically¬†pleasing. Whilst at the same level as Lea the background was rather intrusive even at f2.8. If she was close enough then yes the empty seats would have sufficient Bokeh so as not to potentially distract the eye. With all the mid “full” images around the 70-100mm focal length the seats became intrusive at times. By elevating myself to look down, even on a shallow angle there was more ice in the image, less of the crash boards and virtually non with seating in view. Composition thus became easier too allowing me to concentrate more on capturing the moves.

I will be speaking to my tutor regarding a “Portrait on ice” as I believe a potential final image of excellence is possible. I am unsure as to what lighting I may be able to use as the arena manager was not in and permissions would be needed. I could however light this style of portrait using two or three speedlights so I’ll see what they say.

This is the final pose/image I have just discussed and one of many that Lea had ideas for. As she was slightly moving into the pose I chose 1/200th, f/2.8, ISO 500 with manual flash at 1/3 power.

Image

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