Last Sunday, I photographed figure skating for the first time. Actually, it was the first time that I ever attended a figure skating event. The event was the Winter Blizzard Figure Skating Competition in Skokie, Illinois.
I enjoyed the experience. Figure skating is an ideal sport for photography. The costumes (dresses) are colorful. The young skaters are photogenic. And, there's action!
Figure skating can be a challenging subject to photograph. It's an indoor sport--which usually means dim lighting. Low light and fast action is a difficult combination.
I didn't want to deal with the meter potentially altering exposures as I moved the camera. So, I set the exposure manually. I went with a shutter speed of 1/800th, an aperture of f/2.0 and and ISO setting of 2,500. That exposure combination gave me a fast enough shutter speed to stop most of the movement, a shallow aperture to blur the backgrounds and a low enough ISO setting to minimize noise. Fortunately, I own the Nikon 200 f/2 lens as it's ideal for indoor sports. The f/2 aperture of this lens gathers twice as much light as a f/2.8 lens! In other words, had I selected a 2.8 lens, I would have had to boost my ISO to 5,000 to keep my shutter speed (1/800th) the same.
Here are a few images from the event:
I enjoyed the experience so much that I plan to shoot another figure skating competition in May.