Alan Kiecker, QPSA  

:  “Skater” by Alan Kiecker, QPSA

June 2022 - : “Skater”

About the Image(s)

My camera club has an agreement with the city to take photos of their events in turn they provide us with a meeting room. A recent shoot was the ice show put on by students in their skate school. I chose this particular photo to share with you because the skater looks like she is having so much fun, a really good time.

I found this shoot to be rather challenging. The arena is dark, lighting provided only by spotlights on the skaters, i.e. the lighting is constantly changing. Combine this with the need of a fast shutter speed to stop the action of the skaters, I decided that I would set the lens wide open (hoping that I would have sufficient DOF) and use auto-ISO. In order to capture the photos that I wanted, I shot in continuous mode and focus to follow the action. On my first pass through the images I eliminated the blurry ones and the ones that did not have the skater’s face toward the camera “ about half of the 3000 photos that I took. With subsequent passes through the images I finally gave the city about 100 images to use for next year’s publicity. All images were run through Topaz DeNoiseAI then processed with Lightroom Classic. ISO ranged from 560 to 6400.

Technical Info: Nikon Z7ii, Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 lens at 200mm with FTZ-2 adapter, 1/500 sec at f/2.8, ISO 900.

== al

5 comments posted

Craig Callan   Craig Callan
An excellent spontaneous photo that captures the exuberance of the young performer. And I sympathize with the challenges of the venue.The lighting is harsh and the extreme falloff of the spotlighting detracts from the brightness you expect from ice.
I chose to let art assist nature:
1. I used the new "select Subject" feature in Photoshop. the inverted the selection so I was working on the background.
2. I used Curves to apply a basket curve pinning the 25% and 75% points so it only applied to the midtones.
3. I re-inverted the image and used a soft edge brush to select the lower half of the image up to the skater's outstretched arms. The I "re-re-inverted" the image so that the top half of the background was selected.
5. In blur gallery, I added an 8 px field blur to simulate focus blur. I then did an overall lightening of the selection in Saturation/Lightness.
Although this sounds complex, the actual correction took 4 minutes to perform.
I hope you find this useful.   Posted: 06/10/2022 13:48:30
Comment Image
Alan Kiecker   Alan Kiecker
Thanks for your suggestion. I think what you are commenting on is the effect I obtained with the dehaze filter. I found that adding a bit of dehaze darkened the ice creating contrast between the skaters and the ice. The result was that the skaters seemed to "pop" off the page, really putting the emphasis on them.   Posted: 06/11/2022 08:42:40

Josh Lohff   Josh Lohff
I really enjoyed this image. Her expression immediately made me smile, which is a good thing for a photographer to achieve. I can only imagine the number of goofy expressions you probably got mixed in with this good one, but congrats on capturing it. I also like that you were able to capture her full shadow and cropped it (I'm assuming) very nicely… it almost gives a little bit of a Peter Pan feel - adding to the playfulness of it.

As far as exposure goes, I like where you have it. She feels bright and clear, but not overly so and you have kind of a built-in gradient fading from bright (but not overly so) to dark in the background - thanks for sharing!
  Posted: 06/12/2022 19:45:29

Dicky ting ming Law
You managed to capture that exciting moment, and that proper shadow,thanks for sharing   Posted: 06/14/2022 09:01:01

David Kepley   David Kepley
Like you I have tried to take pictures in an ice rink. The lighting is tough, since it is usually tungsten. You did a great job in taking care of that part of the problem. I think I would have shot it at a more narrow DOF, like f8. Her face is slightly out of focus and her back skate is definitely not sharp. You might also go with say 1000 sec. to freeze the motion.

All that said, this is a great shot that should make her parents smile!!   Posted: 06/23/2022 13:24:43


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