Friday, February 19, 2010

Mens Figure Skating: USA Wins Gold

As I mentioned in my last post, I made a mad dash from the hockey venue to the figure skating venue in order to get one of the last photo positions on the ice. It was a tough choice between the figure skating and staying for the Canadian hockey game, but I figured that I have shot enough hockey in my life and never photographed figure skating, so off I went. I knew that the press buses would take too long, so I hopped in a cab and went directly from Canada Hockey Place to the Pacific Coliseum. This saved me about 30 minutes and ultimately let me get that last shooting position. That was $15 well spent!

So I got to the coliseum, got my blue sleeve (with the shooting position number on it - which tells me where to stand during the performances) and waited to be escorted to the ice level. The wait gave me just enough time to grab a really bad tuna sandwich and go to the bathroom. As like so many other venues, when you are in your shooting location, you ain't moving for the rest of the night. We were in position by 4pm and did not get out until 9:30pm. And...of course...the best skaters are the last 6.

So, not having ever shot figure skating, I practiced shooting on some of the lesser known athletes in order to become a little more proficient when the "big guys" were on the ice.

I still had the fish eye lens on my 5D Mark II and saw the opportunity to shoot this image. Before the competition started, these cute kids came out and lined up. They are the kids that you saw going out onto the ice to grab the flowers and stuffed animals that people throw out after the performances.

I was actually editing images against a wall, not shooting some of the skaters, when I saw this guy come out on the ice. I saw his hair and thought, "that should make for some interesting pictures when he spins" and sure enough, it did. This one cracks me up!

As I captured the images, I was very cognizant of the background since there were a lot of distractions. What I was really aiming for were nice shots of the athletes in front of the Olympic logos.

Here is Evan Lysacek during his gold medal performance.

You can see the look on his face, he knew that he nailed this performance.

You could see the concentration on the face of Evgeny Plushenko as he prepared for his routine.

It was good, but not good enough to beat out Evan's performance.

I put this last shot in here because it shows what many of the images looked like when I got home. As these guys perform their jumps and spins, they have some very funny expressions on their faces. It is a little freaky to look at, but part of the story nonetheless.

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