I positioned myself towards the end of one of the turns so that I could get photos of them leaning into the turns are they rounded the end of the track. And as always, I made sure that I had a good view of the Olympic rings in my background.
I started shooting with the Canon 1DX and the Canon 200-400mm lens, so that I could get in nice and tight on the skaters. I shot these in manual mode at ISO 1250 with an aperture of f/4 and a shutter speed of 1/1000 sec. This would allow me to freeze the skaters and they skated by me.
After a while, I had captured countless photos of the skaters up close, and I felt that what I was shooting was just repetitive. In this 10,000 meter race, the skaters go around so many times that it is easy to shoot the same thing over and over. I switched to the Canon 24-105mm lens to get some wide shots and try some motion blur shots.
With them coming around so many times, it gave me a chance to get the right shutter speed and motion to pan with them and get some keepers. I shot this in shutter priority mode with a shutter speed of 1/30 sec, panning at the exact same speed as the skater.
And then I switched the camera to 1/40 sec to get a little more detail in the skaters face, since my take rate at 1/30 was pretty low.
Normally I would not like a skater in a plain white outfit, but it turns out that this Russian skater really popped from the darker background.
I then switched the Canon 70-200mm lens to try some other shots. In this case, I focused on the skater in the far lane, as the two skaters rounded the corner at the same time.
As the race was finishing, I was preparing to leave the venue. I put the camera back on the 200-400mm lens (and yes, I say it that way because the lens is bigger than the camera!) and took a couple more tight shots to show the exhaustion the skater's face.
Here is a crop of the other photo, showing the open mouth and the saliva coming out of his mouth. He is tired.
And lastly, I thought it would be fun to capture a photo of the skater at an angle. Hey - always striving or something new!
It is now 5:30pm in Sochi and I am getting ready to head over to the Bolshoy Ice Dome for the big USA vs. Canada women's hockey gold medal game. I am very excited about this, and I think it is going to be a great game. Of course, I am pulling for Team USA, but I think either team could win this one. I will do my best to blog the photos tonight, but no promises, since last night I didn't get to sleep until 4:30am.