Skating photography is a great way to make memories. And you can improve your sports photography at the same time.
Like every other sport, figure skating isn’t always photogenic. By learning how and when to take pictures, you’ll be able to make the most of your photo shoot.
8. Use a Zoom Lens to Get Rid of Distractions
To avoid this, use a zoom lens. This will allow you to crop out distractions without compromising the quality of your image.
This is also a much better alternative to cropping your photos.
7. Adjust Your Camera Settings Beforehand to Avoid Losing Key Moments
Camera settings are more specific in figure skating photography than in other genres. Once you feel more comfortable with them, you’ll be able to capture the right moments without stressing yourself out.
If you’re shooting in a building with a fixed light, you need to adjust accordingly.
The faster your shutter speed, the darker your image will be. To compensate for this, increase your ISO. As long as you don’t use an extremely large number, you won’t ruin your photos with grain.
Never use a flash as it will distract the skaters and give you unflattering results.
6. Move Around to Experiment With Different Kinds of Light
You should be able to move around. This will let you work with as many kinds of light as possible.
In the image above, the photographer shot against a source of light to create an elegant silhouette. To re-create this, make sure there’s no light in front of, or next to, your model. The only light source should be backlight.
The only way to find your favorite (s) is to experiment with all of these and ones you come up with on your own.
5. Keep an Eye on Your White Balance to Avoid Unflattering Colours
Indoor figure skating centers don’t always have the best lighting available. Many of them are made to flatter the entire stage, not the subjects. This means that you might have to work with bright, warm colors or very cool tones.
If this isn’t enough, you can alter the colors further in an editing program. Lightroom is many photographers’ go-to for problematic color temperatures.
You can edit the hue, saturation, and luminance of every color in your image. This is perfect for removing vibrant distractions or making your subject’s outfit stand out more.
4. Zoom Out for an Atmospheric Landscape View
Outdoor figure skating is perfect for atmospheric and meaningful photos. By zooming out, you’ll give your model a chance to skate without worrying about awkward poses or expressions.
Make sure the lighting evenly hits everything so that you don’t have to keep adjusting your exposure. Cloudy or gloomy days are ideal for this.
3. Photograph the Dancers’ Faces and Outfits to Capture Details
There’s much more to figure skating than the act itself. You can focus on details, like a skater’s shoes, to tell a deeper story and make your photos look more alive.
You can use this an excuse to improve your closeup, makeup, and macro photography skills.
If you want to take it further, you can even document the entire figure skating experience: preparations (makeup and outfit), warmups before the show, skating on the rink, accepting gifts, etc.
2. Take Intentionally Blurry Photos to Create Abstract Art
Motion blur is a handy technique in photography genres that involve a lot of movement. It can help you guide the viewer’s eye, create a sense of movement, and create smooth compositions.
Most images that feature motion blur tend to be abstract. Depending on your approach, you can create selective or complete motion blur.
- The panning technique involves moving your camera with your subject at the same time. This means you have to know, beforehand, where the figure skater will be going. This will keep the skater in focus and blur out everything else. Oftentimes, the blur will resemble paintbrush strokes.
- For completely abstract pictures, use a slow shutter speed so that your camera captures a series of motions over a long period of time. This will result in an elegant blur of movements similar to the ones in the image above.
1. Photograph the Easier Poses for More Flattering Results
Dancing and skating are sports that require intense focus. Looking pretty isn’t always a priority.
Some skating moves are more intense than others. Your model might end up cringing or looking surprised when you least expect them to.
If you want every part of your image to look appealing, take photos of simple poses and moves. The more comfortable your subject is, the easier it will be for them to smile and look relaxed in your pictures.
You can memorize a few figure skating posing guides and lingo. That way you’ll have a better idea of what to expect.
Skating photography might seem like a difficult genre to master. It’s actually easy to get comfortable with it.
As long as you keep practicing and using the right equipment, you’ll get the hang of this fun photography style in no time.