New Camera at Northern Blast

I have been trying to put together this post for over a month, but it’s been a busy couple of months for me. The topics for this post go back to mid-May, which was an important time for me, photographically, for a couple of reasons.

1) I began working with KrPhotogs, which covers many skating events in the Chicago area. I had such a great time photographing the Ladybug competition in April that I started researching more local skating events. I emailed the president of a local club, and shortly after that, I got an email from Kevin at KrPhotogs. He needed a second photographer on the first evening of Northern Blast, so I did the event as a trial run with him. It went really well, and I’ve already done a few more events with him.

2) I upgraded my camera body, from a Canon 50D to a 1D Mark IIN. I had a hard time with the decision, as part of me wondered if purchasing a IIN was a waste of money when I am ultimately saving for a 1D Mark IV. The IIN was the best sports camera in the world in 2006, but it’s now just a few years behind. I ended up finding a great deal on a used IIN, and honestly, having the money for a IV is almost more than I can imagine right now. So I went for the IIN, hoping that it will help me increase my business so that I can imagine the ultimate upgrade a little more easily.

Northern Blast was my first chance to try out the IIN in my natural photography realm, the ice arena. I loved how the autofocus felt, right away. I love that it has an AF thumb button on the vertical side, as I typically shoot sports vertically, and it was fun to read through the manual and try out different custom functions to get the best settings for skating. I’m really happy with how the colours look, and I’m getting much better quality images at ISO 1600 than I was on my 50D. My one complaint is that the IIN does not have intermediate ISO settings between 1600 and 3200, something I wasn’t expecting. I’d used the IIN before, but never in an instance where I wanted to go over 1600, so I didn’t realize this until I was standing boardside at Northern Blast, trying to crank my ISO to 2000. Ah well. Another reason to keep saving for the Mark IV, since I am often shooting in dingy arenas.

Fortunately, the Seven Brides Ice Arena in Woodridge, IL, is a nice facility with strong, even lighting. Here are some of my favourite shots from that day.

Lindsay Jarger, Intemediate Ladies

Olivia Allan, Intermediate Ladies

I’ve posted a few more photos from the event in a set on Flickr. If you are a parent interested in ordering photos of your child, please contact KrPhotogs.

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