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Steve Foss

State H.S. Nordic ski meet

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These are from the state meet named in the title, shot Friday morning at Giants Ridge in Biwabik. All racing images are of the freestyle (skate) race. My only client was the newspaper, where I'll only use a few images, so there was no real point in staying all afternoon to catch the classical races.

Several are Ely racers, who I was there to cover, but with a few others thrown in for good measure.

All with the Canon 20D and Canon 100-400L IS at various focal lengths, iso400, f8, 1/250 to 1/2000, Av mode (aperture priority), Al servo focus mode (constant focus readjustment for moving subject), IS mode 2 (for panning subjects moving horizontally or vertically), handheld





My favorite of this bunch


This one isn't an especially good composition, and her face isn't totally sharp, but I included it because she had the coolest racing uni of the day


Friend and fellow shooter Ken Hupila, of Finn Bay Photography, who was shooting the meet under contract for Prep Sports out of the Twin Cities (and is shamelessly flaunting his Canon 1D Mark2n and Canon 300 f2.8L IS — dirty bugger!)


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Thanks FM.

MM: for all I know he WAS trying to attack. It was hard to keep track of anything in the heat of the moment with starting racers. In Al servo, if you don't have your focus point on the nose of the subject heading toward you, the face will be in front of the focus plane and will be soft. And skate skiers bob up and down with each stride, so as they get closer and closer it gets harder and harder to keep the focus point where it belongs. At some point you just keep trying to bob your camera/lens up and down with them (what a strange sight THAT must be for someone watching the shooter) and hoping you'll hit one or two just right. Thank God for burst mode! grin.gif

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I see your freind Ken values his investment too...he has the strap around his neck. Sounds like a fun challenge trying to do the bob and get the face shot. I liked the shots of this event in the Strib this weekend too. I thought the photographer really captured the emotions of the Duluth East girls victory.

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Swimmer, I haven't had a chance to see his work, nor did I get his name, but I talked a bit with the STrib guy. Nice guy. Made a joke about the cold weather and how tough the course was on an old photographer. grin.gif

He was shooting a couple of the same bodies Ken had, as well as the 16-25 f2.8L and the 70-200 f2.8L IS. Here he is . . .


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Looking good Steve nice action. I do shoot XC skiing quite different than you though, I never use Av because I find the camera's meter to easy to fool with the snow and dark backgrounds without providing 2/3rds to 1 1/2 stop in exposure compensation. I only shoot manual, meter my hand and fire away, this gives me the exposure for the face, the snow may be almost blown out. You do need to watch for changing light conditions though...I just check my histogram every five minutes or so and adjust.

I also focus on the the chest numbers to give the AF system the contrast it needs to get the best possible chance to grab focus. I have not found the faces soft at all, and all of my shots are at f2.8. Just another way to go about getting the job done. These expamples were taken at the conference championships, just a week before the state meet.

All are at ISO 200-400, manual mode, f2.8, 1/4000s. Since I shoot manual I use the ISO to control the shutter speed I want.

#1 Skating towards me with the body and face in focus.


#2 This shows the depth of field at f2.8.


#3 And this one...well I just liked the snow and face head up and looking ahead.


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Great stuff Dan. Gotta love action in the middle of fat snowflakes.

Thanks for sharing your approach, too. Since I use the center-weighted meter when in Av mode and shooting darker subjects against snow, it meters pretty well as long as they are close enough. There's always more than one way to skin a cat and, whichever way it gets skinned, it's still skinned. grin.gif

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awesome pictures. I was there racing as well and really appreciate all the photographers who take such good pictures of the races.

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