Shooting sports and action is always fun. Do it for every one of my daughter's ringette games as well as most of the practices. This weekend deviated somewhat with venue and time. To start off with, we were at a local rec complex that is amazing for local sports with proper seats and lighting and so forth. Which opens up time for interesting perspectives off the ice. Such as this row of unoccupied seats. That plus a long lens (the absolutely sick Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 VRII) and a wide open aperture gives the following. Also of note are that a) this was shot through glass (rule: push your lens up tight and it disappears), and b) at high ISO on a Nikon D300. The otherwise very noisy shot cleans up beautifully with the latest RAW algorithms from Adobe. Like getting a brand new camera. Seriously. This was at ISO 2000.
Leaving the arena gave me another unexpected opportunity: a low, warm evening sun throwing great light against a clear blue sky. I've been looking for a solo tree to shoot for some time and here's one literally staring me in the face as we leave the arena. Out comes the camera and quickly framed again with the 70-200. Great warm light on that tree against the blue sky, and biting sharp with that lens. There were two unavoidable distractions (the tip of a tree over the horizon on the left, and a parking sign on the right) that had to be removed in Photoshop but other than some slight contrast and color enhancement of the RAW file this is how it came out of camera.
With the family anxiously waiting for me to get a move on I glance another opportunity at the arena entrance. The low sun burning in created this opportunity to capture some great shape, line and texture. I saw it in black and white from the outset, wanting to focus on those elements. The shadows of the stairs lead into the door. Such warm color blasting onto the walls only detracted from that. My conversion (via Nik's SilverEfex Pro) separated the yellows from the other tones to bring out the texture and shadow. Unfortunately I also had to clone out a pile of discarded cigarette butts. Nasty.
Turns out Sunday evenings are great for practice after all.