OK I’m almost a week over due… Old ways return quickly.
Last Friday and Saturday I was inside the 53 year old Baltimore Arena to capture all the packaged action of “AMSOIL Arenacross” Never done this exact kind of shooting so I did some pre event scouting on the internet as to “the best way”. Thusly armed on Friday afternoon I headed down into the inner city for some high adventure. And then things started to go bad. First rule of anything is know your destination. Not being the most knowledgeable person about things Baltimore i went to the Downtown Convention Center, which I found out was not hosting a Arenacross event that night, or ever. I was advised to perhaps try the Baltimore Arena which was having some kind of motorcycle thing. So back out into the rain and city hustle and bustle went I, feeling a little stupid for the mistake. Finding the Arena (which turned out to be right across from my choice of parking garages.) my next challenge was to locate the “Promoters Will Call” which turned out to be “Go up to the next black awning, ticket booth is there” to “Go to the little Black Awning in there”, gurrr right back where I started. And a reminder that all this meandering was taking place lugging full gear, in some heavy cold wet rain. But once found, picking up my media package was quick and painless, the promoters had it down to a tee. Now the real business starts. Part of my pre-event routine is a pit walk through followed by reconnoitering of the racing surface, in this case, involved 4 levels. Previously I had set the flash up for second curtain sync. to add some “spoke blur” to the shots. I was very surprised to find the lighting in the Arena was great. No flash was really needed. Happily I kitted up and started shooting.
Because of the abundance of light high speed capture of the racing action were pretty easy to net. As I was after more of the unusual capture I quickly hit on a technique to use the flash set at 3 stops over power to override the ambient light and under-light the airborne bike and rider.
And that being accomplished is anyone shocked that soon playful Photoshop, Alien Skin Eye Candy 7, versions started surfacing in short order..
And then the camera died.. I’m still not sure what exactly happened but my 5DMIII shut down. I put in a fresh battery and it to shortly shut down. As a result Fridays captures of the actual show were mostly make with my iPhone. Dejected I went home to process and recover what I had capture and re-flash the camera’s firmware. My original intent was to shoot the Friday show only. Now I had to shuffle existing plans to allow a return Saturday engagement.
And return we did, everything worked as expected, the camera gremlin didn’t return. Now that I sort of knew the ropes, things went pretty good, with a good percentage of keepers to put on Speed Vision of MD. Most of the night I shot at f:5.6 around 1/250th ISO 850/1000. The Second-Sync flash worked a little to good, A few high speed pans didn’t benifit from the dragging flash.
Over all I had a great time, the event staff was more then accommodating, the Baltimore Arena staff were helpful and more then wiling to share their “tails of the road”, of course, of which I found fascinating.
Addressing the “Fish out of Water” title. This is a young mans sport, no real place for “silverbacks”. But if I could turn back the hands of time…. How fun would that be?