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View Full Version : Taking pictures at an Ice Skating Competition - is it allowed?


nyktrade
22nd of January 2008 (Tue), 14:44
My daughter just started to compete at various ice skating competitions. Does anybody know whether it is allowed for me to bring my gear to take her pictures while she performs? Usually, there is a photographer on the sideline who takes pictures, but I just don't think I should be paying $100 of pictures when I can take them myself. When I say this, I meant from the guest's bench, not from the side of the rink. I tried to ask the organizer once, but nobody gave me a definite answer. Some of them think its ok, some said no, it is really confusing. Any thoughts?

BillsBayou
22nd of January 2008 (Tue), 16:07
Have you ever seen anyone with a camera there?

Most places will have a "No Cameras Allowed" sign somewhere. If you do not see it, and it does not appear on tickets or advertising media, it's ok. We live in a society that allows behavior until a law is enacted to prohibit that behavior. Having said that, the organizers or building owners can be fickle and ask you to stop. However, remind them that they have to stop everyone there. Do it politely.

LW Dail
22nd of January 2008 (Tue), 16:13
Went to see Elvis impersonators at a local casino (so bad on so many levels!). No 'No Cameras' signs and valet said it was okay.

Took camera to take pictures of all of us dressed up in vintage garb and having a great time. Shot some of Elvis and had security wave me down and holler 'No pictures of Elvis.'

Pointed at all the people with their cell phones raised taking pictures and videos as well as the PnSs, and asked "Is that just for me or everyone here?"

She looked around, threw up her hands, and walked off!

Totally agree - when they say no photos, you'd better be prepared for me to follow you around and make sure you tell everyone else. Cuz I will!;)

nyktrade
22nd of January 2008 (Tue), 16:15
Have you ever seen anyone with a camera there?

Most places will have a "No Cameras Allowed" sign somewhere. If you do not see it, and it does not appear on tickets or advertising media, it's ok. We live in a society that allows behavior until a law is enacted to prohibit that behavior. Having said that, the organizers or building owners can be fickle and ask you to stop. However, remind them that they have to stop everyone there. Do it politely.


That is my feeling too. Most people there have cameras, but I have never seen one with DSLR, at least not with white lenses. Thanks for the input.

nyktrade
22nd of January 2008 (Tue), 16:29
Just to give a little bit more information. The first couple competitions that I went to, I left my gear behind and just bought the pictures from the photographer there. I was however dissappointed with the quality. Yes, granted that the photographer needed to continuously take pictures of hundreds of skater and my daughter was only one of them. I still buy the pictures anyway because of how important those competitions were for my daughter. On the third competition, I brought my 40D + 70-200mm f/2.8 + 300mm f/2.8. Surely enough, I got much better pictures of my daughter skating compared to the ones offered by the photographer. I still bought one picture that I couldn't get due to my location when I was shooting. Nobody came to me and told me not to take pictures, but I don't like how the photographer was looking at me. I only took pictures of my own daughter, from a LONG distance away. I really would like to think that this is ok, but really curious what you all think. Thanks

PhotosGuy
23rd of January 2008 (Wed), 10:57
I tried to ask the organizer once, but nobody gave me a definite answer. Some of them think its ok, Just remember the names of the ones who said OK. No need to bring up the others & confuse the issue? I only took pictures of my own daughter, from a LONG distance away. I really would like to think that this is ok, but really curious what you all think. Keep one of your shots with you, & if/when he complains, tell him that you still buy some of his but wish his were as good as yours? ;)

Eastcoast
23rd of January 2008 (Wed), 12:11
It has been quite a while since my daughter skated and I am in Canada so things are different here, not only in laws but even with the organization.

I assume that you are dealing with the local clubs in your area?

Regardless, the governing body as your are probably aware, is the USFSA and their "Official Policy" is:

Cameras are permitted for personal use only.
Absolutely NO VIDEO CAMERAS or DIGITAL CAMERAS using VIDEO are allowed.
NO FLASH photography.
NO camera should have a lens LARGER than 200 mm and an F-stop of 2.8 or smaller.
Any resale of photography is strictly prohibited.
For additional information, please contact U.S. Figure Skating at 719.635.5200.

This was taken off their website for the 2007 nationals at

http://www.usfigureskating.org/Events.asp?id=148

I think that you will find that each event will have their own interpretation of what the camera policy should be. It really varies.

Depending on how the event is setup the "official Photographer" may have been granted or may have paid a fee to have "exclusive" rights at the event.

My take on this is that as long as you only photograph your daughter and do not sell the pictures then there is little that the other photographer can do. The local organizing committe has the say on the matter but the USFSA policy should trump anything that they put out, unless they are allowing a bigger lens! :D

You might try this link:

http://www.frogsonice.com/skateweb/news.shtml

Believe it or not this is probably the definitive website for figureskating and related information on the net. There are a number of photographers listed there who might be willing to share their experiences with you and offer advice.

Let us know how you make out. The 40D and the 70-200 f2.8 IS USM should an awesome pair even in the crappy lighting in the rinks.

Good luck and post some pictures!

nyktrade
23rd of January 2008 (Wed), 15:27
It has been quite a while since my daughter skated and I am in Canada so things are different here, not only in laws but even with the organization.

I assume that you are dealing with the local clubs in your area?

Regardless, the governing body as your are probably aware, is the USFSA and their "Official Policy" is:

Cameras are permitted for personal use only.
Absolutely NO VIDEO CAMERAS or DIGITAL CAMERAS using VIDEO are allowed.
NO FLASH photography.
NO camera should have a lens LARGER than 200 mm and an F-stop of 2.8 or smaller.
Any resale of photography is strictly prohibited.
For additional information, please contact U.S. Figure Skating at 719.635.5200.

This was taken off their website for the 2007 nationals at

http://www.usfigureskating.org/Events.asp?id=148

I think that you will find that each event will have their own interpretation of what the camera policy should be. It really varies.

Depending on how the event is setup the "official Photographer" may have been granted or may have paid a fee to have "exclusive" rights at the event.

My take on this is that as long as you only photograph your daughter and do not sell the pictures then there is little that the other photographer can do. The local organizing committe has the say on the matter but the USFSA policy should trump anything that they put out, unless they are allowing a bigger lens! :D

You might try this link:

http://www.frogsonice.com/skateweb/news.shtml

Believe it or not this is probably the definitive website for figureskating and related information on the net. There are a number of photographers listed there who might be willing to share their experiences with you and offer advice.

Let us know how you make out. The 40D and the 70-200 f2.8 IS USM should an awesome pair even in the crappy lighting in the rinks.

Good luck and post some pictures!


Thank you so much for the links and advice, they are very useful!! I will post some pictures when I get back home tonight. My daughter originally competed on ISI competitions but now since her club has gone to USFSA, she goes to their competitions. The 200mm limit is ok I guess, but the 2.8 f stop limit is tough. I also have the f/4 IS version of the 70-200, but it is just not sufficient for the rink lighting (the reason why I purchased the 2.8 IS version few months ago). If they really don't allow 2.8, I might be forced to use the f/4, max ISO, and just hope for the best.

Thanks again

Eastcoast
24th of January 2008 (Thu), 05:25
Depending on where you are located in the rink 200mm on the 40D should be ok. I tried shooting at a Skate Canada event here using my Dig Rebel and the 75-300mm canon. I bumped the iso up to 800 and tried to make sure that I kept the f-stop at f4 where possible. Most of the time that meant that I was around 135mm on the lens. I was located center ice up about 10 rows from ice surface in a rink that is used for professional minor hockey. It has the best lighting around here and the shots came out so-so. They were usable with a fair amount of post processing and cropping but you can definately tell that the equipment (and photographer) were lacking in this venue. Your 70-200 f4 is a cracker of a lens but is still slow for this type of shooting. White balance is also a problem so you might want to also try a custom balance metering off a grey scale card. Most rinks use a mercury vapour light which will give you an orange cast without correction.

Lighting is going to be your biggest problem and getting somewhere to shoot where you are not behind glass (if in a hockey rink). Try bringing the 135 prime along with the 70-200. Most rink/event staff will not know beans about f-stops, only that the lens is huge. It should be long enough if you can get close enough to the rink and the extra stop will help big time.

Like I said it is a very difficult venue to try and shoot in. We don't see many posts of figure skating. You might want to try looking at Fred Miranda in the sports section and checking under Hockey. The lighting and rinks are usually the same, the gear and settings should be similar.

Good luck,

PhotosGuy
24th of January 2008 (Thu), 08:27
NO camera should have a lens LARGER than 200 mm and an F-stop of 2.8 or smaller. Interesting rule! So... maybe the judges are afraid that you'll use it as a weapon? :D

nyktrade
24th of January 2008 (Thu), 08:43
Depending on where you are located in the rink 200mm on the 40D should be ok. I tried shooting at a Skate Canada event here using my Dig Rebel and the 75-300mm canon. I bumped the iso up to 800 and tried to make sure that I kept the f-stop at f4 where possible. Most of the time that meant that I was around 135mm on the lens. I was located center ice up about 10 rows from ice surface in a rink that is used for professional minor hockey. It has the best lighting around here and the shots came out so-so. They were usable with a fair amount of post processing and cropping but you can definately tell that the equipment (and photographer) were lacking in this venue. Your 70-200 f4 is a cracker of a lens but is still slow for this type of shooting. White balance is also a problem so you might want to also try a custom balance metering off a grey scale card. Most rinks use a mercury vapour light which will give you an orange cast without correction.

Lighting is going to be your biggest problem and getting somewhere to shoot where you are not behind glass (if in a hockey rink). Try bringing the 135 prime along with the 70-200. Most rink/event staff will not know beans about f-stops, only that the lens is huge. It should be long enough if you can get close enough to the rink and the extra stop will help big time.

Like I said it is a very difficult venue to try and shoot in. We don't see many posts of figure skating. You might want to try looking at Fred Miranda in the sports section and checking under Hockey. The lighting and rinks are usually the same, the gear and settings should be similar.

Good luck,


Thanks so much for the suggestions. I will try it! I also have 70-200mm f/2.8 that I was going to sell but I am thinking of keeping it now because like you said, my f/4 is still going to be too slow. Thanks again.

nyktrade
24th of January 2008 (Thu), 08:45
Interesting rule! So... maybe the judges are afraid that you'll use it as a weapon? :D

Maybe, I don't understand the rationale either other than maybe they want to protect the exclusivity of the photographer there by making sure that no other 'parents' can get good pictures!