Camera Settings for Photographing Figure Skaters
As for camera settings, these too can be anticipated to some degree when photographing figure skaters. Your camera settings can also be influenced by where and how close you are to the performers and the brilliance, or lack thereof, of the overall lighting conditions. Most figure skating exhibitions, performances and shows however, tend to be very well lit – a distinct advantage for the digital photographer. Here are a few starting camera setting recommendations.
For full action shots – You’ll likely want to try to “stop" or “freeze" the action at the height of jumps, so use a wide lens aperture f/8, f/5.6, f/4 or wider, with a fast shutter speed of 1/250, 1/500 or 1/1000 of a second.
For wide angle cast shots – With wider angle shots to include more of the figure skating cast and scenes, you might want to consider an aperture setting of f/8, f/11, or f/16 with a much slower shutter speed to compensate for the smaller aperture setting which will give you a much greater depth of field and wider coverage for scenes and figure skating cast shots. Since these types of scenes also have the cast stopped or still on the rink, movement is minimal so you should have fewer concerns over blurring caused by motion.
Tip: Both figure skating and hockey take place in an ice rink and involve moving subjects, so the photography techniques are similar. You may want to consider reading How to Photograph Hockey to further improve your skills of photographing figure skaters.