Thursday, October 20, 2011

A double header at San Jose Skate

Silicon Valley KillaBytes vs Central California Area Derby 


Silicon Valley Dot.Kamikazes vs Orange County Roller Girls Blockwork Orange.

First, before the photo highlights... a little preamble:

I shoot with a digital rangefinder.  Unlike a digital SLR, a rangefinder doesn't have a mirror box between the lens and the sensor.  The lens on a rangefinder sits closer to the sensor than the lens of an SLR. Which means the light focused onto the rangefinder's sensor strikes the sensor at more of an oblique angle than with an SLR.  Apparently, digital sensors are more sensitive to light striking them at a perpendicular angles and so with a rangefinder, the sensor's designers (Kodak in this case) have to coat the sensor with little microlenses to focus the light back to perpendicular to the sensor.  I believe this means that the high-ISO performance of a rangefinder... just won't be quite as good as the high-ISO performance of an SLR.

So what does that mumbo-jumbo really mean?  

My highest ISO my camera goes to is 2500. Not 3200, not 6400... 2500 (and it's a bit noisy at 2500 too).

San Jose Skate is a dimly lit skating rink a little south of San Jose off highway 85.  How dim is dim?  Without using a flash, and setting the shutter speed to 1/125th of a second (perhaps the slowest shutter speed that will freeze derby action... most of the time), and maxing out the ISO at 2500, you need to set the aperture to f1.2 or maybe f1.4 to get a nice bright properly exposed photograph.


Shooting without flash at f1.2 or f1.4 (with a manual focus lens) means the depth of field is very shallow, and the focus is a little soft too.

Bionic BabyDoll

consulting the clipboard


It's been a little over a year since the last time I shot at San Jose Skate. Last February, another photographer asked me about the light at San Jose Skate... I got so depressed thinking about the dim fluorescent lighting that I didn't go to the bout.  But I managed to make it to last Saturday's double header.

Now the ceiling is a neutral color and is quite low, so using on-camera flash and bouncing it off the ceiling works pretty well... next time I got to dial down the flash just a little bit (about 1/2 stop) to prevent losing detail in the blown highlights.

The full flickr sets are here (Silicon Valley KillaBytes vs Central California Area Derby and Silicon Valley Dot.Kamikazes vs Orange County Roller Girls ), and here are some highlights.

 an example of the ethical treatment of a pivot line

Coach Pia





T is for Tennessee

I say SV, you say RG!



smiley smiley





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