Friday, November 23, 2007

Atlantic City trip

My fiancee and I go to Atlantic City often enough that we usually get a complimentary hotel stay and sometimes tickets to an event. Last weekend we received comp tickets to "Fashion on Ice" at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. The theme of the show was that singer Sarah Brightman would perform while Olympic figure skating medalists Sasha Cohen, Evan Lysacek, Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto and others would skate routines dressed in costumes designed by top fashion designers. When she first told me about this show, it was all I could do to keep from rolling my eyes.

First of all, I must say that my fiancee is a huge fan of the Olympics. She particularly loves gymnastics and figure skating. Particularly with gymnastics, she appreciates the skill and hard work necessary to be good as she was a terrific gymnast as a child. However, she doesn't particularly like gymnastics or figure skating exhibitions because usually the skill level displayed is lower than in competition and the routines are 10 times cheesier than normal.

Since the tickets were free, we decided to check out the show. As we made our way into the arena, both of us were shocked to learn that some of the tickets for the show were selling for over $100. Furthermore, we were pleasantly surprised to learn that our free seats were about 7 to 10 rows from the ice.

The show actually turned out to be pretty good. Sarah Brightman sang a good version of "Con Te Partiro", a song made famous a few years ago by Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli. The skaters were impressive. Seeing them skate in person was definitely more interesting than watching them on TV. Sasha Cohen and Evan Lysacek both skated very well.

I had a good time because it gave me the opportunity to take pictures of a sporting event under low light conditions. Shooting a fast moving sport under low light can be very challenging because your shutter speed has to be fast enough to spot the action and you need to use a lens that opens up to a very wide aperture. Since I was reasonably close to the ice, I decided to use the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 lens, an excellent, relatively inexpensive, medium length prime lens which excels in low light.

The first two pictures are of an Italian figure skater whose name I cannot recall. The last two pictures are of Sasha Cohen.

Sasha Cohen is one of my fiancee's favorite skaters. I did a quick google search and found out that she's known as one of the best, if not the best, artistic skater in a long, long time. Apparently, nobody beats her on artistry, but she sometimes has difficulty executing her jumps. She won a silver medal in the last Olympics. This next picture shows off her incredible flexibility.

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