Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tour De Bloc 9 at UNB

For the past two weeks I've been busy with club stuff so I haven't posted much here. I did a write-up of our annual Ice School over on the club's site (here). Last weekend the club was host to the Tour De Bloc, Canada's national bouldering series. 

 Fortunately, I had a lot of help... cause this comp is a lot of work to host. It was good to see that the field of climbers grew quite a bit from last year. Changed format, lousy outdoor weather, a new route-setter, and a lack of a Banff Film fest comp probably all contributed to the bigger crowd. The Halifax crew had a strong showing and cleaned up... but then again... they've got the reputation for being the powerhouse of bouldering in the east. 

Since I was busy during much of the rest of the day I was only able to get photos during the women's open finals round. I'll say this though... it is damn-near impossible to get quality photography in our gym. The lighting is poor and dim. Flashes are worthless since they tend to produce a snowy haze from the chalk dust floating around right in front of the lens (and they are not allowed during comps). Fast prime lenses are your best bet but it's still a huge challenge. At 50mm (the most common prime) you're still telephoto enough to require you to climb to the furthest corner of the gym in order to avoid cutting heads and feet off the climbers in your photos. At that range the only option is to get yourself high in order to avoid being obstructed by the audience. These shots were taken at 1600 ISO, F1.8, and I could still get a shutter speed of 1/60th sec at absolute best. If you can get sharp focus and colour on fast-moving subjects under those conditions you've got skill... real skill. When you see great pictures taken in our gym you need to respect them! 

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