This past week Red Bull was in St. Paul with their Crashed Ice series. If you've never heard of it, be sure to check it out on Red Bull's web site - just think of hockey players skating on a downhill course that begins with a 4-1/2 story drop just to get you started. Here are some shots I took during the day when they had time trials/qualifiers and then the finals on Saturday night. One day it was so cold (never got above 0 degrees) they had to delay the racing because the ice was so brittle it was cracking. The Saturday night finals had below 0 degree windchill - my feet were so cold.
This was shot during the Friday qualifying runs.
This section of the track is Hangman Hill to give you some perspective.
The race is also going on when the city of St. Paul is holding their Winter Carnival. The St. Paul Vulcans battle the evil Winter King Boreas to defeat him and end winter - this is how they started the race.
Here are the starting gates for the race, 4-1/2 stories above us.
Here is a shot from BELOW - not above. This is the 48-meter drop, so it looks like I'm photographing it from above.
Here are some photos of the race as they navigate the first jumps.
This is Cameron Naaz from Lakeville, MN - local boy who finished 2nd in this international event. Being in the media tent was like an Olympic village hearing languages from Russia, Denmark, Sweden, Germany and Austria.
The skater in the Zubaz pants is sponsored by Zubaz and is another Minnesota skater. (For those who don't know what Zubaz are - they are the funky looking red zebra like pants)
Can't load anymore - here's one more shot of them as they go into the first turn. Check out all of the GoPro cameras, a lot of the racers had them.
Crazy is just the beginning. When you get 80,000 people to stand in freezing cold for hours to watch this - that's crazy - it was a sea of people. The Hangman's Curve was an ice wall 16-feet high that they had to negotiate.
When I looked them the first time I saw all these lights and colored bokeh lights and thought,"Man he nailed his white balance!" WOnder how he did it with what had to be a ton of different light sources?
I used auto WB which ended up being a bit "warm" and then tweaked it lower in Lightroom to get more white ice. Auto WB wasn't too bad and was easier to deal with when I couldn't feel my fingers anymore.