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Notes from the Ice Rink #NikonMOMents

This is the story of that time where I stepped onto the ice while wearing these contraptions called ice skates for the first time in over 30 years.

Because like any good mom who was trying to encourage her own kids (well at least one of them) that they can indeed learn to skate, you can’t really do that if you don’t put your money where your mouth is so to speak. And mine was firmly planted with my Nikon D3300 camera behind the boards at our local arena, yelling unconvincingly “It’s ok honey, you’re doing great!” from the safety of the benches.

My 4 year old was unamused.

The last time I went skating on my own was sometime in elementary school. Maybe Grade 2? Maybe Grade 4? I honestly don’t remember. But it’s been easily at least three decades. I know. I’m a bad Canadian. We only have some of the longest skating rinks in the world here. I mean really, what Canadian does not know how to skate? I refused to let my own kids miss out on years of this fun so I said to my husband, we have to get them on the ice to learn.

So off to the arena we went.

And it started out so well. My younger daughter was so excited as her big sister had already had several chances to being learning this activity, so she was eager to catch up.

Nikon MOMents - Learning To Skate (6)

Nikon MOMents - Learning To Skate (7)

First step onto the arena. Ever.

Nikon MOMents - Learning To Skate (9)

And we’re off! Doing so well…

Nikon MOMents - Learning To Skate (10)

…and 5 minutes later she’s like nope, I’m not having any of this.

Nikon MOMents - Learning To Skate (11)

So. What’s a mom to do?

Well I did this. Laced up for the first time in decades. Because I wanted to show my daughter that even Mom still has to learn new things just like she does.

Nikon MOMents - Learning To Skate (12)

Yeah this was not intimidating at all.

Nikon MOMents - Learning To Skate (15)

Nikon MOMents - Learning To Skate (16)

I will be quite blunt when I say that for the first 10 minutes, I hung onto the boards for dear life.

But it worked. Because then this started happening.

Nikon MOMents - Learning To Skate (14)

Nikon MOMents - Learning To Skate (13)

Nikon MOMents - Learning To Skate (17)

Doesn’t look scary until you see it from the perspective of a 4 year old.

Nikon MOMents - Learning To Skate (21)

While this was happening, my 7 year old was having the time of her life teaching her Mom how to skate.

Nikon MOMents - Learning To Skate (1)

Nikon MOMents - Learning To Skate (18)

Nikon MOMents - Learning To Skate (19)

Nikon MOMents - Learning To Skate (20)

Then this magic happened.

Nikon MOMents - Learning To Skate (2)


Nikon MOMents - Learning To Skate (3)

Nikon MOMents - Learning To Skate (4)

Like mother, like daughter. We all have to start somewhere.

Nikon MOMents - Learning To Skate (5)

And we even got a round of applause from our coach.

Nikon MOMents - Learning To Skate (8)

We all went back the following weekend and of course have now been bitten by the skating bug, just in time for the arena’s to close for the season this coming month.

In terms of shooting my photos in an arena using my Nikon D3300 SLR, I was dealing with a lot of fluorescent lighting but the D3300 did a great job in simply Auto White Balance getting the colours right, though it does offer a fluorescent option to choose should you prefer. It’s one of those decisions that varies from arena to arena. I shot most of these photos in either P: Program Mode or just the No Flash on the dial with the adjusted settings. And you’d think with all the white light bouncing off of the ice I wouldn’t need to compensate for exposure, but I still did.

For that I used my absolute go to feature on the D3300 that I cannot function without anymore and that is the Exposure Compensation feature. It basically lets you add or take away exposure (brighten or darken your shot) with the push of one setting vs having to fiddle around to try and get each shot properly adjusted. When I shoot projects and still photography I tend to play around with the settings a lot more to get my best shot. But sometimes you just need a quicker fix and this feature does that. And you can check right away after taking a photo to see what it looks like and adjust accordingly.

There’s also the issue of movement and speed. Hockey and skating are actually extremely challenging to shoot as you need a fast shutter speed and a respectable ISO level. It’s a delicate balancing act that varies from location to location. Luckily – based on how fast either of us were skating – that’s something that I will be able to practice over time as the girls get older and learn to skate faster.

As I wrap up my series, I just wanted to say that working with Nikon as a NikonMOM Ambassador has been a complete joy and it was a truly a great experience partnering with them. The Nikon D3300 SLR is a great camera, one that I carry everywhere. As a long time loyal Nikon user and fan, it’s been an honour to be Nikon MOM.

Disclosure: I am part of the Mom Central Canada Nikon MOMents team and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

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  • Reply
    March 2, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    Amazing! I honestly feel ashamed to say I haven’t been on the ice this year. I use to skate all the time as a kid but I don’t own skates and it has just been so DARN cold.

  • Reply
    March 4, 2015 at 8:55 am

    I’m glad I’m not the only bad Canadian. As someone who is a TERRIBLE skater I don’t want my 3 year old son to grow up with a fear of getting on the ice. I want to get onto the ice with him and teach him to skate (or at least assist in his lessons) but after over ten years not on skates it is just so intimidating. Glad to know it can be done!

  • Reply
    March 24, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    What a beautiful moment! I am not the best of skates but since switching to hockey skates I am much better. Way to go mom for lacing up! The pictures your caught in the raw are beautiful!

  • Reply
    Caroline Fernandez (@ParentClub)
    March 24, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    We didn’t make it onto the ice at all this year! I love the picture of your skates going on to the ice. Skate selfie!

  • Reply
    Fab Frugal Mama Lisa (@fabfrugalmama)
    April 22, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    Your kids are so cute! I completely understand the resistance to skating, too… luckily, mine got over it, but it took awhile! Great shots. 🙂

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