Iím from the Critique Club.
I really like all the energy and power of your shot. It really gets the viewerís attention, and the ice spray is a nice combination of sharpness and blur for motion. I think that the blurred parts work well with the overall shot, and while it may be cool to have them all frozen as particulates, I think the blur gives a greater sense of the speed and the explosion. I would say, however, that maybe a little bit faster shutter might have been useful to help freeze the skate motion and sharpen up those details, though that could have been due to a missed focus just as easily since you were shooting at F3.5. Iím honestly surprised how much you had to crank up your ISO when using two 600ís though. Any idea what power they were actually firing at?
I think the B/W works well with the subject, and helps to accentuate the ice pieces, as you said. The background element is slightly distracting but I understand itís probably pretty hard to have a clear background if youíre shooting at a rink. Overall, I think you did a great job capturing this and still making the footwear a central focus instead of just the spray.