Sunday, 31 January 2010

World Champs Pick of the Pix - Close Up Action

Chris Broughton
Canon EOS 7D, 85mm prime lens, 1/400s, f/1.8 ISO: 400

Chris Broughton attacks his opponent (Argentina?) who is working hard to fend off the kick in individual sparring.

Two rounds of two minutes each doesn't sound like a lot of time but plenty of action happens in a round of sparring. Talking to our top competitors makes me believe that it feels like a bit of a whirl wind. Each opponent is trying hard to catch you out and slip in a hit while the other fends off and tries a counter attack. When you look at as many sparring images as I have, that moment of impact - when you are punching or kicking - your eyes are often closed. It must be a natural instinctive action. Having never experienced sparring myself (the closest being the battle in a ruck in my rugby days) I'm guessing that you only get to "see" some of it. Sweat soaking into your eyes, eyes closing for an instant the attack and then getting the odd hit from behind, it must be a bit of a blurr.

When photographing sparring action I like to get in very close, to make the viewer feel like they're right there. I can achieve that in training by making a nuisance of myself and sometimes having the camera under a metre from the closest body but at tournaments that's not possible.

Nevertheless, at the World Champs I managed to get a hand full of very close shots when the action was very close to me standing on the sideline.

Clint King
Canon EOS 7D, 85mm prime lens, 1/200s, f/2.8 ISO: 640

Clint King is attacking Poland in Team Sparring.

Courtney Meleisea
Canon EOS 7D, 85mm prime lens, 1/160s, f/1.8 ISO: 320

Courtney Meleisea gets in close to exchange punches with England.

Kristy Leong
Canon EOS 7D, 85mm prime lens, 1/200s, f/2.5 ISO: 640

Kristy Leong throws a successful kick to the chest of Poland.

Monday, 25 January 2010

World Champs Pick of the Pix - Special Delivery

Canon EOS 7D, 85mm prime lens, 1/160s, f/2.5 ISO: 800

Not that great an image but a really nice head kick delivery by Carl Van Roon in his lead up to the heavyweight final. Even at 1/160th of a second the foot and target (head) are moving!

Here's an image taken [ages] 13 seconds earlier... showing Carl's accuracy with those long legs of his...

Canon EOS 7D, 85mm prime lens, 1/250s, f/2.5 ISO: 800

I feel a headache coming on :-)

Saturday, 16 January 2010

World Champs Pick of the Pix - Mark Silhouette

Canon EOS 7D, 85mm prime lens, 1/4000s, f/1.8 ISO: 800

Soon after trying for ages to get a good Silhouette image of Carolina (see previous post), I asked Mark Trotter if he'd like to do a posed shot in the "corridor of light" at the World Champs Venue in Mar Del Plata. He was happy to do this and our only problem was a security guard who would walk across the background every now and then. After a while I think he got the gist of what we were trying to do and disappeared for a couple of minutes which gave us the opportunity to get this unobstructed image.

Monday, 11 January 2010

World Champs Pick of the Pix - Golden Silhouette

Canon EOS 7D, 85mm prime lens, 1/800s, f/1.8 ISO: 800

The day before the 2009 World Champs tournament got underway we had an opportunity to explore the venue and get familiar with it. New Zealand team members did a little light training alongside competitors from Germany, Canada and a few other countries.

There wasn't much light in the venue... a problem that lasted the whole tournament and was a challenge for the photography. There was an entrance corridor that was open for shipping in equipment which allowed a shaft of light into the venue and offered a back-lighting opportunity.

Carolina was practicing her patterns as she had done literally hundreds of times before. I’ve many good images of her in various patterns stances, from almost every direction and angle. This image took me ages to capture as she was naturally moving around a lot during her patterns and the corridor was small, requiring me to move even more than her to get her framed with the light source in the background.

I like this image for a few reasons. The reflective stance is meditative, the image looks like it was taken in black and white and it mostly is monochromatic with just a touch of red and blue colour coming in from outside the venue doors. Carolina’s face is slightly visible with a touch of one of her eyes showing plus her tell-tale multi-tied pony tail able to be made out. This image is straight out of the camera with no further enhancement.

Carolina went on to win Gold in Senior Female 1st Degree Patterns!