Tuesday 12 May 2009

Pick of the Pix Series, #1 Team High Five

I'm at home crook but can't help do some "playing" on-line.  I've got quite a few all time favourite Taekwon-do photos that I've collected since I got into photographing Taekwon-do during the 2006 Junior World Champs build-up.  If you've been following my blog over the years you'll have seen them all before but there's a story behind each one and I thought it would be nice to feature one every day or two over the next few months along with the story behind it.  It would be great to get your coments, memories and feedack on any of them - the more the merrier!

And just to keep you on your toes, there's no particular order to them - we may be jumping around a bit :-)

So, here we go, number one...

The day before the 2007 World Champs started in Quebec City, the team assembled for what would be the last pre-tournament training session.  It was in the huge multi-room event centre at the university where the event was being held and there were other national teams training around us.  Mark Trotter got the team fired up coming up with some ways to cheer together and to make as much noise as possible in practice for supporting each other during the event.  At the end of this they came together to join hands in a 1-2-3-new-zealand cheer (it's hard to describe this but you can probably see what I mean by the photo).

I ran up to them and held my camera up as high as I could reach, wound out the lens to maximum wide angle (18 mm) and pointed the camera almost straight down taking several shots.  The camera was set to a slow shutter speed, 1/30th of a second, which captured the movement as they all came up with their hands and bodies to yell the cheer.  Remarkably, Candice Millar's face didn't move much and remains pretty sharp - mid roar - and contrasts the movement of the others.  It adds a focal point to the image and really makes it work.

I particularly like this image because it captured something spectacular that happened only once, and it was over in just a few seconds.  I was very lucky to capture it and it was pure luck that I'd set my shutter speed so low which captured the movement and excitement.  The whole image is a fluke that would be hard to replicate.

I've got a print of this image on my wall at work and several of our designers have asked if I photoshopped in the movement.  The answer to that is a very simple "no".  The only adjustments I have so far made to my images in general include cropping, straightening crooked horizons, adjusting contrast and brightness and conversion to black and white.  I've once or twice tried dodging and burning but my overall preference is to always get the image as good as possible "in the camera". I don't have time to mess around with them.

Please leave a comment with your thoughts/memories.... especially if you were one of those in the photo!

Specs: 1/30s 17.0mm f/5.0 ISO:1600