Wednesday 20 May 2009

Pick of the Pix Series, The Punch

For me, the holy grail in Taekwon-do photography is capturing the emotion and impact of a punch. Now I’m sure some of you will disagree, and I concede that there is a lot of potential in other aspects of Taekwon-do for wonderful images. Why do I endlessly chase capturing a great punch? Because it is so damn difficult to get. I just did a search and I have kept about 16,000 taekwon-do "keeper" images in my database. After an event, I quickly select the best 20% or so of the images and I move the rest into a “medium term storage” folder and delete them after about a year. Yet, after several years of shooting sparring I have yet to capture the ultimate punch and after going through a whole lot of images for the last hour I selected 21 "good" punches. So, for me I only get about 1 good one in every 750 keepers.

This one’s not bad. Taken at a fairly low shutter speed of 1/100th of a second there is movement of Ms Phillipa Henry’s head and hair as she takes a punch from Ms Erica Germain. The movement of the head and hair gives it the feeling of impact and makes it interesting. Unfortunately they’re wildly out of focus with the focus point being about 3 metres behind them. I’ve cropped the image to a square shape – we did that to most of the images taken during this training session to explore the square format. The shot was taken during 2009 World Champs Trials build-up in April-May.

Specs: 1/100s 18.0mm f/3.5 ISO:1600

Here's another that shows the speed of some punches.  This is the Slovinian gold medal winner throwing a punch at Jeremy Hanna at the 2008 World Cup.  Taken at 1/125th of a second his arm and glove are completely blurred... that's fast.

Specs: 1/125s 47.0mm f/4.5 ISO:1600