Monday 22 June 2009

Pick of the Pix Series, Mark Trotter 2007 Sparring #1 - Buildup

Specs: 1/160s, 135.0mm, f/5.0, ISO: 1250

Mark Trotter and the then current World Cup champion Maxime Bujold from Canada were unfortunately on the same side of the draw and faced each other in round one. Not the first time Mark has cursed a draw that was all or nothing in round one.

The build up to this fight was huge and I'm going to talk about it over several articles to do it justice.

I was busy doing my stuff photographing other competitors and didn't really cotton on to the significance of this fight until about half an hour before it started. Believe me the international interest and the build-up was amazing.

Trotter seemed to start his warm up and psych-up about an hour before the event. He was zoned out with his ipod on and doing the usual jogging, punching and kicking the air to get his body warm. But there was a very deep and serious demeanor in his face. That's what I noticed first and I don't think I'd ever seen him quite like this before. So naturally I took a few photos of him from a distance.

The one above is a firm favourite of mine. It's not what you'd call a great shot technically because he's jogging up and down and even at 1/160 th of a second you can see the movement and his facial features are slightly blurred, so it is not sharp. But the faraway look in his face captures for me how he was at that time... anxious, nervous, serious, committed, with the outside world turned off. He was what I'd describe as "zoned out".

The image is also graphically interesting. The white strip on his sleeve contrasts against a dark background. As luck would have it, the background changes to the big white Quebec sign in the background which contrasts with his dark hair. The contrasting background is almost perfect which I've just realised now contributes to the success of the image. I like seeing his name on the jacked blurred because of the up and down jogging motion... it reminds me what he was doing which I otherwise wouldn't remember.

Carl van Roon was his second and Carl had been working a little with Mark. Just over 30 seconds before the above image was taken Carl was giving him some more words of wisdom and encouragement:

Specs: 1/100s, 230.0mm, f/5.6, ISO: 1250

Here's a few more photos leading up to being ready to go on to the ring...