Saturday 18 December 2010

World Champs Camp - Craig's Picks

Craig Oliver has selected out his top shots from the last Taupo World Champs Camp for you to enjoy (66 images)...

Sunday 5 December 2010

Sunday World Champs Camp training action

Images (237)...

World Champs Camp - Sunday Hipstamatic Plastic Camera Photos

Had more fun with the 1982 plastic Hipstamatic camera emulator on my iPhone. I think I might chuck in my Canon gear and stick with this for the future. What do you reckon?

World Champs Camp - Actionworld video

Here's a video of some of the fun the team had at Actionworld on Saturday morning...

Video taken on Canon 7D DSLR :)

Saturday 4 December 2010

World Champs Camp - Saturday Training

After lunch the team had a session on drug testing which was very enlightening. The world champs are subjected to random testing next year and the team members have to be aware and careful about medications etc. It's very hot and this afternoon's training was a scorcher.

Craig Oliver's photos (68)...

I got myself bored so played around with very slow shutter speeds with little success (102)...

Then I played with the Hipstamatic camera application on my iPhone. The Hipstamatic was a plastic camera produced in 1982. Only 200 were ever made. It took different film sizes and had interchangeable lenses. It was quite a lot of fun (40)...

World Champs Camp - Actionworld

This morning the team went to Actionworld which was a blast.

The pictures tell the story (Doug's pics 143)...

Craig Oliver's pics (42)...

Monday 22 November 2010

Introducing the 2011 World Champs Photography Team

I'm determined that the 2011 World Champs photography coverage will be the best yet!
Argentinian team members cheer on Jhonatan Batista during the senior male heavyweight final vs Carl van Roon.

With the next World Champs being in Wellington we are going from previously having a photojournalist team of 1 (yours truly) to a co-ordinated team of 7 that will cover all aspects of the tournament!

Let me introduce our team:

Neil Breen

Neil Breen, II Dan. "I started TKD in 1988 at Meadowbank club with Mr Peter Graham. In those 22 years since I have been an assistant Instructor, Director of the Tournaments Committee, and for most of them the ITFNZ IT technical SysAdmin (and won the President's Award and been made a Life Member). Connection with the coverage of World Champs goes back to Russia in 1997, when I did the write-ups from faxes and phone calls from the team onto my then relatively new ITFNZ website. I successfully lobbied the ITFNZ Executive in the new millenium to have a formal subsidy for a dedicated World Champs journalist. Eventually I got to travel as Worlds journalist to Italy in 2004 and Germany in 2005. I have toted my trusty Canons around various Nationals since then for those brief free times between running the Draws. Looking forward to another big tourny with that golden press pass :o)"

Some recent Taekwon-Do images from Neil...

Craig Oliver

Craig Oliver. "I started Taekwon-Do in 2007 training at the Riccarton club under Mr David Oliver. I'm currently a red belt and train at Pulse Taekwon-Do Merivale under Ms Angela Barltrop (my Fiancée). I purchased my first camera in April of 2008 and began covering all the tournaments I competed in, as well as any other TKD related event in my area, such as seminar's, gradings etc. I have had a number of my images published in the TKD Talk magazine, most recently for coverage of the 2009 National Tournament, where one of my images was used for the front cover. At the moment most of my photography time is spent dedicated to Taekwon-Do. However, I really enjoy photographing motor sport and capturing candid portraits. I have recently been coerced into the odd wedding, which has been a bit different and has provided some good feedback. The camera now goes pretty much wherever I go, and whenever the opportunity arises to get a good shot, be it action, portraits or just an awesome landscape I try to make the most of it."

Some sparring images from Craig (from the NZ Trials)...

Doug Hanna

Doug Hanna. "I don't practice Taekwon-Do but my three sons all have. Mark and Jeremy are both 3rd Dans. I've always been keen on photography and it was through photography when I was at Lincoln College in Canterbury that I met my wife, Jan Hart. When Jeremy made the 2006 Junior World Champs team I changed my photography focus from coastal landscape work to document the 2006 World Champs tour. I got such great feedback and encouragement that I became hooked and went on to win the official job of being ITFNZ's photojournalist for the 2007 World Champs in Quebec, Canada, 2008 World Cup in Riva Del Garda, Italy and last year the 2009 World Champs in Mar Del Plata, Argentina. If you are familiar with the website then you are already familiar with my TKD photography exploits!"

Some images of Doug's from the 2009 World Champs...

Support Crew

Jan Hart, Doug's wife, will be on the laptop sorting through and posting images on-line which the photographers will deliver every 1-2 hours.

Mark Hanna will be assisting Jan, using his laptop to download images from the camera memory cards while Jan sorts and selects them.

We're expecting to capture about 200GB of photo files so will have two laptops networked to a 2TB NAS network drive. Both laptops will be running Telecom XT 3G data cards for posting to the website. Syndicated feeds will populate the official world champs website and the International Taekwon-Do website simultaneously via Google's feedburner service.

We plan to publish two feeds for the first time: International coverage and NZ Team coverage.

Erica Germain is on the iPad connected to Telecom's XT network and will be tweeting out tournament and result updates to our international audience watching the tournament remotely around the world. And if you will be at the tournament then follow for live updates.

TBA, we will also be appointing a radio telephone operator spotter who will be up in the stand ordering the photographers around the floor to ensure we capture all the best action.

Saturday 30 October 2010

Twitterer wanted for our world famous WC2011 photojournalism team

At the last world champs we kicked butt on and off the ring. We were the only country posting images each night and many of the supporters of other countries who were following the event from home followed it from and our @tkdaction tweets.

We did this with just two people.

In 2011 we're really going to show the world how it's done with a photojournalism team of 6-7 people. We have 4 photographers, a computer operator, and we're looking for someone to use my ipad or to use your mobile to follow and post @tkdaction tweets every 10-15 minutes or so during the tournament and to respond to tournament tweets from around the world.

You'll do it for the fun and glory of being associated with a team that's a world first for Taekwon-Do. Tweeting how various countries are going, results of significant finals, maintaining a NZ results feed for those at home and in the audience, and generally reflecting the vibe of the place.

You'll be someone who's been involved in the Taekwon-Do community for long enough that you know most of the NZ Team competitors and the whos-who of Taekwon-Do in New Zealand. It will be an advantage if you have been to a world champs event in the past so are familiar with what it's all like.

You won't be on the NZ team - because if you are, you'll be too busy competing to think about tweeting.

You'll be outgoing, fun, a bit of a chatterbox, familiar with Twitter protocol and really want the job.

To apply dm @doughanna with why you should be our twitterer and on the best Taekwon-Do photojournalism team ever or, if you're not yet on Twitter email me

Sunday 24 October 2010

World Champs Trials - Pick of the Pix

Here are my pick of the pix from last weekend's World Champs Trials - patterns, sparring, special technique, power and people (152)...

Wednesday 20 October 2010

World Champs Trials - Patterns by Craig Oliver

Craig Oliver is part of our 2011 World Champs Photography Team and came up from Christchurch for last weekend's 2nd World Champs Trials weekend at Taupo. Craig practices Taekwon-Do and is also a passionate amateur photographer like myself.

Now that he's back home he's working through his images from the weekend and we'll publish them all over the coming days.

Here are Craig's images of Saturday's patterns (92)...

Saturday 16 October 2010

World Champs Trials - Sparring

Sparring images from today (377)...

World Champs Trials - Patterns

We're in Taupo for the second weekend of World Champs team trials and have just completed Saturday morning's individual and team patterns.

Patterns images (306)...

Sunday 3 October 2010

Mr B. Taekwon-Do Photobook

I've almost completed Mr B's Taekwon-Do photo book for his family. We've compiled some amazing photos with help from Master McPhail and some recent ones from Sean Hammond and Dane Canton and are up to 380 pages! To top it off I'd love a handful of early 2000 or prior photos. It would also be great to have some photos like Dave awarding a yellow belt to one of his current world champs team members. The photos have to be out there somewhere! Flick me an email to if you have any. I'll carefully scan them and return them if you only have prints.

Preview the "Mr B. Taekwon-Do" the book here...

Oh, and if you see any errors, typos or have feedback please let me know.
Cheers, Doug

Thursday 16 September 2010

In Memory of Mr Dave Ballard

Check out the Dave Ballard Memorial page

Some images of Mr Dave Ballard in his capacity as head coach of our national teams from 2006 to 2010 (29)...

Saturday 4 September 2010

Trying out 1970's Polaroid Effects

Between following what's going on in Christchurch today and working on finding an application that provides efficient image processing and Picasaweb bulk uploads for my iPad I found this cool application that turns your digital images into a Polaroid.

Check these out (13)...

Sunday 29 August 2010

Sparring Lens Tests 50mm, 85mm primes and 70-200 Zoom

At the NZ World Champs trials last weekend, I was experimenting with two unfamiliar lenses. Most of my sparring action images since the 2008 World Cup have been captured with my Canon 85mm f/1.8 prime lens.

However, I had just purchased a new Canon 50mm f/1.4 prime lens plus Craig Oliver lent me his amazing Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS Mk1 lens as well.

I've posted 50+ sparring images taken with each lens, warts and all, and you can check out the results for yourself.

All images were taken with the Canon 7D body. It has an APS-C size sensor (1.6x magnification vs 35mm sensors) ISO and f/stop readings are all under the "More" link next to each picture when viewed full screen.

My impressions were:

Canon 85mm f/1.8 prime - NZ$825
"Old Trusty". I love the results I get with this lens. Standing near the side of the ring you are in close. It is incredibly sharp. I tend to set it to about f/2.0 - f/2.2 to keep the background out of focus and to get the low iso / fast shutter speed combination that I prefer. Depending on the avaialble light I try to run the camera at < ISO 800 and shutter speed 1/200 + (the closer towards 1/500 the better).

Canon 7D, 85.0mm, 1/200s, f/2.0, ISO: 320

More 85mm sparring images...

Canon 50mm f/1.4 prime - NZ$765
I purchased this lens because, at tournaments, the 85mm tends to magnify too much and I have to stand up to 3-7 metres away from the side of the ring. 60-70mm would be more appropriate but Canon and others don't make this in a suitable prime lens so the closest to it is 50mm.

To start with I hated it, everything was softly focused. However, once I got things setup correctly on the camera the sparring images were good. The images let you see the bigger picture without appearing too far away from the action. It didn't seem quite as good as the 85, but at this stage I'm ok with it. Time will really tell. The alternative lens was a Sigma 50mm f/1.4 which is more expensive and according to reviews, is sharper but has slow auto-focus vs the Canon. For sparring fast auto-focus and sharpness are both important.
The lens is tiny which has the advantage that people don't necessarily realise you're a serious photographer - a big advantage in getting good candid images.

Canon 7D, 50.0mm, 1/500s, f/2.2, ISO: 1000

More 50mm sparring images...

Canon 70-200 f/2.8 L IS Mk1 - NZ$3,795 for the MkII
This lens is amazing. It has a lot of glass in it and is therefore large and, for me, heavy. I'm used to light weight prime lenses and even my Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 zoom is very light. This lens would take a while to get used to. However, the images are sharp and clear. It takes beautiful images and I loved being able to zoom from as close as 70mm to 200. Many of the sparring images I took with this were taken between 70-90mm. Would I like to buy one - yes. Will I? Not at this stage. The image quality is great but I get at least twice the shutter speed from my 85mm prime under the same ISO setting. And in capturing sparring, a low ISO (high quality detail captured in the image) along with a fast shutter speed (1/200 - 1/500) makes a ton of difference. Also, the minimum aperture is f/2.8 and it gives you more depth of field. This means that the crowd in the background is more in-focus than I would like. With my 85 or 50 I'm getting less depth of field at around f/2.0 and the crowd is more blurred - therefore focusing the viewers eye fully on the sparring action. And, using this lens for 4 x 10+ hours per day of world champs tournament would kill my weakling arms and shoulders.

Canon 7D, 70-200mm at 75mm, 1/160s, f/2.8, ISO: 800

More 70-200mm sparring images...

I'd be interested to know what you think so please leave a comment if you have some thoughts/observations.

Saturday 28 August 2010

Sunday 22 August 2010

Saturday 21 August 2010

Tuesday 17 August 2010

NZ Trialists for the 2011 World Champs

Here's a list of the 82 registered trialists for the 2011 World Champs. The first trials weekend is in Taupo this weekend. Good luck to everyone and we'll see you there.

[Updated 18/8/2010 - there are now 87 trialists - updated list below...]

Thursday 12 August 2010

March 2011 World Champs - Here We Come

In only one weeks time on the 20th August 82 kiwis line up in Taupo for the first of two weekends of trials to represent New Zealand in the 2011 World Champs in Wellington.

I'll be there clicking away - wouldn't miss that intense high odds action for the world!

Exciting stuff. Here are a few of my favourite action shots from the 2009 Trials...

Good luck!

Sunday 1 August 2010

Star Tournament #2 - Pick of the Pix

Pick of the Pix (82)...

Star Tournament #2 - Sparring highlights

There were some particularly good sparring matches at the tournament. Here are some that I've picked out.

Erica Germain vs Courtney Meleisea. This was very close with three rounds plus sudden death. The referee, Cam Snelling, called the judges for a decision 6 times before there was a clear decision with Erica finally winning the match.

Erica vs Courtney (52)...

Jeremy Hanna vs Shane Black. Good mates but hard out when in the ring together, Jeremy and Shane have been swapping wins for years. They hadn't faced each other for a while and drew each other in round one. It was an intense fight with Shane winning. Afterwards he said that it was the hardest and best fight that he'd had in ages. Well done Shane!

Jeremy vs Shane (38)...

Shane Black vs Brad Wickman. I liked this match also (25)...

The rest of the sparring action (218)...

Star Tournament #2 - Specialty

Selected specialty images (16)...

Star Tournament #2 - Patterns

I went to Whangarei yesterday to watch the second Star Tournament for this year. After missing the Nationals due to being on holiday overseas it was nice to be back behind the camera again. It's amazing how a couple of months off can make you a bit rusty. It took me a little while to get into the swing of it!

Selected images from Patterns competition in the morning (184)...

Monday 31 May 2010

The best 130 Taekwon-Do Action Images from 5 years of shooting

In the last 5 years I've calculated that I've taken about 100,000 Taekwon-Do action images. About 60% have been discarded leaving 36,000 keepers. Over recent months I went through them identifying the 130 top images, just 0.36%, and produced a large 13" x 11" photo book for our coffee table at home.

I thought that it may also make a great birthday or Christmas gift for anyone who loves Taekwon-Do like we do. You can preview the book here... and, if you're keen, we can order you a copy for delivery anywhere in the world.

Taekwon-Do Action

All images are captioned and there are sections covering patterns, pre-arranged sparring, a large sparring section, power, specialty, plus “random stuff”.

Large format, 13” x 11” (33 x 28cm), 136 pages, NZ$195 (price may vary with USD exchange rate and country of delivery)

Click below to view...
Email me to enquire or order on

Sunday 30 May 2010

Auckland North Regional Team Training & Trials

I went along to Auckland North's training at Auckland Grammar today and took mug shots of the trialists and some of the trials and training.

Trials and training (35)...

Sunday 23 May 2010

Counties Manukau Regional Tournament

Today was the Counties Manukau Regional Tournament and I went along for a few hours this afternoon to capture some of the people and the action.

Pick of the Pix (16)...
All of the selected images (236)...

Sunday 16 May 2010

Tuesday 11 May 2010

Mug shots for tournament entries

I've had several requests for mug shots from last year's worlds trials to be used for applications for the various up-coming international tournaments.

So I've uploaded them on this link. Click on your image then click the download menu above the image to download to your computer.