Monday 1 February 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.