Over the last few weeks I have been visiting the local MMA (mixed martial arts) gym, Mec’s Martial Arts, during sparring sessions in order to develop my technique (photographic, not fighting). In the process I am getting to know some of the people and what makes them tick as fighters, as well as the technical challenges involved in making interesting, unexpected, images.
For the record, fighting is something I typically feel aversion to … but this is such an important part of these people’s lives and self-image that one cannot help being drawn in and intrigued. With each session my understanding of what I want to shoot grows – storytelling set-up shots, silhouette shots, slow exposure tracking shots, rear sync flash shots – along with the list of questions I need to do research on in preparation for the next session: best exposure speed for a really fast punch, TTL exposure compensation in Manual vs Aperture / Shutter mode, and FEC on-flash vs on-camera (this should be quite simple, but my D610 handles each situation differently, I have discovered).
Mec and Lyndall, the two coaches, have been very welcoming and have also encouraged me to come to weigh-ins and fights as a photographer. Unfortunately I just missed my first opportunity to do so (and missed one of their students taking a famous victory), but have no shame in admitting it was so I could stay at home and watch the World Cup games on TV.
Watch ths space – I am hoping to grow my technique and get some really strong images before they finally tire of me!
Click on thumbnails below to view slideshow.