More on Made Man
It was clearly time to rethink. Firstly, check with the promoter and venue that you are allowed to shoot. A lot of events have a dedicated photographer there to shoot and sell their images. This is one place you don't want to tread on anyone's toes.
Get to the venue early and choose your spot. Pick a spot preferably ringside around 6' to one side of the corner. This allows you to shoot the rounds and not have to move to grab that emotion filled image of the boxer taking instructions or constructive criticism! It's also very useful for grabbing images of the corner men during rounds. By picking one spot, you also remove the risk of annoying others by having to move, or leaving your kit bag while you move to take that one shot.
This is ideal for several reasons:. These lenses will give you faster shutter speeds to catch the action, a shallow DoF to blur out audience distractions and a wide angle of coverage of the ring from so close. The speed, quality,sharpness and DoF of the lens seems made for boxing.
I also use the Nikkor 50mm 1. This is a great, cost effective and fast lens that produces very sharp images. The boxers seem a lot further away when shooting wide and the last thing you want is some 18st. If you can't get ringside, I would suggest trying a balcony if possible. Action shots of boxing from a height give a real sense of emotion, as generally you will frame the first few rows of spectators too.
I would also mention, a lot of photographers try their best not to include ropes or the ref etc in their images. Don't worry too much about noise though, these are action images, not studio shots and a manageable amount of noise add's to the atmosphere.
I shoot with the Nikon D now, which manages noise extremely well, even when shooting at ISO and above. Set your DSLR onto continuous shooting mode, watch the action and try to fire in bursts. Watch the boxers and try to recognise patterns in their styles.
Watch their styles and you will be ready to fire those bursts when the action is most likely to happen. Do spend down time between bouts backstage, if you have approval from the promoter of course. You can shoot some terrific shots of boxers warming on the pads, or maybe even some close up abstracts of boxer's wraps and gloves.
As for post processing, colour usually works best, as bruises and blood don't show that clearly in mono and that's what boxing is all about. Colour pops can be extremely effective, but with boxing, it tends to confuse the image. The last points I would make it take plenty of memory cards and apart from checking histograms, leave viewing images until the event is over.
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View September's Photo Month Calendar. Search for all the latest photography gear and services in our dedicated photography directories. Another issue you will no doubt encounter, will be the type of lighting used is typically tungsten or fluorescent, usually flickering so fast, you cannot tell, until you take a photograph… you then get a band of green or purple, cutting your image into a two-tone photograph.
You will need to adjust your shutterspeed accordingly to either be faster or slower than the flickering of the lights. Worse case scenario is that you will be doing white balance adjustments to every good image you have taken, to make your set of images consistent. Yes, it gets VERY very exciting. So exciting that if you do not pay attention — you will get your camera kicked into your face!
I know, its happened to me. As for timing, you will need your camera on burst mode and you need to try and focus on the boxer, each of them, individually and try and learn their style. Hold down the shutter for 3 or 4 frames and then reassess for more shots. Sometimes a boxer will just go for a flurry of punches, usually in the last couple of rounds — some can go earlier, depending on their style — big punchers tend to get more tired over longer rounds so they will try and knock out or damage their opponent to the point of winning through the referee calling off the fight.
Others take their time, absorbing the hits until their opponent is tired then unleashes their own barrage of punches in the last round, hoping that they havent hurt themselves too much holding back and hoping that their opponent is too tired to defend.
Its a fantastic sport, quite a bit of thought is required by the boxer and more so from the photographer who is trying to effectively beat punches by both boxers in an effort to capture that perfect image.
What NOT to do: You do not want to be flashing a strong light in front of a boxer who is trying to defend themselves. The last thing you want, is the boxer taking out their loss on you! Wide angle-zoom lens, I use mm at F4. If you use a prime lens, you will be restricting the amount of view that you can take. Set your shutterspeed first — then adjust your ISO level to bring your exposure to the correct level.
Use your histogram brightness mode or a light meter to monitor what the camera is seeing. Expect to use a LOT of memory cards. Typically, just a 3 minute round, 4 rounds per fight can eat up 16GB of RAW image data if you burst enough.
If you havent got the memory cards or not very good at processing then I suggest either cutting down the quality of the RAW files or shooting in JPG not recommended as you cant do much with the image in post so you can get all of your shots. Just dont do it, believe me.
Un saludo desde Carmelo- Uruguay.