Friday, June 20, 2014

Shooting Kuk Sool Won

(a nicely composed portrait)
As regular blog readers know, I love shooting sports photography. I have shot a lot of baseball, soccer, swimming and track photographs, as well as a few volleyball and basketball games. So, when my best friend's son was being promoted to a second degree black belt, she asked if I would photograph the event. Gulp. I wanted to do a really good job for her, but I knew nothing about what to expect, and she said the lighting in the studio was bad. 
I just did my best to capture Ian as he went through a variety of demonstrations. First up were a variety of flips, falls and leaps:
(capturing athleticism and action)
Ian jumped flew over six students! Unfortunately, because of where I was sitting, I couldn't get a good angle on the shot. The best I could do on the spur of the moment was to take the last shot in the mirror. After tumbling, Ian performed with a bamboo pole.
(capturing beauty and rhythm)
I tried to get a variety of different shots, in order to give a sense of the beauty of the performance. Finally, Ian displayed a knife fight/disarming series he choreographed.
(capturing the bad-ass aspect of KSW)
Rebecca was thrilled with the photographs. She especially liked the knife fight because she thinks Ian looks "bad-ass." I agree, and I'd like to have him by my side if I ever have to travel down a dark alley!
Overall, I was happy with the shoot. I decided to shoot the whole thing with my fixed 50mm lens because it lets in a lot of light and autofocuses on my camera body. Because of the nature of the promotion, I couldn't really move around much, so I couldn't really do much to zoom in or zoom out, but I still think the quality of the photos is better then if I would have used either of my zoom lenses because they just aren't fast enough in low light situations. I was able to crop to get the close ups that I wanted, but I did miss some of the wider angle shots that I would have liked to capture. I also used my monopod to get better clarity (this was a GREAT decision) and shot the whole thing on "running man" mode since I knew I wouldn't have time to adjust levels. All in all, it was a good experience. An illuminating experience. I came away from it happy that I have learned enough shooting sports photography over the last few years that I could do this for my friend. I was able to draw on my other experiences to make choices that worked. I realized that I am growing and learning and honing my craft. And that felt really good. Have you noticed how you have grown as a photographer or artist over time? 


alexa said...

What splendid action shots of a talented young man. I admire your courage and skill - must need steady nerves to take photos where you can't say " can we just try that again?'.

Amy said...

Yes, you have done very well Rinda! I haven't taken a lot of sports shots ... cricket is pretty easy because at U12 age there's more standing around than anything else ... or cracking up laughing!

Actually, you were lucky you were able to take shots during the grading, TEYO does Taekwondo and parents aren't allowed to take photos during the actual testing time - fine afterwards.

Most of my sports shots have been at the kids school sports days - it's more capturing their fun and friendships than the actual sport itself. Oh I forgot, I have taken swimming shots but they hardly set the world alight .. unless you are underwater I think swimming shots aren't all that interesting!

As for growth, I learnt a lot taking wedding photos for my sisters and brother and knowing which lenses work best in which situation is a big advantage.

Sian said...

What a wonderful record for him to years to come he's going to look at those pictures and remember the time and care you took to help him pin this moment down.

I have now got to the point where I'd like a better camera. For me, that;s progress

Lesley G said...

Brilliant photos, I too love capturing and I'm certainly glad of digital cameras - can you imagine the cost of printing ALL those films!

Karen said...

Fabulous shots!

Cheri said...

These are fantastic shots Rinda! You really made a great go with a difficult situation. I have found that my skills are definitely improved but I still have such a LONG way to go! I was taking sport shots of the girls indoor soccer two weeks ago and in addition to constant action and poor lighting, I had to shoot through a plexiglass window. Tricky stuff.

Jo.C said...

Wow you have some absolutely fantastic shots here, so clear. Love the ariel ones. I know how difficult this is. Action shots are not my speciality x

Abi said...

these are awesome photos Rinda. I love the movement you have captured and the fluidity of the sport.
I am constantly learning with photography. Recently I have been thinking more about the lens I use and what sort of photo I want to create. action shot vs a portrait with shallow depth of field.

boysmum2 said...

Wow, they are amazing and you have done so well, impressive moves that boy has

helena said...

amazing movement captured and I love the shot in the mirror which also shows the sitting men

Nathalie said...

Wow! What an impressive sport! Great shots!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful shots Rinda. I'm still finding that the camera and are sometimes at odds and definitely want to improve.