In Pursuit Of The Knockout Shot (part 2)

A few more images from the early bouts of Fighting Fit City Gym‘s Bill Meddings Cup boxing show at Gatecrasher, Birmingham on Saturday.

Copyright David Rann 2013

Copyright David Rann 2013

I should mention that in addition to the kind of action shots that the client really wants and expects, I like to capture some of the other little details like the boxers before the first bell of the bout, or what happens in the corners between rounds. These are more for my own personal satisfaction, really.

Copyright David Rann 2013

Copyright David Rann 2013

Copyright David Rann 2013

Copyright David Rann 2013

Copyright David Rann 2013

Copyright David Rann 2013

Copyright David Rann 2013

Copyright David Rann 2013

Copyright David Rann 2013

Copyright David Rann 2013

Copyright David Rann 2013

Copyright David Rann 2013

Copyright David Rann 2013

Copyright David Rann 2013

More soon…

In Pursuit Of The Knockout Shot (part 1)

Lighting and position are always critical considerations when photographing but never more so than when shooting boxing. On Saturday evening I covered another amateur boxing event for Neil Perkins at Fighting Fit City Gym. In this case it was for the Bill Meddings Memorial Cup and although I don’t profess to be an expert (just someone who photographs a lot of boxing), I thought this was one of the best boxing events I’ve ever covered.

Copyright David Rann 2013

Copyright David Rann 2013

More images from other bouts to follow in later posts.

Copyright David Rann 2013

Copyright David Rann 2013

Now then, as I was saying, lighting is always critical but when you need shutter speeds of at least 1/500s to capture action like this, high ISO’s are inevitable. However, the venue for Saturday’s event was Gatecrasher nightclub in Birmingham and so lighting is usually pretty good. As usual though, the area at the “back” of the ring (furthest away from the crowd) wasn’t very well covered by the spotlights. This meant that any action taking place in that part of the ring would be nigh on impossible to photograph.

Copyright David Rann 2013

Copyright David Rann 2013

However, as my weapon of choice lens-wise for these events is my (fixed focal length) 50mm f1.4, I know from experience that when the action is right on top of me ie, against the ropes on the side I’m shooting from, it’s unlikely I’m going to get many successful shots of that action anyway. And so I decided to pitch myself in a corner on the dark side of the ring, knowing that I’d then be able to cover the action everywhere else in the ring (the other 80%).

Copyright David Rann 2013

Copyright David Rann 2013

As luck would have it, this also meant i was out of the way of the judges, time-keepers and audience too, plus the background from that angle included some great coloured screens.

Copyright David Rann 2013

Copyright David Rann 2013

And one more…

Copyright David Rann 2013

Copyright David Rann 2013

Thanks to the reasonable light levels in 80% of the ring, I was able to shoot at 1600ISO or less all evening which meant better quality images and fewer worries about battling the noise during post-production.

Find out more about Fighting Fit City Gym at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fighting-Fit-City-Gym/37835833657?fref=ts

More soon.

 

And That Reminds Me…

I just found another picture of the excellent author Paul Dowswell as mentioned in my last post, that I took a few years back. At the time I was shooting a lot of Bailey-inspired square, high-key portraits. So this is how Paul looked back then…

Author Paul Dowswell. Copyright David Rann

Author Paul Dowswell. Copyright David Rann

I think this was my second shoot with Paul and I seem to recall I liked it more than he did. This has made me think I’d like to do some more of this kind of portrait. Hmmmmm…

Jacket Required

Just 2 days after photographing Jon Snow in a Warwickshire field, I photographed author Paul Dowswell in my studio. I’ve known Paul for quite a few years since we used to play in a band together and I’ve photographed him a couple of times before but with a new novel finished and scheduled for publishing, it was time to update Paul’s promotional photograph to be used by the publishers (possibly even on the jacket of the new book).

I think Paul’s main concern was that I wouldn’t make him look too much “like a sociology teacher”. I began with some one-light shots on an unlit white (and therefore grey) background and tried to capture as wide a range of expression as possible, some with glasses on and some without.

Paul has an impish sense of humour and that’s also something that I wanted to capture if possible but we knew that the publishers might prefer slightly more “buttoned up” poses. This is Paul’s preferred shot…

Paul Dowswell. Copyright David Rann 2013

Paul Dowswell. Copyright David Rann 2013

Then, with a change of shirt (for Paul, that is, not me), I added a second light from behind fitted with a honeycomb to add a little highlight to the right hand side. Again a mixture of casual and more formal poses.

Paul Dowswell. Copyright David Rann 2013

Paul Dowswell. Copyright David Rann 2013

Finally, for something a little different, we moved into the studio’s other room which has walls that were stripped for new paper (I’ll get around to it at some point). It’s a setting I’ve used quite a few times for more grungy shots.

Paul Dowswell. Copyright David Rann 2013.

Paul Dowswell. Copyright David Rann 2013.

Paul’s books have included “Powder Monkey”, “Auslander”, “Sektion 20” and “Cabinet of Curiosities”. He mostly writes historical fiction for 10+ to teenage readers but also non-fiction for adults. “Auslander” was published in 8 languages and was shortlisted for 20 book awards. His UK non-fiction publisher is Bloomsbury.

Look out for the new novel (title yet unknown) and maybe you’ll see one of my pictures on the jacket.

Snow In September?

I have images from a few little recent jobs to share with you starting with a “Moulin Rouge”-themed charity ball that I shot at the weekend.

The event was held in marquees in an increasingly muddy field, deep in the Warwickshire countryside. Among the guests was Channel 4 news presenter Jon Snow, who I must say seemed like a very nice guy.

Jon Snow. Copyright David Rann 2013.

Jon Snow. Copyright David Rann 2013.

As ever with these jobs, I’m not able to show you images of the people attending the ball but I can give you a flavour of the entertainment that ran throughout the evening and which included trapeze artists, can-can dancers, stilt walkers, a band and fire-jugglers.

Copyright David Rann 2013

Copyright David Rann 2013

My brief was to “capture everything that happens throughout the evening” which meant everything from guests arriving, to the entertainment, and even some “backstage” scenes such as this…

Chefs. Copyright David Rann 2013.

Chefs. Copyright David Rann 2013.

Band "Cowbell". Copyright David Rann 2013

Band “Cowbell”. Copyright David Rann 2013

I do enjoy events like this. Lots to photograph and the evening went by very quickly. My only concern was whether my car would be able to get out of the field at the end of the evening once the track and been chewed up by the 300 or so guests’ cars. In case you’re wondering, yes, it was a bit touch-and-go but I made it.

 

Alas, Poor Warwick

Here for your amusement are a few “what I done on me ‘olidays” images, taken during a day at Warwick Castle a week or so ago (in the Summer). These are all taken on my trusty iPhone4. As always, just a bit of “away from the office” fun.

Warwick Castle by David Rann

Warwick Castle by David Rann

This first image was purposely under-exposed (honest!) using the Camera+ app and then jiggered around with in the lovely Snapseed.

The Knight Who Says Nowt.

The Knight Who Says Nowt.

Jeremy Waxman

Jeremy Waxman

The “people” seen here are actually some of Warwick’s excellent waxworks. Thankfully no model releases required. Or direction.

Taken using the "Lomora" app.

Taken using the “Lomora” app.

And finally, a little “scene” shot,

Back In The Box

Back of camera shot taken on iphone.

Back of camera shot taken on iphone.

One of the previously unforeseen benefits of my ongoing documentary project about Priory Park ABC has been that it brought me into contact with Neil Perkins and his team at Fighting Fit City Gym which is located conveniently close to Fotofilia.

Over the last couple of years I’ve covered quite a few of Neil’s “white collar” boxing events and was pleased to help provide some publicity images for the boxers taking part in Fighting Fit’s next big show – The Bill Meddings Memorial Cup which takes place at Birmingham’s Gatecrasher club on 21st September (and which I’ll be photographing from ringside as usual). This involved taking a few shots of each boxer (and groups of boxers) at the studio plus some “in training” shots back at the gym.

Chantelle Johal at Fotofilia

Chantelle Johal at Fotofilia

James Collins (left) and Joel Ducille (right)

James Collins (left) and Joel Ducille (right)

There was also the opportunity to shoot some toe-to-toe face-off moments. Usually, these were accompanied by a lot of laughing, and sometimes there was a palpable whiff of “needle” in the air.

Elliot Hill

Elliot Hill

This promises to be a fantastic night of boxing and I can’t wait to be there to capture it. To find out more, please see https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fighting-Fit-City-Gym/37835833657?fref=ts or http://www.fightingfitcitygym.com/