On Wednesday November 2nd I returned to the boxing gym for another shoot, this time determined to get some portraits of the fighters. I was more successful in getting their permission this time around.
Similarly to the first few shoots, I started on the lower ground of the gym where I usually struggle with lighting a bit more. I therefore used a speed lite and attempted to bounce the flash off the ceilings and walls. Some shots were more successful than others
The first and second images were shot off the hip using a more direct flash which made the contrast in colours more obvious. I used a wide aperture (F stops of 4 and 5) and an ISO of 640 to endure the background was completely in focus and that there was enough light as the room was relatively dark. I particularly like the facial expressions in the second image as they’re both very different. I also like the punch bag as I think it gives the picture more context. Finally, I used a manual focus for that image to drop the background out of focus, making an obvious focal point in the subject at the front.
I shot the last image from a lower angle (sat on the floor) to try and capture the movement and facial expressions of the fighters as they warmed up. I attempted to bounce the flash off the ceiling, however the ceiling in this area of the gym is staggered, meaning that the flash wasn’t powerful enough to light up the whole subject after the bounce. I’m disappointed with this as I like the facial expression and the capture of movement within this shot.
Both of these images were taken from a low angle which enabled me to get more context and movement. Again, I used flash for both which allowed me to freeze the moment as well as lighting the dark area more efficiently. I used an F stop of 5 to make more of the background to be in focus, again making the images more contextualised.
These were the three most successful portraits I took. I used a bounce flash for all three (bouncing off the ceiling and using a white card reflector to ensure the eyes weren’t in shadows). I thought this wall was probably the best backdrop as it was one of the only plain walls in the gym, and I didn’t want the images to be too busy. I used an F stop of 7 for two of the images and 5 for another. This forced the entirety of the backdrop to be in focus and provided enough light for the subjects to be properly lit. However, if I get to re-shoot these, I will try using a higher F stop to drop the background out of focus, making sure that the subjects are the focal point. I may also pull the chair away from the wall to aid this.
I personally like the image of the fighter with white wraps as I feel I have captured a moment of emotion and passion. The stare into the camera lens seems to have more meaning and power behind it. I also think his positioning makes him seem more powerful.