Since a long time, I wanted to photograph sports. There is a bond between me and martial arts - the last 5 years I am a Wing Tsun and Jeet Kune Do practitioner. Sports is aesthetically intriguing and visually attractive. And more to say, the last few months I am working on my new sports portfolio.
My characters for this photo session were: David Roman (boxing coach) and his two cute and charismatic students, french Muy Thai practitioner Maria, and Leya from Slovenia. My friend Rita Skomrova, a professional makeup artist with whom I am working now, helped us with the makeup.
My idea was to shoot at the sunrise, so my clock alarm woke me up at 5 a.m.. The weather was just great (+18C - +22C) and the mood was energetic. After the photo session, we have decided to open the swimming season at the beginning of January. The water was awakening like the Atlantic Ocean at the coast of Lisboa at the beginning of summer: +9, +12 degrees Celcius. But when you get out of the water the strong temperature difference gives your body such a marvelous and warm relaxation, that the short shock being in the cold water is worth it.
I am satisfied with the result . Although there were some technical issues, which can happen when you work with dynamic subjects in difficult light conditions and there is more than one person in the frame. Those issues can be avoided by a higher budget production and with more people, and equipment involved.
1) The flash Jinbei FL500. Is a nice portable flash, but for sports or any dynamic sessions, the battery does not recycle fast enough that fits my needs. So my next investment will be more powerful flashes. Probably Jinbei HD601 or the Einstein flashes from Paul C. Buff.
2) The autofocus on the Sony A7 is weak in the dark comparing to the Canon, Nikon or the newer Sony models. I am thinking about going with the Sony A7R III as my next camera. Although Sony A7 works fine with the 28mm, but with the 55mm and 90mm – slow. After the shooting, I have watched the photos on the big screen and have realized, that the AF-C (continuous focus) jumped sometimes from the face to the boxer's hands. After that failure, I am using face detection function in the Sony cameras, which is awesome, by the way! The reason why I haven’t used the function earlier is that I have never needed it… until this shooting.
3) In this shooting, there were some photos that were underexposed/overexposed. That happens when you are in the hurry to catch the best light and forget to check the histogram and your camera is not connected to the laptop, where you can check the quality on the big screen. Although you can easily correct those mistakes in the post-production, but still…
4) The advantage of having a stylist on set is that there are more eyes that control the quality. You can not see all the details while you are shooting. But when you zoom in on a picture on the bigger screen you start to discover the details: crinkles on the clothes, threads, labels look out etc.
But in general, I am happy with the result. New photos, joyful atmosphere and new experience, new lessons learned
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