It’s spring! Which for certain group of people can only mean only one thing… the start of the wrestling season! The first event in the Ultimate British Wrestling federation calendar was a match at Haynes in Bedfordshire and I was pleased to be invited to come along and cover the show for them. This was my third wrestling event with the UBW, and I have to admit I’m becoming a fan.
Haynes village hall is just a few miles up the road for me so it was an easy trip to arrive just before 6:00 PM when the doors open to the public. Having caught up on the running order for the evening, I set about checking out the venue and as is always import for me seeing what the light was like. With something like this being able to move and respond quickly is vitally important so I was keen to check out several different views of the ring, and try a few test shots so I had my cameras set-up and ready to go.
When shooting events I almost always use two cameras. Normally I do this to allow me to switch between different lenses or camera set-ups quickly, however it also gives me some protection in case of equipment failure. Having this back-up proved to be particularly important as one of my cameras developed a fault during the evening. By swapping my lenses around I was up and running again within a few seconds meaning I missed very little of the action. Although technology is reliable I believe with something as important as someone else’s memories you can’t be careful, so I always have spare cameras, lenses, batteries, memory cards etc. with me, and I extend this philosophy to how I handle the images after the shoot. As soon as I return home I copy the images onto my server which then automatically backs-up to a commercial off-site back-up.
Having shot several of this events I was keen to try something a little bit different when post processing the images. I wanted to recreate the look of black and white sports photography from the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s where the Speed Graphic camera with on-camera flash was king. To do this I took my existing colour images and using PhotoShop and light room processed the images to have a really strong contrasty look with the flash freezing the action but enough of the background visible to set the scene. Of course the nice thing about changing your pictures to black and white in PhotoShop, is that if you don’t like the effect you can easily undo the change and keep the original colour version!
While I was at the event I was introduced to a young lady who’s looking to become a photographer and I was happy to give a her a few pointers. This included some fundamentals about understanding how her camera works but also guiding her to the best settings to use for this type of event. At the break I was able to spend some time looking at her photos and giving her some feedback on what she’d done so far so that she could produce even better images in the second half. I think she found the guidance useful and it was really great to be able to give something back to the photographic community.
If you’d like me to shoot your event, use the contact form (here) to get in touch.
You can learn more about the Ultimate British Wrestling federation, and their upcoming competitions at their Website http://www.ubwuk.com, or why not check out my images from their 2015 show in Shefford (here) and the portrait shoot I did for the wrestlers (here).
Here are some of my favourite photos from the evening, but you can see the full set on my Pro-Gallery (here), where you can also order prints and other photographic gifts.