Duck the Punch





Contest Finalist in Her In The Studio Photo Contest
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Behind The Lens

The photograph was taken in my studio in East Anglia (Three Holes). I run club-nights and the photo was part of my preparation for one of these (obviously boxing themed). Unlike many, I prefer to use paid models and to ensure that the set and the model work well.
We had worked through various sets during the shoot and this was the last set-up of the day. The time was late afternoon, somewhere between 4-5p.m.
Because the concept was to create the shot in Black and White I used a single light on the right side of the punch bag and slightly behind so that the light emphasized the musculature of the model. Originally I thought that the whole shadow would be in the final picture, but when editing I preferred the look of just part of the shadow.
This was shot with my Nikon 800 and a 50mm. lens
I wanted to create something unusual....maybe showing the model ducking the punch bag on its return after a hard shot. In my mind the bag became an adversary that could strike back and the model had to "Duck the Punch". Black and White works for me when I am trying to show power in the studio. The tones seem to show more of the movement in the muscles. The shot needed a very flexible and gymnastic model as the pose was very hard to achieve.
The post-processing was done in LR and Photo-shop, my two staples. I first converted the image to Black and White and then just tidied it up a little. I like to create as much as possible in camera where I can.
In my camera bag
I have now upgraded a lot of my kit, what I carry depends very much what and where I am shooting. I am now using a Nikon D5 as my main camera and a good all round (capture everything bag) would include my Nikkor 110mm 1:1.4, Nikkor 70-200 1:2.8G11, Nikkor 200-500mm 1:5.6E and my Nikkor 24-70mm 1:2.8 G. On top of that a travelling tripod (nice and light) and flash guns triggers, binoculars ( love wildlife shooting). Other than that I am like most other photographers and am always buying gadgets to try.
Any image in the studio needs thinking through... What aspects of the subject are you trying to show, props, make-up etc. etc. Pre-planning works for me. Time to think what I am trying to create is the most important aspect, but then something can click whilst I am shooting and suddenly we are off on another theme altogether. My advice to all photographers is to learn the rules and then ignore with lights, with subjects and just continue enjoying. After all unless a commercial and directed shot photography is a personal art, and the most important thing is for the photographer to love creating and to love his "art".

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