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The Knockout Punch



A shot of professional boxer Dewayne Beamon throwing a knockout punch.

A shot of professional boxer Dewayne Beamon throwing a knockout punch.
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Runner Up in Through The Lens Project
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Absolute Masterpiece
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Magnificent Capture
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10 Comments | Report
dwatts
 
dwatts March 04, 2021
Top notch action shot!
Rivertay07 PRO+
 
Rivertay07 December 07, 2023
What a great time to freeze the action. A supern runners up shot. Well done
bimmerlover PRO+
bimmerlover December 07, 2023
Thanks!
Rmay1
 
Rmay1 December 07, 2023
Congratulations on runner up for Through the Lens contest.😊
bimmerlover PRO+
bimmerlover December 07, 2023
Thanks!
boboakley PRO+
 
boboakley December 07, 2023
Incredible shot!!!!
bimmerlover PRO+
bimmerlover December 07, 2023
Much appreciated - thanks!
michaelmohanjoshua
 
michaelmohanjoshua December 07, 2023
excellent image , once in a lifetime considering the SUBJECT
bimmerlover PRO+
bimmerlover December 07, 2023
Much appreciated - thanks Michael!
Sir-diealot PRO+
 
Sir-diealot December 10, 2023
Impeccable timing!!!
KakashiSnapDragon PRO+
 
KakashiSnapDragon December 15, 2023
pow right in the kisser
terryc Platinum
 
terryc December 15, 2023
Fantastic shot!
DAsEye Platinum
 
DAsEye December 16, 2023
Wow! You have captured an amazing shot
jeskolindt Platinum
 
jeskolindt Jan 09
sweet!!!
See all

Behind The Lens

Location
I took the photo in the gym where pro boxer Dewayne Beamon trains, which is located in Raleigh, North Carolina. The shot was captured entirely in-camera - no compositing of the various pieces in the photo, including the flying mouth guard.
Time
We shot this just before noon on a Saturday, as a pre-scheduled time. I had spent the morning mixing "movie blood" to make the knockout very striking (pun intended), based on a chocolate-based fake-blood recipe I had found online.
Lighting
I wanted this photo, which I consider a portrait although it very much looks like an action shot, to have a lighting pattern that was very realistic from a boxing match perspective. I used three Profoto strobes with three different modifiers - one key light from camera right (using an octabox modifier), one rim light from camera left (using a beauty dish with a grid) and one hard fill light over my left shoulder (a simple zoom can, so basically a directed bare bulb). They were fired with a Profoto Air TTL remote trigger.
Equipment
I used a Hasselblad H5D-50c camera with an f4/120mm lens, hand-held. It was tight quarters in the boxing ring, so I had to hang hard back against the ropes to get the framing the way I wanted it. As mentioned earlier, I used three Profoto strobes with different modifiers.
Inspiration
I had made more traditional, "static" portraits of Dewayne before and had this vision that I wanted to create a portrait of him at his ultimate point of performance - throwing the perfect knockout punch. I had pre-visualized this shot for a couple of weeks and I was very happy that the final result was very close to what I had envisioned.
Editing
I use Lightroom for raw conversion and the majority of the editing, then Nik Collection's Viveza 2 to work a bit on the structure and finally Silver Efex Pro 2 for the black-and-white conversion. I like the black-and-white version because I think it gives the shot a more timeless look.
In my camera bag
Nowadays I mainly pack a Hasselblad H6D-50c (50 mp) medium-format digital camera with f2.8/150mm (for portraits), f2.8/80mm (considered a "normal" lens for medium-format cameras) and f3.5/50mm (for group shots in tighter spaces) lenses. I also often bring a Nikon D810 with an assortment of lenses (with my favorite being the 85mm f/1.4G portrait lens) for backup (or for lower light/higher speed capture). I use my Nikon Z9 for sports photography. I love shooting film and sometimes pack my Hasselblad 503CW film camera with a couple of lenses, shooting either T-MAX or Tri-X b/w and Portra 160 for color.
Feedback
Think about which "story" you are trying to tell, and make sure you capture the viewer's emotional reactions to your work. I think pictures like these, if they are prepared and arranged, start with a vision - again, what story are you trying to tell? In my case it was about making a very unusual, action portrait by taking my relationship and the trust I had built with my subject, in this case Dewayne, to a new level, going beyond the traditional portrait into something I think very impactful.

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