Henrietta Street Gym: Promotional Shoot

I’m doubly lucky in that I have not only been involved with photographing Henrietta Street Gym since it opened (and it’s predecessor, Fighting Fit City Gym before that) but I also happen to thoroughly enjoy every visit.

HSG is definitely the premier “heritage” boxing gym in the Midlands -and probably the UK, based as it is in a wonderfully stylish converted former industrial building near Birmingham’s St. Paul’s Square. It is often used by TV production companies (The Gadget Show were there recently) because of it’s photogenic qualities – and I get to shoot there regularly! Periodically, I go in to provide lots of images of a typical day at the gym for their various social media outlets (details below) and here are a few images from a recent visit in April. Hopefully, they capture something of the atmosphere that Neil Perkins and his team have created in this amazing venue.

Links…

Henrietta Street Gym Facebook

Henrietta Street Twitter

HSG Website

 

Pride Of The Black Country: Father’s Pride

As a sort of sideline to the action shots of the boxing events arranged by Priory Park Boxing Club in Dudley (the “Pride of the Black Country” as they have been called), I have continued to add to my ongoing documentary project of the same name.

The above shot shows a young boxer (just 9 years old) emerging from the ring after a non-competitive bout at a recent “Development show” to a huge hug from his very proud father, still clutching onto his trophy. This image will eventually be converted to black and white.

To me, this image encapsulates some of the excitement and euphoria that is so apparent at all of the many shows I’ve shot.

Boxing Away

Over the last… ooh, quite a few… years now, I’ve been fortunate to photograph some amazing boxing action at all levels, from young amateurs to white collar first-timers to professionals. I owe my¬†introduction into boxing photography to Paul Gough and his amazing team at Priory Park ABC in Dudley, which in turn led to my ongoing relationship with Birmingham’s fantastic white collar gym “Fighting Fit City Gym” (led by Neil Perkins).

I’ve covered many fights but also provided promotional and press images for clubs, promoters and individual fighters. I’m pleased to say that this seems to be growing nicely. However, I’ve decided to push myself and my services a little further afield. After all, even the studio images can be produced on location if necessary.

In Pursuit Of The Knockout Shot (part 2)

A few more images from the early bouts of Fighting Fit City Gym‘s Bill Meddings Cup boxing show at Gatecrasher, Birmingham on Saturday.

Copyright David Rann 2013

Copyright David Rann 2013

I should mention that in addition to the kind of action shots that the client really wants and expects, I like to capture some of the other little details like the boxers before the first bell of the bout, or what happens in the corners between rounds. These are more for my own personal satisfaction, really.

Copyright David Rann 2013

Copyright David Rann 2013

Copyright David Rann 2013

Copyright David Rann 2013

Copyright David Rann 2013

Copyright David Rann 2013

Copyright David Rann 2013

Copyright David Rann 2013

Copyright David Rann 2013

Copyright David Rann 2013

Copyright David Rann 2013

Copyright David Rann 2013

Copyright David Rann 2013

Copyright David Rann 2013

More soon…

In Pursuit Of The Knockout Shot (part 1)

Lighting and position are always critical considerations when photographing but never more so than when shooting boxing. On Saturday evening I covered another amateur boxing event for Neil Perkins at Fighting Fit City Gym. In this case it was for the Bill Meddings Memorial Cup and although I don’t profess to be an expert (just someone who photographs a lot of boxing), I thought this was one of the best boxing events I’ve ever covered.

Copyright David Rann 2013

Copyright David Rann 2013

More images from other bouts to follow in later posts.

Copyright David Rann 2013

Copyright David Rann 2013

Now then, as I was saying, lighting is always critical but when you need shutter speeds of at least 1/500s to capture action like this, high ISO’s are inevitable. However, the venue for Saturday’s event was Gatecrasher nightclub in Birmingham and so lighting is usually pretty good. As usual though, the area at the “back” of the ring (furthest away from the crowd) wasn’t very well covered by the spotlights. This meant that any action taking place in that part of the ring would be nigh on impossible to photograph.

Copyright David Rann 2013

Copyright David Rann 2013

However, as my weapon of choice lens-wise for these events is my (fixed focal length) 50mm f1.4, I know from experience that when the action is right on top of me ie, against the ropes on the side I’m shooting from, it’s unlikely I’m going to get many successful shots of that action anyway. And so I decided to pitch myself in a corner on the dark side of the ring, knowing that I’d then be able to cover the action everywhere else in the ring (the other 80%).

Copyright David Rann 2013

Copyright David Rann 2013

As luck would have it, this also meant i was out of the way of the judges, time-keepers and audience too, plus the background from that angle included some great coloured screens.

Copyright David Rann 2013

Copyright David Rann 2013

And one more…

Copyright David Rann 2013

Copyright David Rann 2013

Thanks to the reasonable light levels in 80% of the ring, I was able to shoot at 1600ISO or less all evening which meant better quality images and fewer worries about battling the noise during post-production.

Find out more about Fighting Fit City Gym at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fighting-Fit-City-Gym/37835833657?fref=ts

More soon.

 

Pride: In The Ring

In the last of my boxing-related posts for the moment, I’m going to show you some action shots from Wolverhampton Civic Hall earlier this month where three of Priory Park ABC‘s boxers (Luke Paddock, Ricky Summers and Ryan “Tank” Aston) fought – and won – their bouts.

Luke Paddock

Luke Paddock

Luke Paddock

Luke Paddock

Ricky Summers is in the ring!

Ricky Summers is in the ring!

I’m sure I’ve said this before but boxing is never an easy thing to photograph: the boxers’ main intention is to move quickly and keep their faces covered as much as possible. A sports photography company I used to shoot for used to insist that a face was at least visible in all shots. At this particular venue, the light comes only from high above so when shooting upwards from ringside there’s the added complication that the hunched boxers’ faces are usually in strong shadow. The light levels here are also generally quite low and so to achieve 1/500s shutter speeds, you’ll need at least 3200 ISO much of the time even on a fast lens.

Ricky Summers in action

Ricky Summers in action

Ricky Summers gets a pep talk from trainer Paul Gough

Ricky Summers gets a pep talk from trainer Paul Gough

Ryan "Tank" Aston has his opponent on the ropes.

Ryan “Tank” Aston has his opponent on the ropes.

Let's face it, you really wouldn't want to get in the ring with Ryan Aston.

Let’s face it, you really wouldn’t want to get in the ring with Ryan Aston.

 

Waiting for a decision. Eventually, Ryan's opponent was declared unable to continue.

Waiting for a decision. Eventually, Ryan’s opponent was declared unable to continue.

I could have filled this page many times over with images from each of the bouts but hopefully these give you a bit of a flavour of the evening.

A Little More Pride…

Following on from the last post about Priory Park ABC‘s leading fighters at Wolverhampton Civic Hall earlier this month, here are a few more backstage shots, this time mainly showing Ryan “Tank” Aston as he prepares for what was to be become his first title-winning fight…

Ryan "Tank" aston prepares for battle.

Ryan “Tank” aston prepares for battle.

A few words from the ref.

A few words from the ref.

Trainer Paul Gough and Ryan Aston.

Trainer Paul Gough and Ryan Aston.

The "cuts mon" adds the finishing touches.

The “cuts mon” adds the finishing touches.

Last minute advice from trainer Paul Gough.

Last minute advice from trainer Paul Gough.

In my next post, I’ll show you some shots from the fights themselves. Again, many thanks to Paul and the lads and lasses from Priory Park ABC for their co-operation.