DAY 3033


A Blog About Becoming A Professional Photographer...Again

Posts tagged reportage
A Belated Happy New Year

Happy New Year dear friendly reader! Hope you had a nice holiday season. I wasn't working much in December and decided to focus on some personal projects and spending time with my loved ones. Then January hit and the flu took hold. This post was supposed to go up last Thursday but I never got around to finishing it because of illness. Apologies!

Anyway, it's definitely back to the usual grind but before I look forward into this new exciting year I thought I'd share a small showcase of some of my favourite images I took in 2017. 

This post has a bit of everything. I've got some shots from my phone and some from camera. Hope you enjoy! I'm still looking to expand my portfolio so feel free to contact here. I would love to hear from you.


Thanks for your time dear friendly reader. As always please don't forget to follow me on Facebook and Instagram to keep up-to-date. 

Photographing White Collar Boxing Part I

I've never photographed boxing before but for the last few weeks I've been shooting the training for a Charity White Collar Boxing Event in aid of Spinal Injuries Ireland & The Robert Kenny Fund. 

The first time shooting was difficult, I didn't know the environment I'd be shooting in before I got there. For some reason I had this picture in my head and I didn't think it would differ much. Obviously I was wrong because light was non-existent for the camera to capture. A good note to take away from this is always ask the client what the location looks like and try go there either earlier than required to test shoot or at a different time entirely if possible. The only light I had at my disposable was two outdoor lights on either side of the group.

The Process When Shooting

I was shooting in low light, couldn't use flash as folks were training, didn't need to distract them. Always go into a job with an idea of how you want the photos to come out. You have to think about your post-production at least at the start of the shoot then worry about the shooting once you have an idea in mind. My thought for these training sessions were gritty, contrasted, very deep on the shadows. I got even more of that than I wanted. I had to shoot the highest ISO available, with shutter speed on about 1/200th of a second, whereas I wanted to shoot on about 1/400th of a second ideally. My aperture was on 3.5 usually. The result meant that noise was more of a problem than a choice. I quickly identified that if I shoot standing directly under these lights or shooting into them so there's a slight bit of flare I'd get a better exposed image.

At Least You Know For Next Time

Of course I still had to keep moving around. You can't get all the shots you need standing in four of the same positions. The above images are from my first time around, the left is directly in line with one of the lights attached to the wall, you can see the lens flare, noise isn't an issue in this. The image on the right however is the furthermost point away from the light sources and noise is a large problem. I made it work in my favour, with some noise reduction and working with the exposure and contrast I came out with images that are usable and do represent the feeling of adrenaline and exhaustion in the training. The colour temp was also an issue I found no preset in-camera that was true to the colours so I manually had to gauge the colour temp in Adobe Lightroom afterwards.

One thing I wasn't thinking of, shooting in low light, take your damn filter off! I always shoot with a UV filter on or something similar, it balances your exposure and I also like them on in case of an accident and the lens goes for a hop. I hadn't shot a fast-passed activity without flash in a long while and completely did not take this into consideration until I was tidying up my kit at home when it dawned on me. Always before a job, sit down and think what you need or don't need with you. 

Really quickly

If at first you kind of screw up, just make sure you try and screw up well like I did. The next time it was much more fluid, I knew the light situation and I took my filters off my lens so I had a quicker shutter speed. I tested out the first time around on different lens, 35mm, 24-110mm and 70-300mm (for tight shots). I've decided that two lens I preferred to use for the job is 35mm as it's a classic reportage lens focus and I enjoy working in 35mm framing. I also use a 24-70mm lens that I tried after the first shoot to able to get a better range.

A side note 24-70mm is a do-all shoot-all workhorse range if you have a Canon camera there's two models to be looking at, the Tamron and Canon. I own the Tamron, it's cheaper and there's very little different as far as I could deduct. The Tamron also has image stabilization which my shaky hands definitely needs and the Canon just doesn't hold up on a lot of counts. Check out actual reviews online you'll see what I mean. Lastly when shooting something like boxing, when it doubt just snap continuously, after fifteen minutes you'll be in a rhythm and will be able to anticipate the potential shots better and in sports that's what you need to be able to do.

Just a small selection above of more formal portraits of some the boxers. I had them stand so there was a lot of space in the background to get more depth and to ensure the portraits weren't going to come out as angry mugshots. The boxers had varying poses and heights, I originally wanted to try and have all the portraits uniform. However they were shot quickly with a Speedlite flash attached to the camera and no use of a tripod. In the field your plans and ideas won't always work. The sign of a good photographer I think is to work their ability to think on their feet and action out new ideas quickly.  

If you're interested in supporting the event which takes place on 25th November or to look at the hoard of shots I produced so far you can go here. I'll be shooting at the actual event so there will be a Part Two towards the end of November.


Sidetrack For A Sec (Or Maybe Longer)

This marks the first blog post on Day 3033 that isn't a Throwback Thursday. My apologies for that, I was getting wrapped up in the #TBT because I was getting good feedback on them. Those posts have now been pushed to the first Thursday of the month. I finally remembered Day 3033's tagline is "becoming a professional photographer...again". How am I supposed to convey this journey when all I seem to do is take time to trawl through my archive for old shoots that might be of interest to you?

I think it's a vital part of this blog still. It's important to go through your archive every now and then to see where your skill and technique was at 2 years ago or even 2 months ago. As we grow older on a physical level our eyes change (I need glasses now) and our minds change, we think differently usually because we're more educated about the world or a topic or skill like photography. For example my day job has taught me to be really analytical and much more technical in how tasks are carried out, that's helped and seen in my photography or how I handle business.

The more we photograph the better our skill and photographic eye develops I'm pretty sure that's fact. I find it a good confidence boost too looking through your archive, you can see how subjectively better you are now as opposed to before. As well photographing is of course about capturing memories so perhaps on an old job you learned a lesson you've since forgotten. That being said it's better idea to write these down though under a notes tab on your phone entitled "Lessons I've learned that I really should remember", that's what I do anyway. 


Thanks for your time dear friendly reader.

Please don't forget to follow me on Facebook and Instagram to get updates.

The Times I Wish I Had A Camera With Me


Another Thursday, another #TBT post this week and it's got to be a quick one. I'm swamped with work unfortunately but I still wanted to give you dear friendly reader something interesting to look at. 

Get On With It

Anyway this week I'm showcasing a small selection of shots all from a time I didn't have my professional camera with me. These where all shot on my current camera phone, One Plus 2 for reference.

Looking at these shots really make me wish I had my professional Canon camera to shoot because the detail I would of been able to capture would of been phenomenal. Hindsight is 20/20 as they say, these shots are still amazing if you don't mind me tooting my own horn. 

If you're viewing this post on desktop and they're a little degraded, sadly they're just not big files to begin with. I would suggest view on mobile to get the gravitas of the photos. 


That's It For This Thursday

All the above images are clickable so you can see them larger. The photos were shot over the last nine months or so whilst going about my day. I won't be giving any more context because that's not the point of this post. Sit back, take a break from your day and stay in the images for a few minutes. One thing I will say is you would never guess I really like clouds and the skyline right? If you're a photographer and you've been in the same position as myself, I implore you try and remember your camera on the daily. I know I won't but I can always keep trying. Just a little note I plan to have more posts like this in the future so let me know if you liked this kind of post. 


Thanks for your time dear friendly reader.

 As always please don't forget to follow me on Facebook and Instagram to know when I post.