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.