Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Yet more fencing photos

Some more favourites from this year's School Games fencing event at the English Institute of Sport, Sheffield. See the whole lot here, click on these samples to enlarge.

For photography nerds: sports halls are awful, awful places for good pictures. The light is dank and/or harsh, and good spots for composition are hard to find. You need a really fast lens, a high standard camera and lots of patience: I took 1200 photos and edited them down to 500 acceptable ones. Then there's the problem that fencing can look very samey: once a fencer has the mask one, character is hard to capture.

I used a Nikon D7000 and a 50mm f/1.8 lens - the best I can afford. Flash isn't allowed and tripods get in the way. The lens is fixed, so you move rather than the hardware. Noise is a problem in these poor light conditions, because the speed of movement needs settings of at least shutter speeds of 1/640th of a second and an ISO somewhere above 1600, which causes noise. If anyone wants to buy me a 300mm f/2 (several thousand pounds) I'd be very grateful.

Anyway, these are what came out of the camera.

This one might be my favourite: Kate Daykin has such an expressive face.

Appealing to the referee

Appeal refused

Giving the referee your interpretation

Jai Birch, England foilist

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