Monday, February 28, 2005

Sometimes it's too fast

Featherweight open boxer Raul Barrientes (left) takes a shot from Jose Hernandez (red glove right) during the Fort Worth Golden Gloves boxing tournament at the Will Rogers Memorial Center complex on February 23, 2002. Hernandez won the fight.
Mark M. Hancock / © The Dallas Morning News

This is an example of a rare occurrence of my strobes/shutter set too fast. This frame is shot somewhere around f/8 at 1/500 or 1/640. The resulting image looks like the red glove is placed delicately in the frame.

If we look closely, his head is beginning to spin around inside his safety headgear. Had I shot at 1/250 or maybe a little slower to let some available light blur the frame, it would've been more obvious how hard he was hit.

Consequently, sometimes it's important to keep the speed slower than possible. Hockey, boxing and karate look the most strange if there is no touch of motion to give the feel of speed and power. Basketball and volleyball hold up the best at super-high speeds.

Enough for now,


Craig Mitchelldyer said...

True, teh motion blur is not there, but this is one of the best boxing photos I have seen. You can tell by the blood and his face that he is being hit hard, I think a blur, like the blur you see in most boxing photos, would take away from this. I love seeing a perfectly lit, peak action boxing photo...a rare thing to see. Nice!

Bryon Houlgrave said...

I agree with Craig. Your use of available light is outstanding. I wonder if motion in this frame would detract slightly from the power the image maintains. What were your settings for this event?

Bryon Houlgrave said...

Nevermind the "settings" question. I just re-read your entry.

Mark M. Hancock said...

Thanks for the comments.
I'm still concerned this image looks "unreal" due to the speed. I expect blur in some sports, so its absence seems unnatural and disturbing.

Lenslinger said...


Love your work and your blog. Thanks for the link, I'll return the favor. In fact, if I do a profile post on you can I use a couple of your latest shots on it?

Kelly Oram said...

Hi Mark,

I am a complete rookie so forgive my ignorance. It is my understanding that with strobes you can't shoot digital faster that 1/250th. What am I not understanding here when you talk of shooting this action beyond 1/250th?? Told you I was a complete rookie!

Mark M. Hancock said...

Short answer: The second generation of digital cameras (Nikon D1Hs to be specific) didn't have a shutter between the sensor and lens - only the reflex mirror. So, it could essentially sync up to 1/1000 before the mirror would appear in every frame. It was always safe at 1/500.