Events beyond your control

It really bites when your timing is spot on, and something just gets in the way of that perfect shot. That's what happened to me a few times today while shooting Muay Thai at the Asian Heritage street fair in San Francisco earlier this afternoon. The referee was just doing his job of course, and didn't really worry that he blocked several good photos. The fighters didn't help by moving around the ring so much. And why do they have to put all those ropes around the ring...

There's something to be said about having a press pass.

I did manage to take some good photos this year, out of 1,971 taken. At last year's event, I was too far from the ring, and two years ago I found out too late about the fights. This year I got ringside seats by dint of waiting for a few hours before the bouts started. The Nikon 28-105mm f/3.5~4.5 managed to keep up with the action, although it did mis-focus on a few shots. I would have liked just a little more FOV (maybe 24mm?), but until Nikon releases an updated 24-120mm, I'll use what i have in my bag. The 28-70mm AF-S would have focused faster, although it's a little on the short side. I didn't use the 70-200VR that I brought since I was close to the action.

Metering was off my hand, shutter speed, aperture and ISO set manually to match and adjusted as the lighting conditions changed. Fill flash? Always a good idea when you have bright sunlight in the background and a covered tent for the foreground, but flash wouldn't have been able to keep up with the action. And I don't think the fighters would appreciate an SB-800 blasting in their faces at 8fps. So I have a blown background, but that's fine with me.

I started out in machine gun mode, and managed to hit the buffer limit a few times. As my timing improved, I throttled down to shorter bursts and single shots towards the end of the event.

Batteries are charging for tomorrow. Need to get up early to reach my oft-missed goal of photographing the lead runner of the Bay 2 Breakers.


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