Wrestling Photography

YEARS PHOTOGRAPHED
2015-2016
CAMERAS USED
NIKON D3300
CHALLENGES FACED
LOW-LIGHT, ACTION, DYNAMIC MOVEMENT, CIRCULAR MOVEMENT, LACK OF DYNAMIC MOVEMENT WITH NOVICE WRESTLERS, MOST ACTION OCCURS ON THE GROUND, DIFFICULT TO ISOLATE WRESTLERS FROM THE BACKGROUND DUE TO CLOSE PROXIMITY TO ACTION AND CROWDED GYMS

During the winter of 2015/16, I participated as an assistant coach to South Tahoe’s wrestling program. Between junior high and high school I had seven years of experience, so it was nice to be able to give back through volunteerism. In addition to helping out by being a crash test dummy for the kids, I made a point to take photographs of them during their matches.

With smaller athletic programs, particularly the less popular sports like wrestling, it’s important to have quality promotion. And the key component to good promotion is through engaging visuals. The primary challenge to capturing dynamic images is that fact that wrestling provides a worst-case scenario with regard to photography — indoor, low-light, and action. Those two elements conspire against a photographer like no other conditions. Although I don’t have a professional grade camera, I am still able to capture quality photographs because I am well-versed in the sport (i.e. timing of the movements) and composition. Also, the camera I use (Nikon D3300) does have a decent sensor, so I can boost the ISO up and still get some relatively clean shots.

“The primary challenge to capturing dynamic images is that fact that wrestling provides a worst-case scenario with regard to photography — indoor, low-light, and action.”

Expanded View

As I mentioned previously, I wrestled for a number of years when I was young. I also train in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Aikido. The draw to martial/combat arts is their practicality from a self-defense standpoint, as well as the spiritual journey inherent within them. Martial arts are a metaphor for life, and this is why I enjoy photographing people participating in them. As much as I appreciate the fact there is dynamic movement to capture, I also enjoy searching for the determination and inner peace of the people competing.

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