BTS: Braekhus vs McCaskill - Photos by Melina Pizano/Matchroom - 08/15/20
What a great feeling to be back shooting sports! Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Matchroom was able to create a bubble and an amazing atmosphere in downtown Tulsa (even though fans were unable to attend.) It was especially exciting since the headliner was a women's unified welterweight championship bout.
GoPro Hero 8 detail: Before heading to Tulsa I bought a GoPro Hero 8 just to change up the creativity a little. I ended up mounting it to a graphics board so I could capture the boxers doing their ring walk. As you'll see it worked in the first image (which was taken the night prior to fight night.) I knew it wouldn't fall since I had a safety cable tied around the tripod and I had gaffer taped the tripod legs together. What I didn't anticipate were the boxers moving so much on the graphics board stage that the GoPro moved forward (which you'll see in Madrimov's and McCaskill's ring walk.) Definitely a lesson learned in anticipating such movement in the future. I controlled the GoPro from my phone app (highly recommended.) Speaking of recs I'd also highly recommend an extra battery or two. Even in photo mode (and trying to conserve battery power by powering off when not in use) I still ran through 2 batteries quickly on fight night. Sine then I've also learned to control the exposure manually. Definitely worth the purchase to change up the creativity.
Canon 1DX2 detail: Over the past month I've been heavily debating upgrading my Canon camera to either the new mirrorless R5 or to the latest DSLR 1DX2 (with mirrorless capabilities.) After viewing other photographer's images I know the 1DX2 is top of the line, but the price tag is nearly twice the R5. So I had to be absolutely sure it would fit my needs to justify that major of a purchase. A photo friend, Jason (aka Decomp), offered to let me use his 1DX2 for this trip. After I arrived to Tulsa I was in quarantine until I tested negative for COVID, which was a couple of days before fight night (and after weigh-ins.) On fight night I shot mirrorless practically the whole night. It was amazing to shoot without the sound of the shutter creating a distraction in the room. Also nice to bump up the ISO more than usual so I didn't have to use a flash (which can also be a distraction.) I didn't mind having to use the screen to use the mirrorless option. The only downside I noticed was some banding while shooting mirrorless, but I knew ahead of time to expect that. When it came to the main event I switched back to DSLR so I could take advantage of the higher frame rate. I had to shoot through a face shield, but once I was in the zone it didn't bother me. After using the 1DX2, without having tried the R5, I knew in my head I wanted to go with the 1DX2. It was nice to go between DSLR and mirrorless without having to add a mount to use my existing lenses or without having to buy new lenses, which I'd have to do one or the other if I got the R5. Now to save up for 1DX2, lol.
Photos taken on Saturday, August 15, 2020 in downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Raymond "Savage" Ford
Always representing his hometown, Camden.
Nikita "White Chocolate" Ababiy and his trainer, Aureliano Sosa
Shakhram "Wonder Boy" Giyasov
Israil "The Dream" Madrimov
Giyasov and Madrimov laughing at their coach, Joel Diaz.
Coach Joel Diaz and Madrimov
Jessica "Caskilla" McCaskill relaxing before getting ready for her bout.
Cecilia "1st Lady of Boxing" Braekhus relaxing before prepping for her bout.
Braekhus with her trainer, Abel Sanchez
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