October 2015. Harvard vs. Columbia. He was hit so hard - went unconscious for at least five minutes. People watched. They continued talking. This happens all the time.
"He'll be fine."
I remember my adrenaline rushing. The Harvard player wasn't my own - this wasn't some territorial, biased shit. It was genuine disgust for what I had just witnessed. I couldn't photograph for 10 minutes after that. This football game made me rethink my love for sports completely.
Why do I do sports photography?
It started as an obligation: tennis. What the hell even is sports photography?
Obligation became fascination; athletics soon became art.
November 2014. Basketball pre-season. My perception of sports changed. I stood under the basket and photographed the figures, voices, and footwork that paint the court with grace.
February 2016. I hadn't realized that I was so in love with sports photography. I've been trying to create the feeling of a sports image in my daily photographs and in-the-work projects, but it hasn't been the same. Producing a balanced image, one that is aesthetically pleasing, narratively correct, and observably animated, is seriously hard.
Reality is not always beautiful.
You see, the visualization of art in motion is not something you seek out. It is not something spray painted on a wall or found in a textbook. It is something that smacks you in the face and just like that, it's understood. To me, sports photography is the ability to visualize other artists' performances and capture them as realistically as possible. This medium enables me to create the balance I so desperately desire in photography; each event allows me to witness not only the movement and beauty of athlete's bodies and gestures as art, but also the progression of photography as a medium, from creating an aesthetic moment, to narrating a story, and finally, to acting as a mediator between the audience (crowd) and the art (athletics).
...and so, all of this made me go on a spontaneous trip down the block (literally) to The Ring Boxing Club. I decided to walk in with my camera one night and photograph a sparring session.
If you're interested, here is a little history --
- 1910 - Originally establsihed on Blackfriars Road
- 1940 - Destroyed in 1940 by a bombing raid
- Continued its name in a small gym space above a pub, cleverly named 'The Ring'
- 1990s - Closed; reopened on Union Street by Mark Burford aka 'The Burf'
- TV series Fightnight (about the club and 'The Burf') airs