Technique: A Day at the Mundials 2011 Shot on 35mm Kodak 400 NC

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It’s tournament season again. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fanatics are making their weekly rounds up and down the West Coast to a variety of tournaments in preparation for one of the biggest BJJ events in the world, Mundials. Here is one of the contact sheets I recently got developed and then scanned (yes, shooting film is a slow process). The 35mm (Leica R4 w/ 50mm f/2 for the camera geeks) is much easier to shoot from the hip compared to the tank like Hassleblad, and the lens is a bit faster (2 vs. 2.8) and easier to focus. Result: more documentary and action shots but it is still pretty difficult to shoot these events since they are almost always indoors in lower light than desired. I have to open up my lenses which makes focusing way more finicky resulting in blur and out of focus subjects. I should probably go up in film speed (800+) but I am dragging my feet with the 400 ISO.

This year I will try and get my shit together with more diverse film speeds and lenses. If I am feeling ambitious I might take a 4×5 for a long drive, but I am starting to get gear fever, just picked up a 6×9 and now looking at m mount lenses for a pretty little Leica CL rangefinder. It’s time to admit I have a problem, but if I can convert these images to prints, I will be very happy. I have recently started an online store gallery where you can by archival pigment, fine art prints of your favorite fighters and help support my addiction (if you are in any of these photos and interested in a print, please contact me directly for a code to get them at cost). The fine art pricing is based off industry standards (I work in a photo gallery) and the amount of time and money invested in creating them. I hand develop all the black and white film (which has a precious metal base of silver) or ship and pay for the development of color film. I spend hours individually scanning them on a high end scanner (Imacon and I have a love/hate relationship), then I spend several more hours making color corrections and cleaning them up in Photoshop for print and web. Then there’s the whole internet time, it’s bordering on Ghost in the Shell . A lot of love goes into this, the combination of my passions. Couldn’t think of a better way to spend my time. Anyhow that’s that.

What did you think I was going to talk about BJJ technique?

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