Taking pictures at a wrestling show has to be one of the most stressful things I’ve ever done.
All kidding aside, wrestling, as you may have come to learn, is one of my biggest passions. I’ve watched it, performed it, wrote about it, I’ve done a lot of things with wrestling. Aside from two things actually getting into the proverbial squared circle in wrestling and taking photos of it.
While one of them sounds like a very simple thing compared to the other, it’s actually taking photos that’s the hardest of the two. Heck anyone can jump into a wrestling ring and throw a clothesline. But not everyone can take pictures that actually look good.
And there’s the caveat.
Anyone can take out a flip phone and take some pictures of the action in the ring. Anyone can also go out and spend hundreds and even thousands on a fancy camera and attempt to take pictures. But when they come to actually seeing them — are they really even good?
It’s usually a big no.
I’ve only come to find a few good photographers of wrestling pictures. It’s very difficult, as I have come to find out.
This past Sunday, despite an earlier post about being done with wrestling, I went back to wrestling. After getting the new camera a month or so ago, I wanted to see if I could take wrestling pictures. And really that post had something to do with the fear of taking bad pictures. I could use that post as my excuse why I didn’t go out to the show and at least attempt.
Yeah, I could get into all of that about the side of wrestling I don’t like, but this is about my wrestling photography experience.
I ended up not going to a wrestling show a few weeks ago, because of the fear. I know I’ve joked about fears and anxiety in previous posts as well, but what if my pictures came out like crap. Now that’s a really bad feeling. Especially coming from someone who has criticized others, I want to be perfect.
You have to fail and take harsh criticism to learn to be good, to learn how to be at least half way decent.
So Sunday night I attempted my best to take photos, after getting to the event and finding that my batteries for my external flash had died. Funny. Especially seeing how I’ve never used it before. I guess leaving it on wasn’t a good idea.
Prior to the show actually starting I walked around the ring and attempted to take a few photos. The company putting on the show had a very distinctive lighting system. Which in turn helped and hurt a lot of my photos. Their bright lights helped in the fact that I wouldn’t be using my external flash but it also hurt because it was so bright it hurt.
Now my camera does have a built in flash, which it did go off a few times while taking the pictures. But when there is production style lighting, lighting like that used in for a professional photo shoot. It takes away from someone else trying to take pictures outside of the realm.
I’m not sure if I’m explaining that well enough. What I’m trying to say is that the distance I was away from the ring and the lighting, you know, it caused complications.
I ended up shooting about a thousand photos and walked around the ring, sat a while in the bleachers. Which that in itself was difficult because there was a netting and a plastic glass thingy. Because it’s actually a hockey arena and not a wrestling arena. So to protect the fans.
Trying to get my camera to then focus through the netting and plastic thingy, wow, that was difficult. Add with the lighting. Wow. It turned very stressful. There ended up being a small corner of the ring that I could actually photograph. With even that spot not being all that well. Because I was shooting on the opposite side of the one of their big production lights.
After their intermission I went down and sat a few rows away from the ring and tried again. This time not having to deal with the protective covering or sitting directly across from the lighting. This time the lighting would be one my left and right. So I thought I could get some better shots, but the overwhelming lights hurt a little too.
As like taking photos of the moon, or the night sky in general. The camera doesn’t tend to focus as well, because it doesn’t know what to focus in at. This is what I was dealing with here at this show. While the lighting might work well for their production team and their video taping. It hurt me a great deal.
In the end I got to salvage a few photos, I’ve posted them on my personal Facebook page and have gotten a compliments much to my shock. Even a few of the wrestlers who I took photos of them liked them including Ted Goodz, Chris Envy, Brute VanSlyke and Mike Orlando.
Which helps a little. I know I could produce better pictures, but this is definitely a learning curve and something I’ll work on. I want to be able to showcase something that looks half way decent, but it’s a struggle as I’m learning. This is only my first wrestling show that I used an actual camera and not just a cellphone. So I guess I have more opportunities right?
As I link my photos I’d like to thank the wrestling company Dynasty, for giving me the opportunity to take pictures and not complain or report me to Facebook or anything like that. And mostly I want you to bare with me, and try not to hate my photos that much. I know they didn’t turn out that well, I’m trying, I hate them. But I think a few of them work out just enough to not be deleted.