In the spirit of throwing myself into 'challenging' photography situations, I invited myself to the monthly 'Breakfast Club' session at my localKrav Magaclub - a mixture of circuit training and sparring on a Saturday morning. I'd rather have been participating, but a hamstring injury meant that wasn't going to happen.
The environment presented several problems - shooting outside in a car park on a small industrial estate, as well as indoors in a dimly lit gym. Additionally, there would be lots of moving bodies, apart from anything else, cluttering up the background (even more). Another problem was getting close enough to the action with a 85mm lens without getting in the way, or otherwise distracting the subjects.
Although shutter speed is key for 'sports' photography, I really wanted to be able to control the depth of field as well, so put the camera on aperture priority mode, rather than shutter priority. Some of the time this worked to my advantage - I had underestimated the shutter speed needed to freeze the action, so the camera automatically setting it got me some shots I wouldn't otherwise have got. But, just as often, I had too low a shutter speed. 1/1250s is not fast enough to freeze a roundhouse kick from some of the guys I train with... Lesson learned - use higher ISO values.
Another learning is not to let someone park their WHITE van where it's going to get in the way of a lot of shots!
One really good aspect of the session was that (with one exception), everyone did their best to ignore me. Strangely enough, most of the time they were trying not to get hit by the person in front of them!