Wing Chun Kung Fu - Website Photography

I was tasked to take the pictures for Sifu Neil Parris' Central Wing Chun martial arts website: 

My approach

Having some Wing Chun knowledge I had an idea of the basics (forms, sticky hands, posture and structure, light sparring, weapons).

I wanted to capture true "moments" of sparring or practice and not have any "pre-set" forced poses. The problem I faced was that while training, the students tend to naturally move around in and out of my "preferred" area of shooting. This was partially solved by placing coach marks on the floor and setting up the of camera flash accordingly and some post processing.

The location

Choosing the right location can be tricky. From day one Sifu Neil and I didn't want to have a fake background. After looking around it turned out the breakout area of my apartment block offered everything we needed; a place to relax, an area to set up the lights, and all the needed amenities. I liked the arced windows and natural brick background from the opposite building.

The location provided everything necessary for a good setup.

The location provided everything necessary for a good setup.

The setup

I kept the setup simple, used:

  • Sony A7rII
  • Sony 24-70 2.8
  • Sony 90 2.8
  • Sony 55 1.8
  • Off - camera flash
  • Trigger
  • Reflector
The setup was kept simple

The setup was kept simple

Getting Creative

Apart from the normal action shoots, I wanted to have a more creative approach to shooting martial arts. I added smoke to enhance the environment and create an aura in the place. I also wanted to create an "action path" where the moves are captures in all their stages creating a still - motion effect. To do this, I set the camera to burst mode and captured a set of movements that were later processed in Photoshop as a multiple exposure picture.

Multiple exposures for an "action" path

The result