Boxing photoshoot behind the scenes

Feat. Ambrine

Photographing athletes has always been a favorite of mine. I’ve been away from this genre for some time and I was happy to have the opportunity to get back to it for this session. I had 2 athletes that day, but we will only concentrate on the portraits I did with Ambrine. It all happened during the time I had the Canon R3… so I couldn’t resist taking it out of the bag for a few shots.

It was inevitable! Although there are a few tricks to capture action and get sharp images with a camera that isn’t made for sports like the GFX100s. Why make things complicated when you have in the bag a tool that is made for action. So that’s what I did, every time I needed to capture my Athlete in motion. The speed, the track focusing abilities of the Canon R3 made it easy.


Ambrine (Toulouse - France)

Canon R3 - Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM

1/200sec f/5 ISO 100 at 86mm



Ambrine (Toulouse - France)

Canon R3 - Canon RF 50mm F1.2L IS USM

1/200sec f/5 ISO 100



The location was a hard one. There is not much going on and not much light coming in. Although I used strobes, I still wanted people to feel when looking at my images that the light was maybe coming from the windows… It’s a huge "maybe" because ultimately, I broke that rule a couple of times.


2 lights were used for this session, the Godox AD1200 pro and the Pixapro citi 1200 pro. I used them with 2 different light modifiers. The Godox Parabolic P128 was used as my main light, and the Phottix Raja stripbox as a side or back light. It is not the first time I use this 2 light set up for an on location session. It is not hard to guess when the R3 was used. It wasn't really hard for me to match the look of my images with these 2 cameras.


Ambrine (Toulouse - France)

Fujifilm GFX100s and GF 80 mm f/1.7 R WR

1/125sec f/5.6 ISO 50



Ambrine (Toulouse - France)

Canon R3 - Canon RF 50mm F1.2L IS USM

1/200sec f/5 ISO 100



I was not looking for realism here. My main goal was to minimise the environment as much as possible. Usually I have the opposite approach, but I really wasn’t a fan of the place.


This is where accessories come in handy. Add some visual interest in the foreground, and near the athlete. Shoot near objects, shoot through elements, use anything you can on location. Or, you can add heavy smoke for a surreal look like me. I know I am doing this a lot these days, but that's how I work. Once I will get sick of it, I will do it less, and my use of smoke will become more subtle.


Ambrine (Toulouse - France)

Fujifilm GFX100s and GF 80 mm f/1.7 R WR

1/125sec f/6.4 ISO 50



Ambrine (Toulouse - France)

Fujifilm GFX100s and GF 80 mm f/1.7 R WR

1/125sec f/6.4 ISO 50

Ambrine (Toulouse - France)

Fujifilm GFX100s and GF 80 mm f/1.7 R WR

1/125sec f/6.4 ISO 50



In my first hands-on review of the Canon R3 I mentioned 2 athletes… Since they took turns for each scene, I didn’t want to share both sessions in one video. Because although they are 2 different athletes and represent 2 different generations, their images have a very similar look.


Still, I will share the other session in a future post for premium members, and to make it interesting because a lot of the footage will be very similar, I will add a few lighting diagrams and additional details on my lighting approach.


The 2nd athlete was also the subject of a short video portrait I made recently, so be sure to look out for this one! Am I missing action, sports photography ? Yes, and no… I will go where my heart tells me to go, and for now I am good where I am. I can still rent an action camera when I need one… so we’ll see further down the road how things evolve.