top of page

The Training of a champion

My first steps into the Ring !

A missed rendezvous a few months ago was finally concretized last week. Our schedules didn't match until recently. 2 hours head to head with international Fighter Steeve Valente K1, Muaythai, Kickboxing and Full contact World Champion... and he's from Strasbourg! As an action photographer, this was a work I could not refuse.

We met in his gym located outside Strasbourg in a neighborhood named l'Elsau. I had to figure out a way to minimize the environment and get inside the action. For this job, I brought a kit lent for 2 weeks by Elinchrom with me. An ELB400 with a 70cm deep octa a quadra hs and the new Skyport hs.

Lightweight, it was perfect for me as I had to work quickly. Used to work with one light and with Speedlites in Hypersync, this kit was perfect! It took me no time to get used to it. The idea was to blackout all the surrounding light and focus on the fighter. Working in Hypersync allows me to go past the 1/250th of a second normal limitation that we have with regular strobes. This gave me more freedom artistically. It allowed me to play with shutter speed, ISO, and depth of field.

We were shooting inside and, although the idea was to have a dark background, I couldn't go too high with my shutter speed. At the same time, I had to be at least above 1/800th of a second to freeze Steeve's movement. After a proper warm-up for our athlete and a short discussion on what we would do together, we were ready to enter the ring and make epic shots.

Picture N°1

My assistant placed the strobe slightly above their head. I wanted to have that dramatic "split" look on Steeve's face.

Gear :

5D mark III / 24-70mm mark II ISO 400 1/1600th F3.5 ELB 400 + Quadra hs + Skyport hs + Rotalux deep octa 70cm

It's been a while since I haven't shared diagrams of my lighting setup. For those of you who are on a budget, and need professional-looking shots with only one light, here is how I did the 2 of them.

Picture N°2

At first, I wanted the light to face Steeve, but I needed some light on the side. By bringing back the light at a 45-degree angle, I was able to light a part of his left leg in the back and keep desired shadows.

Gear :

5D mark III / 24-70mm mark II ISO 400 1/1600th F3.5 ELB 400 + Quadra hs + Skyport hs + Rotalux deep octa 70cm

To make these images, the setup will have lasted less than 2 hours. Professional and efficient, Steeve made it easy and proposed a lot of ideas along the way. For a first step into the ring, I'm quite happy with the results. I'm looking forward to shooting more fighters in a near future.


bottom of page