You know, I just can't walk past a mirror without taking a self portrait.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Ringside With Leica

My current photo exhibit at the Leica Gallery Samy's Fairfax, total 12 images on exhibit Dec 1 2015 through Jan 29 2016. All images shot w/ manual focus Leica Rangefinder cameras, M typ240 & M/M typ246. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Baking A Clafoutis, 2015.09.13

Time to diverge from the usual boxing. It is 7;30 am on a Sunday morning, with a late night flight looming, I decide to leave my children (young adults really) with a treat. So I decide to bake a clafoutis. For those not familiar; per wiki!

Clafoutis (French pronunciation: ​[klafuti]Occitanclafotís [klafuˈtis] or [kʎafuˈtiː]), sometimes in Anglophonic countries spelled clafouti, is a baked French dessert of fruit, traditionally black cherries,[1] arranged in a buttered dish and covered with a thick flan-like batter. The clafoutis is dusted with powdered sugar and served lukewarm, sometimes with cream.

I start by playing some music, music just given to me by a friend the night before. Sadly she won't benefit from the results. But perhaps next time - when I have returned.

Next I drain 2 cans of cherries (dark & sweet) and place them in a buttered pie dish.

I mix the ingredients that will make the custard. Eggs, butter, milk, sugar & flour.

Pour the mixture over the cherries.

Put the dish in a preheated oven at 400 degrees.

Set the timer for 40 minutes,

And do the dishes!

After 40 minutes the baked custard is a rich dark golden brown.

Aren't my kids lucky!!!

As always all images and text are copyright Peter Politanoff and may not be used without explicit consent. Thanks Reiko for the music!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Shooting Boxing in Tokyo With Leica M Monochrom (typ 246)

I picked up my Leica M Mono typ246 from Samys Camera in Los Angelelas the day before my flight to Tokyo. I packed my M typ240 and M/M typ246, but left my Canons behind. I wasn't planning on shooting any boxing, at least not any fight cards and I wanted to travel light. This trip was purely pleasure and street photography, with maybe a little time in the gyms. A new friend, actually a FB friend, talked me into shooting a 13 bout fight card at Korakuen Hall. Korakuen Hall is apparently the busiest boxing venue in the world with several events a week.
I managed to get a ringside position, I paired my M/Mono 246 with my 50mm Summicron (this would be my main camera) and my M240 with my 90mm Elmarit (rarely time to change cameras, but just in case).
I shot over 90% of the bouts with the M/M 246 and here are some of the images. Keep in mind I follow focus (no preset on focus), only the shutter speed and aperture are preset.

13 bouts, one image from each contest.





Aoki/*Hanawa (yes even female fighters)









Manny thanks to Hiro Watanabe for talking me into this, and the staff at Korakuen Hall for being som accommodating!

As always, all images are copyright Peter Politanoff / RedStarImage, and may not be reproduced without explicit consent. You are more than welcome however to link to this site.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

It's Time To Walk

Years of training, 6-8 weeks of camp & intense preparation to time the athlete's performance so he will peak for this moment in his career. Then, it's a 2 hour wait. Check in time is 2 hours before his scheduled fight time.

After the urine test and quick exam by the Commission Physician, the referee Tom Taylor gives the fighter instructions.

The ring announcer stops by checking for proper pronunciation, and a little small talk.

Then the wait starts, fellow fighters stop by for support. Some times the fighter has a scheduled fight time, usually when the fights are telecast. Other times it is as quickly as the previous bouts end.

Tonight boxing great Bernard Hopkins stopped in to encourage the fighter. 

This evening Super Middleweight Jason Quigley 6-0-0 had a scheduled fight time.

About 35 minutes before the bout Coach & Trainer Manuel Robles starts to wrap Jason's hands. The process which ensures that the fighters hands are well padded and protected for the punishment they are going to be inflicting on the opponent.

Jason's all set!

All aspects of the fighters preparations are carefully monitored by State Athletic Commission officials. Once the hands are wrapped an official signs and marks the wrapping to ensure the integrity of the fight.

Once wrapped the fighter is turned over to the conditioning coach. The fighter up first warmed up and then stretched 

Then the final prep begins, the fighter dresses. First the protective cup then his trunks.

Next come the gloves, again under the watchful eye of the officials. Laced by the coach and tapped by the official. Everything done by the book.

The final warm up, on the mitts, while coaches and manager look on. Just enough for the fighter to be sharp when he enters the ring.

The official announces   " It is time to walk " ,  in that last moment - the complete trust of the fighter with his coach.

All of that for this result. Jason Quigley improves to 7-0-0 in a second round KO of his opponent. In 7 bouts Jason has only fought for 12 rounds, all of his 7 victories coming by way of KO.

All images except the last 2 were shot with Leica M (240) ISO 2000 w/ 35mm Summicron lens.

As always all images are copyright Peter Politanoff / RedStarImage and may not be reproduced without explicit consent.

Special thanks to  Sheer Sports Management, Team Quigley, Jason Quigley, Ken Sheer, Rachel Charles, Manuel Robles and GoldenBoy Promotions

Friday, June 5, 2015

Ringside With Leica M (240)

Leica is not the camera of choice for sports photography. Manual focus, no continuous shooting to speak of (certainly not the 12 fps of my Canon 1DX), ISO challenged, slow processing, and manual aperture settings as well.
So when I shoot boxing why take it along? Aside from the 'ringside candids' how is it useful. Well for those who remember film, and going even further back the pre auto focus and even pre zoom lens days, how were sports shot then, boxing in particular. Single shots, manual film advance, manual focus, manual light level readings and aperture settings. Granted the type of results in general were not on a par with those achievable today. However there are some iconic images, Neil Leifer's Ali/Liston to name just one.
So last Saturday night I decided to try an experiment, or was it to prove a point! When I shoot with my Canons as a rule I invariably take light level readings, I use a gray card to set my white balance (custom white balance) and set my cameras to manual mode, set my aperture and shutter speed. No auto ISO, no aperture priority, no shutter priority, with the exception of AI servo and 12fps all other settings are fixed manually. and remain constant while shooting the action in the ring. So setting up my Leica would be no different - the only real challenge is the focus (especially since I like to shoot a narrow DOF) since the fighters are continually moving. At various times during the bouts I put my Canon's down, and shot with my Leica M (240) w/ 50mm Summicron - 1/500 @  f/4 (ISO 2500). Granted this is not the first time I have shot boxing with the M, but those situations were usually in the gym when the fighters were training. This was however the first time where the results mattered.

Here are some of the images, starting with a few ringside candids and then shooting the action:

Referee Jack Reiss

One of the Tecate 'RingGirls'

Fellow ringside photog Top Rank's own Mikey Williams

The ringside timer

Now for the action shots!

Focus, timing and anticipation!

The other Tecate RingGirl

End of the night, this shot in comparison was a piece of cake!

As always all images are   Copyright Peter Politanoff / RedStarImage  and may not be reproduced without explicit written consent. You are more than welcome however to link to this site.