My partner in crime once explained to me his theory on the similarities of photography and martial arts in terms of discipline, since he does both. So he calls me yesterday and wants to know if I want to come down to where his fight team practices at and get some practice shooting portraits and action shots.
So we're going down to this karate studio in an unmarked building on Lorain, waiting outside for everyone else to show up and I'm trying to take in all sorts of information on shutter speeds, ISO, and panning before I go in.
I'm a shy kid who majored in English who knows nothing about martial arts except that it looks cool in action movies but I agree because, well, hey why not? It's not the first time I've ended up in a place I never thought I'd be. And honestly, I was more comfortable than I thought I would be, because for some reason testosterone weirds me out less than an overload of estrogen. I'm not expected to do anything except do my job.
I'm still learning how to use the camera, and I'm shy at first because I know none of these people but they're friendly and it's my job to make them look good and badass. They ask me if it weirds me out being in the "ManCave" or I've ever done any stuff like this, and I say no, and I'm encouraged to take up Krav Maga for self-defense, which I'd never even heard of until now.
One guy tells me "I think women are better at martial arts than men in some ways. We do it to impress the women, they do it to kick the shit out of the men."
I settle in, running along the periphery of the mat, trying to keep my shots in focus, apply what I've just learned, and not get accidentally kicked or punched as my memory card fills up and I'm switching between two cameras.
I'm so used to photographing things that don't move: buildings, graffiti, whatever so this was a huge change and a challenge, and being behind a camera meant that I wasn't wincing. By the end of the night, I was sweating too, but not nearly as much, and feeling satisfied with my work.
Tonight I get to enjoy the great sounds of Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings and hang out with good people. Summer's ending so quickly, but it's been such a good one.