This week’s Photo Friday pic comes from the Throwdown IV MMA event in East Peoria Saturday night. We were treated to almost 30 great fights, and my friends and I had a great time.
This is the third Throwdown event I’ve attended at the East Peoria Event Center, and the event gets a little better every time. For example, they went from a hexagon to a full octagon between their second and third events, and this time they added a projector and video screen to give fans a better look at the action. Our only beef with the logistics was the parking lot was an absolute mess of mud and gravel, and they filled it up before the event started.
All in all it was a great evening. Most of the fighters came from the Central Illinois Combat Club and the Peoria Athletic Club, and they were determined to put on a good show. Most of the MMA fights ended in submissions and ref stoppage, and the other fights included a mix of grappling and Muay Thai matches. Next time my friends and I intend to show up a little earlier so we can sit closer to the cage and get a better look at the ground work, as some of the fighters looked like they put a lot of work into their grappling training.
I shot over 300 pics of the event (not counting the couple dozen I erased between bouts), and I dropped 26 in a Flickr set. I stuck with my 50mm prime lens so I could work without a flash, but I still had to crank up my camera’s ISO rating to get an acceptable shutter speed at the distance I shot from. As a result there’s a lot more noise in the pics than I’d otherwise want to deal with.
The other problem I ran into was the cage itself. The camera picked it up as often as it did the fighters, so I boosted the aperture to get a larger depth of field. I also played with manual focus some, but the distance still made it tough to see the finer details I wanted to focus on (and the focus ring was right near its limit anyway). I probably could have gotten away with using my 55-200mm zoom lens for tighter shots and better control of focus, a trade-off for sacrificing another stop or so of aperture. Instead most of what you’ll see is tightly cropped from the originals, making the noise and focus issues even more obvious.
Next time I may suck it up and haul in a camera bag so I can have all my lenses available. I may be less polite and stand up to take some shots so I don’t get so many backs of other fans’ heads, too. Heck, if I wanted to really go nuts, I could borrow another camera body from work or a friend and have both lenses ready to go without having to mount and unmount them between bouts or rounds.
I’m sure my friends would love it. Heh.