Lesson 1: If you let your flash get blocked by the ropes, dark stripes will appear on the photos. Whilst trying to avoid this don’t let your lens stick into the ring … how was I to know the referee wasn’t only there to castigate the boxers.
Lesson 2: If you do stick your lens in the ring, when the referee isn’t looking, get it out fast when the boxers come near. The ropes are surprisingly flexible and despite not being in the ring you can be knocked quite a distance.
Lesson 3: The boxers are fast. Trying to improve your finger’s reflexes to capture shots of them in action, requires that:-
Either you master “The Force”. Unfortunately the boxing ring is not a conducive place to meditate.
Or you guess just beforehand where they are going to punch whilst also maintaining focus on a subject that keeps moving within the frame of your camera. Quite frankly nearly impossible without having spent years practising “spot the ball”.
Alternatively snap away and hope you get lucky. I chose this latter technique, which can on occasion bare fruit as demonstrated by this image.
Lesson 4: Note the rounds so you know when the fight is over. Then as the referee raises the arm of the winning boxer you won’t be left looking at the back of their heads, while the photographer for the boxing magazine has you in the background of his shot looking confused.
Lesson 5: When asked to photograph the winners after they leave the ring, remember that only one boxer will want to smile for the camera. I don’t recommend arguing with the other one just to create a nice picture, believe you me those gloves don’t soften the blow much when you’re hit on the nose!