Today marked the first full day of work covering the Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal event here in San Diego. I got up this morning and drove over to The Arena MMA, conveniently located in the shadow of the San Diego Sports Arena (I refuse to refer to this place by it’s new moniker Valley View Casino Center). A total of eight fighters cycled through the gym over the course of the day, and while the media turnout was bleak and the fighters didn’t get too crazy with their workouts, I still feel like I came away with some decent stuff.
As I’m sure you all know by now, I’m a big fan of off-camera flash for workouts. I mounted my Canon 580ex speedlite on a small kit stand and raised it to the top shelf (about 7′ high), and positioned it at roughly 90-degrees to my starting position. Though, at times, I roamed around the room putting the camera at various angles with respect to the light. The low white ceiling in the gym presented a challenge, as I typically go for the very dramatic lighting for the workouts. Usually, I point the flash straight up and use an omni-bounce over the face to diffuse the light. Doing that inside this gym, though, would have made the ceiling a huge soft box and created a very flat overhead light look, which frankly just isn’t what I like for workout images. So, I left the face of the flash bare and pointed it directly across the room to control the spread as much as possible. Unfortunately, doing this also means you have to depend on your subject to stay within a more narrow path to be hit with the light. I guess you could say I got lucky. I always try to prepare as best as possible, but sometimes, things just come down to luck. Take the Melendez stretching shots at the end of his workout series. Had he moved just a few feet to his right, or even just turned the other direction, the photos would have been considerably worse.
Anyways… On to the gallery. This is the full take that I transmitted to Getty Images.