Capturing the excitement of a Taekwondo tournament

On Saturday November 16th I attended and participated in an ATA taekwondo tournament. At my age, mid-50's, being able to get over the mental and physical road blocks is quite an accomplishment. It is for me, anyway. This is the first time that I've been able to do a little photography. The lighting was awful, not to the naked eye though. It was like any other convention center or gym lighting, perfect for spectating and competition. To photograph in those lighting conditions would normally require the use of additional lighting, typically a flash. Using a flash isn't really a good option without getting permission from the event organizers and I didn't have that permission. Since taekwondo requires extreme concentration and mental focus using a flash can be very distracting to some competitors.

So, I resorted to using an overly high ISO, 12,800, with a shutter speed of 1/500 to 1/800th of a second at F4.0. The 70/200 2.8 lens would have been a better choice but I didn't bring it to the tournament because of the added weight it contributed to my already heavy gear bag. It would have given my an added stop which in turn would have let me bumped the ISO down a bit. By next tournament I hope to come up with a solution.

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