Dancing in the night

Posted by Ziren (Singapore, Singapore) on 9 July 2014 in Sport & Recreation and Portfolio.

Shooting an assignment for the school fencing team has been an amazing experience. Prior to the shoots I had watched on Youtube some international fencing competitions, but much to my dismay the longest spar I've ever came across lasted barely ten seconds. Usually when I watch sports I find the emotional rollercoaster ride to be really exciting - the buildup of tension as the game picks up pace, and the subsequent adrenaline when one side is about to score a point, and the eventual resolution when one side walks away with the title. And so I didn't think much of fencing as a sport, as far as entertainment value is concerned. But when I actually shot the sport, when I actually talked to my fencer friends, I was shocked to learn of the myriad of fencing traditions, rules and techniques which sounded absolutely mesmerizing. As a photographer, then, my job was to make something that sounds mesmerizing into something that looks beautiful. And it really wasn't that hard a job, once I dived straight into it. The prise de fer, the thrust, the semicircular parry... And the wonder of photography is that it freezes a frame in time just enough to capture the poise of the fencer. The rapid rounds in international fencing happened way too quickly for unaccustomed eyes to discern the beautiful forms. But with photography I've managed to put it in 'bite-size chunks' from which I could appreciate the gracious forms of fencing, frame by frame. As it turned out, shooting fencing is like shooting dance.

Shooting any sport may be like shooting dance. So many sporting activities happen in a split second that I miss out on the captivating twists and turns of the human body. In fact, shooting anything at all may be just like shooting dance. Shooting is about isolating dazzling elements that happen all around us... Elements which would have been lost in the rapid pace of life had not someone decided to freeze it in the click of a shutter. It is especially in Singapore that I suppose the relentless march of the daily mundane finds its most dedicated followers. It is especially among Singaporeans that the freezing point of these dazzling moments are dramatically lowered. In science, freezing points are lowered by the objectionable presence of impurities. Are such impurities as these also present in our lives in the hustle and bustle of the little red dot?

I am Ziren Wang, a student from Raffles Institution, Singapore. I seek to contribute to the very community that introduced me to photography - my school. I frequently and delightfully use my photography skills to serve my school and my community, as a member of the photographic society.

Please visit my About page for my journey as a photographer.

Copyright © Ziren Wang 2009-2013

A Ming vase can be well-designed and well-made and is beautiful for that reason alone. I don't think this can be true for photography. Unless there is something a little incomplete and a little strange, it will simply look like a copy of something pretty. We won't take an interest in it. (John Loengard, "Pictures Under Discussion")

To take a photograph is to participate in another person's mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time's relentless melt. (Susan Sontag, "On Photography")

Le Krop from Charenton-le-Pont, France

Très très beau !

9 Jul 2014 1:20pm

@Le Krop: Merci beaucoup. J'espère que vous reviendrez!

Langevine from Angers, France


10 Jul 2014 12:02pm

@Langevine: Thank you!

Olivier from Manage, Belgium

wonderful capture , an outstandoing choregraphy...

12 Jul 2014 1:26pm

@Olivier: Hi Olivier. Indeed! One thing that keeps me coming back to my camera is how it helps me notice the small but beautiful things in life.