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Breaking the MMA Lens: A conversation with Glenn Dextras – part 2

In the first part, we talked about Glenn’s equipment and the technical side of how he shoots a fight. In this part, we’ll get into some other aspects of his photography.

Once Glenn has chosen from the 2,000-3,000 photos he shoots at a fight, he uses Adobe Lightroom to do some minimal editing. He just crops. He doesn’t do any fancy editing or effects work, nor clean up the backgrounds or enhancing. He tries to get what he needs right out of the camera, like he’s shooting news. Glenn would rather shoot than edit.

As for his inspiration, Glenn uses MMA photographer extraordinaire Josh Hedges as his guide. Glenn spoke highly of Josh’s work and he uses his photos as motivation.

We talked about the interplay between photographers, video people and the media at an MMA event. Around the cage, there a lot going on. Everyone is jockeying for room around the cage and the fighters. It can get pushy sometimes. Glenn says that just like everything else, there’s all kinds of people. For the most part, he believes there is a friendly dynamic between the photographers and he hasn’t run into many problems.

What got Glenn into photography? He always gravitated toward art, even when he was young. Glenn’s dad used to take pictures. One day, when he was a kid, Glenn borrowed a camera from his dad.

That got him hooked and he hasn’t looked back since. He got so interested, he graduated from Ryerson University in 1995, majoring in photography.

His first chance to shoot MMA would come soon after. At the time, it was illegal in most places in Ontario, but there was a place he would get to shoot it and learn his craft. He started shooting at Indian reservations where it wasn’t illegal. That was his first chance to shoot the sport he loved. From there, he shot WW1 and then Hardcore MMA before doing all the bigger shows he does now. Glenn has done work from the Postmedia’s National Post and Canada.com divisions, to The Fight Network and Georges St-Pierre himself.

Not a one trick pony, Glenn has other photography interests. He loves to shoot his 10-year-old son’s hockey games. He also shoots for Durham Crusaders Hockey. And just like the rest of us, he shoots family and vacations.

It was a real pleasure to talk to Glenn. We spent a good 45 minutes going over techniques and comparing notes. It’s always good to learn some new things.

You never know enough when it comes to photography.

www.JoeLoBiancoPhotography.com

@Joe_LoBianco

Joe LoBiancohttp://www.JoeLoBiancoPhotography.com
Joe LoBianco writes the photography column Breaking the MMA Lens for MMA Crossfire. New columns on the 1st and 15th of each month.

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