GESO - Aikido belt tests

Larry Colen lrc at
Tue Oct 6 12:39:54 EDT 2009

On Tue, Oct 06, 2009 at 06:02:03AM -0700, Theodore Beilby wrote:
> My opinion, the first shot really it. I realize that it doesn't show much action, but to me, it is right visually. I like the composition of the background.
> Ted Beilby

Thanks a bunch for noticing. That is one of the shots that I took with
the aim of photographic composition rather than capturing action. I
wanted to capture the picture of O Sensei (the founder of Aikido), the
calligraphy and the students. I had to position myself carefully so
that I wouldn't get too much reflection on the portrait or the

After that, it was a case of waiting for the action to happen in a
place fortuitous to the composition.

And, yes Boris, knowing how to take a fall is critical. It's pretty
much the first thing you learn, and something you practice as much, or
more than throwing. It's also the one part of Aikido that I've ever
really needed.  Years ago, I had a get-off where I parted company with
my motorcycle at probably 40-50 MPH. 

A few months later the guy that was in the car in front of me
recognized me at a trade show. He watched the incident in the
mirror. Traffic had suddenly come to a stop. I hit the brakes, the
front end went out from under the bike and I was launched six or eight
feet in the air. He said that the roll I did was very impressive.


The first step is learning to take great photos, 
the second step is learning to throw away ones that are merely good.
Larry Colen             lrc at  

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