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2016 Yakima Karate Tournament Weekend

2016 Yakima Karate Tournament Weekend

Last weekend, Nadia and I drove to Yakima, WA to compete in a karate tournament hosted by the Yakima School of Karate. It’s the third time Nadia and I have attended together.

On the way there, we drove over Snoqualmie Pass. At the top, we stopped at a rest area where we had a chance to stretch our legs, play in the snow, and take a few pictures. These were edited in DxO with FilmPack, touched up in Athentech’s Perfectly Clear, and tweaked in Lightroom.


Nadia was standing on a snow mound with a pile of snow behind her for this shot. It made for a nice high-key effect.


Amazingly, the roads were bare.

Let’s talk about the karate. Nadia is 8 years old. She earned 3rd place in katas, and 1st place in sparring. Her division was a co-ed and made up of 7 and 8 year olds. She had a blast, and I’m super proud of her.

I competed in three divisions below black belt. First was weapons, and I forgot part of my weapons kata, recovered, but  showed it. Second was kata for the men’s senior division. I earned 1st place in this division (my 2nd time in the last three years). The last division I competed in was the sparring division. I’ve never made it past the first round at this tournament. However, this year, I don’t feel too bad, since the guy I fought actually won first place, and he outweighed me by 130 pounds! Here’s a video someone took with their phone (I apologize for the poor quality, but at least it’s something). I’m the little guy! Needless to say, I was quite relieved when the match was over and I wasn’t injured (he broke three ribs on another guy that fought him).

Since I was competing, being a dad, and didn’t have a great place to leave my gear, I decided to pack light. Furthermore, I knew I’d be handing my camera off to people to take photos of Nadia and me, but also Nadia would be taking photos of me while I competed (only one turned out ok). Thus, I decided against bringing my Canon 7D Mark II, 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, and 50mm f/1.2L. Instead, I opted for the GX8, Leica 25mm f/1.4, and Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8.

The lighting is typical of a community college gymnasium, poor quality, greenish light. I used a custom white balance, set my ISO to at least 1600, and kept the shutter speed fast enough to freeze the action. I used the continuous zone focus and high speed shooting.

The photos were edited using DxO 10 with FilmPack using the Kodak Ektar preset. They have been further tweaked using Athentech’s Perfectly Clear and Lightroom.


Pre tournament talk.


National Anthem


His dad’s a professional photographer, so this kid is always looking at the camera.


Nadia’s finishing move in Heian Sandan (kata).


Did I mention that this kid is always looking at the camera. Sigh…


Josef Lowry won most inspirational at the tournament. He was helping out everyone and was everywhere. Also, an amazing martial artist.


Isaac rocks! This kid practices, trains hard, and always gives it his all.


Nadia beat all of her competitors.


It’s customary to shake the judges hand and bow after the awards are handed out.


Otha just earned his black belt a few months ago and made it to the final rounds of the tournament.


An intimate moment shared between our Senseis and Shihan Mack.


Looking pretty good for a guy that was a pedestrian and hit by a truck a few weeks earlier. I could train for the next 20 years and never be able to do the things that Mr. Adams can do. He’s an amazing martial artist and always willing to help you train.

2360802b-dc3d-4db9-87b0-81255993a05cI don’t think this counted for a point, but owwww!

The GX8 does well enough for sports, but it really needs a bigger buffer. I was shooting RAW, using a fast card, and it was only good for short quick bursts. The 20 megapixel sensor of the GX8 really helps when it comes to post processing. I cropped many a shot for composition sakes, and the image held up fairly well. Of course, they are a little grainy, but considering it’s a micro 4/3 sensor, I’d say the images held up very well considering the high ISO that was used. The 40-150mm really gives a great amount of reach and is quite sharp. I rarely used the full focal range though, but it was nice to have. Lastly, I bought DxO 10 today since it was on sale and I believe the RAW processing of the GX8 files look better with DxO than they do with Lightroom.

I only took one video during the weekend, and I shot it with my iPhone. Ironic, because the GX8 shoots wonderful 4K. Since the video isn’t meant to be professional quality, and it was really just for fun, I published it to YouTube and did my edits there. I had YouTube stabilize the footage, make the video a little brighter, a touch more contrast, increased the saturation, and cooled the color temperature slightly. Let me know what you think of the quality.

For more photos check out www.bershatsky.net.


Noah Bershatsky

Noah Bershatsky

I was a nerd before hipsters were cool.

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