Within A Split Second
28 March – 15 April
Boxing is music? Ballet is music?
Boxing and ballet are photogenic, that there is no argument.
C’mon then get in to the ring of life, stand toe to toe with your own humility and then dance inside the shadows of your opponents fears. Bowie, Muhammed Ali, Michael Jackson, Rocky Marciano, Mayweather and Sugar Ray Robinson etc, they all possessed this beautiful “movement” and technique that has fascinated me for all of my photographic life.
Speeding bullets, racing cars, horses, airplanes, anything that moves fast; these are the things that I want to photograph. “Caught” in the apex of their movement, “Within A Split Second” that is the order of things here and then there is “Ballet”.
Ballet? I hear you say.
Yes, indeed. No wires, no CGI just sheer perfect talent moving on stage, keep up with it if you can? Quick feet, you’ll need them, hearts beating so fast, and strong hands!
Me? I run to the arena on the night of the boxing event, all out of breath (carrying all of my camera gear) I park up early at ringside soaking up the atmosphere. All of the camera’s now ready, the matches start early and the novices are on 1st, all of this is leading to the main event of the evening and then suddenly the big guys are in the ring and the dance begins.
“Defend yourself at all times” shouts the referee as the boxers swerve and sway probably inside the most important 3 minutes of their lives…
Round 7 is now tiring.
Mistakes are made, body shots hurt now, breathing patterns have changed and the real challenge now begins!
“Stay off the ropes” “Watch his head”
“Don’t take the fight to him” “Let him come and find you”
His corner, men are screaming now! Ronald’s puffing and spitting, Billy knows it and he can sense the knockout coming soon. This ups his game and he takes chances, suddenly Ronald is on him with a combination of stinging punches… Billy is out!
“Within A Split Second” the fight is over and Ronald’s men invade the ring to cheer and lift their man.
Born 1954, London.
Went to school at St. Thomas More in Chelsea, raised by Scottish/Irish parents in Milbank, Westminster.
Father was a strong influence and mother was a loving soul. Growing up was a wonderful thing during the 60’s in London, everything was changing and Muhammed Ali and Sonny Listen were on the black and white tv regularly.
Style, fashion and music played an important role in my life and my father bought me my first camera in 1968. Our dad, ‘ginger’ (the major) took me along to Pinewood Studios in 1969 when I was 14 years of age and put me to work in the dark room.
I learnt quickly and after two years left to create my own portfolio of photographs, fashion photography was my choice and music too. I loved the work and the job was fun, so I became very successful quickly. In 1975, life exploded, I got married and started working for Vogue Worldwide, Sony Music, Life Magazine and Rolling Stone Magazine among many others. I built my first studio in London in 1977 in Covent Garden and boxing was something that I always loved to photograph.
I live in London, we have two sons Jack and Maximilian and I am married to my teenage girlfriend Sandy.