Postcard: Boxing In Black and White

Boxing and black-and-white film have gone together forever.

Henry Phillips

10:30 a.m.| Brooklyn, New York — There’s something about boxing and black-and-white film that pairs beautifully — whether it’s because the grain and grayscale recall boxing’s heyday in the 1960s, or that it evokes more of the raw emotion inside the ring. The medium and the sport are no strangers to each other. Would Raging Bull have had the same impact in color? There are thousands of photos from the night Muhammad Ali (then Cassius Clay) defeated Sonny Liston for the world heavyweight championship in 1964, many of them in color, but to my mind it’s the ones in black and white that convey that heroic, larger-than-life sense that boxing tries so hard to achieve.

With that in mind, I had to bring along some Kodak Tri-X during a recent venture to Gleason’s Boxing Gym in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge. The results were just as I’d hoped.

Photo Info: Mamiya 7II | f/4 | 1/125 | Ilford Delta 3200

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