If you are like me, you are probably still scrabbling for Christmas gifts. Here's a good one, albeit a bit on the expensive side. It's a photo book called, "AT THE FIGHTS: Inside the World of Professional Boxing."
Photographer Howard Schatz offers a unique perspective with this 224-page book, that includes 320 photos. Schatz had unparalleled access while putting this book together over the course of six years. He photographed the world's top fighters -- Manny Pacquiao, Andre Ward, Sergio Martinez, Bernard Hopkins, Tim Bradley, Wladimir Klitschko, among others.
However, also inlcuded in this work are many of the people who make the sport work - managers, promoters, trainers, cutmen, judges, referees and journalists. And the fighters on his pages range from all-time greats to four-round kids just starting out.
And while there are some action shots, it is Schatz's unique portraits that make this book unforgetable. There are time-lapsed images, multi-exposure shots, plenty of use of water and an incredible two-page layout of Sugar Shane Mosley shadow boxing. On average, Schatz shot over 1,000 photographs during each studio session sitting, which adds up to over 100,000 images for this book.
"The sports photographer is a hunter who prepares well and waits for the moment of action – I am a studio photographer, I prepare and work to make a moment,” said Schatz. “I attempt to create something that hasn’t been seen before.”
With this book, he has surely achieved his goal.
It's an oversized book, published by Sports Illustrated Books and has a list price of $75.