Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.


One of my son’s is a competitive fencer. Yup, that’s right….Zorro, The Three Musketeers, you got it. I knew absolutely nothing about the sport before he decided he wanted to take it up four or five years ago. At this point, he really has become quite good at it; good enough to compete on a national level. Now, generally speaking, I really am not much of a sports person (though, living in Pittsburgh, I do love those Steeler games), but, I have to say, I find fencing fascinating, graceful, and exciting. There is a good reason that the sport has been nicknamed ‘physical chess’. Because it is such an eclectic sport, at least in the USA (I understand it is much more popular and mainstream in Europe), there is a rather interesting subculture surrounding it.

When I go to some of the competitions, I bring my camera. However, I am generally not looking for action shots (and besides, the lighting for such shots tends to be pretty poor). I tend to go for the abstracts and the intentional motion blurs. I also like to use a photojournalistic approach to try and capture the ‘flavor’ of what it is like to be at a fencing competition.

Copyright Howard Grill

At any rate, this coming weekend I am taking my son to The Arnold Fencing Classic in Columbus, Ohio, organized by none other than The Arnold (Schwarzenegger). It actually is more like a yearly fun meet than an intense competition, but I am going to take a camera. My thought is that there are probably relatively few folks out there that are familiar with such competitions and that it might be interesting to post some of the images to try and convey what it is like.

Thus far I have managed to post to the blog on a daily basis and plan to continue over this weekend as well, hopefully with some fencing images. There are, of course, probably still some hotels around that don’t provide internet connectivity….I am assuming that the one that I will be in won’t be part of that ‘elite’ group, but I guess one can never be sure!