I've met and befriended a few Versova locals. Here are some pictures from my last visit.
The plans was to photograph a few of the guys who were performing flips, tumbles, flying kicks, and other feats. The plan went accordingly save but one little surprise.
My assistant Sohan and I arrived where the locals had planted a sandbag for launching themselves off of to catch some air. None of the older boys were there yet but a younger resident named Krishna was happy to show off his skills until everyone else came.
For the shoot, I was packing my Sony A7iii with the Sigma 35mm 1.4 ART lens. I wanted to put the autofocus of the lens to the test because I feel this is perhaps the weakest feature of this Sigma lens. I did miss a lot of shots by not acquiring perfect focus despite shooting at 1/1000 of a second. I think the main issue was that I began taking shots when the focus was at infinity and the camera-lens combo wasn't always able to acquire focus of a rapidly moving person across the screen at short distance. I've a theory that I will probably need to follow the runner until he hits the bag and then bring my frame into position where I want it in order to get more keepers. I'll test this out next time.
Our second subject was Arun Mishra, a very talented gymnast/flying kicker. I'm not sure what his background is, to what extend he's involved in the martial arts, but he's pretty adept at several types of physical feats.
And the surprise I had mentioned earlier turned out to be the person I thought I was going to photograph performing jumps and flips, Anish Kumar Mishra. A case of lost in translation, I thought Anish has come to perform but it turned out he thought he had turned up for an impromptu portfolio shoot, which I was happy to oblige with anyway. He told me the besides acting he's a junior stuntman. I look forward to learning more about his life after he returns from a trip to visit family.