Back Shooting Roller Derby at the Brawl House

It has been about ten months since I last shot roller derby. I really love shooting the sport, but the opportunity just has not been there. Last night I took some group shots of the Lafayette Brawlin’ Dolls, and then stayed to shoot their scrimmage against the Kokomo City of Fists. It took a couple of jams for me to get back into the swing of things, but then it was being right back in the pocket. I love capturing the moments that occur during a jam. You cannot get them all, but when you nail one it is a great feeling. The thing that I like about photographing roller derby is the need to anticipate. Your subject may be hidden in the pack, but you need to be ready to make the photo when your window comes.

New Light at the Brawl House

The first thing that I noticed when I stepped back into the Brawl House was the LED lighting that had been installed. The overall light level may not have changed by much, but the light quality went up tremendously. When shooting natural light you don’t have to worry about the green or brown frame that would always happen with the previous lighting. It was a constant color which is great. I did still strobe some of the bout, but by the end I was just shooting natural light. I also decided to try and go for it by shooting at f/2.8 with my main camera. It was a scrimmage so I felt like I could gamble a bit. I liked the look of the backgrounds even if it cost me a few shots.

Support Your Local Roller Derby

The Brawlin’ Dolls have three home bouts this fall. They skate at the Tippecanoe County Fairgrounds in the Swine Barn. It really is a great experience to see in person. I was not sure of it when I went to my first bout three years ago, but now I am hooked. Here is the home schedule for this fall:

  • September 19 vs. Happy Camper Rollergirls
  • October 18 vs. Prairieland Punishers
  • November 14 vs Battle Creek Cereal Killers

More Photos From the Scrimmage

Here are a few bonus photos from the scrimmage. I shot the game very heavy due to a couple things. First of all I have not shot roller derby in a while. I was excited to do so, and I just kept firing away. The other reason was that I had the Canon 7D Mark II most of the time with its 10 frames per second. I would find my moment, and then fire a few frames off. I never liked to motor drive, but in some instances it can really be useful. I would pick my moment, and then fire off my shots. Looking through the photos I was happy to see that I avoided missing some shots this way when the skaters were blinking. It did make for a longer edit, but I was happy with the end product, and that is what matters. You can see my full gallery from the scrimmage here on my website.




















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About Pinola Photo

I am a sports and lifestyle photographer based in West Lafayette, IN home of Purdue University. I cover sports for Big Ten teams as well as other colleges. You can follow me on twitter @pinolaphoto. You can also view my website at www.davewegielphoto.net

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