Book Review: Into Battle by Neil Gunner


Neil Gunner Shares His Roller Derby Photos

A couple of weeks ago I saw a post about a self published book of roller derby photos by Neil Gunner. This year due to some crazy circumstances I have shot less roller derby than ever before. One of my favorite things to do is to make portraits of the women of roller derby, and I was not able to do that this year. I only shot one game and one scrimmage so far. I really love this sport because there are photos everywhere. It is a great sport to be a part of, and this book shows that. Neil goes into the sport in a way that only an insider can do.

I have talked on this blog for a long time about the work that these skaters and the other volunteers put in so that you can enjoy the game. This book shows a bout from start to finish. The venues change from photo to photo, but the love for the sport is in every shot. You can see the venue becoming derby ready as well as the skaters. Throughout the book you see the different aspects of derby that make it the great sport that it is. One section that surprised me a little was the section dealing with injuries. This is a topic that divides derby photographers. Do you shoot the injured skater or not? Some will not even shoot the injury let alone publish the photos in a book. The true nature of the sport is to embrace the danger though so I am not surprised that the skaters approved the photos that appear in the book.

Speaking of the skaters they are represented by more than their photos in this book. You get their own words about the photo, or just the subject of roller derby. I have thought of a few photo projects with our local league here in Lafayette, and many of them deal with the lives of the skaters. This book lets you into the world of roller derby in the best way possible. After reading through it twice I came to the conclusion that I really need to get out and find a game to photograph.

Should You Buy This Book?

So far I don’t think that I have talked about a book that I wouldn’t recommend. In fact I liked this book enough to bump a couple of more timely books back a bit in the order of posts. This book is beautifully put together, and is well worth the modest price. If you want to buy a copy you can click here to go to Neil’s site to order the book. While you are there you can preview a few pages of the book. This is a must buy if you are a roller derby fan.



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