The Joy of Photographing Roller Derby

Last night I was back at the Brawl House to photograph the Lafayette Brawlin’ Dolls at home one last time this season. On the same day I most likely photographed my last roller derby bout and football game. We are hitting that time of year when the sports seasons are changing as well. I really enjoy photographing both sports, and I don’t get enough opportunities to photograph them in my opinion. It is moments like the one above that make photographing the sport so much fun.

The Joys of High ISO

Roller derby is played in venues with notorious bad light. I usually do not strobe derby as I feel it boxes me in as far as where I can shoot from. I like to be able to move around if I feel that I need to. The good news is that I have equipment that allows me to shoot at a high enough ISO to be able to make the pictures that I need. In reality the new LED lights at the Brawl House make it much easier to photograph there. Being able to move around allows me to capture moments like the one above without having to worry about changing my settings on the way over to it. I can just focus on finding the moments which is what is important.

Being Ready For Luck to Strike

The photo above is one of my favorite shots from the night, and I was very lucky to have made the image. I say that a lot, and people will tell me that luck has nothing to do with it. I usually nod and agree, but in reality luck has a lot to do with images at a sporting event. You quickly realize when shooting sports that sometimes all that separates a good shot from an okay shot is your position. You can put yourself in the best position in the world, but the action may move away from you. Here LBD was doing a great job of containing the opposing teams jammer, and it luckily occurred right in front of me. Shots like these are like shooting a good blocking photo in football. You can do it, but you need some things to work in your favor for it to happen. Here I was lucky enough to not have people in the foreground. With refs skating all over the place that can be a tall order at time. Everything worked in my favor here, and I made an image that I really liked.

More Photos From the Bout

I put together an Exposure page with some of my favorite photos from the bout that you can find here. It is a larger gallery than normal, but there was a lot to photograph yesterday. It might be my favorite set of roller derby photos in a while.

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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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