Thursday, December 23, 2010

Return of the Scrooge

With the holiday season in full swing, I photographed Bag & Baggage Productions' "The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge" and wanted to share some of photos of this great production. The lighting was very dramatic, but very challenging to photograph. Some scenes were lit primarily with numerous gelled lights, including different color gels from either side. That creates some very colorfully weird shadows and skin tone is nearly impossible to correct for. But really, what fun would it be if everything were just plain and blah? Right?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Flagging some Footballs

While I tend to focus on derby with my pictures and blog posts (with a few theater posts mixed in from time to time), I do like to go photograph a lot of various events and sports. This weekend I spent a couple of hours at the Underdog Portland flag football tournament, the "Rain Bowl 2010" to shoot my friends' team called "Man Punts".

Events like this don't get a lot of photographers' attention because there isn't any money in it and there isn't a real audience for the photos, but I think they are a lot of fun and can you can get some pretty sweet photos out of it. In flag football, people leave their feet a lot to dive for flags as someone jukes and dekes by the defense. And while there aren't the big hits you find in tackle football (usually), there is a lot of action going on. My photos from this tourney aren't spectacular, but it was a fun time and some decent action shots.

Monday, October 25, 2010

If Looks Could Kill

The action when photographing a derby bout can be awesome. There are some brutal hits, some amazing plays and some kick ass skating. The skaters on the track can wow the crowd with their ability to move around the track at high speeds and put some ferocious hits on each other.

However, besides the action, another great thing you can capture while photographing derby is the reaction. From the stands you may not always see it, but the photos can show some great expressions of pain, frustration, determination and pure joy.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Brutal and Adorable

Roller derby juxtaposes and mixes many things. Beauty and athleticism. Speed and power. Offense and defense at the same time. But one of the more interesting contrasts in roller derby is the brutal nature of the sport with crashes and injuries, and the family-centered and kid-friendly nature as you see the little kids asking for autographs and idolizing the strong women on the track. It can be difficult sometimes as some children may see some violent play that lead to some gruesome injuries, boutfits that may be a little suggestive and derby names that can be funny for adults, but very inappropriate for children to repeat (Wetback Attack and Queen Bee Yotch come to mind). The fact that the sport isn't black and white, but is a mixture of everything from A to Z is what makes me love the sport as a photographer and a sports fan.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Derby Omnibus

A few bouts (Emerald City Roller Girls and Lilac City rocked it), a Sick Town practice and some team pictures. Here are a few from the various events. And starting out showing the refs some love above.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Poppin that Cherry City!

On July 17, 2010, the Cherry City Derby Girls unveiled their four new teams and competed at Roller Rama. This was the first time the teams within the Cherry City league were announced and they paired off to compete in a bout. Here are some of the images I shot from that bout.

Before the bout they had a demonstration bout featuring those incoming skaters not yet able to compete. A couple of friends from my time in grad school are on that team including "Stiffler's Mom" seen below.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Indecent Exposure or Flashing?

When shooting derby, the lighting can often be the toughest part to deal with. They are skating fast, so you need a fast shutter speed, and many bouts happen in dark, poorly lit barn-like buildings. This last bout between Lilac City and Sick Town was in a large building at the Linn County Fairgrounds with just some fluorescent lighting and some translucent windows that lets in some diffused sunlight. So the question is whether to use the light available or use a flash. The light available provided enough light to get some decent shutter speeds, but it is very flat light and the skaters don't stand out very well from the crowd. Using a flash helps bring out the skaters from the background with more contrast, but the flash doesn't cycle very quickly and the distance between the flash and the subject changes so quickly the flash doesn't always adjust right. You can see the differences below. So what do you think? Which seems to be the better way to go? Sharper images when you get them with a flash? Or no flash and make sure you don't miss any shots due to slow flash recycling times?