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In the Crunch | by St Paul Paul
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In the Crunch

The more I shoot roller derby, the more I get comfortable with it and start to experiment.


Lately I've taken to using my zoom more, going in tight on the skaters during play. This is pretty darn difficult, actually, because your field of view is so small. When you shoot wide-angle you're bound to get something useful in, say, every other shot that you can crop to. But when you shoot tight like this there's no forgiveness. The shot either works or it doesn't. And for me, 6 out of 7 times it doesn't. Derby is just too chaotic and fast for me to get a higher success rate.


But when it does work, it's great! :-)


This is North Star Roller Girls action from January 31, 2009. (The same bout as the shot with the Star Wars characters earlier in my stream.) Clockwise from L, Medusa of the Violent Femmes is blocking Black Sunshine of the Kilmore Girls, while Kayzilla (with the star on her helmet) tries to break past for a score. I was standing about 15 feet away from the action on the inside of the track, shooting with the fantastic Nikon 70-200 2.8 VR lens at about 110mm.


It looks fine in color, but I'm posting it black and white because it's so darn dramatic! :-)


The backlighting, BTW, is no accident. I'm proud to say it's my own Nikon SB600 flash, mounted on the outside of the track and triggered remotely by an SB800 on my camera.


The North Star Roller Girls are *fantastic* fun and I urge everyone I know in the Twin Cities to come and see them. Or if you live elsewhere, to go see roller derby in your own hometown. It's a fantastic sport, and the women who play it are among the most delightful people I've ever met in my life. :-)


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Taken on January 31, 2009