Sunday, December 18, 2011

SCDG Grom Skatemare before Xmas

Junior derbiers from Santa Cruz and Silicon Valley got together to scrimmage some derby in black and white uniforms.

In little ol' Santa Cruz, junior derbiers are called groms.


In Santa Cruz we even have grom referees! (Does your town have grom referees?)

grom referees


santa cruz shark

And our grom referees even play roller ball! (yeah, hard core!)

roller ball?

The grom scrimmage takes place at a west-side Santa Cruz warehouse. The warehouse is made of concrete.  And your Mom doesn't work here (unless you're a grom)

(unless you are a Grom)

And no roller derby photo set is really complete without an obscure Repo Man reference (every skate bag has one).

every skate bag has one

Oh, and it's early in the morning, so some extreme closeup soft focus photos are in order


Dewey the Elf

a merry elf

After some warm ups, it's finally time for the big bout... but first groms gotta line up for an equipment check


and time for a grom census

kHz takes the grom census

From the center of the track I'll shoot with my 60mm without flash, clinging to the pillar at the apex of turn 1 and 2 since the light is a little brighter there




Once I scan past the pillar, I often get "bombed" by one of the jam refs and I'm shooting directly into the sunlight from the door to the outside, which can make for some interesting photographs (albeit some what challenging).





On the outside of the track, I'll shoot with the 90mm with flash in TTL mode.  In TTL (thru-the-lens) mode the flash fires off a little pre-flash before the camera's shutter opens.  The light from the pre-flash and the surroundings reflect off the shutter curtain in the camera into a little diode or something and the fancy camera's little brain communicates with on-camera fancy flash attachment's little brain and the flash decides at what power to fire at and bam! The camera's shutter fires, the flash fires!

At one point during the scrimmage, I became fascinated with shooting directly into the sunlight at the apex of turn 3 and 4. And I eventually figured out that the little brains of the camera and flash talking to each other just wasn't working.  They were getting confused by the very bright back-lighting from the sunny doorway.  So I switched the flash from TTL to manual mode and after some shots settled on a little less than half power and 60 degree and then 45 degree tilt. Now the camera's brain and the flash's brain don't have to think anymore.  Don't think, just do!  Camera: ISO=1250, shutter speed=1/250th, shutter fires, bam!  Flash: power=a little less than 1/2, reflector set at 105mm field of view, flash fires, bam!


With no time for thinking, the camera seems a bit more responsive and even the flash seems to refresh itself much more quickly.









A sunny winter afternoon's derby comes to and end

an afternoon of good derby comes to an end.

the full set on flickr is here:

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