Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Silicon Valley Dot.Kamikazes vs Rat City's Sockit Wenches

Rat City's Sockit Wenches travel all the way to Silicon Valley for a bout versus the Dot.Kamikazes!

This was a cool bout for me because it's the first time I've seen any of the Rat City home-league teams play since my very first ever bout in 2007!   Back when Pia Mess played for the Sockit Wenches. I want to get back to Seattle to see some some Rat City home-league play. It hasn't worked out so far this year.... but I read on the internet that Rat City's home leagues are playing Rose City's home leagues in Portland in December.  Maybe I'll make it up north for those bouts.

In the here! and now! the Sockit Wenches take on the Dot.Kamikazes!  Some photo highlights!










 I know that some photographers, when they use off-camera flash, like the look of a well lit venue (even if it's a dimly lit roller rink in reality), but for now I'm really digging this skating in a cave look.  San Jose Skate is a "cave" but the reality is that it isn't quite this jet-black dim there






This is kinda funny.  This isn't the first time that the announcers, Skootr Ovr and Timothy Jordan have taken over the little box usually reserved for photographers in the in-field (apex of turns three and four).

skooter!  timothy!

As it turns out, those Monterrey girls are devoted fans too.

mbdd are fans

svrg_dot.kamikazes_vs_sockitwenches_L7019135 1

Sami Automatic




Another night of good derby comes to an end

another night of good derby comes to an end.

Ack! The shutter of my fancy camera died with about 5 minutes to go.  Team photos with my fancy phone.

Sad Trombone.

sent away to get repaired.

sad trombone.

the full flickr set is here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nocklebeast/sets/72157631155237648/

Monday, August 20, 2012

Silicon Valley KillaBytes vs South Coast Roller Derby

Headed up to San Jose for a double header (yes, I know the way to San Jose).

This is the "undercard" of the double-header.

Again experimenting with (one) off-camera flash.  Beaker offered a piggy back on his light stand, placed about at the "fifty yard line" on the backstrech (between turns two and three). Last week I tried 1/4 power at a similar position. This week I tried 1/16 power... perhaps a little underpowered, but defininitely not overpowered.

 piggy back.

I gotta still figure out the whole using players as gobos when shooting into the off-camera flash
still figuring this off-camera flash stuff out.

Got some nicely lit photos when shooting from the backstretch





or from turn two


reacting to fans yelling!

A little further away from turn two (turn one), the off-camera flash is a little diluted and I supplemented the light more with on-camera flash bounced off the ceiling.  San Jose Skate is a bit cave-like in real life, but the extreme contrast in post accentuates it... I like the look





some nice lighting when shooting from the inside at the apex of turn one and two



I just never get tired of this... when jammers know they're doin' good.  They smile.


I shoot with manual/mechanically focused lenses... it's a special/fun challenge that somtime produces hilarious results.... at least I crack myself up

It's true.  The autofocus on the Leica M8 is a little slow.

the full flickr set is here:


Friday, August 17, 2012

Monterrey Bay Derby Dames: Team Metal vs Team Pop

I headed down to Monterrey for Team Metal

team metal!

vs Team Pop!

team pop!

This was my first time using a remote controlled flash.

I set up one remote flash just short of the straight-away at turn two, aimed toward the pivot line.  The hockey glass is just behind the ref lane on the track (actually directly above the raffled off comfy couch seats). I stuck a green "gel" to try to match the ambient lighting to the flash.  I also had another flash on the camera I could adjust on the fly as well.

getting fancy

With my intuition built from using on-camera flash with manual settings, I mis-underestimated the flash setting. Or is it mis-overestimated the flash power?  I used the flash at 1/4 power, which is just about the maximum flash power that can be used but still have reasonably fast flash refresh rates (2 frames per second for 3 or maybe 4 frames).


I could easily cut the power by half or more.  This was too much flash (at least with using an ISO of 1250 and aperture of f.28-ish.  Team Pop's pink uniforms tended to be over-exposed and less color saturated.


Still I generally liked how the off-camera light had an interesting shape to it.



And creating interesting shadows

referees signal how many minor penalties each jammer has.

It worked out fairly well shooting from center track at turn one and two


although it was a bit of an interesting challenge shooting into the light at turn two.  One stratergery I developed was to just manually stop down the aperture ring as I pivoted from turn one to turn two


Now, when shooting with a digital rangefinder with manual focus lenses, I don't often get action sequences.  One way to get sequences is if the skaters skate really really slowly as in this dual between Astronaughty and Polly Fester in last year's Golden Bowl.

In the case of slow skating I can manually adjust the focus to keep up with the slowing skating skaters. 

But on this case on the inside I managed to get three shots in focus because the distance from me and the skaters doesn't change much as I pivot... and I got lucky and wasn't photo-bombed by a jam ref during this sequence of Smalls of Fury chasing Eve L Twin.




A few more photo highlights of the bout

rock and roll!






the full flickr set is here: