Monday, April 9, 2012

an injury timeout

Every once in a while, the topic of shooting injuries will come up among photographers that shoot derby.  It seems that the consensus is to shoot whatever you're comfortable with. Don't be a jerk. And maybe turn the flash off to be a bit more discrete.

As a photographer, the longest lens I typically shoot with is a 90mm (120mm equivalent in 35mm photography).  So, if the injury is on the other side of the track my lens just doesn't "reach that far."  In that case, documenting an injury on the other side of the track consists of me taking a shot of a roller girl taking a knee who is a little closer to me.

injury timeout

This sort of shot to document injuries suits me just fine, because as a fan, I'm a bit squeamish.  If an injury does happen within my lens' reach, I might shoot the girl down, and then realize, "oh, fuck! She's actually hurt," and then I'll just stop shooting.


Or I'll shoot it "artfully" out of focus.  Or is it squeamishly out of focus?

refs take a knee during an injury timeout at the Big O

As a fanboy, I have this roller derby fantasy. Rollergirls never get injured. Rollergirls never retire. They skate forever!!!!!

Now, as fantasies go, that isn't such a bad fantasy to have, but (sigh) it's not reality.

This last weekend, on the very first jam, a rollergirl goes down.  I actually missed what happened.  Sometimes with a camera in front of my face, I don't see everything.  I turn to my friend who is also sitting in the suicide zone near turn one, and he says, "uh.... her ankle is broken."  It's Mis Manners, one of the league founders of the Monterey Bay Derby Dames.  The paramedics walk onto the track.  They stabilize her ankle with some sort of instant-cardboard splint thing, and get her on the gurney with wheels.  Then a funny thing happens.  Mis Manners directs the paramedics to wheel her around so that she can wave to her fans.

And I get a shot that I'm not too squeamish to get. 

mis manners waves

Here's to Mis Manners, hoping for a speedy recovery.

(and a news article  Feisty Salinas City Council member breaks leg in roller derby bout)

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