Sunday, March 8, 2015

the Kaiser Permanente Arena as a venue for roller derby

For two years the Santa Cruz Derby Girls skated at the Kaiser Permanente Arena, and this is a little something about what it was like to shoot there.


The place is lit.  

The KP Arena is not a dimly lit roller rink (with weirdly colored walls or ceilings) or a dimly lit warehouse.

It's lit for television, but the lighting is fine for still photography of what is at times a fast moving sport.

Pippi Hardsocking #45 breaks out of the pack wearing skull kneepads

Setting the exposure at the KP Arena was wonderful because all the thinking about it was thought and finished with long ago.  The only thing left to do was the doing.  Set the ISO to 1250, aperture at f2.8, shutter speed at 1/750.  The shutter speed could of been set to 1/1000th, but I wanted to make sure that faces were lit, and I could always burn the highlights in post.  Exposure was just that easy.

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Often times with the black and white camera I'd stop it down to f4 and double the ISO


Every once in a while I'd shoot wide open and set the shutter dial to "A" if I didn't want to think too hard doing the f-stop math.

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 I always had to adjust the color balance a little bit.  Perhaps it was the light, perhaps it was the light reflected off of the blue track, or maybe it was my camera's quirky sense of color.  Sometimes the Undead Betties purple uniforms were a bit too blue


and sometimes skin tones, especially in the shadows were a bit too red or purple,

some times it pays off to get a sneak 
preview of the halftime show before the doors open.

but these are minor quibbles.  Nothing like dealing with mixing flash and green flourescents or the glorious oompa-loompa skin tones made from shooting under sodium lamps.

It was a roomy enough venue; you could shoot from the inside,


including action shots of the referees on the inside of the track.

killahertz is not lead jammer. he's not even pointing at the lead jammer!

 I could always get some nice shots of the referees conferring on the inside,

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and I often could get some fun shots of warmups within the ref lane on the inside before the general audience was let in the door.




Just trying to get over reminiscing about the old days.

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