Jackson Hole Roller Derby

Last night the Jackson Hole Roller Derby Juggernauts, normally the Valley Vixens and Grizzly Belles, became the Heros and Villains in what

I said stay down!

I said stay down!

was their last match of the season.  They have competed all throughout the summer of 2013 with different teams.  To make things interesting, each team dressed up as either super villains or super heros.  It made their normally entertaining costumes absolutely outrageously funny.

One of the photos I ended up with is on the right.  The fun thing about photography is that sometimes you end up capturing something that totally did not exist.  In the photo, it looks like the super hero is going for the knock out punch on the super villain.  The best part is the super hero looks like she is just going to clock the super villain more as a slightly irritating job and without anger.  It as though she said, “Look, I have to defeat you and then get back to my newspaper job.  Don’t take this personally.”

Team costumes

Team costumes

The technical

Photographing roller derby is fairly difficult, as the rink is dark and the racers are tightly packed in, so there are a lot of blurry and out of focus pictures.  One trick I did was to shoot in 12-bit raw, intentionally underexposing a stop, allowing for a faster shutter speed and slightly wider depth of field.  The plan was to get sharper images and sacrifice a stop of light.  Since I was shooting in raw, I would easily be able to recover one stop of exposure in Lightroom and just apply it across the board.  I have used this technique when shooting bands, too.

Most of the shots were done at 1/320 sec at f3.2 and at ISO 1600.  On the Nikon D300s, ISO

Pain of blurry shots

Blurry shots are painful

1600 is fairly grainy.  Although that is not ideal, blurry images from a slower shutter speed or shallower depth of field is far worse.  Grain can be fixed or ignored, blur cannot.

I shot with the Nikon 180mm f2.8 and the 85mm f1.4D lenses.  Although I would have liked to use a 70-200mm f2.8 VRII, that lens is a little out of the budget at $2300.  Since I don’t shoot too many sporting events, it really isn’t an issue.  Plus, the new lens is a G version, meaning there is no aperture ring, making it impractical to use the lens for time lapse videos.

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