News and Views from Dave Wilson

Archive for September 9th, 2011

Texas Roller Derby

by on Sep.09, 2011, under Photography

Here’s another sport to add to the collection. Via our local “Photographers Adventure Group“, I was fortunate enough to get hold of a media pass to a recent Texas Roller Derby match at the Palmer Event Center and had a blast shooting during the Rhinestone Cowgirls/Cherry Bombs match. Roller Derby is an interesting sport involving two teams racing around an oval track with points scored based on the number of opposing team players that a team’s “Jammer” passes during each “jam” (or individual race). It’s all action and rather good entertainment.

Photographically, it was also quite a challenge since the lighting inside the hall is pretty awful – a mix of fluorescent and tungsten with an overall light level that was rather too low to get the shutter speed where you would want it to really freeze the action. I was shooting with f/2.8 lenses pretty much wide open all evening and was dealing with shutter speeds in the 1/180 to 1/250 range even with the ISO bumped up to 3200. Nevertheless, I’m happy with quite a few of the images I captured so here are a few of my favourites. You can find all the picks I sent to the TXRD folks in this gallery on SmugMug.


A fisheye shot of the arena taken with the camera on top of a fully extended monopod and held overhead. A 5 second self timer setting game me enough time to get the camera as high as possible before the shutter released.

Each team member has a roller derby name. This is Sacrilicious of the Cherry Bombs bombing around the track.

Rocky Casbah of the Cherry Bombs.

Eric seems to be a mascot or somesuch. Think if him as a guy dressed as Elvis dressed as an angel.

A couple of players await news of their fate after a penalty was granted. They ended up having to pillow fight in the middle of the track.

The matches can get pretty heated at times.

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