Emerald City Roller Girls, george hurrell, hollywood, photo, photograph, photography, portrait, roller derby
Most of the potential clients I’ve shown my portrait portfolio, have pointed out that I really like to portray my human subjects as larger than life.
There is no doubt about it, whether it’s a friend I portray as a badass rock star
or as a Hollywood starlet from the ‘30s,
I do like to show my subjects as larger than life. I’m not sure if it comes from my love of the movies and studying film criticism or from my affinity to romantic and transcendental literature, but I certainly love that look in photos of people.
Thus, when I photographed a roller derby bout last Saturday I saw this tendency as an opportunity for some dramatic sports photography.
The light was difficult; it was approaching sunset and there were a set of windows on the Western side of the building while the artificial lighting in the auditorium could not compete with this at all. I immediately saw the opportunity for this sort of dramatic shot, but wanted a wider variety of images. However, after some experimentation, I came to the conclusion that the only practical way to get good exposures was to set a proper exposure for this dramatic lighting manually and then limit my shooting to only the areas on the track that were lit well. I was photographing with a good friend, Alethea Steingisser, and it was interesting to see that we came to similar but not identical solutions.
Then came the fun mental part, imagining making a movie about women’s roller derby. I watched for the skaters to enter the well-lit zone and when something dramatic began to happen I’d hold the shutter down until either the drama ended or my camera filled its buffer. Once home, I post processed these images to maintain the contrast and applied a subtle vignette.
Later that night there was a men’s bout, that was a blast to photograph, but the dramatic lighting had evaporated by then.
Please take a look at the rest of the images from this bout.