It’s been a quiet year for roller derby photography for me, and for photography in general – but what a year it’s been! I’ve shot for the Roller Derby World Cup, and two inaugural European tournaments: EuroCup in April, hosted by my own league, Rainy City Roller Derby, and then this weekend just gone, the incredible European Continental Cup, hosted by the Birmingham Blitz Dames.
With each tournament I shoot, I see my photos improving, and moreso this weekend than any other. It helped that the venue, Telford International Centre, was absolutely brilliant – we had multiple levels to shoot from, and it was well-lit, meaning that although I’d taken my speedlite again, to compensate for the small maximum aperture on my 100-300 lens, I didn’t need a huge amount of additional light (although I did have to shoot at ISO1000…)
So what were my highlights of the European Continental Cup weekend? With some of my favourite photos to illustrate, let me begin…
George’s alpaca was loaned out to various people through the weekend for hugs and more. One of my favourite uses by far was by one of the event photographers, Lotus Photography, who used it to lean her heavy zoom lens on!
The crowds (again…)
Roller derby crowds made it into my highlights of the Roller Derby World Cup as well, but once again, the crowds truly did put a grin on my face a number of times, from Central City Roller Derby‘s cheerleaders (not quite as impressive as the Fearleaders, but their embracing the team’s colour did a great job of telling toxic masculinity where to go…!)
… to Rainy City’s contingent stamping and shouting away in the stands. I think it was Alex Wilde who posted to her Instagram story with the hashtag #riotcityrollerderby and she wasn’t too far wrong… mind you, I want to know what the younger fan in the middle of the crowd has seen that everyone else apparently missed!
Dublin‘s crowds were perhaps the most enthusiastic of all, though…
Don’t get me wrong, I love an underdog, and I was crossing my fingers for Dublin in that final. But some of their skaters had skills I can only dream of. I got my first ever apex jump shot thanks to Boden…
Skaters in general…
Although I did feel sorry for the Newcastle skaters attempting to retrieve that helmet cover!
And whilst I know that Tiger Bay‘s Steph #19 is merely asking the team’s bench coach if it’s a power jam, I do enjoy the potential other possibilities…
Last but not least: Middlesbrough‘s Frodo Bashins’ rock hand, which I didn’t even see at the time I was shooting, but gave me a grin when I was editing later!
What else is there to say?
The half-time entertainment…
I only got a photo of one of the musicians providing half-time entertainment, although I loved all that I heard. This act in particular will make me smile for some time – their enthusiasm was incredibly infectious, and I remember turning round during this rendition of Smash Mouth’s All Star and having a brief dance-off with one of the other photographers!
Finally, last but by no means least…
The European Continental Cup volunteers and officials!
…without whom events like European Continental Cup simply couldn’t happen.
These two in particular were especially smiley… and one day, I too will wear this much purple in one outfit.
Bring on the next tournament! (Hopefully, by then, I’ll have sprung for that 200mm I was lusting after post-EuroCup…)