I almost did not photograph last weekend’s Bay Area Derby Pride double header. I would have missed something special.
My derby photographs were not special, although I took a few decent action pictures somehow. There are two slideshows below the next two photographs.
In the second bout, Richmond Wrecking Belles defeated the San Francisco ShEvil Dead.
In the first bout, the Berkeley Resistance lost to the Oakland Outlaws.
A former skater coached the winning Oakland team, and an injured skater coached the other winning team.
Two contestants won the rainbow whip cream eating contest.
The bearded man was one of the winners. I have pictures to prove it.
After the first bout, the skaters gathered while a referee was honored. Then the rest of us were honored to be in the presence of something special.
I would do anything for love (but I won’t do that) – Meat Loaf (1993)
Links to photo galleries included at the end
I almost did not attend the 2015 D1 WFTDA International Roller Derby Tournament in Tucson, Arizona last weekend. Even though I love roller derby, I was scared. At the beginning of September I visited my neurologist after listening to another Oliver Sacks interview. I suspected that I had prosopagnosia (face blindness). I thought that I was losing my mind and I was afraid to spend three days in the desert meeting (and re-meeting) people, but I couldn’t let my fear stop me.
I remember people. I just do not remember their faces. I remember Joy Collision when she skated at the 2012 Western Division Regional Tournament. (she is pictured above greeting friends). I remember that her number (747) is the same as a jet. I know that Joy Division became New Order after the lead singer committed suicide and I know that Joy looks like the person who sells avocados at my local farmer’s market (though I am probably wrong about this last one). When Joy wears the red 2015 WFTDA Tucson Playoffs shirt and maintains that expression, I will recognize her.… Read the rest
The Bay Area Derby Girls opened the 2015 regular season on International Pi Day. Berkeley won the first bout against San Francisco (photo gallery here), and Oakland defeated Richmond in the second bout. (photos here.) Four people competed in a pie eating contest, which the audience won. The derby and sunset were grand, as was the marching band. I searched for circles.
Pi Day is a real thing. In case you forgot the formula for measuring the area of a circle or cylinder, you can find it on the page International Pi Day page. I learned the origin of the joke that “Pies aren’t square; they are round.” I also learned that there was a such a thing as a Pi joke.
I am too literal to laugh at math jokes. I tried to photograph the first several numbers of Pi, but I couldn’t find the necessary skaters after #31. (I wanted a series of skaters so that I could reproduce 3.14159…..… Read the rest
I first published this blog post on Saturday July 19, 2014, one week after the Bay Area Derby Girls regular season double header at The Craneway Pavilion in Richmond, California. The bouts decided which teams will skate for the regular season title on August 23, 2014. You can see the entire photo gallery here.
I chose photos that highlighted the work of the officials. I liked the idea of my post, but my words bored me. I wanted to say something better to honor the contributions of derby officials. I do not know if my edits will improve the article, but at least I can think about how I can express myself better for the next time.
At derby bouts, I wish I could follow myself around and take my picture. Nearly everyone who participates has a derby name and persona. I am P Giddy. P Giddy is a great name, but I struggle putting on my persona.… Read the rest
Ten Days. That’s how long it takes for me to recover from photographing roller derby on Father’s Day weekend. (I don’t know how long it takes for the skaters.)
When the schedule for the 2014 Golden Bowl roller derby tournament was released, I was excited. Four top WFTDA teams would compete at a Bay Area venue that provides great photo opportunities. I would celebrate the end of the school year by photographing the Windy City Rollers, the Hollywood Scarlets, the San Diego SoCal team, and the local Golden Girls. I forgot about Father’s Day.
Each year, I forget that Father’s Day is going to be difficult. I love being a father more than anything. Father’s Day and derby are not a conflict. I love bringing my kids to derby, and they love going. Father’s Day is just a difficult day for me to remember that I love being a father, because my father and I had a difficult relationship. He’s been dead for almost ten years and we still have a difficult relationship.… Read the rest
I am an official photographers for the [wb_fb_f name=”bayareaderbygirls” id=””] . I have a camera, a press badge and a really cool derby name. (I am P Giddy.) One of my friends asked me how I lucked into this gig. I really do not know. I showed up one day after attending a bout. I think I will keep showing up until they tell me its time to leave.
The B.ay A.rea D.erby Girl Season Opener! was last weekend. I posted derby photos on my blog and my personal Facebook page, but many of my best photos were not seen. I combined two events into one post and the slideshows were inside the blog post. I am posting the derby photos again today so that more people can see more derby photos.
I posted the photo above of [wb_fb_f name=”Ydot.Otter” id=””] on my Facebook page.… Read the rest
When I review my photos at the end of each year, I am always surprised. How did I get so lucky? Yesterday I recalled meeting track legend Tommie Smith. Today I am overwhelmed that I photograph women’s flat track roller derby for the B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls.
The league has four regular season teams and one traveling all-star team. The Golden Girls, the BAD Girls all-star team, are ranked second by the WFTDA, as of November 30, 2013. BAD finished 3rd at last month’s WFTDA Championships.
I photographed most of the BAD Girl local bouts. I also traveled to Santa Cruz when the Santa Cruz Derby Girls opened their new downtown facility. My wife and children came with me. Our friends from Monterey met us at the arena with their two children.
Many of my favorite photos included children. While being a father might preclude me from traveling every weekend to a derby tournament, it does not interfere with being a derby photographer.… Read the rest
A Bay Area teacher friend drove to Brooks Institute this week for The Teachers’ Workshop. When I worked for Brooks, veteran high school photography teachers often shared stories about Brooks’ summer workshops in Santa Barbara. Teachers enjoyed meeting other high school teachers and the Brooks instructors. A few teachers recalled sailing with the founder Ernie Brooks off the Santa Barbara coast. Across the country, teachers would ask about the summer Brooks workshop and our instructors. Teachers thanked me for the work of David Litschel one of the founders of the Photo Imaging Education Association.
By the time I worked for Brooks, high school teachers had less contact with Brooks faculty and more contact with people like me. While I benefited, I knew that high school teachers would understand more about Brooks if the high school educators visited the campus and met our instructors, so I argued that the college reinstate the summer teacher workshop.… Read the rest
I went to photograph women’s flat track roller derby … and an animal adoption fair broke out. The four regular season teams of the B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls skated in a doubleheader and, though I can’t be sure of the final score, I think the all-volunteer non-profit Rocket Dog Rescue won. (To See more photos from the doubleheader, go to this link)
I visited the Rocket Dog Rescue booth several times during the night and each time I felt better. I also noticed when I was reviewing my photos that I took the long way around the track so that I would walk by their booth. After a few minutes shooting derby, I missed the dogs (not so much the cats, but they were cute too). Each time I visited the booth, at least one derby fan was playing with the animals. Often, there was a line.
I tried not to get too close, but not because I was afraid of getting physically hurt.… Read the rest
When I fell in love with women’s flat track derby, I was already a fan. Derby answered a nagging question… or rather, derby helped me answer all those people at UC Santa Barbara who nagged me with the question, “So, what is a man gonna do with a BA in Women’s Studies?” This man is gonna listen to Joan Jett, drink a beer, eat a vegetarian tamale, and watch women skate around in a circle and hit each other.
Finally, I could go somewhere an not worry about my bad reputation (not that I really worry anyway). Derby had all types of women competing and every demographic supporting their aunts, sisters, mothers, girl friends, daughters and friends. Derby was like Glee all grown up, except I knew the music, I understood the references, and every competitor was someone I wanted my daughter to meet. One of the skaters even named herself belle RIGHT hooks!… Read the rest