Blog’s been quite for a while now but I think it’s time to speak as the dust has now settled.  Been very busy with this, that and the other thing and not only has it kept me away from the blog it has kept me away from Shannon.  While I have now made some time up to her, I can put some time back into the blog, and I see no better way to do that than by telling the story of the WFTDA’s North Central Regional Roller Derby tournament; Monumental Mayhem.

The event was to be held in the Indiana convention Center here in downtown Indianapolis because of the location.  There are hotels, food, fight clubs, entertainment, and everything a roving derby girl could want within walking distance.  The major problem that I had with the Convention Center was a very intense lighting situation that can be experienced with this set of photos from the last time we held an event there.  The light was abysmal the last time.  6400ISO at 1/400th of a second kind of abysmal.  Almost no light at all.  This is where my friends at Roberts Distributors and Manfrotto came to the rescue.  I approached Robert’s about possibly sponsoring the Tournament by hanging sport lights up in the catwalks which they could rent out during the bouts.  I must have thrown the correct number of pennies in to the fountain that week because they agreed, and provided 8 Elinchrom Style 600S heads, safety cables, power cables, and Pocket Wizard Multimax Transceivers, superclamps, and more just to make it work.   Manfrotto came to the rescue when we encountered a problem with hanging the lights and provided us with some DADO units, which then allowed us to hang the lights at a single point, as opposed to have to hang all the lights individually.  The lights, the Dado’s, and the Pocket Wizard Flex Units I love so much all worked together Flawlessly, as you can see below.

(Nikon D3, 800ISO, Nikon 70–200VR2@200mm, 1/320th@F4., Lights triggered by a Pocket Wizard TT1 on camera, and Pocket Wizard TT5’s on the lights I had each day)

That’s Blue Messiah from the Naptown Roller Girls whom I normally shoot regularly for here in Indianapolis.  This occasion though I had the honor of shooting for the WFTDA’s Big 5 Blog Recap (and other marketing) along with the Naptown Tornado Sirens, so I was not only doing double duty; but I was also assigned to shoot all 17 bouts.  To put 17 bouts into perspective, that’s sitting on a concrete floor for roughly 17 hours, as each bout is made up of two 30  minute halves with a 15 minute halftime.  Total for the weekend it appears as though I shot a little more than 7,000 frames of all these bouts, and the final results can be seen hereEven though Shannon was there with me for a lot of it, and Nick and Moxi from Robert’s were there too; it was still a heck of a long weekend of shooting and Epic Roller Derby.  

Hanging the lights was the hard part; especially since the Elinchroms weren’t the only ones up there.  Dynalites and Speedtrons also made it into the mix, which caused us to have quite the power outlet issue.  Once all that was resolved, the weekend went off without a hitch.

That’s the lot of it when it came to the gear.  Here’s a better shot of the Dado in Action with 2 out of 3 lights attached:

All the shots in the blog are using this lighting solution.  It enabled me to cover the entire court with light allowing me to shoot skaters anywhere, as well as including very tightly if I wanted.

(Nikon D3s, 3200ISO, Nikon 300mm F2.8DII with a Nikon TC20eIII taking it out to 600mm.  1/500th@F8.  Lights triggered by a Pocket Wizard TT1 on camera, and Pocket Wizard TT5’s on the lights I had each day)

Not only was there Epic Derby, but it was great to finally put some faces with names as there were a lot of people that I had heard of in the Derby Photo community but had never met.  There are still some of the greats out there that I’m very much looking forward to meeting in the future as well, but one step at a time right?  I’m still needing to settle down from all of the amazing derby that I saw last weekend, along with all of the photos that I took and now need to deal with…

(Nikon D3s, 2000ISO, Nikon 300mmF2.8DII with the Nikon TC14eII taking me out to 420mm.  1/500th@F5.6.  Lights triggered by a Pocket Wizard TT1 on camera, and Pocket Wizard TT5’s on the lights I had each day)

The weekend was a definite success when it came to the lighting, the tournament itself, and the fact that Naptown will be headed to Denver to play in the National Tournament: Continental Divide and Conquer.   Shannon and I will also be headed there with them.  We can’t wait to cheer the team on while they play at their first National Championship.  I’m excited becuase even though last weekend was the best derby that i’d ever shot; I’m also expecting to shoot Nationals which will be yet again the best derby I’ll have seen to date.  Not to mention the fact that I’ll get to meet some of the great derby shooters out there that don’t venture out this way much.  It’ll be a big weekend for everybody, including my old College Roomie who happens to live in Boulder now, and has never experienced roller derby before.

Special Thanks to everybody out there who was responsbile for making this tournament Happen.  The folks at WFTDA for being gracious in their busy time, and all the cool people at NRG who are too numerous to list.  None of it could have been done without all of them working together to the tune of being awesome.  Congratulations goes out to the teams that made it to the Monumental Mayhem Regional Roller Derby tournament, and even more congratulations to Windy City, Minnesota, and our own Naptown Tornado Sirens for making it to the national tournament.