1. My photo of the Masonic Temple after the Detroit Derby Girls' February 8th double header will be available as a 9x14in print (other sizes by request). They'll be $30 each, and $22.51 from each sale will go to this season's injured skaters to help with their out-of-pocket medical costs. 

    For orders and special requests, please comment below, send me a message through Facebook, or use rustbeltraw@gmail.com. Plastic (Visa, AmEx, and MasterCard), check, and cash accepted.

     

  2. February and March have been quite busy, though you wouldn’t know if from the traffic here. More news tomorrow, when I venture out with the Detroit Mower Gang at Dorais Velodrome. Later, naturally, there will be derby. National-level, Detroit vs. Tampa roller derby. 

     
  3. At last year’s auto show, I decided I was going to get good at derby photography. Celebrating the anniversary by joining the DDG at NAIAS once more. This time, I’ll be on skates, too. 

    What a year it’s been. Already looking forward to the next one. 

     
  4. My second-longest photo session so far.

     
  5. Cirque du Womp, ready for blast-off.

     

  6. Shooting Cirque du Solstice tonight. 6-7 hours of fast action in minimal light. Need to balance UV glows with flash. Hard as hell, but feels like home. 

    Special thanks to Angela of the Flow Fairies and Detroit Fire Collective for organizing it, and getting yours truly onto a pretty packed media list. 

     
  7. Remnants of a house burned down along I-94 around 2AM. Focusing on this town’s negatives and past won’t move us forward, but neither can we ignore real and present problems. 

     
  8. Camera all dressed up for tonight’s Pistoffs vs. Grand Prix Madonnas bout.

     

  9. Loaded up for the Downriver Roller Dollz Season’s Beatings bout at Skateland this evening. Doors 7PM, first whistle at 8PM. Santa hats and carnage. 

     

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    You meet the nicest people in crazy, scary makeup, hanging out in the woods at 1AM. Meet Mildred the Doll. AKA Jessica, a fellow shutterbug studying at CCS. 

    Black as a pirate’s heart out there. When I asked the camera to focus, it basically went “on what?” So about half of the night’s shots were manually focused. Plus I was using every trick I had to make interesting light. Kudos to all the random people who volunteered to hold flashes and be shouted at. Voice-activated light stands are the best!

     

  11. Bumped into Shawn while working an event at Eastern Market. She makes balloon animals while standing on stilts. That makes her crazy-strong, wicked-fast hands an easy target. 

     
  12. Managed to get my camera into Theatre Bizarre this year. Took the grip off my 60D and mounted a slim 64mm f2.8 pancake lens, just small enough to fit in my Utilikilt pocket. Don’t think I was below ISO4000 the whole night, and sticking to one long-standard lens was interesting. Constraints breed creativity. But I cheated, since I’d already worked with 8 of the 12 people in these shots before the night began. ;)

     

  13. Visited Shenstone Studios recently. Took photos in a place that’s normally around 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit. 

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    One of Ken’s obelisks above, along with a bunch of the wood ask that flow through the kiln. Ash actually adheres to the glazes, creating very unique finishes. 

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    I’ll be back. It takes a year to chop enough wood and make enough pottery to run this genuinely huge kiln. 

     
  14. Good news! I’m alive. 

    This page hasn’t gotten much love from yours truly in the last couple months, thanks to a combination of slacking and working on my own, dedicated page. That’s for my formal portfolios and long-format blogs. Basically, the serious stuff. So this Tumblr can be considerably less formal, including photography-related musings, photos I like, but maybe aren’t portfolio-quality, and live updates when I’m on location. 

    Should be fun. Loosening up the format is a welcome change. Putting only portfolio-level work here meant that posts trickled, but since that stuff has a new home, it’s open season here. Figured I’d pick up where I left off, with a photo from the Midwest Drift Union’s Streets of Detroit round. 

    Still learning. Still shooting. Still Detroiting. 

    See you out there. 

     
  15. At its core, roller derby is an action sport (while I’m doling out shocking revelations, I should also point out that the sky is blue). That normally means you shoot a little wide to make sure you get the hits, and give players room to fly away without leaving the frame. Seriously, this is the stuff photographers worry about. 

    That said, the photos I really like tend to focus on one skater. They use a slightly longer lens than normal, like the 160mm f2.0 prime used here. One expression, one subject, one emotion. Clean. Powerful. Sometimes they don’t even have to be in the pack, like this shot from the last Downriver Roller Dollz bout. Ruby Rottweiler, solo on her way to the scrum. Technical details of this shot would take a couple paragraphs, but the result’s one of the simplest subjects in derby. 

    Still learning.