Freezing the action.


Tattoo Freeze marks the beginning of the season for me. Okay, I did Sheffield Steel Rollergirls intraleague the other week, but for me this is the first time competing leagues go head to head this year and also the first opportunity for travel.

The doomsayers were predicting 4 months of freezing temperatures. I had cast my own bones in November and the signs for a mild winter were good. Global warming also helps. It won’t be too long before we are all knee deep in Mackerel ! But to ensure not taking a trip to hyperthermia, or whatever circle of hell, Dante outlined in the first part of the Commedia, I decided, for the first time, to be orgainsed and to make sure I had a set of gloves and a hat.

I should have believed the signs, it looks like this weekend will be a mild one, making the event much more pleasant to cover.  I do feel that in Derby photographers get forgotten. Unlike, skaters who usually only play one bout, or have a break before a second game, giving them some downtime and a chance to grab a warm drink and food, photographers are usually trackside throughout the day. Even refs and NSO work in shifts, having the opportunity to revitalise themselves. I ‘suppose photographers are partly to blame for their actions, not wishing to leave the track in case they miss a chance to record a great piece of action, or feeling as though they should record the day for everyone. Charting skaters careers from novice to expert and some on to international careers.

On long, cold days, one does reflect on the logic of it all. Once your core temperature plummets sitting track-side is unpleasant. Fingers and toes seizing up, wishing the final bout would end so one can pack up and go and find some warmth, a lukewarm radiator or hot drink.

Having the right photographic gear to freeze the action and make skaters look great is important, but it’s equally important to have the right gear to avoid a frozen photographer.

The hat, gloves and coat are all packed. All I need to do now is to find the thermos. After all, a frozen photographer can’t move their finger to freeze the action.

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