The Average Suburban Dad

My self-assigned spot of the internet where I wax lyrical about ... err ... stuff.

May 16, 2022

Post 240 / The Average Suburban Dad / 2022-05-16
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This post was pulled from the archives after the web server went down.

Entry number 127 for the 365 Black & White Challenge is a photo from a roller derby tournament.

365 Black & White Challenge – 125/365 Wow. That was a weekend.


Saturday saw us all up and out of the house by twenty pas six for a nice leisurely 2-hour drive to Daylesford. It was round two of the Statewide Stampede Roller Derby Tournament and my wife was playing … at 5 pm. So why were we getting there at 8:30 am for a 5 pm game? Because there were four other games before it and I wanted to photograph them all.

I knew there weren’t going to be many other photographers there and I enjoy the challenge of crafting high-quality photographs of people moving erratically and very quickly past your lens. Plus you know, new camera, wanted to play with it etc.

My wife will rarely pass up the chance to watch roller derby so it wasn’t a stretch to get her to agree to the full day, even the entire weekend plans were altered when my Mum tested positive. We were going to stay with “Nana C & Poppy” that weekend as they live a lot closer to Daylesford than we do, but in these crazy times, you need to be able to pivot on the proverbial dime. It was a shame though as my Mum was supposed to come with us on our Sunday activity. But I digress.

To cut a long and most likely dull story short, I photographed the first three bouts (roller derby speak for “game”) with my normal three flash setup but wasn’t thrilled with what I was getting. Mind you, my definition of thrilled is a lot different to the skaters who always say lovely things about my derby photography. I just have higher expectations for myself. For the fourth bout, I decided to rely on natural light and my shiny new camera and altered the settings for that. Flicked it into 20 frames per second mode and let rip. Have yet to properly check out the photos but on the back of the camera, they look pretty good. When cycling quickly through the photos on the back of the camera it almost looks like a movie.

Throughout the day, my daughter was hanging with my wife and various other members of the league whilst I was shooting. A big day for a little lady but she handled it like a trooper.

The final bout finally started with my wife’s league playing our closest rivals. Ten minutes into the bout my wife copped a shoulder to the face and dropped like a rock. Not fun to watch but the St John’s first aid team who are present at most tournaments were there to look after her. A bit disappointing for her that she now had to sit out the rest of the bout due to having sustained a head injury, but she was able to contribute strategically to the team from the bench and did her part in the victory we achieved. I can say we as I am the official photographer for the league and therefore part of the league.

My wife, despite bleeding everywhere is okay and was able to drive home (I did offer many times, but she prefers to drive and it gave me a chance to upload the 1700 photos from the day).


Sunday came and it was a very exciting day for the little lady in the house. After months and months of counting drown we were all off to see Hamilton (yes, I know. Hamilton? You? Really?) I was more excited for my daughter to see it than I was to see it again I think. After all, this was number five for me.

We had to quickly reassign my Mum’s ticket to a friend who was thrilled to be going and went in totally blind, having never seen or heard the music. I kind of envied her as I am definitely not in that position.

For brevities sake, we made it into town had dumplings and went to the theatre. I was thrilled to see that Jason Arrow was playing the title role (as was my wife) and very interested to see that the part of Aaron Burr was being played by an understudy. I’ve seen the primary actor play the role all previous times and was keen to see another take on it.

My daughter’s face as we entered the theatre was worth the very expensive price of admission as her little mind was blown. Then to watch her as the show played out in front of her (from the third row) was a treat which made the experience all the more enjoyable for me.

The understudy did a great job in arguably the second most important role of the show and it was fascinating to watch how portrayed such an important character.

Note: I’ve just finished a Facebook message exchange with the understudy. Lovely guy who was very appreciative of the message I sent him about his performance.

Back to the story …

We all enjoyed the show and had many a discussion on the way back home (and to training for my wife). As she trained with her team I can say her injuries from the previous day, although still making her tender, were not as bad as we initially thought. Yay!

Needless to say, I think we all slept well last night.

I’m often asked if Hamilton loses its appeal after having seen it so many times. The honest answer is no. There is so much going on that there is always something fascinating to watch and with such a powerhouse ensemble and incredible choreography, there is no chance to be bored. Now that I’ve seen it twice in 18 days I have to wait a whole 3 days (2 sleeps now) to see it again, this time with my brother and his daughter (as payment for some photos I took for him). I’m wondering if I can add Hamilton tickets as a form of payment on my invoices? There are now 5 tickets up on my wall.

It was a good weekend for bookings too with a gig confirmed for my covers band and event photography being added to my calendar.

Overall, a pretty good weekend. I hope yours was too.

If you’ve made it this far, as always, thank you for your time and your attention! I will see you for the next post.