On the weekend I got the chance to photograph the enthusiasts that make the Nelson Trolley Derby possible, in a one-off opportunity. A new stretch of highway has been under construction west of Nelson for quite some time now. One particular stretch look to be perfect for a trolley derby: 45 m vertical over 740 m, with a good run out. It required some courage, the thought of gravel burns from unswept new seal was not pleasant. This will give you the general idea of the course:
Let’s have a look at some of the racers.
Every March the peaceful atmosphere of this alpine lake is shattered by the noise of high performance motors: the Lake Rotoiti powerboat championships. From a distance the sight is amazing. the giant rooster tails thrown up by the big guys dwarf the support boats:
A little way out of Christchurch at West Melton is the Ronnie Moore Speedway Park, a track for motorcycles only. The club is run by volunteers, which makes for a tremendous camaraderie and spirit. There are no lights, so the meetings are held in the afternoons or early evenings. No massive fences and railings, just a low wooden rail. All of this is great news for a photographer, so I’ve got some wonderful action shots here over the past four years. But first some pictures about the club itself.
The park is named after speedway great Ronnie Moore, world champion in 1954 and again in 1959 and a Canterbury man still.
When I finally plucked up courage to photograph the riders rather than the track action at the Ronnie Moore Speedway Park, I got some great images. I used the “boredom” technique: if you hang around long enough eventually people forget that you are there. Here’s one example, of Anthony’s dad working on his son’s machine. So the gap remains.
The other night the usual Wednesday night yacht racing coincided with a big SW wind. I fancied my chances of catching some good action shots, so took up a position where I had a good view, about 100m along the road from our house. Well I wasn’t disappointed. Here is one of the shots, but there was much more to come:
Shortly before I left my job at Lincoln Ventures, one of my staff told me that she and her family would be coming up to Nelson in July for a gymnastics competition. I jumped at the chance to photograph a new sport, even if it would mean getting up very early on a Sunday morning. It turned out to be quite a challenge: only competitors, officials and the accredited photographer were allowed on the floor. All the rest of us were up in the gallery seats. The light was not good at all, so there was no hope of sharp action photographs. I would have to choose my moments carefully to make the most of a slow shutter speed. Luckily, I found two very helpful assistants in a couple of senior grade contestants from Wellington. These 11 year-old girls were able to advise me about the routines: which moves were…
Graeme Robertson’s stories, not just about photography but also Nelson and New Zealand events, often with a science flavour. It’s a companion site to an online gallery of NZ pictures covering New Zealand landscapes, birds and marine life, as well as sports and events (including some great motorcycle speedway images).