Demolition Derby

Seeing how I want to see

As a few of you may know, I've been working on a project revolving around demolition derby culture, without photographing much of the action. It's taken some time to really get into the groove. There's a lot going on behind the scenes at these events – heat, humidity, dust, mud, fuel, and a lot of testosterone. Each and every derby presents a unique set of challenges, with the primary objective of settling in with one or two drivers, and their friends/families. This isn't always possible. It's just a fact of documentary work. Sometimes we settle for simply making good pictures, without forming a person to person bond. And, I'm okay with that. 

Two nights ago I was in Fremont, Ohio for the Sandusky County Fair. Never made the connection. I was feeling a little bummed. Until now. 

Tomorrow night is combine derby in Wellington, Ohio at the Lorain County Fair. Anyone interested in meeting up, you shouldn't have trouble spotting me. Number's on the website. Don't be a stranger. 

Thanks for looking.

Demo Derby Teaser

I'm still out there working on an evolving story about Demolition Derbies in the Midwest that will take me through the end of fair/derby season – probably mid-October. Hope you enjoy this frame as much as I did capturing it. Those clouds sure were menacing, and yes, they eventually dumped probably 8 inches of rain onto the derby track eventually clearing to provide quite the mud pit. There's a lot more pictures from this particular event that are really fun, but you'll have to wait until the final product is released. Stay tuned for more. Thanks for looking!

Demolition derby drivers compete through looming storm cells and impending rain on Sunday, July 31, 2016 at the Chataqua Co. Fairgrounds in Durnkirk, New York.


Summit County Demolition Derby

In continuing my pursuit of fine tuning the craft of photojournalism with self assignments, I arrived today at the first of many demolition derbies across Northeast Ohio that I'll be exploring as a visual journalist. Not since my staff photographer days at the Medina Gazette have I stepped foot onto fairgrounds, let alone a derby. That was probably seven years ago! I have to admit, the atmosphere and culture present at these events can be a little tricky. After a few minutes of uneasiness, the initial 'newness' passed, and I found myself in the eager midst of a family competing for generations. The second youngest at 13 years old was racing today. His younger sister, 12, looked on eagerly - no quite age qualified. But, ready to race none the less; and, happy to support her older brother! What's more, she knows how to weld! Talk about instilling life skills into women early on ... That's really cool.

So, I'll continue this project, and see where it takes me. Meanwhile, I'm "off" for a day to do some much needed office work, then will hit the road for New York on another self assigned project for three days. More later on that one. 

Once again, thanks for looking! Enjoy.

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