This time of year is the culmination of a year, a season, a thousands upon thousands of miles of travels. Carrying not just suitcases, but scary weights and amounts of dollars of camera, lenses, storage cards, lights, tripods, light stands, meters, computers, hard drives to store it all, trekking to bus stations, cursing at taxi drivers who overcharge at the airports, the Welcome to 2016 blog post elsewhere documents the sojourn of the loneliness of the long-distance photographer going to arenas, stadiums, indoor hockey rinks, warehouse, roller rink, school gymnasiums, anywhere with a track to be laid down or a space to skate. All the chill, all the heat.
The WFTDA playoff season and moments like it is a peak, a goal for skaters and teams who dare to dream and enter into the field and mayhem of competition at the highest level and mayhaps capturing that elusive trophy. All those anything is possible desperation points and poodles. The fans, the freaks, they come out at night. All the colours, all the chants. All the Wasatch.
For this photographer, it is the most terrifying time of year and most daunting. It is an isolating experience being on that track, vying to get that position, that lighting just so. Shadow and light. Contrast. The track is your studio.
As was told to me, the photographer has to be there at the right spot with the right camera with the right setting at the right time with the right finger not just ready but pressed already at the right moment.
There is no time to blink, no time to think. No time but now.
This is their time. This is why you are here.
This is your time to catch their time. This is your time to be alive.