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When I shot the Rodeo over the 4th of July weekend in 2013 I never imagined that it would lead to returning to the same venue to photograph a demolition derby just a few months later. I also never imagined that it would be just as rainy and muddy either…

I brought my son along again as my assistant (aka: umbrella holder) it was raining pretty solidly when we arrived early to shoot some of the cars before the demolishing began. I shot some HDR of the vehicles and ended up talking to a few of the drivers, these guys are all a little crazy and judging by all the beer cans inside the cars probably a little drunk as well…

Enough talking let’s get to some smashing! Warning: There are a lot of images!

The “Pre” demolishing view… Most of these cars see 4-5 events before they can’t use them anymore._DSC4396_7-HDR _DSC4406_7-HDR _DSC4415_6_7-HDR

Click to keep looking as the action is still to come!
_DSC4418_19_20-HDR _DSC4442_3_4-HDR _DSC4457_8_9-HDR _DSC4460_1_2-HDR _DSC4466_7_8-HDR _DSC4472_3_4-HDR _DSC4475_6_7-HDR _DSC4484_5_6-HDR _DSC4493_4_5-HDR _DSC4550_1_2-HDR _DSC4556_7_8-HDR _DSC4565_6_7-HDR _DSC4568_69_70-HDR _DSC4574_5_6-HDR_DSC4586_7_8-HDR _DSC4589_90_91-HDR _DSC4610_1_2-HDR _DSC4625_6_7-HDR _DSC4634_5_6-HDR _DSC4643_4_5-HDR _DSC4652_3_4-HDR _DSC4655_6_7-HDR _DSC4661_2_3-HDR _DSC4667_8_9-HDR _DSC4670_1_2-HDR _DSC4676_7_8-HDR _DSC4688_89_90-HDR _DSC4724_5_6-HDR _DSC4766_7_8_tonemapped _DSC4784_5_6_tonemapped _DSC4805_6_7_tonemapped _DSC4817_8_9_tonemapped _DSC4844_5_6_tonemappedHere’s the Demolition Derby’s version of Mutton Bustin’

_DSC4930 _DSC4937 _DSC4970 _DSC4974 _DSC4986


Bringing out the first cars
_DSC5110 And here we go!

_DSC5139 _DSC5141 _DSC5143 _DSC5153 _DSC5165 _DSC5171 _DSC5190 _DSC5195 _DSC5197 _DSC5202 _DSC5211 _DSC5219 _DSC5234 _DSC5238 _DSC5382 _DSC5404 _DSC5414 _DSC5430 _DSC5472 _DSC5473 _DSC5478 A fisheye HDR of the arena as they clear it for the next round_DSC5505_6_7-HDR _DSC5521 _DSC5532 _DSC5569 _DSC5572 _DSC5573 _DSC5584 _DSC5615And GO!

_DSC5665 _DSC5675 _DSC5696 _DSC5716 _DSC5736 _DSC5771 _DSC5774 _DSC5808 _DSC5827 _DSC5831 _DSC5846 _DSC5851 _DSC5866 _DSC5873 _DSC5899 _DSC5922 _DSC5974 _DSC5994 _DSC5998 _DSC6006For the next round I went high up in the grandstand

_DSC6076 _DSC6101 _DSC6122 _DSC6137 _DSC6152 _DSC6166 _DSC6181 _DSC6199 _DSC6204 _DSC6220 _DSC6231 _DSC6318 _DSC6362 _DSC6427 _DSC6472Now for the team driving!

_DSC6608 _DSC6609 _DSC6640 _DSC6664 _DSC6665 _DSC6684 _DSC6685 _DSC6689 When they blow they really blow!_DSC6691 _DSC6697 _DSC6701 _DSC6751 _DSC6775 _DSC6799 _DSC6812 _DSC6828 _DSC6852 _DSC6884 _DSC6895 _DSC6930 _DSC6945 _DSC6965 _DSC6969 _DSC6974 There was some great camaraderie between all the team drivers! Everyone gathered afterwards for hugs and high fives. _DSC7079 _DSC7082 _DSC7084The next round was crazy loud with the lightweight cars taking the arena.

_DSC7123 _DSC7128 _DSC7149 _DSC7203 _DSC7214 _DSC7246 _DSC7252 _DSC7263 _DSC7284 They look like this and keep driving! Yet one wire gets out of place in my car and it all falls apart…I miss old reliable cars_DSC7343

_DSC7507 _DSC7538 _DSC7568 _DSC7383_DSC7603 _DSC7611 _DSC7625 _DSC7409 Next up were the Trucks! This was the most violent series by far as they move fast!

_DSC7655 _DSC7687 _DSC7701 _DSC7714 _DSC7770 _DSC7779 _DSC7798 _DSC7809 _DSC7817 _DSC7820 _DSC7826 _DSC7847 _DSC7898 _DSC7912 _DSC7919 _DSC7931 _DSC7935And for the final event the winners of the various car events (that were still running) all went head to head.

_DSC7968 _DSC7993 _DSC7999 _DSC8020 _DSC8025 _DSC8063 _DSC8089 _DSC8123 _DSC8168 _DSC8195_DSC8212 _DSC8216  #23! We have a winner!

While I was transitioning positions a couple entered the arena supposedly as winners of a random drawing to drive a car against other “random winners” instead it turned out to be an elaborate wedding proposal, how can you not have a great marriage if it started out in a muddy Demolition Derby Arena? Seriously how cool is that?

Wedding Proposal_Yes She said yes!

What a great night for my son and I, it’s been at least 25 years since I’ve been to a Demolition Derby and it was the first for my son. It was loud, smokey, I had mud all over me and my gear and loved every minute of it! If I have the opportunity to shoot one again I’ll take more motion blur shots using a slower shutter speed and panning as I think those shots are more dynamic and exciting. The challenge I found was in following the action especially at the beginning when all the cars are running since there are so many different “stories” being played out, it gets easier as they start to drop out, sadly this wasn’t a multi-night affair like the rodeo so I’ll have to wait for the next opportunity to shoot it better.

Thanks as always for stopping by today, I really hope you enjoyed the post I know it was a long one and I appreciate you making it all the way through. I hope if you ever get a chance to attend and especially shoot a Demolition Derby that you’ll go for it.

Happy Shooting!