Through out the past 3 years I have blogged almost every week with out fail and have ended up with a ton of blog posts.
But don’t think I am stopping now.
Though the photo class I was in has come to an end, I plan on updating my blog bi-monthly and continuing to keep my blog going strong. I want my blog to turn more into a blog where it shows what I am up to rather that just photos. More writing and more photos that are just for fun or of my friends. Please continue viewing my blog, I would appreciate that.
Through out the school year of 2010 & 2011 I found my niche in photography. I spent the previous years working on portraits, landscapes and snowboarding photos, but this last year I have found what I want to continue shooting for the remainder of my photography career.
Skateboarding photography was introduced to me by a good friend Joey Ozol two years ago at the good ol’ Coeur d’Alene skate park. Joey and I have spent so much time shooting skateboarding together as a team and I would like to give a shout out to him for ripping my photos apart and helping me get significantly better at shooting what I love.
The main reason why I absolutely love shooting skateboarding is because of the emotion within the sport, the spirit of the sport, the love of the sport, and the passion that goes into the sport. Some spots that I will shoot we will be there for hours and the skater will not land trick, but at the end of the day when it is all said and done and we got no shots, it is one of the most fun things I can possibly do. The emotion that is in a street spot is so abundant and is overflowing so if you can’t get a good photo of the trick, you are bound to capture the pure emotion of the lifestyle.
For my end of the year final I chose to pick my series on skateboarding. I have spent so much time working with skateboarding and it is the field that I want to go into within photography, I figured it was appropriate to do my final on the sport that I love.
Taking it back to the basic fundamentals of photography, I have shot 10 skateboarding photos that show the concrete foundations of the art.
It has been pretty difficult to shoot this final due to the fact that I am on the road traveling around the country, but I have managed to shoot 10 skate shots that contain the basics but are quality images.
Here we go:
Trevor Groth | Kickflip to Fakie | Rule of Thirds
Trevor has been in my blogs for quite some time. He has been a major push to me in my photography because I want to strive to get the best photos to capture the excellence of his skateboarding. We shot this photo in Grayslake, IL at this little skatepark in town. Trevor boosts high than any other skater I shoot with and he stomped this kickflip to fakie cleaner than most people out there. This photo is a demonstration of the simple, yet sophisticated rule of thirds. Props Trevor.
Johnny Helgren | Frontside Tailslide | Leading Lines
Johnny Helgren is also another very influential skater in my life. I love shooting with Johnny because he seriously pushes himself to the limit to get the shot. We shot this in downtown Chicago, IL on a day shooting skateboarding through out the city. The best way to shoot this spot was by using the basic leading lines style due to the fact of this massively long rail. Props to Johnny for killing this spot!
Trevor Groth | Frontside Indy | Natural Framing
Once again, Trevor put down another stylish trick. This was also taken in Grayslake, IL at the same skatepark. I saw the tree there at the park and knew right away I could frame Trevor perfectly within it. I shot it this way not only to frame him in there, but also to do justice for the trick he was doing. I wanted to show the way he was turning, how high he was and also the placement of his shoulders to demonstrate his style. Good job Trevor.
Johnny Helgren | Backside Crook | Use of Large Depth of Field
At one of our demos in Burlington, NC Johnny destroyed our hand rail on our tour set up. He did just about every backside grind possible on it so I wanted to make sure to get a good photo of it. I wanted to get the sun in the background so I shot this with a very small aperture to get the sun start behind him. This is demonstrating the large depth of field as you can tell with lots of subjects in focus. Killing it Johnny!
Trevor Groth | Backside Nose Grind | Use of Limited Depth of Field
There are so many spots for skateboarding downtown Chicago, IL that is almost hard to choose which ones you want to hit. We spent near two hours at this spot, but finally, Trevor put down a perfect nose grind all the way across that 15 foot river walk ledge. The gnarly part about this spot is if you fall, you land in sewer waste and people have tried to cover it up, but the ply wood just doesn’t cut it. As you can see, Trevor is the focal point and he is the subject within the focus. Everything leading up to him is not, and everything behind him is not in focus as well. Trevor went here last year and was not able to land anything on it, he got his redemption. Good job man.
Johnny Helgren | Frontside Smith | Balance
As small as Kerrville, TX is, there are so many skate spots in the town. We were in Kerrville for about 4 days staying with a good friend who showed us around the town. He showed us this spot and I knew we would get a cool photo from it. Johnny got his trick right away which was a plus, but I had to set up my shot and make it perfect. I wanted to shoot this with a lot of space so we could use it for promotion. Photos that are used for promotion need to have good balance. This one seems to do the job right. Maybe someday you will see this photo in one of our BFC adds.
Tyler Jenicek | Switch Varial Heelflip | Creative View
The only way to do justice for this stair and show the size of it was to shoot it with the fish eye and get below him. Though this stair in Kerrville, TX is only a four stair, it is was a lot bigger than the standard four stair. Tyler popped a perfect switch varial heelflip down this stair and landed it perfect as well. I really like the angle because it shows the run up, the feature and the landing. Also the skater fits within the frame and shooting it this low makes the spot look how big it was. Props Tyler!
Trevor Groth | Gap Across Ramps | Simplicity
Trevor once again got his big ollie on. He seems to have those on lock. I didn’t really have any other way to shoot this besides with the fisheye so that is what I did. Turns out, it was the simplest photo from the day and seems to fit the criteria for the photo project. Sometimes simple is the way to go, in this case simple worked.
Johnny Helgren | Backside Lipslide | My Choice #1 (leading lines)
In the random little town of Kettering, OH one of the greatest skateboarders to ever have walked this planet was born. Rob Dyrdek. After he became pro, he sent a large grant to his hometown to have a skate plaza built for his community back home. We stopped by on our way to Chicago and we hit this plaza up. I chose leading lines for my choice #1 because it fit for this shot perfectly and also it made this shot look way cooler. Johnny, your good.
Johnny Helgren | Pain | My Choice #2 (Emotion)
I really wanted 1 photo to show the emotion of skate photography. So, I shot one. Johnny was having a very difficult time putting down a trick on this hand rail and ended up hitting his knee pretty hard. I think I did a good job capturing his emotion. The crazy thing about skateboarding is that you can go from being so utterly pissed off, to so incredibly stoked. Johnny, was pretty mad to say the least, he had a valid reason to be though.
Skateboarding. Definitely my most favorite thing to shoot photos of. I am very thankful to have the skaters in my life to shoot with daily. Thanks guys.
Last, but not least, the final portrait.
We set up the whole studio inside a small apartment that we were staying in and I had Trevor model for me, he did a good job. Here it is:
Trevor Groth | Portrait
I kept it simple, yet classy.
This whole year, I have had so many inspirations for my skateboarding photography. But the ones who really kept me going are John Bradford, Giovanni Reda, Chase Gabor (He is a filmer, but still an inspiration for sure!) Yoon Sul, Dave Chami, Dean Blotto Gray, Garric Ray and last, but certainly not least, Joey Ozol. They have all inspired me to shoot as much as I can and as best as I can.
I would like to give a big shout out to my photo teacher and my homie, Twitchell. Thanks for putting up with me T-Dogg. Stay Strong.