Although I have not yet posted my response to Assignment 3 ‘The decisive moment’ online yet, I wanted to post some research linked to my subject/theme by way of support to my assignment.
I chose to do my assignment on skateboarding for a few reasons but mainly because I had no idea about this activity/sport and thought it would be a good challenge not only on a photographic level but also from a personal development perspective i.e. education on alternative cultures.
To start with I looked on YouTube and found a really great video by Josh Katz – Skateboarding Photography For Beginners, which covers 10 simple steps to getting started in skate photography. If you are going to give this a go I would definitely recommend this video.
London, and indeed the UK, has a number of skateboard parks open to all, in fact more than I had appreciated, not being into that scene. I chose to focus on the Southbank Skate Park for my assignment as it is easily accessible and the Southbank area is usually buzzing with people most of the time so I wouldn’t feel isolated, which for a lone photographer out of her comfort zone was/is an important consideration.
So with the location chosen I thought I would also carry out some research on UK skateboard photographers.
There are plenty of American photographers covering this genre, so I was ready for the challenge of finding some UK based skateboard photographers thinking that skateboarding didn’t appear to be as popular in the UK as it appears to be in America so the task might have been more difficult. I think I was wrong…
I found a few UK photographers covering this space, as follows:
Leo sharp : http://www.leosharp.uk/
Leo is based in Cornwall and is an internationally published action sports photographer. Taken directly from his website “His career in skate photography spans well over two decades, with a good proportion of this spent working as full time Photo Editor at the UK’s leading skate magazine: Sidewalk. His work has also been published in many other magazines throughout the world including Thrasher, Skateboarder, Kingpin, Color, Concrete, Manual, Slam, The Skateboarders Journal, The Journal, Sugar, Grey, Monster, North and many more.”
Leo definitely has a commercial look and feel to his images, capturing frozen motion, using a fish eye lens, skateboarders suspended in mid air and by the looks of some of his images, he uses flash use to achieve greater depth of field and sharp focus to his images.
Sam Ashley : http://www.samashley.com/
Sam is a London based commercial photographer who has been published in magasines Sidewalk and Kingpin, which feature skateboarding culture. Sam’s photographs definitely look commercial in nature. There is more use of blank space and the environment as opposed to close up shot of the skateboarders.
Jake Seal : http://www.jakeseal.co.uk/about.html
Jake is a freelance photographer based in Leeds and although he primarily covers studio photography he has an interest in skateboarding photography. His shots are honest and not excessively processed or stylised which I like. I also like his use of shadows and low vantage points to get a different view of the skateboarders. I was not as adventurous in my images but I did manage to get some shadows in and capture some frozen motion jumps.
I also found an online skateboarding photo magazine: http://skateboardingphoto.co.uk/
Looking at the these photographers work, my images are very different in style, however, the same motifs have been used notably the skateboarder suspended in mid-air, skateboarder sliding along poles or walls and the use of shadows within the composition.