In celebration of Danny Way turning pro 20 years ago, Pacific Drive, DC Shoes and The Mag did this collab shoe. I am honored to have my photo of Danny on the insole as well. That's Danny Madollieing McGill's channel 20 years ago.
It was 1995. Went to Huntington Beach skatepark, the one next to the high school. Tom Penny rolled up and wanted to jump down the stairs across the street next to the police station. It was kind of a bust, it would have to be a quick one. I set up my lights and walked over to a good spot to shoot from, I was looking down at my camera, making some adjustments, f-stops and such when I heard the distinctive sound of rolling wheels. I raised my head and saw Tom rolling towards the set of stairs and was barely able to raise my camera and fire off a frame of film. He made the kick flip with ease and we got the boot and I knew I didn't have the shot. I had no time to focus my zoom lens. The photo was out of focus so I never used it. "If it's not in focus, it's out of focus.", Stacy Peralta. Photos of Tom Penny are rare and they rarely don't get used. A while later Swift went back and shot a frontside flip at the same spot, so I guess it wasn't in my cards all the way around.
It was 1985 and I was on my first tour of Europe and staying at Bruno Peeters' parent's house in Antwerp, Belgium. Kevin Staab was staying there too. This ollie was shot on the quarter pipe at the shitty little park nearby. This photo ended up as the Transworld logo and used as a banner, end dot and business card. You never know what little shot will become iconic.
I have had the fortune to have been in the right place at the right time through the years. Sure, part of getting the right shot is Skill, but I count myself lucky for being around Skateboarding in a golden era, the 80s. All I had to do was load film in my camera, move a couple of lights and the rest is history. This is Christian Hosoi premiering his signature move, The Christ Air in 1987 at the Sellar's "Perfect Ramp" in Mesa, AZ.
The fisheye lens has been the skate photographer's staple lens of choice for over 30 years since the late, great Warren Bolster(RIP) first captured images of the 70s skate legends on film. The fisheye is an essential tool when shooting skateboarders. Skateboarding is one of the few photographic subjects where the fisheye is used extensively. The lens has its uses and misuses. Many years ago, I can remember Thrasher's photographer, Mofo lecturing and regulating the younger photographers about their bad habit of not looking through their viewfinders, holding the camera out at arm's length and just shooting willy-nilly anything that moved. I admit, I was guilty of it in my early days of shooting. Making skate photos is no different than making any kind of photos. Photography is an artform and certain elements must all come together to make a nice photo, a certain amount of skill in operating the camera is also essential. In skate photography, the action, the light, the vantage point, the exposure and the composition are the main ingredients neccessary in creating an adequate skate photo. Anyone can learn the technical basics of the camera. I have checked out thousands of other photog's photos and the ones that have really stood out are the ones where the composition of the photo really put it over the top. The photo had balance to it, the horizon was straight, not tilted, arms and legs and boards not cropped out, it was composed. You can't possibly compose a shot if you are not looking through the viewfinder, that's why the manufacturer put it on the camera! Very few of those haphazardly taken shots come out. I was compelled to write about the fisheye and its proper usage after shooting at the Protec Pool Party yesterday. I was amazed and shocked that the old ways of shooting without looking through the viewfinder had again raised its ugly head. Ok, it was very crowded on the deck of the combi pool, five to ten photographers lined up at each trick spot. That's just part of shooting a big contest where anyone with a camera(phone) can obtain a wristband(or not) and sit shoulder to shoulder and elbow to elbow with skate photographers who have paid their dues to skateboarding over the years. Well, that's another story, back to not looking through the viewfinder. I hadn't really witnessed this nasty habit in a long time, I think a Munster Monster Mastership in Germany in the mid 90s was the last time, the habit had spread from the States to Europe, our gift to them. I thought it had thankfully died out until yesterday, it's back with a vengeance! Unfortunately, the practice of not looking through the viewfinder not only affects the practitioner's photos, but also affects the photographers' photos around them. In one instance, I had a photo framed(composed) and then had a hand holding a camera come into frame from Stage Right and at the same time a photographer walking by, stopping and taking a photo with camera held at waist level in front of me. I actually shook my head rapidly from side to side like in the cartoons, I was amazed at the lack of etiquette, skill and manners. It was unbelievable. I finally had to call off one guy after he repeatedly ruined several of my shots by sticking his hand and camera into my viewfinder frame. This isn't all about ME, I saw this action committed over and over again to many of my peers and it's simply NOT COOL! My advice to novices is to learn the rules of photography first and to realize what is an acceptable way to act when shooting around other photographers.
There were these blacktop banks near LAX back in the 80s. One day I went there with Gonz, Natas, Caballero, Tommy Guerrero and Eric Britton. This is a shot of Gonz airing over the hip. I don't know if the banks are still there?
Just got back from 2 days in Portland. Had a great time. Bryce Kanights curated a great group photo show and it was very packed. I sold a couple of shots, but the Artery Gallery has more if you're interested in having a nice framed 80s photo of mine. Contact the gallery through their website. Photos: 1. Trevor Graves and Grant 2. Grant and Chet Childress 3. Tom Inouye, Grant, Bryce 4. Bryce, Hosoi, Grant, Jon Humphries 5. We Rock! Humphries, Joe Brook, Bryce, Grant, Ryan Flynn
Club Mumble just turned me pro, about time. Now I can stop flying Coach and get to start trashing hotel rooms. Bob Kronbauer at Mumble Mag got together with my friends at Powell's SkateOne and my bros at The Skateboard Mag and presented me with an honorary Little Giants Pro skateboard deck. They constructed 99 decks that will be auctioned off with the proceeds going to Grind for Life. There are advantages to working in the same deadend job year after year. Buy it Here!
Matt Hensley is one of the skaters who set the pace in the late 80s and early 90s, ever so creative with his street (and ditch) skills. This Indy bone was shot in the Vista Ditch in the early 90s. It was Marc Hostetter's local spot. Click on photo to make bigga! Photo: Brittain
Here is Video of my first solo show, "Still" with AIGA in San Diego in September, 2003. There were some cool Heads there. My wife, Laura had the classic comment at the end. 700 people, 500 books, the money to get in went to charity, plenty of food and drinks. Thanks to Josh Higgins for doing the whole show. Thanks to Lee Crane for the video.
I can think of a couple of people that just the mention of their name brings the word, "Style" to mind. Chris Miller was Mr. Style in the 1980s and he still holds the title today. I shot this one of Chris grinding the edge of the world at Upland's Pipeline Skate-park in 87 or so. Warm fuzzy feeling. Click on the photo to ENLARGE!
A lot of our fellow So Cal residents lost their homes during the last two years of devastating brush fires and are still hurting. For $35.00, you can help them and get this classic poster of Christian Hosoi's Powerslide that I shot in the late 80s. I signed and numbered them and they are on nice paper. Feel good and make your wall look good. Order! Click on photo to enlarge.