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The 4Sure Youth Festival was held on the Nedlands foreshore in Perth, Western Australia. It was the was also the site for the latest round of the YMCA Perth Skate competition run with the generous sponsorship from Odyssey sunglasses and the legendary Perth skate company GMTA as well as Healthway, Drug Aware and Department of Sport and Recreation.
Skateboard photography is always a challenge due to the speed these guys can move at. I like to up my ISO to 400 even on a bright day such as when these photos were taken. This allows me to really freeze the skateboarder in the moment. There are exceptions to this such as when try to capture the movement and emphasise the movement and speed when i will go for a slower shutterspeed such as 1/25 of a second and try and take a panning shot. If done correctly panning photography will keep your subject sharp at the point of focus and blur the surroundings.
Another tip i suggest with skate photography or any sports photography for that matter is to change your focus mode if you are using a DSLR to "Servo". This mode constantly adjusts its point of focus to account for moving objects. It takes a bit to get used to but is really the only way to photograph fast moving action or sports photography.
With these shots from this series i have chosen to include the skaters surroundings to help indicate to my audience how high these guys can get and the type of moves they're performing. I find a low vantage point is best in general for skate photography as it can create really dynamic scenes. The problem with this is that your camera will normally account for the sky in the light meter and adjust accordingly. If uncorrected your photos will come out with varying degrees of silhouetting with little or no detail in the body.
To correct for this I set my base camera exposure to over expose by 2/3's of a stop. This allows some detail to be registered when shooting against a bright background such as the sky. In some instances i want to create a silhouetted image such as the last image in this blog. If this is the case then i would expose for the sky and in this instance i have used the dodge tool in photoshop to bring out features in the skateboarders face.
If anyone is interested in purchasing any photos of the day please feel free to contact me and I will happily send through a price list. I also have hundreds more photos if you were there and wanted to know if i had any photos available of you. Please contact me with details
These few photos were taken last Saturday as part of "The Big Skate" promotion withing the Northbridge Festival. The big skate consisted of a photographic exhibition, skateboard demos with some of Perths best skateboarders and Mat de Koning documentary film City Stoppers which aired to a impressed and passionate crowd in the open air Piazza in Northbridge, Western Australia.
The aim of the "Big Skate" promotion was to highlight the need for the Perth Council and surrounding local councils to look to consider the wishes and needs of Perth skateboarders when designing infrastructure including Parks, public spaces and transport routes. Instead of placing the occasional white elephant of a skate bowl that becomes an unattractive oven during the middle of an West Australian summer, Perths skateboarding community want future architecture and public planning to look at including skate friendly elements that co-exist and even blend into surrounding environments.
The program culminated in community forum The future of skate facilities in WA which created an open forum of discussion for all sides of the debate.
Unfortunately this day I couldn't bring my main digital SLR camera as i was getting a sensor clean for an upcoming commercial photography shoot. I did manage to get some good shots with the limited lens and camera options i had. I have put a few shots up with more to follow. Dylan who appears in two of these shots is the most insane skateboarder i have seen in a long time. I could only dream of having his skills. I thought the grainy nature of these shots suited a retro feel which i have created in post production in photoshop.
Chris Bishop professional commercial, landscape & travel photographer based in Perth, Western Australia.