My buddy Toph and I have been trying to get out shooting together for a while. Last weekend we finally managed to make it happen. He had suggested long ago that we go down to the Vancouver Skate Plaza to take photos of the skaters. I used to skate, love the aesthetic, and because I'd never shot action before the whole idea appealed.
So we grab our gear and head on down. As we approach, we already begin to hear the
"Dude, is it always this busy?"
"Um - I've never seen this many skaters here before in my life."
Turns out we walked right into a huge skate competition: the RDS Skins Game. Right. At some point, one of us uttered something like "I'm a little scared." But I have to say: taking photos of skaters is probably one of most enjoyable experiences I've had to date. Though some of the grunge might feel like a bit of a boundary, as long as you have some respect for the sport, you shouldn't be afraid to pop it. They are all so skilled and passionate, and their playground is urban: you are just another obstacle that they will get around.
At one point, Toph and I were trying to catch this guy just sky-ing over the bank. Finally, some other athletes decided they needed to give it a whirl. One guy flies over, sees us and says "alright - you guys just watch out when it's me because I'm coming in this direction and I'll be cutting it pretty close." Matter of fact, friendly, considerate.
There's nothing like taking photos of courage, heart and skill. When it combines with aesthetic beauty, it's just a pleasure to be a part of.
The athlete in this photo had determination that was killer (I think it's Jamie Plisson). He was the only athlete to actually land this obstacle. He was also the first one to try, and by far, the highest flier of them all - easily reaching ten feet. I was fortunate enough to catch him ripping a hard stalefish over the bank.