Tuesday, April 14, 2009

sadly.

For reasons I will attempt, but fail, to accurately explain, I love shooting photographs of vertical skateboarding. My best guess is that it has something to do with the way Vukovich, O, Grant, Swift, and numerous others captured skateboarding years before I would find it. When skateboarding finally set its hooks in me, I set out to learn as much of its history as I could, and I remember seeing their photos of Phillips, Grosso, Hosoi, et. al. and just being able to feel the atmosphere on the ramp. But there was a reason I could feel it. It wasn't long after starting my life as a skateboarder that I found myself at a ramp owned by Brewce Martin. That ramp would eventually be moved up to Rutland, Ohio and would become what is now known as the King Dong ramp, but back then it was just a ramp that he and Dave Maxwell and others had pieced together on a hillside in Parkersburg, West Virginia. It was here that I was introduced to vert as I know it...swamp trogs, old blue and yellow Rector elbow pads, lighting fast yet thunderously destructive body jars, Independent trucks ground to the axle, rip grip, rails, and stolen helmets disguised in spraypaint and stickers.

I couldn't skate vert to save my life though, so I would just sit back and watch and then go street skating with my friends. But those photos from the mid- to late-80s always stood out to me because they reminded me of the atmosphere at Brewce's ramp. When I started shooting photographs seriously, I found myself wanting more and more to go shoot photos like I saw in all the old Thrashers and Transworlds to try and tell those same types of stories. In between all of this, I moved to Louisville, Kentucky and when Paul Zitzer moved to town, it was the perfect excuse to start shooting a lot of vert photos. From there, I started shooting more with a kid named Dane Warner. Dane absolutely rips on a skateboard and over the years he's started to get more and more into some of the older moves.

He called me one day wanting to shoot a Sadplant at the park and I instantly knew how I wanted to shoot it; fisheye, all up in his grill like an old JGB photo. Well, we shot that, but as I was walking back to put my equipment up, I saw how the shadows of the fullpipe and the highway that runs beside the park were converging to create an interesting shadow in the round capsule at the end of the deep section, and I told Dane that he had to do another invert right on the tip of that shadow. He's not stoked on his form in this photo because he's not fully extended, but this photo is one of my favorites that I have ever shot. And I have yet to shoot a photo that tells the same types of stories that those of the greats did.

Dane Warner, Sadplant, Louisville, KY:


7 comments:

rfresh said...

trueness. great capture.

i like that people share the way they do on Good Problem.

ti said...

Awesome story, Keep them coming

-kw said...

Nice one, Andy.

-mk- said...

Yes! Love that shot! Nice work!

highdesertsultan said...

thanks

jenks said...

Beautiful.

Hoss said...

YES!