Skateboard Photography

Discussion in 'Sports' started by elliotspirrett, Oct 13, 2006.

  1. Hi there,
    After much pains, trials and tribulations, I have finally got myself an EOS
    1000FN with a Sigma zoom lens.
    I'm (as you may have guessed), interested in using it for skateboarding
    I'm just wondering if anyone can give me some tips on what I'm doing when it
    comes to this?
    Is my camera of much use for this kind of work?
    Would anyone recommend anything to lower me *slowly* into the world of
    How easy is it to make money out of photography (I'm guessing you have to be
    pretty good?)?
    Anything else I should know...?
    Cheers for any help.
    Elliot Spirrett
  2. Go to a big book store, or library, check out any book on action or sports photography

    Don't mean to sound snide or pedantic, but there's quite a lot that goes into doing it right, too many considerations to go into in a shortish post.

    And money can be made, if you're REAL good at it, which very likely won't happen soon. "Natural" talent seems to surface only after a lot of practice: just like every other endeavor in the world, oddly enough

    Read up some, give it a shot, don't get discouraged, good luck
  3. Wide angle, and fisheye are two lenses that are prevelent in skateboard shots. For vert, know the tricks and can anticipate the line. For street, try all the angles you can imagine and have the skaters keep coming. I nice evvect can be made bu rolling along while shooting the action- blurs the background.
  4. steps to becoming a successful skateboard photographer (can be adpated for bmx and mtb)

    1. learn to wake up early to get to the good spots and have them all to yourselves

    2. always have some black label supreme in the trunk of the car (it doesn't have to be cold), its a good wakeup at 6am or a good way to
    get the night started at 6pm

    3. skate every day and take your camera pack with you everywhere even if you are just going for a curb session

    4. prepare to put up with endless rolls of film not even worth processing because your friend actually kind of sucks and never had a chance of landing that trick

    5. go to when it is finally back up, post up in the critique gallery, but then quit skateboard photography altogether because "all those guys are just pretentious assholes"

    there ya go.

    i dont think there is much money in skateboard photography or any (i dont want to use the word extreme becuase it makes me kind of throw up) because most people do it because it allows them to skate everyday. if your after money go shoot headshots or something.
  5. one last important point:

    -posting up skateboard photos on sites like for critique is useless for getting better at it, unless you want to shoot for the newspaper. read skate mags and check the photos out, they are very different from what you see on here.
  6. It really depends on how you want your shot to look, if you want it to look artifical then
    just get a flash so you can work in the skatepark and at night. If you want the colors to
    look realistic then get a wide aperture(1.4-2.8) non- zoom lens. They will give you better
    quality shoots, and the skater will thank you for not blinding him. It will force you to get
    more creative with your shots also.

    I would suggest the ef 50/1.4 usm or maybe a 28mm/f1.8

    Its not easy making money in skateboard photography, next time your fliping through a
    magazine count the number of photographers. I bet its less than 10.

    Most of the time you need to have industy connections to become a professional
    photographer. Alot of the photographers are pro skaters themselves.

    And actually you dont have to be good, ive seen prenty of sub-par photography in
  7. hey. i skated for almost 20 yrs before i even thought of picking up a camera. from what ive see over the years, serious/pro skate photographers pretty much use the same high-end equipment that any major sports photographer would use. not alot of superlong lenses, but definitely maybe 70-200 in the bag. but mostly they use stuff on the wide and really wide end. they shoot wide cause youre usually pretty close to the skater, and you usually have to get his body, the skateboard, and whatever hes doing a trick up/down/over in the picture too. they also use the higher-end bodies from canon and nikon.
  8. Excellent thanks guys and gals (God did I really just say that?), this is all really helpful!
    I heard autofocus was a bad idea for skate photography, does anyone have any idea if this is true?
    Cheers once again!
  9. You might also want to check out wheelsandwax, which an action sports photography site.
    Regarding skate photography in general, you've gotten some pretty good advice here. With respect to your latest question--MF vs auto--it depends on the situation. For maybe 95% or more of your setup shots, prefocusing is a good option and can help you avoid the dreaded great-timing-but-the-AF-keyed-on-the-background scenario with which many of us are quite familiar.

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