Using a Ricoh GRD III and a Nikon DSLR to photograph streets, people, architecture and anything else that catches my eye.

Friday, 28 September 2012


It's a youth culture which is celebrated and frowned upon by different members of society. Some people see skateboarding as a true art form, a skill, a worthy sub culture; even if they don't fully understand it.  Others see it as an annoyance, a noise, a danger, another form of youth rebellion; especially if they dont understand it. I personally, find it interesting on many levels.  Like graffiti, it is performed by a small group of kids and young adults; and is surrounded by a whole culture of fashion, music and attitude.

Every town has areas where the skaters hang out and perform tricks and crashes; often with a surrounding group of hangers-on, listening to hip-hop or skate rock...  or whatever.  They often film each other and upload to youtube. The general public pass by or sometimes watch with amusement or disdain; sometimes ensuring they keep out of the way of those noisey speeding boards.

The local town councils are always trying to move them on or spoil their fun, seeing the activity as dangerous and damaging to the walls, rails, steps and paving; which maybe be true in some respects. Out of town small skate parks are often financed and installed, which are usually used by the younger kids; while the older and more 'hardcore' skaters prefer to make use of their urban surroundings.

Whatever side of the fence you stand regarding these skaters, they are here to stay. I see them as an opportunity for a little photography. 

These first two shots were taken near 'First Site' a new local contemporay art gallery in Colchester. It is a controversial £30million building, which has already raised enough anger in a town, let alone the fact that it is now a skaters paradise! (I would just like to state that I fully support the building, whatever the cost.  I'd rather have contemporary art than more shops and houses...  but that's all for another blog post).

So here are the shots...  all taken with my beloved Ricoh GRD3.   SkaterZ Rock, Dudes!

As for these next shots, I wanted to focus more on the boards and the ground, resulting in anonymous lower body shots of London and local skaters. I like both of these, even though it is essentially the same shot a few seconds apart.

Taken in London, a city center in-line skater. These guys speed around the pavements, weaving effortlessly through the pedestrians. Alternative transport indeed.

Check out the skater's elbow scabs...

My final shot of a London skater; who manages to combine street fashion, a wicked hair style and the 'skillz'.


George McKay said...

Excellent skater shots - the final one is a classic. Also - wondering what it is about the new art gallery that's created controversy - the cost, design - Architectural abnormalities or oddities are often photo-worthy subjects...

Michael Gatton said...

Great shots, Bill. The first one is quite a striking scene, interesting environment in which to place the skaters, good lighting. Nice shadows on the lower body shots, and that last guys is really a character.