Monday, September 21, 2009

Skate Art

Down the Slide

Some days it seems like our lives really are works of art, endless opportunities for self-expression.

Mike Thorsen and I thought it was time for another Light Brigade group shoot yesterday, and the skate park seemed like a good option. The afternoon light was nice, the bowls and ramps have some really tasteful paint on them, and the action can be pretty good. It was either that or my daughter's school fair and I don't need the temptation of all that candy floss.

Sunday SkatersSkate Art 2Skate Art 1Air

When I got there I recognised Matt, a hard rock drummer I know from the old Empire Pub jam nights. He was hanging with the older dudes by one of the bowls. The first trick he showed me was how to bar-code swipe a six pack at the self-checkout so that it reads way less than the advertised price. See? I hadn't even got my camera out and was learning stuff already.

My plan was really just to do a little recce shoot, introduce myself and come up with some ideas for a subsequent visit. Since the afternoon sun was nice and low, I thought I'd stay wide and experiment with some cross-light or off-camera fill-in flash. Mike's idea was to just get as close to the action as possible, either with his zooms or by risking a set of skate trucks in the groin.

Skater-19 Skater-22

Mike under the jump

I found it pretty hard to keep the fast-moving skaters in frame with one hand and point my flash in the other and despite his exposed position, Mike was having a ball, so it seemed unkind to demand he hold my flash for me. The cross-lighting experiments will have to wait for next time, but I persevered with the flash, trying to get some fill into the skaters shaded faces. Then something magical happened. What looked like a home-made playground slide appeared in the traffic roundabout across the road. Don't ask me why. There are too many sharp edges for it to be kosher. Some kind of joke maybe?

Strange Slide

Whatever, it was like an open invitation to me, Mike and 3 of the skaters.

Riding the Slide10Riding the SlideRiding the Slide7Riding the Slide 2

The lads had mixed success riding the thing. Dismounts seemed to be the biggest challenge.

Riding the Slide in style

Riding the Slide5 Riding the Slide9

Just click on the picture, look at the large size and check out the expression on that last guy.

So what was the point of that playground slide? It's an industrial area; no kids play here. It's probably some kind of practical joke, but I think it could actually be a piece of casual installation art, a statement of self-expression, like tattoos, pulling stunts on a skateboard or even photography. Either you put some thought into it and go to extreme lengths to express yourself, or life just presents you with opportunities to do so. Your life is your work of art.

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