Flying back from the Far East took me through Los Angeles and with it a reunion with none other then my co-publisher at Joup, a man by the name of Shawn C. Baker. It was most certainly a homecoming and LA, for better or worse, is quite the slice of Americana. Bakes had some time off so we decided to head north from his home in San Pedro out to Venice Beach and it’s post-hippie-chic-glitz-glam. Our main objective wasn’t the show though, it was to catch Sunday skateboarding at the recently renovated Venice Beach skatepark. After all, this is where all the four-wheel action began. So let’s take a look at the shots and go into a bit of detail about them.
Honestly, after shooting and post production, these shots were the most fun I’ve had since getting this DSLR. The subject matter, especially the skilled skaters, just lead to countless amount of incredible shots. Of course none of these are for sale nor will they be used commercially, reason being I am fairly certain some of these skaters have licenses and rights to themselves, and I would need a release for anyone anyway. Just in case for any point in the future, I found a nice photography site with a sample release form HERE.
While some the shots turned out a bit gray, I thought this brought charm and uniqueness to the lot. It’s not often that one catches an overcast day on Venice so it was easier to battle the brightness of the sun reflecting off the concrete park. And it’s not like it was completely gray the entire shoot just at times when the sun was hiding behind the clouds. A time like this is when it’s crucial to toggle white balances. Again, for action shots as I discussed in Average Joe Photography #2, using a shutter of at least 1/800 of a second is critical in capturing that true stop motion. I was usually using as low of an ISO as possible (nor more then 400) with my f somewhere around 5.0. I used the 18-55mm standard lens for wider shots and my 55-250mm for close-ups. I noticed photographers entering the park as well to get different angles but really they were with a skater specifically shooting them. I felt it best just to stay behind the railings and shoot away, and really had no problem with my focal length.
I shot plenty of photos portrait because the subject matter led to it. High-flying arm-flaying skateboarding sometime requires a perception of height to fully convey the difficulty of a skaters moves. And man were there some beauties. Manuals, tail-grabs, lip-grinds and aerial bowl transfers were just some of the moves on display.
Always a stopping point for me now if I’m in SoCal is Venice Beach, primarily for this skate park because you just never know what you will see that day. And the American Legend continues…Skate or Die!
Your Average Joe currently shoots with a Canon 600D and two different lens. One being the stock 18-55mm lens and the other being a 55-250mm tele-zoom lens. He utilizes Lightroom for post production but not over production.
Joe Grzesik (JGrez) is an artist developer focusing online on front end development and keeping up with new techonolgies. Photography has been his most recent and strongest passion. He’s shot thousands of photos throughout the years only recently display a larger portion of his library here on Joup.