So after a hiatus of over 20 years, Shut up and Skate returned to Southsea skatepark. I remember going to the original comps back in the day and always enjoyed watching the Vert guys killing it on the old Southsea vert ramp.
Jumping at the chance to see some Vert action yesterday saw Round 2 of the UK Independent Vert Series stop off at the freshly installed NAAS vert ramp, with Barry Abrook allowing use of his old SuaS moniker. There were 3 groups, A,B and Vet (I.e old buggers), with ages ranging from SEVEN!!!! to borderline bus pass territory.
I grew up reading RAD and Thrasher and had posters of all the big US Vert skaters all over my walls... so Vert is something I've been itching to photograph for some time. Luckily the weather gods shined down on us, so we had a day of full on sunshine.
I shot pretty much everything with my 8mm fisheye. I used my 580 flash for fill and also to help stop too much blur, but luckily the bright sunshine meant I could shoot at a pretty high shutter speed (around 1600/s). The only problem with my 8mm is that it's completely manual, so I had to work out the right focus distance and pray that everything was sharp, I dropped the f stop down to f/5:6 so hyperfocally I had something like 0.6 foot to infinity in focus!
The guys were going high, very very high and throwing in a mix of big airs and technical lip tricks, sharing the platform with the videographer I had to be careful not to get in his way, reviewing the shots on the back of the camera showed that for backside airs, getting down low and shooting up meant I could capture the guys faces, whilst for frontside stuff getting up higher and shooting down seemed to yield better results.
After a nice bag of chips on the way home I settled down to go through the 1k odd shots from the day...Normally, with that many shots i'd find it fairly easy to sort through them all, great shots tend to stand out and so do poor shots... the problem I had is that the skill of the guys made all the shots look great.. I'd like to take all the credit, but the reality is I was just pressing the shutter button, all the skill was on the ramp, the only thing I had to get right was timing and sometimes, being at the right place at the right time works wonders.