An exploration of the philosophies, thoughts and artistic yearnings, both as creator and audience, of Christopher F. Heinrich by Christopher F. Heinrich.
Tuesday, August 7
Skateboarders at Under The Freeway Skatepark
Two posts back, I wrote of my burgeoning interest in black-and-white film photography, my ideal of capturing the beauty of daily life and need to get better. Here is one of those steps, taking the time to really look at my pictures, finding what I like and dislike about it and moving myself a little farther along that path of improvement. I choose to do this in a public forum to attract criticism, so please do not rest your fingers if you have some comment. Should you care, these pictures are roughly being published in the order they were printed. Enjoy.
Before the composition or printing are considered at all, I must say that I am proud of this picture because it represents one of the earliest times I asked permission before taking pictures. Far too often I either just ignore that or give up without trying. On to the picture.
Strong central elements in the two skateboarders is good, there are no other elements vying to be at the center of attention, and clutter is at a minimum. I filled up a roll on skateboarders and learned something important in shooting them, they never look up. Their eyes are always on their boards. You know you've caught something special when that's not happening, or you'll just have to learn to deal with it.
Washed out background with the harsh line on the diving barrier is irritating, but a symptom of shooting subjects under a freeway, completely in shadow while the sun merrily shines away on everything else. Could be negated by shooting so the background is always under the freeway or pushing the horizon to an extreme edge of the picture and not right down the center. Not much I could do during printing to salvage that.
By and large, this picture doesn't impress me so much. However, it stands out among my mass of skateboarding shots for an important reason. There are two skateboarders in it. I realize that sounds ridiculous, but the right skateboarder provides an invaluable contrast and context for the left skateboarder. You can actually tell he's doing something. Without shadows to give some sense of their jumps, he just ends up looking ridiculous. The second skateboarder grounds him and gives us a way to understand the other's achievement. It's a lesson I've try to keep in mind not only for photography but journalism as well. Let the viewer/reader understand what's happening and, if necessary, why it matters.