Where are you currently located / living?
I currently live in Melbourne, Australia. I’m originally from Hobart in Tasmania, and have now been living in Melbourne for four years. I like to seize any opportunity to travel and love skating around Australia.
Age / how long have you been involved with photography?
I’m 36 and have been shooting since I started skating in 1989. Ever since I first picked up a skateboard I’ve been obsessed with documenting all the fun, challenges, and friends that I’ve encountered along the way.
What type of cameras do you shoot with?
I grew up shooting film, but now I usually shoot with Canon DSLRs, but I also like to utilise the convenience of modern technology and shoot a lot with my iphone!
Skater: Tommy Breaks
Favorite photography accessory other than your camera?
I’d probably say my flashes. It’s really fun to play around with lighting to create some extra dimension and make the skater “pop” from the background. It can turn a mundane environment into a super real landscape that normally wouldn’t be seen by the average eye. No matter what time of day or what weather conditions you’re shooting in you’ll still get a striking image which captures the energy and motion of skateboarding.
If you had to choose one lens which one would it be and why?
That’s a tough decision. I used to shoot a lot with an 18-125 lens which was perfect, as it covered a lot of bases and gave you a lot of options for one lens. I always like to travel light, as I’m usually skating with my gear, so it’s really handy to have some choices in one lens. Though when it comes to skate photography who could pass up the sacred fish eye lens? It possesses the ability to convert an average trick into something a lot more impressive, and I’m always a big fan of “in your face” skate shots (which I think might be a throwback to my roots in 90’s skate photography). Though it can mean you might get a little lazy with your composition (as generally everything looks good!).
What makes a skate photograph original and unique: basically what is your idea of a good photo?
There’s a lot that goes into a great skate shot. A dynamic composition, good lighting, the location, geometry and forms, colour/tones, the trick selection, the skaters style and the spot. To make a great shot it’s really important to clearly convey the interaction between the skater and the environment they’re in. A shot that makes you think more about the whole picture rather then just the trick is cool. Creating subtext, a backstory and some questions can turn a good shot into an amazing story.
Skater: Renton Millar
Name the first photographer that comes to your mind and why?
Mike O’Meally – one of the most successful Australian skate photographers of all time. Mike’s a very passionate man who looks at the world through honest eyes and tries to capture the true essence of his imagery. He’s a smart arse who really has fun with what he’s doing. He’s done a lot for Australian skaters and photographers, and still continues to do so on an international level. He’s a loud and proud Aussie who doesn’t back down from his beliefs and is always willing to share his wisdom and stories with you. I really love his take on black and white photography, as well as his portraiture that cuts to the core of the character. A lot of his most famous works aren’t of ground breaking tricks either, which goes to show it isn’t necessarily the tricks that make skateboarding, but the whole cultural and shared experience value of our world.
What do you feel is the most challenging thing about skateboard photography?
Probably the pressure of getting the timing perfect for a trick that might only be possible once. Shooting demos and contests are probably the hardest, as there’s so much going on it’s difficult to be everywhere at once. It’s also not a past time for anyone with little patience – as sitting or lying in cramped positions for hours on end to get the angle right whilst waiting for the skater to land the trick can get a little frustrating. Also trying to make any “real money” out of skate photography is a challenge, so I prefer to do it for the love rather then for monetary return. Truthfully though, at the end of the day I don’t really don’t see any of it as a problem, as the outcomes can be so rewarding that you totally forget any troubles that went into making the picture happen.
Skater: Josh Feggans
Any references you may have (past and present photogrpahy work) and/or your relation to skateboarding?
I’ve been published in magazines Thrasher, Concrete Wave, Australian Skateboarding, Slam, and The Skateboarder’s Journal (as well as a few other non-skateboarding magazines). I’ve also had a number of website profiles/interviews, and have published my own zines C.O.T.C and Gracias. I’ve also had a few solo exhibitions, as well as participating in numerous group art shows. Over the years I’ve also filmed for a couple of Australian video magazines, produced my own independent productions and currently produce clips for a number of brands I team manage at Lush Productions (Australian distribution company). I’ve also worked in many other areas of the industry ranging from skate shop manager, sales brand rep, tour driver, magazine writer/reviewer, to events/promotion, skate coach , designer, and now a company director. Check out my brand The Cream which is a naturopathic herbal liniment designed to help reduce the duration of skate inflicted injuries.
I’m constantly sharing my photography through a lot of avenues, but here’s the main ones I regularly update.
Instagram – @ewingram
My blog – http://duncan-ewington.blogspot.com.au/
My company site – http://thecream.com.au/
Flikr – http://www.flickr.com/photos/muchos-gracias/
Skater: Marty Girotto
Skater: Sean Ritchie