Do you also find skateboarding amazing and could watch skaters for hours. Even better, do you want to capture their fun tricks and freeze them in motion.
Then skateboard photography is your genre! Read on to find out how to become an excellent skateboard photographer.
1. Find the Right Angle for Dynamic Photos
Skateboard photography is all about finding the right angles. Forget the one-fits-all approach. Every trick and every skateboard park looks good at a different angle.
Take images of skateboarders from the ground. Low-angle works very well for skateboard photography, as it adds excitement and increases the height.
Now try to shoot from above. Photograph while standing on benches or from around the curves. It’s always a good idea to get a front-facing side of the skater in the frame.
Watch the skaters doing the trick and snap a few test shots. This way, you will learn what angle works well for certain tricks.
Try to avoid using traditional perspectives. Skaters are moving around and doing fast tricks, bending their body in surreal positions. Your skateboarding photos should convey the same impression.
2. Use Manual Focus to Create Sharp Skate Photos
Often, auto focus won’t be able to get you sharp images when capturing skaters. Use manual focus and try to estimate where your subject will be in the frame.
Choose an object at the spot where you are expecting your skater subject. Prefocus on that object and shoot when the skater arrives in the scene.
This needs a bit of practice, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t get it right at first.
3. Shoot in Shutter Speed Priority Mode to Capture Motion
Just like any other action shot, skate photos require a fast shutter speed. This way, you can freeze the motion of the skaters and capture the perfect moment.
Shoot in Shutter Speed Priority, so you don’t have to worry about the right aperture. Your camera will adjust according to the chosen shutter speed.
Sometimes, you might want to capture motion blur. For this, you need a slower shutter speed. Experiment with the camera settings and see what results you prefer.
4. Get to Know and Work with the Skaters
Getting to know the skaters is one of the most important of a skateboard photographer. Introduce yourself and ask them if it’s okay to photograph them during skating.
Some people can feel disturbed by the camera. You don’t want anyone to get injured because of your presence. Ask the skaters about the tricks they will perform and the direction they are heading to.
In skateboarding photography, you have the advantage of being able to talk to your subjects. Discuss the angle you are going to shoot from, so you won’t be in their way.
Get to know the community of the skate park. This way, you can capture more personal photos and tell visual stories.
If you are serious about skateboard photography, you should be an active member of the community. This could lend you photography gigs at local skateboard competitions or practices.
Separating your subject from the background is always a good idea in skateboarding photography. But it is not always easy though, as skate ramps are often surrounded by buildings, colourful graffiti and poles.