Continue our series, skateboarders in alleys, we stay in Westlake:
The skate photos I shoot are almost always a collaboration between me and the skater. So yes, they are usually set up to some degree. When we get to a spot, if I’m not skating myself, then I’ll be snooping around looking for interesting angles while simultaneously talking with the skater(s) to see what tricks they are interested in trying. Then I’ll envision the trick in my head and try to get an appropriate angle for that trick, which also places that trick within the context of the urban space. Depending on the lighting and the location, I also sometimes will shoot with two external flashes which are linked up via radio transmitters. This freezes the action in low light, but can also serve to emphasize the skater within a scene. – Taylor Fitz-Gibbon
Final shot tomorrow and see the whole series here.
Continuing with our theme, skateboarders in alleys, we travel to Westlake:
Over the last two or so years I have slipped out of the skateboarding world. A lot of the people I used to shoot photos of moved away, got injured, or just generally stopped skating as much. My life also got infinitely more busy once I started studying for my masters in urban planning at UCLA, so I no longer have the time to spend many hours each week exploring the streets and then come home and process all the images. I do however, still skate from time to time, and my experiences as a skateboarder still have a daily impact on my life as a student of cities. – Taylor Fitz-Gibbon
Continuing with our theme of the week, Skateboarders in Alleys, our photographer Taylor Fitz-Gibbon continues:
For about 4 or 5 years, the most important passion in my life was shooting photos of skateboarding. Rather than trying to capture “extreme” maneuvers, I was more interested in placing the skateboarding action within the context of the city. I felt more like an architectural photographer than an action photographer. However, I was also fortunate to be friends with so many ridiculously talented skateboarders who were finding innovative ways to exploit the urban landscape on a daily basis. – Taylor Fitz-Gibbon
For the next two weeks, here on LosAngelesAlleys.com, we’re going to try something a bit different. Usually, we run one shot each post depicting a beautiful part of the city, reveling in the single majesty of forgotten parts of this city. This week and next, for a change, we’re going to run photographs each day from two different photographers featuring a themed take on alleys.
We start with Taylor Fitz-Gibbon, a graduate student at UCLA, who emailed us a series of photographs of skateboarders in alleys. We’ll continue next week with Barry Gillfry, a photographer whose pictures reflect a solitude and peace – in alleys – that can be hard to find in the hustle of a big city.
Taylor takes it from here:
I grew up here in LA exploring the streets on a skateboard. As a skateboarder, you are intimately connected to the physical city. You pay ridiculously close attention to the fine-grained forms and textures of the urban landscape. It becomes second nature. You are also in-tune with the psychology of different city spaces. Abandoned, undefined, dead spaces repel others, but offer respite for skateboarders who always feel on-edge in more controlled spaces. Alleyways are a prime example of the type of neglected space in which skateboarders feel most comfortable. – Taylor Fitz-Gibbon