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Skateboard Photography Tips


Skateboarding is one of those sports that looks like it would be easy to shoot, but in reality it is quite difficult to get great shots.  Here are 10  tips for skateboard photography, that will drastically improve your images.

Shoot with a fisheye.

The fisheye is hands down the most common lens used in skateboard photography. It will capture extreme angles of your athletes and show the true difficulty of their tricks.  Here’s an article that will show you the best way to use your fisheye: Mind Bending Fisheye TipsSkateboard photography tip #1: Use a fisheye

Go low!

Check out this article for the logic behind this madness.  Skaters go big, but it’s a different kind of big than many other sports.  Bring that camera to ground level and it will show how extreme the trick/air really is.

Work with the athletes.

It may be fun to just sit off to the side of the skatepark and shoot, but if you ask someone if they would like some cool photos with the promise of sending low res copies later, they’ll be stoked!  This brings you in close to the action to get sick shots.IMG_9171

Go Wide.

 Fisheyes may give you cool distortion, but you won’t want this in every shot.  It can take away from the tricks and your shots will end up looking too similar if all you shoot is fisheye!  Wide angle won’t have the distortion and appears more natural but still crazy.

Look for cool curves/features to compose the shot around. 

This is what separates the men from the boys.  Make the shot different and unique and be an individual.


Shoot at sunrise and sunset for the best lighting.

It’s all about the golden hours of the day, when the light is soft and not directly overhead.  This is not just for landscape photographers, yes, it does apply to you.

Bring out a flash.  

Fill flash will fill in the dark details on your athlete when shooting into the sun or midday.  Don’t over crank it or it looks fake!  Turn it up just enough to make the skater stand out a bit from the background. Flash is a must for any night time skateboard photography when the athletes are hitting the less “legal” urban features.

Keep the background simple!

Try to frame each picture so that the athlete will stand out and the background behind them is not too cluttered.  Keep attention on the athlete, this isn’t “Where’s Waldo”.

Shoot lifestyles.  

Skaters have rad style.  Capture them when they aren’t in action and prepare for some entertaining and salable photos.Skater lifestyle photo

Take the flash off camera with radio/infrared triggers or a cord.

More on that here.  Also, be sure to check out www.strobist.com for an entire site dedicated to this subject matter!

Don’t shoot ASS PHOTOS.

Make sure that the skateboarder is facing towards the camera when possible.  Sometimes it’s a matter of moving over to the other side, or asking the skateboarder to do a different trick.Carlos_Martinez_02


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