brad bowman

I was crowned by the King that day!

How long did it take you to get to grips with that technique – especially getting used to shooting at slower speeds?

Not long at all. I realised early on, that a single flash mounted on the camera gave a two dimensional looking photo and the light looked flat to me.

In early 1978В  I bought other flashes and attached a small light sensor that would trigger them to shoot when I fired the flash. I positioned the other flashes to the right and far left sides of the skater getting a 3 dimensional look to the photos.

Shooting right after the sunset gave the pictures the best look while still being able to see the whole surrounding area the skater was in. I found that using the flash with slower shutter speed gave a sense of motion when I moved the camera with the skater.

It was a whole new world to me and I loved it.

When did you start using a fisheye lens?

I started using a fisheye as soon as I could buy one in 1975 or early 1976.

Your photo of Robert Chadwick at the ditch in Reno (the one I spoke about in my introduction) – his wheel must have been a cigarette papers thickness from your lens!!

Actually Robert’s wheel touched my lens on that shot! We were trying to get a shot with the wheel as close as we could to the lens and what we got was a once in a lifetime shot.

Did you or your gear get a good battering over the years?

I think I was extremely lucky to really never get hit by a skater until 2001 when I was shooting Tony Hawk at a ramp demo on his first tour with ESPN and I was part of the program. His board got away from him and hit me in the head and I ended up getting 4 stitches. It was OK though, I was crowned by the King that day!

I can only remember getting hit a couple of other times in those years covering contests and shooting for Skateboarder Magazine. I felt as if I had a protective bubble around me. It was amazing actually to be that close to the action all those years…I kind of miss it now, you know.

[Opposite:В  Brad Bowman В | В Fullerton V Ditch В | В Skateboarder Magazine June 1980 Indy Ad]

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