Proper Stoked!

What was your first published image?

I think it would have been in RAD in 1991. I did a Milton Keynes article.В I think it was 5 pages long – there were 2 photos of me skating too. Proper stoked!

There’s a lot of technical variables involved in getting a great skate image, such as choice of lens, flash position and power, in conjunction with tricky on-camera settings like shutter speed / aperture / iso. How did you learn about how these inter-relate, or was it just trial and error on your part?

Yes a certain amount of trial and error. But a lot of help from Matthew ‘Wig’ Worland and Andy Horsley. Wig is the grandfather of British skate photography.

A lot of the technical info that circulates within the new school of british skate photographers has ultimately filtered down from him.

When going to a new spot for theВ first time, how do you plan the composition of your shots?

Just walk around, have a look at the spot from different angles. Figure out how the trick is going to look from each angle too.

The best looking angle of the spot isn’t necessarily the best angle for the trick.

You still use film, rather than digital, on a lot of your stills work. Is this a ‘purest’ stance, a comfort thing, or do you just prefer the results?

I use digi most of the time now. I’d love to shoot film more but the cost/processing time aspect of it is prohibitive. Especially when you have a family to support!

You can imitate film with a bit of photoshop work but I still love the feeling of getting film back from the lab.

Yeah, film does have a distinct quality to it…

There’s something about a nice blown up hassy fisheye shot that still can’t be convincingly copied with digital.

I was just looking through that Cliche Resume book. There is a lot of old film photography in there. You forget how a nice film shot combined with top quality repro can look – far and away superior to anything else.

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Andrew Brophy, Switch Ollie, St Petersburg, 2006

Andrew Brophy | Switch Ollie | St Petersburg, 2006

"This perfect marble plaza in St Petersburg, Russia was pretty much brand spanking new when the Cliche Team got to skate it. The security weren't keen on anyone grinding the ledge, so Brophy decided to jump over it. Switch. We almost didn't make it here though. We caught the overnight train from Moscow by the skin of our teeth. After initially going to the wrong train station, the ensuing taxi ride across town in a sketchy Lada (complete with even sketchier tab smoking driver) consisted of me watching the boot flapping open and closed with my camera bag teetering on the edge of rush hour traffic oblivion."

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