REDUX - Harvey Mills by Skateboarding Photo



Skateboarders are frequently portrayed as a public nuisance. It is this disapproving attitude that initially prompted me to challenge perception, and present aspects of this urban sport and sub-culture in a positive, and more palatable, light.

Fascinated by the graceful aesthetic, I have aimed to produce a series of action images that present a concept whereby skateboarding can be as visually stimulating as a piece of modern contemporary dance or as beautiful as a gymnastic floor routine: where style and self expression are as important as technique and athleticism.

The conceptual parallels and comparisons are further reinforced, as music adds a vital and inspirational ingredient. Often listening to MP3 players, skaters move quickly and decisively within space to the rhythms of their own personal soundtrack – a glorious fantasy of interpretation, individual style and well-honed technical skill.

My personal engagement with each featured individual was essential to gain acceptance and trust, as extremely close proximity was (at times) critical. However, the real photographic challenge was to capture the subject within their own chosen environment, encouraging natural expression and spontaneity without the interventions of suggestion, choreography, or intrusive posing.

In summary, by freezing and studying the inherent visual characteristics of the sport, it is intended that one may better appreciate the imagination, elegance and obvious ability of these young ‘performance artists’.

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