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Issue 108 August 2010 free

the 2010 photo annual

the 2010 photo annual

Issue 108 August 2010 free

the 2010 photo annual

canadian Photographer Profiles Jody Morris & Bryce Kanights Jonathan Mehring Brian Gaberman Tod Swank

Rough Amongst Riches cover photo and caption by

Sergio Alvarez

Located in the south of Spain, Puerto Banús in Marbella is one of the most rich and famous areas of the world. There are yachts and Ferraris parked everywhere, but the locals found a derelict rollerskating park from the ’70s in the middle of nowhere and made it into a skate spot. This sketchy, rotted ramp has only been sessioned by the locals and the Cliché guys on some Gypsy Tour. CHRIS HASLAM likes to skate gnarly spots, so this place came to mind when he was around. As you can see, he brought it back to life with a badass OLLIE TO FAKIE.




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I ss u e 1 0 8

The 2010 Photo Annual

28 Pulling Cards the CANADIAN Photographer


52 Snail Mail and Land Lines: 62

How Bryce Kanights Taught Jody Morris Jonathan Mehring:


Tod Swank:

The Voluntary Runaway Renaissance Man

92 Shadowplay: The Photography of 106 10 16 18 20 22 134 136 138 6

Brian Gaberman Exposure

Introduction Autodidact Identity Joe Brook Identity Seu Trinh Toy Redefined the Fisher Price PXL-2000 Two Professions, One Camera The Nikon D300s Tales From The Gutter The Five Spot ty Evans The Five Spot Greg Hunt

Concrete skateboarding

contents: Alex Beland

Frontside crooked grind photo

Babas Levrai

cover: Chris Haslam

Ollie to fakie photo

Sergio Alvarez


aw-toh-dahy-dakt | noun a person who has learned a subject without the benefit of a teacher or formal education; a self-taught person.

I recently went to a party attended by many photographers, mostly younger or newer ones. Maybe it was the booze talking, but the topic of conversation would often lead to how they were “self-taught” and had learned everything they know by themselves with no schooling. This got me to thinking about what that really means these days. When I started shooting in 1988 there were no LCD screens on the backs of cameras, and the Internet was nonexistent – no email access or websites to look over that might have a quick-fix answer to your burning questions. So how did us elders get our questions answered? For me, it was long nights at the library and my trusty notebooks. When veteran Canadian skate photographer Jody Morris first started out, he was taught over the phone by former Thrasher Photo Editor Bryce Kanights as you’ll discover in our Snail Mail And Land Lines feature this issue [see p.52]. If you’re even shooting with film at all these days, it can cost two-tofive dollars with every click of the shutter, so you really have to think first. Years ago, in order to narrow down mistakes and re-shoots I started a book of variables. Every time I was out selectively blasting off skate photos on film, I’d collect the test Polaroids and scrawl shot info on them. I’d also print each image after getting my rolls back from the lab. That visual reference, alongside my notes, gave me a comprehensive breakdown of the results with an emphasis on mistakes. Light and shadow variations along with different film types,


Concrete skateboarding

colours, subjects and flash distances were just a few of the variables to consider. Now you can simply review glaring mistakes by looking at previews on your digital camera. Don’t get me wrong, shooting off a ton of digi photos can be a good way to learn. But while you’re reviewing the image onslaught on a monitor or scrolling through them on your camera, you might miss the best frame possible or bypass a fine detail that really seals the deal for a particular still. As a skate photographer, there’s nothing worse than overlooking a captured point in time that won’t repeat itself in the exact same way – a time when the natural and technical variables add up perfectly. I used to think of myself as self-taught since I didn’t go to school, but after looking through hundreds of books and speaking with countless photographers I feel like that catch phrase no longer applies to me now.

Brian Caissie, photo editor

Skate photo by: Kyle Camarillo

distributed by Ultimate

distributed by Ultimate

distributed by Ultimate









Seu Trinh will not answer your calls. That is, unless he knows you and recognizes your number. So if you’re a young up-and-comer in need of a photo, it’s best to leave a message. He’s one of the staff photographers at Transworld and “Happy Go Lucky” seems to be the perfect phrase that captures what Seu is all about. Unlike most skate photographers, he isn’t much for traveling and mainly shoots in the Los Angeles area. He also doesn’t like driving much either. Regardless, he’ll always be up for an adventure with a mischievous smile on his face, even if he doesn’t want to stuff you into his Prius.


Concrete skateboarding



David Ehrenreich


conic American photographer Edward Steichen said, “No photographer is as good as the simplest camera.” The basic still cameras he referred to have been accessible and affordable for a long time, allowing the interested to become enthusiasts and eventually professionals. In terms of film and video recorders, the different formats and capturing methods that have existed over the years have made it a more difficult personal documentation method than still photography. In an early attempt to really simplify video (and market it as a toy for children), Fisher Price developed a series of cameras, released in 1987, called the PXL-2000.

Until very recently, the PXL was the closest analog replacement to the much-admired hand-held 8mm film cameras of the past, which are still commonly used in music videos and art films. The PXL’s black-and-white output and low frame-rate (15 frames-persecond) creates a haunting, yet appealing image. On the other hand, it’s likely the lowest quality method of capturing video ever devised. About 11-minutes of footage and sound are recorded directly to a standard cassette tape running at high speed. These tapes are not a renowned way to hold good information when used to record audio under normal circumstances, and video is many times the size. Despite this lack of quality, these toy cameras have a special place in the hearts of many. The PXL2000 has been used in feature films like Hamlet [2000] and Slacker [1991], and a strictly-PXL film festival – called PXL This – is held every December in Santa Monica. This year’s festival will be the 20th, and their website,, is dedicated to films shot entirely on this fickle medium. And if that doesn’t get 20

Concrete skateboarding

you interested, the PXL has its own section in arguably the most badass skate video ever, Anti-Hero’s Fucktards [1997]. Like most old film and video recorders, the biggest modernday obstacle lies in digitizing the information so it’s compatible with modern editing software. Fresh out of the box, the original PXL models do not include a method of transferring the footage, which proves the designers didn’t forecast the future potential of their “toy”. Fortunately, some technically apt enthusiasts discovered a method of opening up the camera and soldering in the necessary RCA output components. That way, the PXL inputs to a mini-DV camera so the audio and video can be captured digitally. This customization and transfer is an arduous process, but it guarantees original and exciting results. These upgraded PXL2000s can be purchased directly from their personal modifiers on eBay and usually range from $200 to $400, depending on the availability and quality of the model. Much like the Polaroid and Holga still cameras, the PXL2000 has slowly proven itself as a cult classic over the years. It gives users a certain peace of mind, justifying spontaneity and allowing them to just shoot whatever the hell they want and feel good about it. Visit to see David Ehrenreich’s PXL-2000 short featuring Deer Man Of Dark Woods, Nate Roline, Nelson Conway and more…

all screenshots courtesy of

Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Sleep Productions

Two Professions, One Camera

The Nikon D300s by

Kelly Litzenberger


echnological advancements in photography over the past few years have caused quite the movement in the media world. Not only have most professional photographers crossed over from film to digital, a new trend is emerging with the recent wave of D-SLRs. Photographers now have the ability to capture high-quality video using the same camera bodies they’ve long been accustomed to, and videographers have a new tool to expand their horizons. Enter the Nikon D300s. Aside from being a prosumer (professional/consumer) powerhouse when it comes to shooting still photographs, this D-SLR also shoots 720p HD video. The use of macro and telephoto lenses with wide apertures along with a shallow depth-of-field creates a narrow focus plane that’s excellent at replicating expensive cinematic lenses for a fraction of the cost ($1000-$2000 for Nikon premium glass, versus Panavision’s $25,000 lenses). Any wouldbe videographer can now produce quality shoots, and in some instances TV and movie studios are choosing D-SLRs because of their quality, size, and affordability. The intro reel for the latest season of Saturday Night Live was shot exclusively with D-SLRs, albeit with a Canon 5D and 7D, but that gives you an idea of the quality this format is capable of.

The traditional video cameras that most skateboarders use cannot match the low-light capabilities of the Nikon D300s, which makes it possible to shoot video with virtually no additional light sources. The in-camera file management also allows you to trim video clips and delete unwanted extras, which saves time at the end of the day. 22

Concrete skateboarding

However, the format’s biggest drawback is the lack of image stabilization, so it’s important to use a sturdy tripod or a dolly track whenever possible for complex shots. As well, an external mic is needed for richer sound since the camera’s built-in microphone only records mono, one-track audio. The D300s is not only compact and light (2.2lbs, including the battery), it’s also compatible with every lens made to work with Nikkor’s F-mount system, which has been in place since 1959. Out of the box, the D300s can shoot sequences at seven frames-per-second, and last long enough to shoot up to a thousand photos on a single charge. With the optional vertical grip/battery pack (MB-D10, MSRP $339) the camera can be pushed to eight frames-persecond – fast enough to capture flip tricks and manny sequences. At a list price of $1549 (body only), the D300s is capable of shooting images sharp enough for full-page printing in magazines, not to mention its ability to film HD video using multiple lenses. Once you’ve shot with a D-SLR like this one, the way you work as a photographer and/ or videographer may change forever. On top of it being a quality still camera, the selective focus allows for a refined look that can’t be matched by consumer video cameras. As well, the low-light capabilities will make you want to film only at night. As technology surges forward, the only limitations will be one’s imagination.

Visit to watch Brian Caissie’s Nikon D300s test-footage featuring Derek Swaim, Micky Papa, Cory Wilson, Paul Trep and more…

brian caissie

still photo: KRIS FOLEY // MUTE GRAB

hd video grab


brian caissie



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Paul Machnau // crooked grind

Rich Odam Age: 35 Website: Favourite Camera: Hasselblad 500 C/M Years Shooting: 8 Home City: Toronto, ON Current Residence: Vancouver, BC Inspiration: My peers Employer: Freelance


Concrete skateboarding

J-S Lapierre

Shuriken Shannon

y skateboarding. Every “Rich makes it easy to enjo rolling with the homies, like it’s t go time we go shoo er what kind of spot we matt n’t does no pressure. It creative and elevate get ra, came his out to, he’ll pull usiasm. Even if I’m just l the session with his enth ng close to anything, he’l comi even warming up or not and how amazing s look it sick how on and be trippin’ out s me want to try harder the photo could be. It make tight like that. just He’s ity. real a o make that phot thing back and let you do your Most photographers kick in. I’m down for jump to cue the ‘em until you give on the it like a homie who’s in that, but Rich comes at the next level, to s vibe the s take session. It just

then everyone gets stoked and starts busting out. He’s the dude that makes you want to land your tricks instead of having to land your tricks. Less job with more fun equals out to better results and great memories. Thanks for being awesome, brother!”      —Jordan Hoffart

Owen Woytowich Age: 27 Website: Favourite Camera: Hasselblad 501 C/M Years Shooting: 12 Home City: Saskatoon, SK Current Residence: Saskatoon, SK Inspiration: The late Nathan Matthews and my beautiful wife Michelle Employer: Freelance

Drew Merriman // Crailslide

Kevin Lowry // Crook to fakie

to portray Owen knows how hard it is a real “Anyone that has ever met He’s one-of-a-kind, and h. grap para t shor a pop him in only be listening to horrible l he’l day e . On that at and character wearing some baggy jeans be l he’l day next the nd. music, and Confusing? Not for a seco hop. hipund rgro unde to a listening take on the world. He has to y read is Owen , hand her Coffee in t lengths to succeed, whet grea to go will and gold on heart of weather alone for hours s-40 minu in ing driv s flying to this mean ion one province over, or end to a failed skate miss out of two rainy weeks. Language g thin some ng maki has friends Europe and him for half-a-second; he ble barriers don’t even faze t and won’t have any trou poin this at d worl the little all over enough dues to deserve a paid has guy This . tiful beau making more his and , rie Prai e on the more then his Little Hous new bride.”  —Kevin Lowry

Concrete skateboarding


Jeff Comber Age: 30 Website: Favourite Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mark IV Years Shooting: 10 Home City: Owen Sound, ON Current Residence: Toronto, ON Inspiration: The ability to compose a slice of life into a frame and trap it forever Employer: Freelance

Kuba Rygal

Nathan Olokun // front crook

Mikey Wenham // backside ollie

y or a a good trip, a sweet part “Whenever I’m remembering always there. He and I are was er Comb ion, sess e t 25 fun skat s in southern Ontario abou rding both from very small town shared love for skateboa our with and t, apar minutes someday meet up. I’ve d woul we that le itab it was inev he’s now, and during that time known Jeff for 10 years and photography to a ing skat to n ctio addi taken an ways has helped me out in many whole other level. Jeff friendship and photography; his with s year the ut througho and I’ve -going people out there re he’s one of the most easy yone around him. If you’ ever on off rubs it way the seen the documented, he is by far k tric a ing gett ing ability consider around with because of his greatest person to roll for style.” eye his and , vate moti to casually —Jesse Landen

Concrete skateboarding


PJ Ladd // hardflip revert

Jody Morris Age: Time flies... Website: Favourite Camera: Mamiya 7 Years Shooting: Closing in on double decades Home City: Ottawa, ON Current Residence: Encinitas, CA Inspiration: The prospect of having to get a real job Employer: Plan B Skateboards Media/Marketing Director)


Pat Duffy

ny times count how ma er. I can’t gazine ph ma ra me og so ot ph d by le “Jody is a ma ed on the phone or emaile king for HER contact ll I’ve been ca assistant or art buyer as d yes I do have HIS an , Photo Editor she is a he, rm them that info. I info ke he’s info. – it seems li er at st met Jody ov fir y I gu o en ot wh ph in mber I can’t reme rever. When I was the ma st talented supplier fo mo r nd ou ou s ar wa he been h. Jody’s [Transworld], photography from up nort always the old mag g ’s in he rd d oa an eb pack skat e, unusual of the best out from the a unique angl always stood images have further with contraption. He has t bi a it ke willing to ta tructing some skateable action, portrait or ns spot or by co for a great photo, be it e quite the ey landscape.

The Canucks have to be the most welltraveled citizens on the planet, but what are they trying to escape from? It can’t be the incredible beauty of the land, the friendliness of the people or the 7-ply maple. It’s the bitter winters. So, being the well-traveled Canadian he is, Jody came to SoCal and that’s where he has really left his mark on the skateboard world, claiming his spot in the mosh pit with the rest of the world’s best skate photographers. By the way, Jody has broken more fisheye lenses than any other skate photographer.” —J. Grant Brittain

Concrete skateboarding


Keith Henry Age: 20 Website: Favourite Camera: Nikon D2X Years Shooting: 5 Home City: Edmonton, AB Current Residence: Vancouver, BC Inspiration: Nathan Matthews Employer: Freelance

Cory Forster // wallride

Danny Empey // Switch frontside Shuv

the y quite is alread lly apprenticing h it Ke officia g age, h has After un his youn ws, Keit “Despite d photographer. late Nate Matthe fun-to-behe d e establis n Doubt and th liable an Keith is that la th e more re under Dy one of th e. The problem wi nicely gets out be to emerged otogs out ther met that ting a clip. ve I’ er ph ograph ’re shoo o, the time around ile they only phot he’s the y of the filmer wh good for the vide are paid. of the wa gh this might be Keith: your dues had your . up and eats and Even thou for this to stop of the gr the time to step shot. has come arned from some the w is of No t . le ou er d get all ov You’ve blished ck off an photos pu deo geeks to fu vi tell us rned it.” You’ve ea dard —Ben Stod Concrete skateboarding


Josh Clark // 5-0

Jeff Thorburn Age: 25 Website: Favourite Camera: Rolleicord Years Shooting: 9 Home City: Fredricton, NB Current Residence: Calgary, AB Inspiration: Brian Gaberman,happy mistakes and prints Employer: For hire and willing to work

Sean MacAlister // frontside wallride

Jed Anderson // 5-0

“Jeff Thorburn is one fine man with a profound understanding of light, and how to go about capturing it. You can clearly see this in his work. To understand the former, you may want to take him on as an intern. Amongst all the photo cleaning, bathroom mopping, negative sorting, scanning and miscellaneous paperwork that you throw his way, have him do something truly challenging. Have him watch your child while you’re shooting. Many know how to use Photoshop, but few can charm a two-yearold girl and make her feel comfortable while her father lays in the dirt with skateboards flying overhead. In fact, I think the experience had such a profound effect on him that not only did he continue on the rigorous and thankless path of being a skateboard photographer, but went one step further and had himself a child.” —Dylan Doubt

Concrete skateboarding


Jai Ball // frontside 180 fakie nosegrind

Geoff Clifford Age: 33 Website: Favourite Camera: Hasselblad 500 C/M Years Shooting: 3 Home City: Halifax, NS Current Residence: Montreal, QC Inspiration: Seeing the creativity of others ?Employer: SBC Skateboard Magazine (Senior Photographer)

Andrew McGraw // switch kickflip

Richard Sarrazin // frontside tailslide

Adam Green

with on started skating the first guys I At that “Geoff was one of n I moved to Montreal in 2006. whe g and I was not din oar teb a regular basis ska ng nd most rted shooti anymore. We’d spe time, he just sta skate for photos the city to the of e sid very motivated to one m shock at cruising fro treal we were in of the days just sh imports to Mon went on and I started to r other, and as fre yea Geoff’s re were. The how many spots the couple tricks for photos. It was t being a in. Tha aga fun ng dork around with oti sho much de that made tographer. Pretty ff’s laid-back attitu n hard-working pho – Geo said, he’s one dam past sunset and in any weather job, but e s become his day everyday – sunris h someone. Now it’ ll get into with you out shooting wit he’ s ion conversat a job for s more than just with the hour-long you can tell it’ ” ie! hom about flash syncs, s, ces all the suc him. Congrats on —Darrell Smith

Concrete skateboarding


Colton Blight // smithgrind

Will Jivcoff Age: 19 Website: Favourite Camera: Bronica SQ-4 Years Shooting: 5 Home City: Kitchener, ON Current Residence: Kitchener, ON Inspiration: New spots and new homies to skate with Employer: Freelance

Colin Findlater // frontside crook

to describe Will: to mind when I try s funny little red“One word comes thi was down to first met, he am in his hand, stoked! When we a brand new digi-c the last five years r headed kid with Ove everything. , but shoot anything and elop not only as a photographer a keen dev . Will has end fri I’ve watched him a and much , an artist as a skateboarder personal style, and despite how always eye for tricks and for spots or photo ideas, he can some in someone may search work of art waiting to happen h a k. come through wit par l or industria rugged back alley

Will’s passion is skating, his art is photography and he’s giving it his all. He’s seen more of the world and has been on more adventures at 19 years old than a lot of people experience in their whole life, and he’s catching it all on 120 film.” —Isaac Watamaniuk

Concrete skateboarding


Jorden Murray // kickflip

Joel Dufresne Age: 25 Website: Favourite Camera: Canon 1D and/or Canon 20D Years Shooting: 5 Home City: Terrace, BC Current Residence: Vancouver, BC Inspiration: The surroundings: a photo should be interesting regardless of the trick Employer: Color Magazine (Photoshop/pre-press)

Dan Redmond // frontblunt

the same time he has this “Joel is outgoing, but at me kind of attitude. I also r-ti -you take ow mell ly – a real him because he’s a homie with t shoo to easy it find even if we’re not skating. with out hang go I’ll guy r down Black Ice when I He shot my switch heel cove Lights and he was the one New Of City for ng filmi was the . That’s definitely one of much so me d vate moti n’t who shooting with Joel. He does have I ries memo est r bigg le to spots and waste thei re peop take dly blin to like befo you know how things are let l he’l ead, Inst . are. time look, and what his ideas you go, how it’s going to

t, he’s right on Joel sets up fas er getting a aft n the and point down to take ays alw s he’ photo That gets me rs. bee for out you ecially esp , ted iva mot pretty a trick that’s ing try I’m n whe just want to long, because you nice cold beer a h wit k bac k kic er a couple and celebrate aft k.” wor d har of rs hou n —Chad Dickso

Concrete skateboarding


Paul Machnau

Ed Templeton

Leo Romero

Seoul, Korea

Brian Caissie Age: 34 Website: Favourite Camera: Shen-hao 4x5 Years Shooting: 13 Home City: Halifax, NS Current Residence: Vancouver, BC Inspiration: Traveling and meeting people Employer: Concrete Skateboarding (Photo Editor)

Joey Williams // frontside boardslide pop-out

d scene Canadian skateboar a staple in the s been a good he’ “Brian has been and er, emb very can rem skate game, it’s for as long as I e to all. In today’s friend through it y hard at times to do what we lov n ver ssie, in-betwee Cai h competitive and wit ot sho y time I do as skaters. Any chopping it up about shit totall and y tries we’re usuall k about golf, girls or whatever, with tal in just skating unrelated. We’ll e a little kid aga ’re it’s as if you wer s no pressure to land what you re’ and having fun. re the your friends. The ng bei t ury about jus e there’s the lux trying, it’s all na shoot with Caissi make it, he’s gon e you However, when you if t tha g knowin ny because I’m sur fun s and motivation of It’ . ter us t much bet way he is makes make it look tha y no idea that the out trying whatever. he has absolutel be to ked nt and sto feel more confide

Skateboarding has given us all something very special, whether it’s a good flick or just the freedom it provides from your normal day-to-day bullshit. You know what it’s given you. In a way, Brian gives us skateboarding. But the way I see it, skateboarding gave us Brian Caissie.” —Wade Desarmo

Concrete skateboarding


distributed by Ultimate


Snail Mail and Land  Lines

How Bryce Kanights Taught Jody Morris About Skate Photography Jody Morris frank Daniello

all photos words

As we function during a time when rapidly advancing technology continues to dictate how people instantly communicate and share information, the thought of having no Internet access, no mobile phones, and no digital cameras becomes more incomprehensible with each passing day. But these times did exist, and they weren’t all that long ago. Originally from Ottawa, Jody Morris loosely began shooting skate photos in the early ’90s while living in Toronto, and subsequently began mailing San Francisco-bound packages to Bryce Kanights – Thrasher’s Photo Editor at the time. Since this was pre-email, Bryce would simply provide feedback about the photos over the telephone. Jody would then attempt to improve on his mistakes despite the fact that he couldn’t see the images Bryce was referencing. And thus an impromptu form of distance education began between the two photographers who were 4,242 kilometers apart. “I look at Bryce differently from most other photographers because he opened the door and really helped me learn what I needed to learn,” says Jody, who currently resides in Encinitas, California


Concrete skateboarding

and works as Plan B’s Marketing Director. “If Bryce hadn’t taken me under his wing, I would’ve never been able to bridge the gap and get a career going as a skate photographer for all those years, which led to so many other things.” For Bryce – who hails from San Francisco but now resides in Portland – photo submissions to Thrasher weren’t plentiful in the early ’90s – a time when skateboarding was reinventing itself. So he found it in his best interest to help further develop the talents of budding photographers who possessed a keen interest. “Jody trained his eye and his technique with film, and now he’s taking it further with digital,” explains Bryce, who now freelances behind the lens and runs “I think he’s stuck with the growth and the progression of photography, as well as skateboarding. He’s definitely one of the regarded skate photographers in our industry, and it’s cool that I was able to contribute to his creative talents.” This is the story of how one skate photography great helped create another in an analog world.

Justin Bokma - backside 180 fakie 5-0. 1992

Jamie Thomas - barefooted Gonz gap ollie. 1993 photo Kanights

As a sponsored skater, Bryce Kanights was regarded as a street Pro during a time when vert was the most documented form of skateboarding. He had nine signature models during his career, which spanned about seven years. He first turned Pro for Madrid in 1984, but after his high selling models didn’t match his lackluster royalty cheques, he moved on to Schmitt Stix in 1987.    “I talked to Paul Schmitt about it at an ASR trade show and he was like, ‘Hey man, I could use someone like you on our team because we’re mostly ramp riders and we don’t have any street guys’, Bryce recalls. “When street skating emerged and blew up, we had downtown San Francisco all to ourselves, and we found all the original spots. The crew I skated with – Tommy Guerrero, Mickey Reyes, Ron Allen and Julien Stranger – were all the guys in the Sick Boys film, which came out in 1988.”    By the time Paul Schmitt, Andy Howell and Steve Douglas formed New Deal in 1990, Bryce decided to wind things down as a Pro and became more heavily involved with his gig at Thrasher magazine. But when Jim “Red Dog” Muir moved Dogtown skateboards from Santa Monica to San Francisco, Bryce was convinced to join their young squad consisting of John Cardiel, JJ Rogers, Karma Tsocheff and Alan Peterson. After releasing three boards and a video part with Dogtown, Bryce decided to call it quits to become the Photo Editor at Thrasher.    Backtracking a bit, he actually started working for the magazine in 1983, and continued to do so throughout his entire Pro career. At first he was developing prints in the darkroom, learning the production process (pre-desktop publishing), and learning more about SLR photography from the legendary Mörizen “MoFo” Föche, who was the Photo Editor. Bryce transitioned into MoFo’s role in 1991, a position he maintained until 1996.    “Skateboarding was changing so quickly during the time I was Photo Editor at Thrasher, and it was cool to be a part of that growth and excitement,” he says. 54

Concrete skateboarding

Alex Chalmers - frontside ollie. 2003 photo Kanights

Moses Itkonen. 1993

I had no intentions of getting “into photography or anything... ” - JODY MORRIS

Thomas Morgan - backside flip. 1992

Colin McKay - Kickflip. 1993

Guy Mariano - switch backtail. 1994

Jody Morris’ come-up in Canada was a little different, and as a skater he stumbled across photography almost by accident in late 1990 when he was 18.    “I was living in Toronto, hanging out with Jason Corbett, Justin Bokma, Bill Weiss and a few others,” Jody mentions. “There was a lot of talent, but no one shot photos. Corbett was kind of the first one to get hooked up out of everybody – he got on New School at the time. I was going to film school at Humber College in Etobicoke, and as a part of that there was a required photography course. I had no intentions of getting into photography or anything, but Corbett’s ad came up so I went out and shot some photos. One of them became his ‘Check Out’ in Transworld, and the other was a New School ad in Thrasher.”    After making $300 off his first published photos, Jody bought more film and decided to shoot at Rudy’s, an indoor park in Toronto that housed a proper vert ramp. Mike Crum and Kelly Bird showed up to skate, and Thomas Morgan was also in the mix, so Jody got enough material together to send his first photo package to Bryce Kanights.    “As I remember, in ’91 Jody submitted some prints through the 56

Concrete skateboarding

mail and he was looking to get published in Thrasher,” Bryce says. “I thought it was cool that he was sending images from Toronto – a place I didn’t normally get to see. So that struck me for one, and I also saw that he had an eye for photography. Back then you didn’t have the Internet so you didn’t get tons and tons of submissions, there would be maybe two or three guys a month that would send photos.”    Bryce would eventually advise Jody that shooting black-and-white negative film wouldn’t cut it for the magazine, and that he needed to shoot slide film…    “Slide film is difficult because you don’t have a lot of latitude,” Jody explains. “With negative film or digital now, if it’s overexposed or underexposed you can still fix it. With slide film you only have halfa-stop each way. My other problem at that age was I was living in a house with a bunch of people and I didn’t have a real job or anything. I had a bare minimum of money to get by on, so I couldn’t afford to shoot photos, buy film, get it processed and study it all.”    As Bryce recalls: “I liked his photography and gave him a phone call, sent him out some rolls of film and took it from there. He would

to try “andI had remember

how I had things set up because I couldn’t see the photo, then try and correct it for the next time

- JODY Morris

Sean Sheffey - frontside 5-0. 1994

send the film back to me because he couldn’t afford to have it printed [laughs]. So we’d develop and print it for him, then over the phone I’d tell him what images I liked. There was no real way to print it up, mail it back to him, then get it back over to the magazine because of the time involved. I would basically describe over the phone what the proof sheet looked like and what image I’m selecting to use, then give him constructive criticism and pointers on how to improve his photography and lighting to help him grow.”    Since this was happening when email was still science fiction, Jody would blindly remember the photos Bryce was referring to. Nowadays, this process would easily be regarded as unfathomable.    “Bryce would tell me, ‘Well, there’s a photo you shot of Thomas Morgan at a six-stair [see p.55]’, then he’d say, ‘Your flashes in the background are a little too hot – you’re blowing him out a little’,” Jody remembers. “I had to try and remember how I had things set up because I couldn’t see the photo, then try and correct it for the next time. He’d send me some more film and I’d go out and shoot, and try again. It was a step-and-repeat process. It would be tough for a kid to understand that now because of the technology. Now, within a

day they can learn what took me a couple of months at the beginning [laughs]. I started with very basic knowledge from film school, but it was Bryce who taught me how to shoot chrome and slide film over the phone, which is probably the hardest way to learn. He was really patient, basically taking this kid from Canada that he’d only met over the telephone under his wing. I owe him big time for that.”    For Bryce, it was well worth the effort: “I just saw it in him and recognized that he’d be an asset for the magazine. Technically he had it already, he just needed to fine-tune a few things. I think that once Jody was getting published in Thrasher, it definitely opened up some doors for him. I suggested he make the move out west where Moses Itkonen, Sluggo, Colin and all those guys were just ripping. Vancouver was blowing up.”    Jody took this migration advice to heart. After finishing his semester at Humber College, he moved back to Ottawa for the summer before heading to Vancouver with an old skate pal. Once on the coast, Bryce set him up with the OG Red Dragons in late ’91, which was a pivotal time in modern skateboarding.

Pat Duffy - backside smith. 2010

was my Wikipedia. Now “kidsBryce can go online and look stuff up. But when I had a problem, I’d just call Bryce and he would walk me through it.

   “I sort of maxed out in Toronto because there were only so many guys,”

Jody explains. “At that point I was starting to get more photos in Thrasher, then I moved to Vancouver and right away there was so much more. I started seeing more money coming in so I started developing my own photos. In ’92 I took a trip down to California and ended up staying in SF where Bryce set me up with some people to shoot with. He dropped me off at Wade Speyer’s house, so I stayed with him and shot around the city. I ended up going down to LA and hooked up with Jason Lee right when they were starting Stereo. I hung out with him, Chris Pastras and the original version of the Stereo team a lot.”    At this point, Jody’s photography was gaining momentum, but he continued to stay in touch with his over-the-phone mentor, who was spending more time at the Thrasher office.    “Bryce was my Wikipedia. Now kids can go online and look stuff up. But when I had a problem, I’d just call Bryce and he would walk me through it. For me it was so cool because when I grew up street skating in Ottawa, Bryce was a Pro street skater during a time when it was all vert in the mags. He was a huge name to us; we all had his board. As much as Michael Burnett is to Thrasher now, that’s what Bryce was at the time when he was helping me out. In my eyes, I was learning about photography from the best dude I possibly could, and 20 years later it’s always cool when I run into him because he was my teacher.” 58

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Torey Pudwill. 2010

Bob Burnquist - switch frontside ollie. 2009

Jonathan Mehring V

The Voluntary Runaway


captions by Jonathan Mehring

ack in 2005, I got a call from Giovanni Reda saying that I should put this guy out in New York City, Jonathan Mehring, on staff and that he was a rad dude. I normally don’t take any advice from Reda because that just means having to listen to him talk even more. But I did this time. I was only somewhat familiar with Jonathan’s name from photo credits attached to some really sick images in Slap, so I decided to give him a chance. From that day on it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Jonathan is a workhorse of a photographer and a self-motivated machine – I don’t have to hold his hand and walk him through his job. He’s a grown-ass man that handles his business and I love that about him. On top of this, he’s been pushing the limits of skate photography and helping Skateboarder magazine stand out from the rest with amazing photos from some of the most remote corners of the earth like Siberia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, the Amazon and so on; places where most skaters would have never dreamt of going if it wasn’t for Jonathan’s drive to take chances and not follow the beaten path. Damn, I’m glad I didn’t screen Reda’s call that day back in 2005, like I usually do.

—Jaime Owens, Editor/Photo Editor, Skateboarder magazine


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Solitary Bicyclist

“This was from a Habitat trip to Southeast Asia in February 2009 with Silas Baxter-Neal, Guru Khalsa, Alex Davis, Tim O’Connor, myself, Brennan Conroy and Austyn Gillette – he was only there for a few days and couldn’t handle it, so he flew home [laughs]. Once we got to the middle of Cambodia we took a boat down the Mekong River. This photo of a random peasant peddling along was taken when we were leaving the dock in Siem Reap on our way to Phnom Penh, Cambodia where we continued on by bus to Vietnam.”

Kenny Reed // Noseblunt

“This was shot at the train station in Moscow before the Trans-Siberian railroad trip in September 2007. It’s probably the sketchiest place I’ve ever taken a skate photo. We skated there for maybe half-an-hour, and I didn’t set up any lights because it was just too gnarly. We were getting ready to leave on the train trip after being in Moscow for a week, so each of us had all of our shit with us – a mountain of baggage against the wall being guarded by our friends. There were all these lurkers eyeballing us and looking at the gear, just waiting for their chance to take. A few people were skating, and Kenny noseblunted this Vladimir Lenin statue.”


Mr. Victor

“This is a photo of Victor during the Trans-Siberian railroad trip while were in Novosibirsk, Russia, which is the dead centre of the country. Victor was the van driver we hired, and he was super bummed on us at first. People see skating differently in different cultures; sometimes they like it and sometimes they think it’s childish crap, which is what they think of it in Russia. Victor couldn’t speak a lick of English, and I remember Van Wastell was chewing dip and used a skate key to pound out the top of a Coke can so he could spit into it. I guess Victor liked his ingenuity, and Van gave him some dip, so the two connected on some non-verbal level after that [laughs]. In the bushes at some spot, Keegan Sauder found the pellet gun that Victor’s holding in this photo. It had CO2 still but no ammunition, so Victor would fire the gun off when girls would walk by while we sessioned the spot [laughs].”

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Kenny Reed

“I like to put these trips together to places where no one’s been. I pitch them to Skateboarder then I try and put a crew together, but a lot of people don’t want to go because they can’t imagine being without their Starbucks or whatever – exactly what I want to get away from [laughs]. This was shot in September 2008 when we went to Kazakhstan. We also went to two cities in Kyrgyzstan – a small country south of Kazakhstan – called Bishkek, which is the capital and pretty good to skate, and Karakol, which ended up having two main streets and no pavement [laughs]. All the manholes in Karakol had no covers because people steal them and sell them since they’re so poor. So there’s holes in the ground all over town, and no street lights at night. Pretty sketchy [laughs]. Every Sunday at 5am there’s this animal market in Karakol where farmers from all over the countryside come to trade, buy and sell livestock. Of course Kenny bought this traditional robe and hat, so he wore it to the market for a photo shoot. The local guys were laughing at him because they thought his clothing was of poor quality [laughs].”


Todd Jordan

“This was shot in Astana, Kazakhstan, which is kind of like a Dubai situation. They have tons of oil money and they made Astana into this pre-fab capital a few years ago hoping that people would move there. There’s actually a shitload of stuff to skate, and no one’s there. Anyhow, Todd was standing on a sculpture of a bee, which is in this yard area surrounding the pyramid in the background.”

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Kyrgyz Farmer

“I saw this old farmer from a hundred feet away in Karakol, Kyrgyzstan, and I was like, ‘Holy shit, I’ve gotta get a photo of that guy.’ I learned how to say ‘Can I take your photo?’ in Russian and b-lined it over to him. It’s actually a wide shot and he’s holding onto a cow, but it’s cool looking as a portrait.”


Livestock Transport

“This photo of the kid with a trailer full of sheep was also shot in Karakol. The animal market was chaos, and it started before it was even light out. I didn’t get the shot, but at one point there was a kid and his father wrestling a goat into the trunk of their car [laughs].”


Tony Trujillo // Launcher

“I shot this with a Yashica T4 – it takes a good skate photo [laughs]. This was on the first day of the first King Of The Road in 2004, in front of KCDC skateshop in Brooklyn, New York. I think Tony was wasted or something [laughs]. The only reason this photo surfaced is because I was working for Slap back then, and Joe Brook wanted me to send him a print of this photo. He kept bugging me about it, and I finally found the negative just recently. So I sent a print to Joe, and it’s actually pretty cool so I included it here.”


Jason Dill

“This photo is from March 2009 in New York, and Jason looks like a maniac [laughs]. He went through a period of having extreme insomnia before he went sober, and I went over there to shoot portraits for the Photo Issue of Skateboarder. The magazine ran a photo of him with blood on the wall in his bathroom – whenever he’d brush his teeth, his gums would bleed super gnarly so he would spit the blood on the wall to remind him that he should go to the dentist [laughs]. This photo was shot right before we shot that portrait for Skateboarder.”

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Zered Bassett // Backside Kickflip

“This was shot in March 2008. Zered and I were over it, just driving around because we hadn’t gotten anything, then we saw this sketchy-ass bank at a construction site in Brooklyn, New York. It was pretty random. He couldn’t really approach this thing at first because there was a gap between the sidewalk and the bank, but he found a huge piece of metal to cover it up. It was a sketchy situation because there was all this rebar and bent metal that he had to dodge.”


Geoff Rowley

“The Vans Southeast trip in May 2008 was the first time I met Rowley. The tour went from New Orleans to Atlanta over the course of three weeks, which is really not that much territory for that much time [laughs]. It was fun, but it was pretty harsh and slow. Geoff was only there for a few days – the majority of the team just kind of flew in and out of the trip as it went along. Geoff ’s pretty busy, so we shot a couple of skate photos and got this portrait. That was it. He was positive and right down to business – he knew what he wanted to do at certain spots before we even got there.”


Buddhist Monk

“This is back to the February ’09 Habitat trip to Southeast Asia, and it’s in the Angkor Wat temple complex of the ancient Khmer civilization in Cambodia. There are Buddhist monks hanging out everywhere in these 12th century ruins. This guy was sitting next to a big old Buddha statue and he was coercing people into saying a prayer and donating money to Buddha.”



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Guru Khalsa

“I was taking portraits of people where there was cool light and stuff, and the light in the Angkor Wat complex reflects off the floor. It’s pretty cool that they let you just wander around the temple; there’s nothing roping off any area, but it’s starting to show some wear-and-tear from so many people visiting it.”


Buffalo Bay

“After the Habitat Southeast Asia trip, my girlfriend met me in Bangkok, Thailand. We went south to a little island that’s really off the beaten track and hard to get to – not any kind of tourist destination at all. It’s in the Lonely Planet book but it basically says, ‘If you want something to do, don’t go there.’ It’s called Ko Phayam. There’s probably 500 people living there and it’s amazing. We decided to walk over to this bay on the other side of the island and came across this crazy looking third-world village. We were a little hesitant at first, then asked a guy how to get to Buffalo Bay. He just said, ‘Big boat’, so we followed him and it turned out he had this long-tail boat in the photo and offered to take us across the bay. For a couple bucks we hopped on with his whole family and when we jumped off on the other side, I turned around and snapped this photo right when a kid just happened to be lighting a cigarette.”


Jake Johnson // Frontside Flip

“This from the Rotterdam Photo Contest in August 2009. Basically, you go out to Holland, bring up to three skaters, and you have three days to shoot the best skate photo you can. We found this barge that held all the materials for a pirate ship being built next to it, so we asked the supervisor if we could skate it. He went and got the boss, and it turns out he used to work for Hardcore Distribution in Holland [laughs]. So he let us skate, and even paid his workers overtime to help us move the blocks of wood around the barge with a crane. I climbed up onto the roof of the crane to shoot Jake’s frontside flip over a six-foot gap, which was actually the winning photo in the contest. I got 5000 Euros and a pair of Dutch clogs [laughs].”

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Kenny Anderson // Backtail

“During that photo shoot on the barge we had the workers set up this heavy block of wood for Kenny’s ollie up to backtail on the skinny guardrail. The other side was just straight into the water, so it was sketchy because every time a boat would go by, the whole barge would rock back and forth. It was pretty impressive that he did it.”


Crane Operator

â&#x20AC;&#x153;In the background of this photo is the pirate ship I mentioned in the Jake Johnson caption, and this guy is one of the barge workers. He was the youngest dude and was pretty psyched; he operated the crane for us and basically helped us out a lot.â&#x20AC;?


Ghetto Blasters available in 51 & 53 mm.


for more on the matix skate team go to: SUPRADISTRIBUTION.COM



Tod Renaissance Man intro Frank Daniello captions Tod Swank


fter relocating to Southern California from Phoenix, Arizona in 1979 at the age of 12, Tod Swank

happened across the now-historic Del Mar Skate Ranch in San Diego county. Little did he know that localizing this concrete haven would inspire him to successfully explore a variety of avenues within skateboarding. Del Mar was churning out talented skaters, some of which would go on to become major players in various areas of the skateboard industry as we know it today. Swank was amongst that crop.

  Right when Swank began skating at the D.M.S.R. he was already shooting photos there with his Nikon FM2. By the time Thrasher put out its first issue in 1981, his interest in creating and sharing Xerox-copied zines was sparked, and so his popular Swank Zine was born. He also befriended J. Grant Brittain – a fellow photographer and the park manager at Del Mar – who became the founding Photo Editor at Transworld once it began publication in 1983.    “I ended up getting a job at the magazine as a darkroom tech, and Grant kept giving me new things to do,” Swank, now 44, mentions over the phone from San Diego. “I kept learning and eventually became a Senior Photographer, shooting photos and writing articles. I wasn’t much of a talker back then, I’d just shoot – that was my outlet and my escape from everything. It was the one thing that took me out of my own element and into something else that was much more liberating.”   Swank also happened to be sponsored by Gullwing and Sims as an Am during his run at Transworld, and by 1989 he met Skull Skates’ Peter Ducommun, which led to a series of Tod Swank Pro boards featuring his art. Later that year, he was looking to become a team rider for his friend (and former Sims TM) Steve Rocco’s newly formed company, World Industries.    “Rocco basically told me that I couldn’t skate for him, but he’d help me start a skateboard company,” Swank recalls. “After thinking about it, I agreed.”   At first, he established the art direction and brand identity behind Foundation by laying out the early DIY zine-inspired ads and drawing graphics. As for the business side, he haphazardly learned the basics by paying attention to Rocco, who was at the forefront of popularizing modern street skating with his fast-growing ventures. However, by 1992 Swank decided to make a clean break from the overwhelming World family to run Foundation independently. Armed with little to no budget and a small inventory, he lived and hustled from the garage of a surf house in Del Mar, eventually upgrading to a small warehouse nearby.


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   “We started selling more stuff because back then you could make anything and it would sell pretty good, even if it wasn’t so good,” Swank begins explaining with a hint of the self-deprecating humour that was behind Foundation’s early campaign. “We did some back-andforth war ads with Rocco and NHS, and I think that got our foot in the door with some quick media attention. We just happened to be there at the right time when the barrier for entry was low.”    What began as strictly Foundation grew into backing, creating and distributing a number of brands, similar to the early World Industries model. Ed Templeton came on board with Toy Machine, and Swank was also distributing “some other companies that worked or didn’t”. He even helped then-Toy Machine Pro Jamie Thomas start Zero, which was initially a t-shirt company. So when it came down to organizing the business and incorporating in 1994, only one unique name could make the cut.    “A friend of mine named ‘O’ walked into our small warehouse one day and said, ‘Do you know your 800number spells TUM YETO?’ So we started printing that on all the catalogues,” Swank explains. “We wanted to incorporate as Foundation but couldn’t, so we actually did it as Foundation spelled backwards – ‘NOITADNUOF’. Impossible to even say [laughs]. We walked back to the warehouse and there was a big sign ‘O’ had made and put behind the receptionist. It said TUM YETO. So we turned around, went right back downtown, and applied to change the name of the corporation we had just incorporated earlier that day [laughs].”   In more recent years, Swank acquired San Diego’s long-running Watson Laminates – the manufacturer behind Foundation’s decks for the past 15 years. Currently, Tum Yeto distributes Foundation, Toy Machine, Ruckus Metal, Dekline and Pig Wheels.   To visually elaborate on this prelude, these commentary-rich pages feature a diverse body of early work from the mind and photographic eye of Tod Swank.

Duane Peters – Del Mar Skate Ranch Contest, 1981 “This is a renegade photo of Duane doing a layback rollout at the Henry Hester contest, and to the left of me is Glen E. Friedman. I love this photo because Glen’s in it and I remember he just gave me grief because I snuck into the fenced area and was taking pictures. He was the photographer, and I was just some kid with a camera [laughs]. That’s a classic picture.”


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hat sketch page has different logo ideas and stuff, so it’s probably from after I first talked to Steve Rocco in 1989 – when I just wanted to skate for World after riding for Skull Skates, but he wanted to help me start a company instead.    My ‘Star and Moon’ board [1990] is from the exact artwork on the sketch pad. To me, it represents space and the grandeur of it all. I was right in the heart of a series of books by Isaac Asimov called Foundation. I’ve been an avid science fiction reader my whole life, and that whole series is basically about predicting the future through a mathematics called psychohistory. It was created by a character, Hari Seldon, to track humanity because it had evolved to colonies throughout the galaxy. He predicted that the ruling Galactic Empire would collapse under its own bureaucracy. When I first read the book I was like, ‘That’s totally true. You can predict what’s going to happen based on what the majority of people are doing out there.’”

Mike Smith – D.M.S.R. Contest, 1985 “Del Mar was an epic place to have contests. It was skateboarding and party central. They used to put these bleachers all around the pool and it would be packed. Mike Smith is from Redondo Beach and rode for Madrid; he had a couple of infamous graphics back in the day. He also invented the smithgrind, which he’s doing here. The deck at Del Mar was only two feet wide, so Gator and Tony Hawk are crammed on the left.”

Neil Blender – D.M.S.R. Contest, 1985 “Upland and Del Mar were two of the last parks around in California after a lot of the parks closed when skateboarding dumped earlier in the ’80s. Del Mar was where a lot of contests happened before the vert ramp contest scene came into play all over the country. Neil rode into this varial invert using his nose as the tail, back when the nose was only two inches long. He was always pretty unusual and funny.”


guy named ‘O’, a musician and photographer, helped with this. It’s basically the first official Foundation logo. We just hand drew it sitting around one day in ’89. I wanted to do something that looked like a race-car oval logo. This one says The Foundation Skateboards. Before this logo, we used to just spray paint the circle-F.”

Pro Hoes – Mount Trashmore Contest // Virginia Beach, 1986 “This is aged perfectly for the ’80s. Hot teenaged girls from a whole different era that just look so funny [laughs]. Mount Trashmore was literally a trash dump converted into a park. There was a bunch of contests held there over the years, so I’d fly out to cover them for Transworld. I’m pretty sure Mike Vallely first got discovered by Powell at Trashmore; while a contest was going on, the whole crowd moved to the parking lot to watch this kid whipping out street plants like crazy.”

Rodney Mullen – Swedish Summer Camp, 1985 “Ask Kevin Harris what trick Rodney’s doing here [laughs]. I was working at Transworld at the time, and went to Europe with Billy Ruff and Jamie ‘Mouse’ Mosberg. We bought a Mini-Cooper in the UK and had John Dettman, Jeff Tremaine, and Danny Webster pile into it with us. After cruising down to France with those guys, I took a train and boat over to Sweden for the Summer Camp. Rodney, Tony, Lance and Caballero were there. I was just shooting what was going on and obviously Rodney was the master of his field at the time.”

Mark Gonzales, 1985 “I found this in a stack of my slides – I’ve got boxes of them. I’m not sure what it was used for, maybe for an ad or something. Mark was always an amazing dude, still is today. This is an epic picture of him from when he rode for Vision, and that was his first board graphic. Brad Dorfman wouldn’t let him do his own graphics at first even though Mark easily could’ve. But this first graphic has been ripped off over and over again.”

Tony Hawk – Swedish Summer Camp, 1985 “Mike Smith invented an invert called the smith-vert. It’s not tuck-knee, you grab between the legs and tweak out the tail while your front foot’s in the normal position. During the Swedish camp, I think Tony and Lance bought a car, covered it in graffiti and they would drive it into town. Tony was a Del Mar local, so skating there every day is basically how I got to know him.”

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e had this idea that we wanted to do a magazine out of the Del

Mar Skate Ranch because Action Now crashed and burned in ’82 before Transworld started in ’83. I actually had these notes with name ideas along with who was going to do what at our magazine. I was thinking I could pull all these people together and make something happen, then I realized I couldn’t. Zines were kind of coming up heavy by then, so I ended up making one. I’d come across other zines, then I started mailing mine to those people. I put out maybe 30 issues of Swank Zine. It wasn’t like a monthly thing, I just put them out whenever I could. It was a lot of work to cut-and-paste the layouts, print up like a hundred copies, staple them, and mail them out to people all over the place. I kept doing them until the late ’80s, and there were some different titled ones. It became less of a magazine with information in it, and more about art crap and skate photos from different people.   The top left Swank Zine is the first issue, and it has Chris Miller at Upland on the cover. The one to the right of that is the second issue with Christian Hosoi on the cover. I made all these ones before I started working for Transworld in ’83. The first two issues were all pictures by Grant Brittain, who was the park manager at Del Mar.”

Lance Mountain, Mark Gonzales and Mike Vallely, 1988 “This was shot shortly after Mike got on Powell. Around that time I went on a Tracker tour on the east coast with Jeff Phillips, Mike, Tom Groholski and Dan Wilkes. That was the first time I really got to hang out with Mike and hear his story. He went from being a random kid skateboarder in Jersey to being on top of the game almost overnight. The ’80s were an awesome generation because you could watch these guys fully grow into who they are today within skateboarding culture.”

Steve Alba – Pool Barge, 1987 “The backside air was shot a long time ago, but Salba still does this [laughs]. He’s amazing and has probably been skating as long as Tony Alva, for sure. Every once in a while I’d hook up with him or another crew and they’d take me to some pool. The secondary flash is in the shot since this was the beginning stages of using creative lighting, and you didn’t really care if the light source showed in the picture or not. Nowadays people don’t do that.”


fter riding for Sims, and before starting Foundation, I somehow got hooked up with Peter Ducommun from Skull Skates in 1989. PD’s a great guy, and he let me do some boards with him, including this one. People would have characters and personas in their zines, so I created ‘Justin Lovely’ and used him in little cartoon strips. Exchanging zines is probably the initial connection I had with PD. The teapot just represents the time I spent hanging out these friends from Scotland, drinking tea and talking about politics and life. I was pretty worldly back then when I was 22 [laughs]. Once Rocco and I started Foundation, I kind of emulated what I already did on Skull Skates.”


his is a collage from a Foundation zine that I would do every

once in a while. Andy Jenkins did the drawing of ‘Lettus Bee’ on the right page in 1990. We’re friends, so he would always draw circle-Fs on Lettus Bee’s boards. The zine thing connected me to a lot of people out there, and that’s how I met Andy. There was a zine he did, and he also worked on Homeboy magazine with Spike Jonze and Mark Lewman.”

Concrete skateboarding



hen I started Foundation with Steve Rocco under the World umbrella,

he was like, ‘It’s easy, you just go make a letterhead and that’s it. You’ve got a company.’ Steve was so busy and everything he was doing was just going huge. I followed his lead and he helped me do The Magic F video in ’91; I put street skating in it and made boards that fit the genre better since vert was crashing. When I eventually told Rocco I wanted to do Foundation on my own, he was like, ‘Cool’, then handed me a shop list. He also let me take all the inventory in the warehouse, which fit into my Chevy Sprint, and told me to give him a call if I had any questions.   This Foundation graphic of mine is actually a 1965 XLH Harley Davidson Sportster. I had two bikes. I sold one for $5000 to get the company going my own, and I needed more money so I sold the bike in this graphic. I originally bought it from Mike Folmer – who was a Pro skateboarder for Sims in the ’70s – and rode it for a few years, then tore it down and got the engine rebuilt. I sold it to a guy named Randy Janson, and he entered it in shows because the Sportster is kind of a rare model. A few years ago, Randy needed to liquidate some assets so I ended up buying it back from him basically 15 years after I first sold it [laughs].”



hat’s me trying to be a street guy in 1989 with an ollie over a little gap to 50-50 in the ‘unsellable’ ad. I literally just cut-andpasted the early ads together by hand, and wrote all the text myself – that zine quality. We used to do whatever, just to goof around with the ads. These days ads have become really non-descript and less funny, but very professional. Skateboarding is just evolving. It’s in a very different place.”

n the far left is my initial

drawing that became part of this circle-F team board graphic from 1990. Below is the sketch of just the bird that we made into little three-inch stickers and a t-shirt graphic.”


his Foundation team graphic is also from 1990, and it’s the return of the bird. The line art is getting thicker at this point as I was learning to draw a graphic that would stand out better.”

Natas Kaupas ��� Los Angeles, 1988 “I think this frontside ollie photo at the Pacifica Banks appeared in a Transworld gallery. Grant Brittain, Natas, Rocco, Mark Gonzales and myself were just cruising around LA that day. Skateboarding was pretty small then and we were just all in the mix. It wasn’t as collective as it is today where skateboarders will only shoot with certain photographers and vice-versa. When I took this shot, I caught that other photo dude’s flash burst in my photo, which happened to make it radical.”


ave Carnie is doing a frontside grind in this ad from 1990. He was a teamrider for a while, and I think he decided to go to college full-time so I told him, ‘It’s either school or skateboarding, take your pick.’”

Josh Beagle

is doing a huge frontside 180 for this ad, which had a bit of a cleaner look. This was at Foundation’s turning point in the early ’90s, when people had a different perception of us. At first, I was always doing ads where we were bagging on ourselves, saying how we’re a terrible company that would go out of business. This was ‘Serious For The ’90s’ because I cut the vert team we had. I met Josh, Bobby Ferry, Ricky Higgins and a couple other guys who were in The Magic F – a cheaply made, raw video that was all street skating.” Concrete skateboarding


Jason Jessee – Fallbrook, California, 1988 “A pretty epic frontside tailgrab shot of Jason. There was this kid in Fallbrook whose parents were well-off and let him build this massive vert ramp. You could just go out there and skate most of the time, and the sessions were insane. Jason at that time was skating for Santa Cruz and just killin’ it. He was probably in his late teens here, just starting to get punk rock. The way he did things was always the most maximum it could be.”


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n 1994 skateboarding was lo-fi, and this ad is right when the wheels were really small and people were just doing technical curb tricks. This is a video grab sequence of Josh Beagle doing a no-comply blunt to fakie. I’ve always tried to involve the circle-F in ads because it’s an awesome logo we’ve had forever, but it’s done a little differently every time.”


his was one of the first stabs at World Industries in ’92. It’s Steve

Olson, Josh Beagle and Jason Masse. Basically, the joke was everyone wanted to ride for World, so we just made our own World Industries boards with their logo on the bottom and a Foundation logo on the top. We sold some of them and that started a little war with Rocco, which probably helped us get the attention that Foundation wasn’t really getting before. We went back-and-forth with ads for a little while, then he stole Richard Mulder, who was on our team at the time. I did one more ad that was like, ‘You’re cool, Steve’, but I actually meant it as a compliment. He’s the one who helped me start Foundation.”

Cris Jerue, Josh Beagle and Bobby Ferry – 1992 “Bobby Ferry rode for Foundation and was one of the first street guys after I exited all the vert guys. Bobby brought Josh Beagle to me and we went and shot some video the day I met him. Josh was just killin’ it immediately – he’s probably 16 here. These three were from Orange County and skated together all the time. Cris and Bobby had a really heavy rock band back then called ‘16’ [], which was resurrected 15 years later. After Josh’s Pro career, he was doing TM and Brand Management type stuff with us until about three years ago. He’s always been into cooking and now he’s part of this company that makes high-end sausages.”


think Tentacles of Destruction was one of the first more epic Foundation videos. It did well for its time, and featured Frank Hirata, Steve Berra, Leigh Peterson, Heath Kirchart, Josh Beagle and Steve Olson. That was our pretty epic squad shown in this ad from 1994.”


his sketch is a woman riding on the back of a dude and they’re naked in front of fruit. I used to draw all these naked people and it’s another example of when I started using thicker lines. This drawing might’ve been about how women basically rule over men [laughs]. We made it into a colour graphic and put it on a slick-bottom board.”


put this ad together as the very first one after I left Rocco to do Foundation on my own in 1992. It represents the state of humility that I felt I was in at this time. It was pretty bad, so it could only get better. And it did. You have to look forward to the future.”




Family Portrait

Gaberman Residence Northern California // 2009




Randy Laybourne

There are only a few photographers in skateboarding whose photos can easily be recognized, and Brian Gaberman is one of them. The careful use of tone, colour, light, contrast and framing in his photos is unmistakable. His attention to detail in all aspects of photography far surpasses simply applying a filter after the act of snapping the shutter. While many others are trying to capture his manner and aesthetic, Brian keeps progressing with both his skate and art photography. His skate images elevate into art by emphasizing the forces of the world beyond the set of stairs a skater is attempting to conquer. The need to be immersed in a down-to-earth environment fits his personality perfectly. Brian and his family live a quick hour north of San Francisco and a short commuter plane ride to any of the key skate spots in Southern California. It’s where he resides that affects his images in a moody and dramatic way. As for his current exploits, Brian’s work is not limited to one magazine or company. He’s on contract with Element to provide photos for their skate ads as well as the lifestyle portion of their catalogues and other promotional imagery. Adidas has also utilized Brian’s lenswork for ads and catalogues. Although he maintains a close relationship with Skateboarder magazine, he also freelances “for just about everybody a bit”. Brian continues to use tools from the near and distant past during his search for photographic honesty. His embrace of the Digital Age has happened slowly and methodically alongside his ongoing experimentation with film. In the world of skateboarding, we need to see the results quickly and digital SLRs have helped with that, but only in the initial stage of the process. We can see the consideration Brian gives images after they’ve been shot, even with his self-proclaimed “basic Photoshop skills”. He truly is a constant explorer of the visual world, and it’s to our benefit he is capturing and sharing some of the skateboarding within it.

Concrete skateboarding


Nick Garcia

Leaning Pole

Highway 80 Northern California // 2005


Ollie San Luis Obispo, California // 2010

“In these times it’s so easy to start trying photography without knowing the history of it, but I definitely feel there is a big gap they’re missing out on creativity-wise.”

How did you get to be one of the most respected photographers in skateboarding? [Laughs] I just did what I loved. I guess I tried to apply my interest in other areas of art to skateboarding because that was all I knew how to do. I’ve always been an experimenter who’s interested in new ways of seeing and whatnot. Sometimes it hits and sometimes it misses, but you’ve got to try. Did you ever have to do other jobs, like working in a skate shop or digging a ditch? Yeah, I’ve done all kinds of jobs but got really lucky with photography early on. I started shooting my friends skating and was really persistent, then got hired at Slap in 1997. I learned a ton doing that, but then I kind of left skate photography after a while – I just got really frustrated with how things worked. So I worked at a photo lab processing film and chemicals all day and night for other people. I tried to be a flower delivery guy, but I lost it after three days then I went back to skate photography. What kind of schooling have you done? I started going to school for Journalism at the Junior College in Santa

Rosa and they needed me to shoot photos one time for something. So that got me around the photo lab, and I was pretty interested in that. I tried going back to school years later, around 2001, and got into the Art Institute in San Francisco with a scholarship. I wanted to get a degree so I could eventually teach photography, but I only went there for three days and dropped out – I felt really out of place. I had already been earning a living as a photographer for a long time, so thinking that I was going to go back and finish my degree seemed like a joke once I was there. Do you find there are a lot of photographers in the world of skateboarding who don’t have a sense of the history of photography? Yeah, especially the younger kids coming up. In these times it’s so easy to start trying photography without knowing the history of it, but I definitely feel there is a big gap they’re missing out on creativity-wise. They are never really going to nail it because they don’t know what has been done, and they don’t know all the possibilities that they could maybe combine into making a skate photo look different. I think the biggest problem with up-and-coming photographers is they don’t look any further than their immediate surroundings for inspiration. Concrete skateboarding


Hill Bomb

Orcas Island, Washington // 2010

Julian Davidson 360 Flip To Fakie Hawaii // 2010

Do you sometimes feel that some of the younger kids look at what you’re doing and try to emulate your stylistic technique? Yeah, I’ve seen that a lot, and I’ve really gone up and down with how I feel about that over the years. When it comes to the digital side, what are the benefits? Well, for one thing there is no waste. I’ve gone through 60 rolls of film before while trying to shoot a sequence of someone that they never landed. That’s such a huge waste of resources, not only money-wise but environmentally. That was always a real bummer. I’m always working side-by-side with a filmer nowadays, so it’s really great to know I’ve got a good photo; then I can get out of the way and let them film without us climbing on each other’s backs trying to get the exact same spot. When it comes to your framing of skate shots, there seems to be a play of light, dark and contrast. What’s the theory behind that? I guess it’s just kind of an instinct from years of looking at certain types of photography. I love shadow areas – the lack of detail because that’s where the mysteries are. That’s where the ambiguity is. You don’t need to see everything. It’s more about how a photo makes you feel, maybe more than what is in the photo.

Are there certain movie directors or cinematographers that influence you? Definitely. I remember Spike Lee’s film treatment early on ­– how he processed his film kind of blew my mind. I was super curious about how he’d get his effects and the really high contrast. I think he might have cross-processed his film, I don’t even know. The Coen Brothers are really exciting to me as far as how they visually create movies; one of my favourites is The Man Who Wasn’t There [2001], which looks like one long, beautiful black-and-white photograph that’s moving. Those are the more contemporary people I can get really inspired by. Is the family photo (in the opening spread) some sort of composite? Every year we make a family photo that we send to all our friends so they can see the kids growing up. Every year they seem to get a little more ridiculous, so we keep playing with that. We let the kids help out with their ideas of what they want us to do that year. That one was a lot of fun to do, and it was actually totally real. I had to use a couple different frames since the kids alone need a lot of directing to get them to do the right thing. I had to kind of coach them for their part, and me and my wife did our part separately. Then I just had to put it all together. Concrete skateboarding


Chad Tim Tim

360 Flip Into Rock Long Beach, California // 2010

Emmett Gaberman

Potty Training Northern California // 2009

Ray Barbee

Gaberman Residence Northern California // 2009

Levi Brown

Phoenix, Arizona // 2009 Concrete skateboarding


Nick Garcia

Ollie Up To Crailslide Albuquerque, New Mexico // 2009

Matt Kehoe

Switch Miller Flip Santa Rosa, California // 2009

Levi Brown

Backside Heelflip Miami, Florida // 2010

“I’m a big fan of natural light and utilizing our only natural light source, the sun, to the fullest.”

Does your personal experimentation bleed into your skate photos? It always has. Everything that I’ve gotten interested in with my personal work has found its way into a skate photo or article that I’ve done at some point. I’ll try and apply it to see what happens. It doesn’t always work, but usually you get something different and interesting out of it. Are you represented by a gallery when it comes to your personal work? No, not anymore. I was for a long time with the Barry Singer Gallery in Petaluma, California – a fine art gallery that mostly dealt with older, dead photographers. I was really lucky to get in there. Barry gave me a lot of encouragement and eventually took my work into his collection, which was quite a growing experience. That was when I really wanted to pursue a career as an artist, but I really didn’t jive with it too well. Trying to sell myself in some sort of intellectual way to

make art buyers happy wasn’t for me, so I kind of veered away from that. I still do the work but skateboarding photography seems a lot more honest. Do you ever shoot skate photos with a tilted horizon? [Laughs] Very rarely. I’m not a big fan of how it brings tension to a photo. I might do it with a portrait or something; it can add a little bit when you might have a boring setting otherwise. I think Fred Mortagne has done a pretty good job using the existing lines in architecture to make a skate photo interesting. Are there any photo trends right now that you hate? Yeah, kind of [laughs]. I’m a big fan of natural light and utilizing our only natural light source, the sun, to the fullest. I don’t like the glossy digital robotic look that people are giving to portraiture and skate photos these days with the way they’re over-lighting things. I don’t like over-lighting. Concrete skateboarding



New Mexico // 2009

Have you ever done an HDR (High Dynamic Range) photo? Probably, but not in the traditional sense where you let the computer merge a bunch of different exposures together. I do it manually for sure because digital cameras don’t have the dynamic range for highlight and shadow detail that you might need in a photo. If that’s the case, I’ll take two exposures and manually combine them by painting in certain areas with a brush or something. I’ve never done HDR the technically proper way. Since things have gone digital, are you a Photoshop wizard now? Not by a long shot. I’m still moderately useless with Photoshop. When I decided I was going to go into the digital world of things, I spent about a year taking everything I could do in the darkroom and figuring out how to do it on the computer. Other than that I’m fairly useless. There is 90 percent of Photoshop that I don’t have a clue how to use, but I don’t need it ‘cause I’m not trying to add another head onto somebody or put an eagle in the sky. I don’t know that stuff. Do you prefer the darkroom or the computer? I still prefer to be in the darkroom more but I actually do feel I can better achieve my vision of what I want a photograph to look like with Photoshop. I have more precise control, but sitting in front of a computer isn’t very satisfying. I don’t feel the same at the end of the day working on a computer as I used to when I’d walk out of the darkroom.

Collin Provost Heelflip Paris, France // 2010

What’s your favourite camera to shoot with, film-wise? The 4x5 Super Speed Graflex – a 1940s press camera. Whose skate photography do you enjoy looking at? Any time I would see a Thomas Campbell photo, I’d get stoked. But he really doesn’t shoot skate photos anymore. For a long time I’ve loved to look at Oliver Barton’s photos because I admire his precise lighting. I always felt like such a hack with my lighting and I think I learned a lot by looking at his photos. When it comes to capturing the lifestyle of skateboarding, say for a tour article, do you put time aside to get portraits or do you just constantly shoot? It’s really intuitive; I just do it when it feels right. I never sit somebody down and say, “Let’s shoot a portrait now”, unless we really need a specific portrait for an interview and we have an idea of what we want to do. It’s more documentary – when it happens it just happens. I always do a horrible job when I try to plan that stuff out. When was the last time you had to run from a cop or security guard? I can’t even remember the last time... I’m too old for that. I’ll just talk to them.

Concrete skateboarding




9,'(2&/,36 %/$&./$%(/6.$7(6_1(9(5%(%28*+71(9(5%(62/'_&+(&.7+(%/$&.%/2*)257+(/$7(67352'8&76 %/$&./$%(/6.$7(6 &20

Keegan Sauder


photo Dan Zaslavsky 106

Concrete skateboarding

Hugo Balek

Cory Lakeman

photo Andrew Norton

photo Owen Woytowich

Crook pop-over


Concrete skateboarding

kickflip over rail

Colin M cKay blunt to fakie photo Mike Blabac 110

Concrete skateboarding

Josh Clark

frontside 180 over rail photo Dan Zaslavsky

Adam Fontaine

frontside boardslide photo Joel Dufresne


Concrete skateboarding

Gilbert Turenne kickflip

photo Matt MacLeod

Nathan LaCoste kickflip

photo Brian Caissie Concrete skateboarding


Antoine Asselin

backside smithgrind photo Andrew Mapstone

Grant Patterson

frontside nollie kickflip photo Brian Caissie

Concrete skateboarding


Andrew M cGraw

crooked grind pop-out photo Babas Levrai


Concrete skateboarding

Jesse Jean Bart Ollie

photo Kasey Andrews

Ryan Decenzo

kickflip 50-50 grind photo Andrew Mapstone 120

Concrete skateboarding

Matt M cFarlane frontboard photo Jeff Delong

Manuel Margreiter backside overcrooks photo Hendrik Herzmann

Finn Gerlach

switch ollie

photo Hendrik Herzmann

Concrete skateboarding


Britt Rutan

polejam crailgrab photo Stephen Denton


Concrete skateboarding

Sascha Daley

frontside blunt photo Mike Blabac

Mike Campbell ollie

photo Owen Woytowich 126

Concrete skateboarding







































September 19, 2009 - Atlanta, Georgia

5"-&4  '30. THE


²*¾.13&55: 463&*$65 0'')*4 )&"%³ ANDREW NORTON

Sure, as an in-demand professional skate photographer you regularly get to travel as well as witness and document top-shelf shralping. However, alongside the satisfaction of successful urban spot exploration at home and abroad comes the numerous unsavoury obstacles photographers sometimes face. Here youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll find police, jail, a potentially blown banger, depression-invoking gear loss, and a scene straight out of The Warriors as a few examples of the darker times spent in the name of capturing those coveted images we get to enjoy in comfort.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Back around 2003, a bunch of us were shooting at the indoor 10-stair down in the NYC subway system. A cop came and tried to give me a ticket for obstructing the stairway or something, but in order to give a ticket he had to run my name in the system. Turned out I had an outstanding bench warrant from when I was 16 years old for skating Astor Place in Manhattan. Of course I never served that. How would I get to court at 9am on a school day when I was living 45 minutes away in the suburbs? Anyways, I figured itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d go away, but it didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t, so I was taken to jail for the night. I was there for 20 hours and almost didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get out before the end of the next day. Jail in New York is gross, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll never go back.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201D;ALLEN YING

â&#x20AC;&#x153;One time, around 1999, I forgot my photo bag at Peace Park in Montreal only to realize it 45 minutes later when I was already at home. Not having any insurance at the time, I drove back to Peace Park faster than an emergency vehicle. Everyone was gone as well as my bag, and at that moment it was as if I had just lost two years of my life. Driving back home I was feeling kind of suicidal, but when I entered my apartment the light on my answering machine was blinking. It was my buddy Frenchie saying, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Yo, Mon Oncle. You are fucking retarded. I have your photo bag. Call me.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201D;DAN MATHIEU

â&#x20AC;&#x153;During a trip to Spain in 2006 I was jumped in a subway station. Five guys attempted to steal my camera equipment, so I put all the gear behind me and started swigginâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; my arms like a raging tornado. All those idiots got were some black eyes and possibly a missing Adamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s apple [laughs]. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t ever mess with my camera equipmentâ&#x20AC;Śâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201D;JAY BRIDGES





*8"40/5)*45"*8"/53*1*/´ with Sascha Daley and Ryan Oughton, and it was two weeks of extreme heat and demos. We scoped out a doubleset in Taipei earlier on, and eventually went back on one of the last days since Sascha was down to try and skate it. For whatever reason, I thought it would look good to shoot the massive double fisheye and on film with my medium-format camera. He landed a kickflip after about three tries and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m giving him high-fives, but in the back of my head Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m thinking, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m pretty sure I cut off his head in this photo. Do I tell him now and burst his bubble pretty hard or do I wait to see if the photo turned out first?â&#x20AC;&#x2122; I hedged my bets and convinced him to do it one more time, which was probably the last thing he wanted to hear. Sascha kindly bit his tongue while I wisely chose to go digital and long lens. We got a good photo for an RDS ad, but the stinger was with the video clip, which was Saschaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s last trick in his Strange Brew part. You can see my giant body sprawled out on the stairs shooting the fisheye photo that I blew it on [laughs]. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;ANDREW NORTON


atiba jefferson

the five spot

Remove half of the projects from Ty Evans’ 15-year video making resume and you’d still be left with a very impressive career. His Transworld video releases not only defined late-’90s skateboarding, but also redefined the setups used for filming. For the last decade, he’s been producing top-shelf films for the Girl Skateboard Company, including Yeah Right! and Lakai’s Fully Flared. Up next is a Neckface documentary and an HD offering from Chocolate Skateboards, which Ty claims has been “a lot more fun and laid back since the Lakai video.”


Concrete skateboarding

the five spot

In the mid ’90s, Gabe Morford gave Greg Hunt (who was Pro for Stereo Skateboards at the time) a still camera that sparked his interest in photography. Shortly after, Jason Lee turned him onto filmmaking during the making of Stereo’s 1994 production, A Visual Sound. Greg went on to co-direct a handful of Transworld videos before fully taking on some of skateboarding’s biggest motion-picture releases including The DC Video in ’03 and Alien Workshop’s Mind Field in ’09. He somehow managed to take a time-out from working on an upcoming Vans video to bring us a Fiver.


Concrete skateboarding

switch fs heel

photo: Ben Colen

distributed by Ultimate

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Concrete 108 2010 Photo Annual