Personal work

Southbank undercroft

On a recent trip to London I had a little free time to take some pictures and found myself down on Southbank at around dusk. The undercroft, just below Royal Festival Hall, is one of the most famous skateboarding spots in the country, and has been for 40+ years – and this is where I stopped for a bit with my camera.

Lots of tourists shoot pictures here, but I wanted to spend some time really working the scene. The skater’s tricks are undeniably impressive, but I was interested in recording the scene as a whole, more like an environmental portrait than a sports photo.

I love that an old concrete bench, which skaters grind down, has #thehated sprayed on it. That was my starting point: frame up the shot and what for someone to come along and do something cool. Didn’t take long.

After a bit a guy called Ardiano came up to ask me to shoot him doing a jump off a set of steps. Great to have the chance to get the shot over and over, in different ways.

I only had my little Fujifilm X100F with me – not a sports DSLR or anything like that. But I swear that little camera can do just about everything. I prefocused on the spot where Adriano would lift off, then shot an 8fps burst as he came through.

At the time I shot in black & white as it really suited the vibe of the place, but Adriano was dressed head-to-toe in black, and it’s hard to make him the centre of attention in the pictures sometimes. So I played around with processing up the Raw files in different ways. What do you guys reckon looks best?


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