Haynes sent in a new batch of photos, among which there were two angles of the same trick from Brett Dasovic. Not sure if we’d have a chance to print either of the shots, we set John out to write about them. As it turns out, there was more to the story than we anticipated, including some “photo assistance” from Jeph Howard. Find yourself thinking about what photos can look like from different angles? This PHOTO JOURNAL’s for you. — ONE
I shoot a lot in studios which I both love and hate. I love the control, the ability to move everything exactly where I want it, to have the light from the exact angle I want and with the exact quality I want. What I don’t like is shutting the blinds on a sunny afternoon to fire up tungsten lights. I have always balanced my controlled studio experiences with the crazy skate experiences. Getting kicked out by cops as you’re shooting under a bridge with a train going over you? Just another day in the life of a skate photographer.
The crazy times of being in crazy or difficult locations are balanced perfectly in my life with studio days and good tunes cranked. This shot of Brett Dasovic is one of those days that I truly wished I could have been somehow shooting this in studio. We went to a small town on the Minnesota/Wisconsin border because my friend Ben Fredrikson had seen this spot. The spot is really cool but space under the bridge is limited by a rocky river bank and the bridge itself. Brett wanted to do Royale to Royale to drop, which is a really hard trick when you factor in the drop, but in my life I have shot around 500 royales and get a little tired of doing it the same way over and over. I wanted to communicate the drop, and shooting from the bottom was out of the question because I felt it would just be too boring. Besides, the river bank offered nowhere to stand.
I put on my fisheye and walked around the obstacle (as I often do) shooting test shots. I felt confident about shooting from the top but was hesitant about not being able to see all of his face. He tried the royale a few times and my fears were founded as (like any sane person) he was spotting his landing and not looking at me. He fell on impact a few times and I began to wonder if he would even land the trick (he did land one but the landing was not laced). Jeph Howard sensed my frustration and asked about an angle from higher on the river bank. I told him if he could make it work I would let him shoot it. Jeph likes pushing the button on my camera a lot so he was thrilled, and when I went to go see what he was so excited about I went back on my word and decided to tweak his angle and composition. I felt the long shot was way better, and Brett wanted a better clip, so he did it again and thus you have double angles. — John Haynes
Photos © 2009 John Haynes