Some may think that San Diego is always blue skies and sunny but this isn’t always true. For example, we have something locals call “June Gloom.” June Gloom happens when the air near the ocean’s surface is cooler than the air above it creating a blanket of marine layer clouds that sometimes does not clear up for an entire day. However, this phenomenon causes the clouds act as a diffuser, making the light nice and soft for photos which allows flashes to do a much more efficient job freezing action than a clear day.
Knowing this was the case I lugged my gear to a spot and met up with Art Garza, Jon Fromm, and Travis Stewart. The school had recently put in some ledges but added notches to skate-stop them, making the spot less fun but still accessible for a few tricks. The ledges were far apart but there was an edge of concrete I had dug out weeks earlier that was exposed for some quick grinds.
Art Garza, the newest ambassador for Iqon Skate Brand and the co-founder and rider of Wax Snax, was short on time when he arrived at the session. I was also running short on time too, but I had brought all my gear anyway and didn’t want to leave without a photo. I grabbed my fisheye lens from my bag and two flashes and set up just as Jon and Travis decided to leave for another spot. Art had already done a zero topside porn on the inside concrete edge so I figured that would be the easiest photo for us. But as I got on the ground ready to shoot I changed my mind because I thought his backfoot would be lost in the frame. I told Art let’s see if you can get a zero fish with a grab. Art excepted the challenge and got to work.
Unfortunately, the trick was not happening as easily as we had both hoped. As the photographer, I was having trouble seeing Art’s grab as he did his trick. Art, as the skater, was having difficulty staying on the trick and completing the grind. My timing had to be exact as Art came into frame quickly. I had to quickly move out of his way and then back into place to shoot the trick. Art needed to complete the entire distance of the grind and land it while holding the grab without letting it go. The pressure was mounting as Art attempted to complete the trick with the finesse he is known for. We were about to give up when Art yelled to me to get ready because this was his last attempt for the evening.
This photo was taken with my Sony A7iii with two Godox flashes at varying power to freeze Art’s quick motion. One flash was placed camera left in the tan bark to show the shadows of the edge of the concrete at 1/4. The other flash was the camera right and that was the main which, I set at half power. My settings were f5.6 at 1/250 ISO 100. — Steve Steinmetz