Manual Magazine

Barber’s Blog: Sky Grabs

Posted by markbarber on Thursday October 18 2012

I was just remembering that photo of the business man riding the suitcase scooter from a couple of weeks ago, and how awesome he was. I kinda got psyched on him and his whole vibe, and started searching stock image libraries for really embarrassing skateboarding images, and then I came across this series.

These guys are just awesome. I’ve been on a shit load of commercial photo shoots over the years, and this is pretty much what your average studio photographer thinks is wacky and cool. Stock image libraries are full of this type of thing, and I love it.

I started thinking about how whenever skateboarding gets in the news, whether it’s a new park that’s been built, a competition, or some goon hits a skateboarder or whatever, there is always a newspaper article about it that requires a photo. They always send out their best sports photographer to capture the action, because he’s the man for the job!
Many, many years ago I worked for the New Zealand Herald, and remember the photographers swanning in and out of the building on Albert St in Auckland, all cocksure and arrogant, because they were the guys out there on the front line of the news, photographing all that challenging rugby and cats up trees stuff you get in the paper. They’re the odd job men of the photography world. They’re a jack of all trades, master of none kinda thing. That might be a bit unfair, but whatever.
That’s what makes it so funny when you see them shoot skating. The average reader of the New Zealand Herald has no idea about anything to do with skateboarding, so it makes sense that your newspaper photo jock will just apply skills attained from shooting Ali Williams lifting men up by their crotch.

It’s all rocket ollies, sky grabs, and beat down poses in full safety gear. Standard skateboarding stuff really.

Bless the newspaper photographer for reminding us that we appreciate skating on a different level, and that everyone else isn’t really all that cool.


Here are a couple of pics that were published a few months back in SLAM magazine, these were a few from an interview I worked on with Rob Kenworthy from Sydney.


Rob Kenworthy, frontside flip, Museum of Sydney


Rob Kenworthy, heel flip, University of New South Wales, Sydney