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Skateboarding News

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Grant Brittain

Mark Gator Rogowski. Photo Grant Brittain.
I Skate, Therefore I Am -Home- Yes! isTia skateboard blog talks about skateboarders, skaters, vert, ramp, skateparks, pool, backyard pools, kidney pool, pink motel, supreme skateboard, copying, skateboarding photography, skate rock, concrete disciples, daily skate news, Vans, Venice skatepark, skate spots  and skateboard news. There are plenty of other skate websites that publish skateboard news faster than me, and better than me (Transworld, The Berrics, Thrasher, Slap magazine, skatedaily, crailtap, juice magazine, skate and annoy,…), so I won’t just give the skate news, I’ll also tell you what I think about it even if I’m wrong. Then you can conform and think like me too and impress your friends with your profound knowledge of the skateboarding industry. LOL
The guys at Skateboarding Photo (a monthly “web-mag” dedicated to presenting images and words from emerging, as well as established, skaters / photographers / writers / artists and brands)  are doing a great job. Last time, they interviewed Bryce Kanights with great length and talent and this time it is Grant Brittain that is under the limelight and stressing questions. Grant is one of the best skateboard photographers in the world and he unveiled for this interview some of his best pictures like the one on the left showing Gator at what appears to be the Del Mar bowl… Funny that Gator is back in the news those days as he was denied parole a couple of days ago after he pleaded guilty to rape and murder of his girlfriend and received a 31-year prison sentence in 1991. He won't be eligible for a new hearing until another seven years.

Anyway, here an excerpt of the Interview by Harvey Mills. The original interview and amazing pics are to be seen at at
J. Grant Brittains contribution to the world of skateboarding is inestimable. From his classic early images and groundbreaking work as Photo Editor at Transworld Skate, through to being a founding father of The Skateboard Mag, his influence on skate photography (and the sub-culture in general) is, arguably, unequalled.
In this exclusive interview with Skateboarding Photo, Grant takes time out of his busy schedule to share his unique experiences from the last 3 decades, and give a small glimpse into his stunning body of work. The first couple of self-indulgent (on my part) questions I pose are to satisfy my own geeky curiosity, but bare with it. This is history, and we could all learn something today…
Hey Grant! Firstly, can I just get this off my chest? “We’re not worthy, we’re not worthy, etc”. Okay, I’m done. Secondly, can we get this out of the way now – your classic Chris Miller ‘Pole-Cam’ shot at Upland!? You must get pretty bored of talking about it, but it’s such an iconic image! So, I guess this is as good a place as any to start. What gave you the idea to stick your camera on the end of a pole?
Chris says it was his idea and I thought it was my idea, but we both got the idea from a surf photographer in the 80s that did water shots with a pole. I used a monopod with a swivel head and an air bulb shutter release to trigger.
I guess that getting Miller in frame was always going to be pretty hit-and-miss, being in the good old days of film. So how many times did you get him to repeat the trick? I bet you were stoked when you saw the slides? (I’m assuming you shot it on Kodachrome 64 slide film?)
I did shoot it with Kodachrome 64 color slide film, that was the staple film back then. I shot a roll of color and a roll of black and white. So, 72 times or less I guess? Some were way off. 1 bw and 1 color looked good. Practice makes perfect as they say. I was way stoked, mainly with our shadow in the background, it tells the story, height of Chris’ air and the pole and all. In photography, it’s always about the shadows.
The colour and saturation on those ‘80s pool shots is just beautiful – very evocative of that time and really accentuated the neon tones of the boards and threads. When was the last time you shot using 35mm film?
With the Kodachrome, colors were pretty true to nature, there was more truth to real life as far as color goes. When Fuji came out with Provia and Velvia I jumped right in because it was so vibrant and exaggerated colorwise and was “made” for magazine publication. I haven’t shot skate shots with 35mm color slide film since Danny Way jumped the Great Wall in 2005, I shot digi and Velvia(as backup). I do shoot portraits and art stuff still with my Leica M6 and my Hasselblad for fine art photography too. I love film, I will always shoot it.
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I skate therefore I am: skateboard pools, pipes, parks, bowls and vert, daily skateboarding news...
posted by Xavier Lannes @ Thursday, February 10, 2011 


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