A week of tents and skateboards..


So its only taken me about 8 months but I thought I’d finally share some photographs that I took last summer on the Howies Skate Tour ’08.
I got a phonecall from Howies, who are a UK based outdoor clothing company that have gotten pretty big and trendy as of late (they recently opened a shop in Carnaby Street),
saying that they were going to put some skaterboarders, clothes, food, beer, models, staff, things in a big van painted in blackboard paint, send it round the country and whilst stopping
to skate, also ask people what they thought of nuclear power. Sounds a bit crazy? It was a crazy week. In 7 days we drove to, skated, questioned, camped and hung out in cardiff, bristol, stoke, manchester, leeds, sheffield and london. We camped out under the stars (and rain) each night and in general it was a complete adventure. Some of the shots got used in their catalog but otherwise not much has been done with them, and I only recently had time to start doing a story of them on my new website.

So these are small because I am lazy and am taking them straight from my site! Shot all on a Canon 30D and 28mm F1.8 lens. (I shot some film too but just for personal enjoyment really.):


This was the flyer.
On the back of the van it said Nuclear Power (with those cool radiation signs) and on one side “is it green?”, on the other “or is it dumb?”
The idea was that members of the public could write their opinions on the van in chalk. Was pretty cool.
The van itself ran on Biodiesel (Howies are very green) and looked pretty rad.
All in all there was four skaters (one of which filmed), one dude who drove the van/cooked/saved our lives, one lady from howies running it all,
and one model with two other girls joining us to mode in london. Ill save those shots for another post…
Lots of skatboarding over the week. Please with the 30D when it comes to not blowing highlights. Just underexpose by 2/3 stop.
Here you can see people writing on the van. Niiiiiice.
More skating. Was constantly amazing by the dude Tom on the right,
how he could skate really fast whilst filiming and not looking where he was going.
Soon we had our first bout of camping. Tents were a nightmare and beer did nay help.
Still – it was awesome eating/sleeping/hanging out in the great outdoors. Really enjoyed it.
Kudos to whoever thought to bring retro striped deckchairs. A photographers ultimate pleasure!
Camping generally lead to more skating. And thus the cycle repeated.
And when we weren’t skating or camping (or talking photos…
We were asking people to write on our van!
For example:
As you can see before long the van was pretty covered…
This guy was awesome. He said it means DANGER.
(each day the rain would wash away the chalk, so it was a new city and new peeps to write on the van)
The last day we camped in this amazing valley (although it was pissing it down)
Lydia and Alison – model and the person who pretty much organised/ran the entire tour.
Shown mixing scrambled eggs – nice.
The last proper stop was Sheffield..
(We ended up in London where I mainly took photos of 3 girls for the catalog but
there is sorta differentthan these shots so I will save it for another post/story)
I was really pleased with this last shot.
It seems to sum up nicely what Howies was aiming to do with the tour, i.e. promote thought to all ages
about nuclear power and its future (its being used more now in the UK now)

All in all the week was awesome. Took lots of photos, had a complete laugh, traveled all over the country and met some amazing people.

One word of advice to any photographers reading: Be Careful when shooting digital, because its so damned easy to overshoot,
I shot far too many photos during this week and it left me with a complete nightmare when it came to the editing stage.
After a week’s shooting and the first edit, I still had about 1500 shots that I considered to be pretty decent, to and to cut these down to 30 images for my website was pretty brutal.
Sure digital allows you to shoot around your subjects, and get lots of nice shots, but just dont get too trigger happy.

In other news just awaiting a new lens for my leica and then I am gonna have a few weeks of shooting lots and lots of film. And I’m off skiing with mates in 2 weeks, should be a nice combination of skiing all day in the fresh air and getting totally mashed at night.
Have a good weekend all!

14 Responses to “A week of tents and skateboards..”

  1. Kim Liong said

    Shooting huge piles of digital is for sports and journalists who should take a chill pill. It could work for fashion when you have a whole team to work with. But yeah, it’s a bad habit easy to fall in to.

    The photo’s look great, the variation really gets the viewer into the trip and makes me want to camp and live outdoors even though it can be a bitch.

    the vignetting works good! i assume this isn’t all from the ef28 itself but done in post?

    What new lens is coming your way, are you often in need of something other than that 35?


  2. Harrison said

    Great entry man, really enjoyed it.

  3. tina said

    as much as I like your film work, your digitals are very impressive.

  4. Sebastian said

    I don’t need a digital to overshoot, got the Eos 3 a while ago and shoot drastically more, not necessarily better. Ouch.

  5. Harry said

    i agree with tina – the colour is particularly impressive, and definitely has a kind of film like quality…at least as much as you’re likely to get with digital…let me in on your secrets!

    Glad to see these shots at last, funnily enough a mini howies catalogue popped through my letterbox with the observer on sunday, was nice to see some of your photos in print at last (apart from the ones I saw in celeste a while back).

  6. voytaz said

    gratz! i love the idea of blackboard-bus, and photos, i love tha last photo and of course air mogans like mine 😛


  7. Helen said

    That chalkboard van is the raddest idea!

  8. mustafah said

    interesting find. the last frame is spot on, and the fifth row down, right, is a straightforward but unique take on a sport that has it’s fair share of cliches. well done.

  9. Carnie said

    Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Carnie.

  10. Great shots. I love the idea for that van. I never would have thought of that.

  11. i just wrote a post about the human league. they are from sheffield.

  12. Terry Lee said

    Some great photos. Next time you go out on a photoshoot, would you mind if I tagged along? http://www.terrylee.net/blog

  13. HSCharles said

    I have a flash site
    i’m looking for the script who shows google ads in flash.
    do you know this script?

  14. Befrespaple said

    Hello. It is test.

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