J. GRANT BRITTAIN Vintage Skate Photography

A Photo That Showed Me I was Getting Better at Photography

After taking up skate photography while working at the Del Mar Skate Ranch, I kind of wallowed around in the mud of trying to learn how to take a decent photo. I didn't know an F-stop or shutter speed from a hole in the ground. The best way to learn how to take photos is by taking photos. Everyone starts at the bottom, we all start at the bottom, and that's usually by shooting our friends. Luckily, I worked at the Del Mar Skate Ranch and I had a lot of friends who could skate and didn't mind hitting a spot over and over...and over. I was pretty broke in those days and I shot black and white film because it was cheaper than color. Eventually I changed my focus from Art to Photography at Palomar Jr College and then shooting B&W film made a hell of a lot of sense. As a started to learn how light and exposure worked together, my skills and my photos started to progress. I learned how to previsualize what the photo was going to look like before I ever fired the shutter button. I learned how to not shoot all willy-nilly and actually have a thought out plan, I slowed the creative process down. This is the opposite of shooting digital where you can just fix it all up in post. Around 1982, I shot this photo of Tom "Wally" Inouye doing a big Bertlemann in the DMSR Keyhole and when I developed the film and saw this frame, I was stoked! I felt like I was getting better and from here it could only get better and it did. More later.

 


2 comments

  • Inspiring ! Your photos are breathtaking man.

    Gabriel campos
  • Thank you for sharing stories about learning your craft, it’s always nice to hear about the progression of skill.

    Jason Bunting

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