Behind The Lens: 6 skateboarders who shoot.

Joe Coward

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Self Portrait.

Ben Gore –  a San Francisco local and Floridian native, Ben’s skating is fantastic to watch and the pure street output he has is admirable. Every bit of footage or coverage I see of him makes my day and really makes me want to go and skate. His skating and photography are seamless in his approach to them – both very stylish and quite simple, they will both stand the test of time. In his recent interview with Kingpin in our photo issue (118), here’s a few of the relative points he made about skating and photography (not in linear format of the original interview):

I can see from the photos on your website that you shoot film and I guess you print yourself? If so, how are you getting along with getting the right printing exposures?

I am shooting film and printing myself. There’s always good days and bad days, but either way once the print is done I’m always happy. I think finishing a print feels the same as landing a trick that you’ve been working on – complete satisfaction. I’m a strong believer of using the darkroom; if you’re shooting film and not printing yourself I honestly feel bad for you. That’s like trying to film a line but only landing the first trick.

…Why do you shoot photos?

There’s about a  hundred ways to answer this but mainly I shoot photos for memories. Being able to look at all my photos 10, 15, 20 years from now seems really important to me…I also like the artistic side of it, constantly watching and waiting for something to happen. I never let my guard down when I have my camera; I’m 100% aware of my surroundings.

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Leo Valls, SF wallride.

Why choose Black & White?

I just always think about what I’m going to look back on and black and white just seems more iconic. I really like how black and white makes a photo seem like the past because the past is exactly what a photo is. It was there at one moment, you shot it and now it’s gone.

Clearly Mr Gore takes a lot of care to  ensure that the photos he lets other people see are of the utmost quality. It doesn’t seem like he is rushing to put himself out there and garner a lot of attention for his photography – and he doesn’t do it because he is a professional skateboarder and people would be paying at least some attention to him doing it anyway. The attention for his photography has come naturally. His photos are quite striking and beautiful in a simulacrum of city and street-life in monochrome. Choosing to develop and print his own photos, shows that he really is in total control of their creation – from the click of the shutter to hanging them up to dry – and doing so only with film (which he mentions he has been shooting with for around 6 years) shows that he is committed to photography as a craft. Most people who start photography these days, would do so with a digital camera, which despite its many practicalities as a medium, doesn’t take the same amount of commitment and the individual learning process that film does. Enjoy a selection of Ben’s photos on this page and on both of his websites: ‘Rounddabend’ and ‘BenGore’. You can also enjoy his welcome to Magenta clip below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n32-FRbLeI4&list=UUJuMDQgmBluqtdpk5DAA5JA

Below are all his photos we published in issue 118:

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