Photography: Parkour, free running

Remember these rather cool parkour photos?

well benny has been in contact and let me know that more of his very funky photography is available all in one location: I think everyone should go check it out… (yes, both of you) He also mentioned a recent article posted about his win in the Tate ‘Here we are now’ flickr competition. Aaaaand his words about how he got into photographing free runners, reminded me of a photography interview I had ages ago… and a questions about my skate photography:

Any tips for people that want to start photographing skateboarding?

And we all know of the rule-less urban similarities between skateboarding and parkour/free running, so I think the answer I gave then, is still relevant to parkour etc now. Both social groups are often young, are entertainers who love an audience, and are often presented negatively by the media. So here’s my reply to the question, minus the skate references:

Flippers love being photographed, they get to feel ‘pro’ for a while, these people are basically entertainers anyway… so its rare that they say no, if you’re going to offer to capture what they love.

Go find where they play and observe for a little bit first, get close enough to make it obvious that you’re interested in what they do, but don’t get in the way… I’ve seen people walk into ‘areas’ and sit on the very block that people are using, killing the session dead and leaving themselves open to a torrent of abuse.

Look out for the person landing the most tricks (the alpha male!)… and ask that person only if its ok to fire off a few shots. If that person is cool with it, then the rest won’t have a problem either… it’s like the best rider has given their approval to you. Whatever shots you take, always offer to show them what you’ve captured and offer to email free jpegs to them as well. You’ll score big brownie points and you’ll probably be welcome to return and shoot some more at another date/location.

Also if you’re new to photographing this stuff… ask them what the best angle would be to capture stuff. most people have a set bunch of tricks they love doing and can tell you when and where they are happening, allowing you a little time to setup the camera for it. Basically, flatter their ego and tell em they’re great and they’ll love you. It always works. Pick a decent speed shutter  and get ready with that trigger finger, cause its over in an instant. At night, drop the shutter speed right down and pop the flash late to create a little motion blur action.

So that’s it… I’m guessing this is useless to most people as they’re flipping and friends with people that carry cameras anyway… but this post is photography themed (and tagged)… so a random may read  and find it useless useful.



Filed under free running, Life, parkour, photography, skateboarding, Tricking

3 responses to “Photography: Parkour, free running

  1. Tyler Manuel McCallon

    “Hey all you free running flippers, how is it going brotherin. Well what I got to say is,” “I have a friend named Michael and my self, we love to free run and flip. He is way, way better than I am but I only started a few months ago but I have exceled greatly since the begging. I am Tyler Manuel McCallon my address is… [edited out by Mark]… Thank you i am in 9th grade soon to be 10th and Michael is in 10th soon thbe in 11th thank you for your time and effort.GOOD BYE!!!!

  2. Tyler Manuel McCallon

    When you reply back you will get someone named Travis Atkins tell him you are looking for Tyler McCallon…. He is my best friend he will answer any questions that you will have.?!>

  3. mate, I dunno what the hell that post was all about.

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