blunt mag attends Tim Moolman’s skateboarding and BMX workshop at The Shred Skate Park – plus a Q&A with Tim
Hosted by Orms Direct and Fuji Film SA, award-winning lensman Tim Moolman’s photographic workshop on April 2 was an absolute blast. We also asked Tim a few flash questions about the event and he fired back a few answers (see below).
Words by bluntEd. Photos courtesy Tim Moolman and by bluntEd.
blunt mag was stoked to attend Tim Moolman’s latest skateboarding and bmx photography workshop recently.
Award-winning lensman Tim told the couple of dozen photogs present why it was important to know the background of skate and bmx culture to shoot these sports properly.
Tim also advised everyone on how to work with the skaters and riders and most importantly what to look for in a good skate shot in terms of timing, composition, lighting and lenses etc.
After the intro the photographers were able to shoot skaters Moses Adams and Karl Van Antwerp, and BMXers Jason Hood and Lawrence Coetzee. They all had the full run of the park and bowl, and were flipping, grinding and busting out, Karl almost taking Tim’s head off with a 5-0 grind attempt – all in days / nights work.
“Since most photographers coming to these workshops will have a limited, maybe one dimensional view of skateboarding, I feel it’s essential to give them a crash course on its history. I love skateboarding, and I want people to appreciate the strength of character, persistence, and creativity that makes a good skateboarder.” – Tim Moolman, photographer.
The ‘paparazzi’ included a wide variety of Cape Town photographers who were keen to learn more about the difficult but rewarding art of shooting street sports like skating and BMX.
Thanks to Tim’s expert advice most walked away with a newfound appreciation how hard it is to capture this stuff on camera – and hopefully a few banger shots.
This included bluntEd, who was lucky enough to poach another photographer’s flash by fluke for an interesting strobe type sequence of Mo and a couple of other pix (see photo gallery).
“It was great to see a bunch of up and coming photographers of all ages,” said skateboarder Karl Van Antwerp. “The experience was great it; it took you out of your comfort zone to push the boundaries.”
Thanks for the great workshop Tim, you are a legend! Thanks to the riders too for the solid skating and bmxing and Orms and Fuji for a lekker evening.
Q&A with Tim Moolman, legend skate lensman and host of the photography workshop:
How did the photography workshop come about?
I’ve done similar skate photography workshops in Johannesburg and Durban which were well received. Fujifilm in Cape Town were approached by ORMS to do something similar in Cape Town and we made it happen!
How many have you done, how did it feel to get up there and talk about what you do to a bunch of strangers for the first few times? Has it gotten easier as time passes?
I’ve done many presentations over the years and I’m always a little nervous when presenting, but once I get started I relax and enjoy it. It’s important to me to have researched and prepared and of course practised the presentation beforehand, that helps it feel more natural and second nature to me when presenting.
“These ‘sports’ are culturally wealthy in a way that rugby, soccer and cricket can never come close to. It irks me that prominent companies will use photographers who don’t skate, to document skateboarding. It’s painfully obvious to see from their photos that they don’t understand what they’re photographing.” – Tim Moolman.
Why do you feel it is important to start the workshop with the background to skate and street sports culture?
Since most photographers coming to these workshops will have a limited, maybe one dimensional view of skateboarding, I feel it’s essential to give them a crash course on its history. I love skateboarding, and I want people to appreciate the strength of character, persistence, and creativity that makes a good skateboarder. To understand how many times they had to get up from a hard fall to have another go, and learn something new.
How important do you think it is for these sports to be properly and authentically represented?
These ‘sports’ are culturally wealthy in a way that rugby, soccer and cricket can never come close to. It irks me that prominent companies will use photographers who don’t skate, to document skateboarding. It’s painfully obvious to see from their photos that they don’t understand what they’re photographing.
What have you learned from hosting these workshops? Has it helped your own photography?
Most of all, I really love teaching! It’s rewarding seeing people walk into the event with a vague idea of what to do and leave proudly showing me the photos they got. It definitely helps me when I get asked a tough question to then provide an answer or figure a technical problem out. And I get inspired too! Some of the participants’ photos that I see afterwards get me thinking about a new approach.
What is it like to have a skateboard land on your head?
It’s better with a helmet on. I got clipped by a skateboard a few years back that resulted in 4 stitches, so now I cover my bald bonce up.
What kind of feedback do you get back or results do you see from the photographers who attend your workshops?
It’s always positive! I do my best to meet everyone and watch them while they’re shooting so that I can help with camera settings, or composition, whatever it takes so that they can leave feeling that they’ve learnt something valuable.
What about the skaters and riders, how do they feel about shooting with so many cameras trained on them and what do you think they get from the experience?
We have always chosen our riders for consistency and for being cool in person, people that are good ambassadors for skateboarding and BMXing. I’d like to think that they enjoy the experience.
Will we see more of these Tim Moolman workshops in the future?
Absolutely! Hopefully we’ll get to do workshops at the different skateparks in Cape Town and the garden route too.