Ed Templeton: Skater + Artist

You might think I’m posting this because it’s a Leica feature on a photographer who uses film, which is rapidly becoming a very rare event these days. So if you are assuming this you would be correct, however that is not the main reason I’m posting this. The real reason I’m posting this is because I think this guy represents something very important which is the idea of living what you shoot. Obviously, Ed’s life was, and to some degree still is, all about skateboarding. You know that evil pastime that will surely turn your child from a mild mannered role model to devil worshiping anti-Christ of the asphalt. Yes, that same skateboarding. I’m kidding of course. Not sure I’ve seen another sport demonized to such a degree but that is another story.

Ed was a pro skateboarder, someone I knew about through other friends who were skateboarding photographers, but I’ve never met him. I didn’t know he was shooting until someone sent me this film. When you work on something close to your heart it shows in the images. Plus, when you get up in the morning you feel like continuing to explore. When something is so close, and so much a part of your life, it’s not really a project. It’s your life.

I also love the fact he is humble and also a bit confused by it all. There is an innocence there that I appreciate. This is especially poignant because if you look at how he is treated by his fellow skaters you realize how respected he is. It would be very easy for someone like this to take this and run with it. I’ve seen it happen a hundred times.

This work reminds me of work I’ve seen before, but there are also elements that are just his. I think this is all anyone can ask. Keep snapping Ed.

Ed Templeton: A Professional Skateboarder Turns Artist from Leica Camera on Vimeo.

8 responses to “Ed Templeton: Skater + Artist”

  1. Mattias says:

    Thank you Daniel. For your very thoughtful blog and great images. And for this post. He seems such a nice and humble guy, living the photography life. Keep snapping Ed.
    All the best/Mattias (first time commenter but RSS subscriber)

  2. LionelB says:

    Okay, a confession. I cringe with embarrassment every time I see a 19-year-old who hasn’t “grown out of” skateboarding yet. I would never, ever react the same way about cycling or hang-gliding. It is just wanton, animal prejudice I suppose. Maybe because I am a Brit and we are embarrassed about practically everything ? However, I do love the images and the sincerity with which they were made. So maybe I am partially redeemed.

    • Smogranch says:

      Lionel,
      Yes, there is something about skateboarding that drives people crazy. I remember in in the late 70’s, in rural Indiana, my brother got his first “Dog Town” skateboard and our lives were forever changed.

  3. Marcelo says:

    Great video. His work is really beautiful. Very inspiring.
    Cheers!

  4. Dustin Plett says:

    Ed’s been the man for 20 years. I got the Emerica Templeton’s as soon as they came out, I skated those shoes until there was nothing left to duct tape together.
    His design work on Toy Machine has always been from another world. It was silly, or scary, or deep – depending who was looking at it. I’ve looked up to him ever since Welcome to Hell because he was his own boss, he came across as being in control, living in the moment – but not living for the moment. This video confirms my suspicion that he is as thoughtful and as brilliant as I had always assumed. Thanks for posting.

    • Smogranch says:

      Dustin,
      Nice to meet you. Good to hear a little behind the scenes from someone who knows the sport. I was telling someone else about the time, back in the late 70’s, when my brother ordered his first Dog Town skateboard. We were living in a tiny town in rural Indiana and skateboarding was about as remote as the moon. The board came and we stood around looking at it like it had come from another planet. The ONLY place to ride it was about a 20×20 patch of concrete near our house. Everything else was dirt, stone and grass. It didn’t matter. I had the tiny wooden job from the grocery store, steel wheels and all, and would ride on my knee while my brother, six years older, learned his first tricks. Kicker is…brother still has the board.

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