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.

Random Snap

Mexico circa 1994

South of Nogales. A community living in old train cars. We stopped, got out, started walking about and shooting. People were great, fun, interested and living a tough existence. Leica, Kodachrome.

At the time, I totally took these moments for granted, heck, these trips for granted. Now, it seems like I never have the time to do any of this. So rare.

I’ve seen people living in train cars all over the world, Sicily, Mexico and in the Western United States.

In Sicily they have been living in government provided rail cars since the earthquake in the 1970’s. In the Western United States these things are considered art forms. Odd how this works.

This picture bugs me because I’m too far back and it’s tilted for no reason. Well, it’s tilted cause I’m walking fast and trying to bridge the distance to make another shot. I like how the one boy is framed in the window but the others are not right.

When I teach I often talk of the “picture within the picture” and this is a great example of a not quite there photograph. But, inside this, sure, there is a better image. Did I get it? Don’t know, have to look at my chromes.

What I do like is the memory, the color of the image, and the light, which for being overcast, still has a nice punch to it. Normally this light is “black and white light,” but I think color also looks great in flat light.

Kodachrome was unique in its pallet, which is partly to blame.

I don’t take these trips for granted any longer. They are far too precious. Heck, time to shoot is far too precious.