Tag Archives: photography

XTC Photo Competition – Are you a budding Bailey?

Here, at XTC headquarters, we are proud to announce the ‘XTC Photo Competition’! The prize; a Solar Powered Back Pack. A “must-have” necessity in a modern world, whose undefined boundaries and super-high speed means that it is more important than ever to be able to connect, charge and surf whilst on the move.

How many times have you been caught short? Without battery on your phone, you turn from being a Paris Hilton socialite, into a Lord Lucan loner. Without music on your i-pod, one is forced to listen to old ladies’ conversations about how much heat M&S pantaloons can generate. And without one’s camera, we would have no chance of recalling what/who we did the previous night!

That is why, in return for a photo of what extreme sports mean to you, we are willing to part ways with one of these super-charged transporters. Photos of you flying through the air on your pogo stick are great…but if it also portrays, in an artistic manner, the reason why you love extreme sports…then you’re onto a winner.

So, if you’re a budding Bailey, or a capable Caissie, then let’s see what you can do!

Post photos at the Facebook Fan Page

Check the rules at the XTC website

Happy snapping!

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So here we are… first blog of the week. I thought this time I should set myself a challenge…an assessment if you will. With the help of a short brainstorming session, a few spider diagrams, and the inability to fall asleep before midnight, I devised a task that would not only be relevant in some part to extreme sports, but would also test my eye for a good photograph. And so, the “Fifteen Minute Photo Forage” was born and the umbilical cord cut.

My task, if I chose to actually bother with it, was to trawl the 49,261,052 (vaguely accurate at time of writing) websites on the internet, in order to find the 3 best skateboarding photos out there. And as the name says I only had 15 minutes to do this in.

Immediately doubt entered my mind. I don’t know much about skateboarding, do I? Where will the best photos be? 49,261,052, that’s a big number isn’t it? Shall I look for renowned photographers, or shall I look for renowned skateboarders? Will my kitchen tap stop making that really high pitched noise so I can concentrate? Do I have a stopwatch?

I decide to put these worries to the back of my mind. I eventually find a stopwatch above the oven and set it to 15 minutes. I fire up the internet before starting the watch. The challenge should be testing me, not my computers constant failure to respond to simple on/off instructions.

I start the “Fifteen Minute Photo Forage”. The following 15 minutes went something like this:

0 mins 26 secs: Homepage is set to BBC Sport: read about Henry escaping punishment for his handball. Think situation is ridiculous. Remember what I’m supposed to be doing.

0 mins 33 secs: Type in ‘cool skateboard photography’ to Google search. Click on first link I see: http://thehotcrew.com/2006/09/19/the-100-best-skate-photos-on-flickr/ It shows the best skateboard photos on Flickr! My hunt gets off to a good start as I find loads of cool pictures of skateboarders in mid-air. But, like Catherine Zeta-Jones I could do better, alot lot lot better!

1 min 58 secs: Nearly at the 2 minute mark. Go back to Google search. Click on surfdoggy.com, not sure what to expect. I could be moments away from pictures of a doggy doing human things on a surfboard, or humans doing doggy things on a surfboard. Turns out to be some crappy clipart photos of surfboards.

2 min 38secs: I refine my search to “skateboard pictures”. This proves to be key in my search as straight away I am directed to Matt Price’s skateboard gallery at http://theskateboardmag.com/articles/fresh-crops-matt-price/ . I rifle through the pictures and stumble across one that catches my eye. A black and white photo of Ethan Fowler grinding down a hand rail. He’s got long hair and a beard.  I like this guys’ style, he joins my shortlist.

4 mins 22secs: The clock is ticking. The noise from the kitchen tap stops. I however continue…

4 mins 24secs: The word ‘artsy’ is added to my search. I need something with a bit more class. I quickly find a link to the photos at http://www.ascartel.com/interviews/71-antton-miettinen-professional-skateboard-photographer , and rummage through Antton Miettinen’s galleries in pursuit of my favourite. I find a photo of a guy flying through the air. Another black and white, I admit. But this is a great photo showing  that cool stuff happens anywhere, anytime. Fact.

9 mins 43secs: The last search was undoubtedly a lengthy one, and time is slipping through my hands. I replace ‘artsy’ with ‘sexy’.

10 mins 05 secs: It takes too long filtering out the ‘inappropriate’ sites to make this search worthwhile. ‘Sexy’ is replaced with ‘cool’. Realise I have already searched this. Again I click on the top of the list because it must be the coolest, right? I am taken to www.snorad.com. This is decidedly uncool. I am annoyed, Google has deceived me.

11 mins 23 secs: My computer is slow to get back to the previous page. More time wasted

11 mins 51 secs: I am now using Ask.com as a search engine. Surely Jeeves won’t try to fool me. The search is repeated: ‘cool skateboard pictures’. And low and behold, Jeeves comes up trumps! I am inundated with possibilities. I choose http://www.briancaissie.com/, a gallery compiled by Brian Caissie, showcasing his photography. He’s a professional skateboard photographer, and a good one to boot. Again a quick search of his albums leaves me astounded, and personally I think I have a winner: the guy in a red jumper doing an ollie with a fag in his hand (5th photo along – Wade Desarmo). I’m surprised this is my favourite because usually black and photography gets the nod. But it is deserving of my award because, just like X in the City, the extreme sport is being transferred into an alien, urban environment, but still retains the essence of its art and purpose.

14 mins 37 secs: Feel happy. Foraged for 3 photos in fifteen minutes. Job complete.

14 mins 40 secs: Tap starts crying again. Feel unhappy.

So, you may ask what I’ve actually learnt from this. And in truth, the answer is ‘very little’. I have however helped share some skateboard photos (of varying quality, I admit), as well as finishing a challenge for the first time since the last time.

Can you do better?

'Wade Desarmo by Brian Caissie

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