Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Walks and Conversations with Skateboarders

We walked along Homer Street yesterday and saw this unusual delivery system.  Great idea!  
 We completed a crossword puzzle..
and had it checked (for any stray treats in Bill's hand).
"Not bad.  You guys are getting smarter." 
Tupper stopped by for some salmon treats..
and Bill and I took some.. 
photos of each other..
to record..
the moment.
She walked alongside Bill and Black Jack for a while.  They looked like three buddies out for a stroll but by the time my camera and I found focus, Tupper had moved further to the side.
Bill and Black Jack contemplated the universe for a while from one of the few benches.. 
with some dry foot room.  Anyone sitting on the bench to the left would have had wet feet.
The tide turned as we watched..
and we were able to make our way around the walkway. I took some very grainy reflection shots of the marina sign.
and then we stopped by the skateboard park.  The first part of this fellow's agenda worked,
but the flip his photographer friend (on the ground) hoped to catch just wouldn't happen. 
Although the heat spell Vancouver is experiencing right now would be considered mild in many parts of the world, I thought the fellows at the skate park deserved a lot of credit..
 for their physical effort and mental focus in very muggy conditions.     
I believe this fellow will accomplish what he set out to do, but..
as another skater said to Bill, there are benefits to skateboarding that outsiders might miss.
The full-body workout,
the fun and thrill of momentary flight,
the camaraderie,
and the achievement of goals draw them back to the (far too few) places where they can work/play on their skills.  Bill's conversation with a boarder that, sadly, I don't believe I photographed, was most enlightening.  Stefan (in the orange shirt) also took time to talk with me about his chosen sport/art.  Both Bill and I left the park feeling strangely energized.  There was something excellent about the peek we had into a world that we won't ever experience for ourselves.  I bet you think Stefan missed this flip, but in fact,   
the board ended up with wheels on the ground and his two feet firmly planted on it.
And just in case you think that was a fluke, 
he flipped his board..
under his feet..
and again landed with feet placed on the tiny, tiny (to me) moving board.
Stefan talked to me a bit about photography.  He explained that, even if I had been able to get my shots in focus (maybe next time?), there is a lot more to think about.  Catching the initial move, the apex of the intended stunt, and giving perspective through the surroundings are just the beginning of many challenges.  I thought about that this morning, and found this site showing the work of a Brazilian skateboarder turned photographer.  It gives me just a taste of how far I have to go to achieve great photos.  But, I admit to being thrilled with my shots.  They bring back a memory of a conversation that will stay with me, and I am betting Bill's talk with the other boarder is just as vivid an impression.  Stefan talked about the injuries; he's had many.  "Skateboarding keeps me young and makes me old at the same time," he said wistfully.  He talked as well about the fact that there is a need for more understanding (I am paraphrasing here) and willingness for humans with differing interests to get along.  Perhaps, the skateboarders could clean up before they leave their parks for the day, and perhaps, non-skateboarders could realize the few spaces the city has provided need to be kept for skateboarding and not used (for example) as a children's playground.    
Stefan, I apologize in advance if some of these photos are out of sequence or if I have misinterpreted any part of our conversation.  Bill and I thank you and the other boarders (perhaps you could share this post with them) from the bottom of our hearts.  We wish each one of you the very best.  
Thanks for stopping by, everyone.  That was my world yesterday.  For a glimpse into people's lives across the globe, perhaps you would like to visit Our World Tuesday, the meme started by Klaus Peter and maintained until his passing a few years ago.  My thanks goes not only to the boarders, to Bill, and to you the readers, but also to ArijaGattinaLady Fi,, SylviaSandy, and  Jenniferthe hardworking volunteers who keep the meme going. 


  1. A great series of photos and I'm sure it was very interesting hearing about photography from an entirely different point of view!

  2. I love those actions shots!

  3. A fascinating journey with you today. I, too, am past this style of energetic pursuit, but applaud the dexterity of those who so participate! Thanks for sharing and for stopping by my blog.

  4. Some amazing images. What a stunning world. Thanks for taking us for the ride!

  5. What a lovely walk. I love the picture of Bill and Jack walking with Tupper. So sweet:)
    I love how your shots capture the actions of the skateboarder. I enjoyed your conversation, too.

  6. So many delightful shots.

  7. Maybe he can help me with my crossword puzzles :-)

  8. Great captures Carol! I think it's so wonderful you and Jack's conversation with Stefan and his comment about the "willingness for humans with differing interests to get along." A simple beautiful truth. Thank you for visiting my blog and your very kind comments, I was really touched. Thank you...

  9. What an interesting post, just loved the picture of Tupper, Black Jack and Daddy strolling along.
    I take it your not going to take up skate boarding in the not too distant future? Brilliant photography too, have enjoyed this post, thanks for sharing,
    Best wishes,

  10. Wow, so incredible. My name is Dan and I am the fellow featured here in these photographs wearing the white tank top. I saw you there taking photos, but never knew they would turn out so great and that I would ever see them.

    Thank you for taking an interest in what we do, and yes, you are correct, Stefan is a very special person. Every single time we skate together, Stefan manages to make friends with a stranger or a curious onlooker who might otherwise be too afraid to bridge the gap. He's a great listener, an even better talker, and always eager to learn more about you. Through him I have met many great people and learned a lot about what it means to be a kind citizen of the world.

    Keep up the great work, and thanks again for sharing this with people. You really nailed the essence of what skateboarding is. To so many, it can seem like a silly kids toy, but to us, it is life.

    -Dan Post

    1. Dan, I have to say your comment meant the world! I hope I'll have the chance to photograph you again. Will try to leave a message on that google+ site (I'm sort of confused about how it works :) Again.. the very best to you! Carol