Our photographer Matt McDonald captured a ton of longboarding photos over the course 2015 and we made him try and narrow down all the photos to his personal top 10 favorites. He struggled with it and it was not an easy task. A few of his favorite photos have been sent to SkateSlate for the photo annual, so he was unable to post those here. There are 10 banger longboard action photos below though. You can see each of his favorite longboard captures and a learn bit about each place, the rider and what went in to capturing the photo.
Longboards Featured in These Photos
A Kicker And Devon Dotson
Not going to lie I love shooting photos of Devon Dotson because he will literally do anything. He would of had more photos in here, but they are up for the Skate Slate Photo Annual. This photo was captured during the Uganda Be Kidding Me Slide Jam (more photos here) and you can see video from this kicker session where he is jumping four people in the video I recently released of Devon on the Keystone 37" by clicking here. For this photo I used my trusty Canon 7D with my 14mm f2.8.
Night Session with Spencer Smith
I will never forget this night. There was a crazy fog in Seattle and I snapped a photo of the Space Needle (Shameless Plug: check that photo here) that ended up going viral as I was shooting with Spencer on the Robot Special. For this photo I climbed a tree and used two off camera flashes and it took several attempts to get the photo right. Once again to the surprise of no one I used my 14mm f2.8 with a 7D for this photo.
Someone Utilize That Giant Tire!
I often skate around the DB Warehouse and after the first few weeks of working here I found this giant tire on the side of one of the building. This prompted me to keep asking people "someone do something off that giant tire" over and over. Well, thanks to our longboard craftsman Ian Higler I finally got the shot. Ian boosted off the tire with a no comply to early grab on the Dyad V2. It was awesome and it literally made my knees hurt. For this photo I used the trusty 14mm f2.8 on a 7D Mark II for this photo.
The California Classic
Cliche. Probably. A great photo. I think so. A majority of you probably know where this photo of Sean Woolery and Garrett Creamer riding the Keystone 39" was captured and for good reason. I love using my Nikon ffsheye to capture the full road and turn and that is exactly what I did here. This is one of the photos I wanted to capture before I die and that I did.
A Seattle Classic
I live in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle and this skate spot is several blocks from my apartment. It was one of the reasons I wanted to live in the area. Just didn't realize I was going to dislocate my shoulder at this spot after living there for two months (I am old). But enough about me, let's talk about Spencer Smith and this photo sequence of him riding the Keystone 39". This spot has been over shot, but this was a photo I wanted this sequence both for DB and for my personal collection. I used my Nikon D3 and the Nikon 10.5mm f2.8 fisheye on a tripod for for this photo longboard photo sequence.
California Sunset Session
Our California trip with Garrett Creamer and Sean Woolery was full of eye candy. We were done shooting and skating for the day, but when we drove by this iconic spot with the sunsetting we had to snag a few photos. I used two off camera flashes for this photo to light Sean and Garrett riding the Keystone 39" up. I used the Canon 14mm f2.8 on my Canon 5D for this photo and I cannot wait to go back to Souther California in the spring.
Seattle Night Session
Michael Brooke at Concrete Wave wanted some night skateboarding photos and I love capturing long exposure cityscapes of Seattle, so this was a really fun project. I convinced DB Longboards President and CEO Richard Docter to go for a few runs through Beacon Hill in Seattle on a new drop deck we are working on. This photo was not that easy to capture mainly due to me having to stand in the road on a ladder with a camera while traffic was passing by. The second trick to this photo was the timing of the flashes, traffic and skateboarder passing by. After about five tries we got it right. For this photo I used a Nikon D7200, a 10.5 f2.8 fisheye and three off camera flashes with Pocket Wizards to fire the lights.
More Trees Please
I love taking photos of trees, so this photo might be cooler to me than all of you. After shooting a full day in Southern California with Sean Woolery and Garrett Creamer on the Keystone 39" the last corner we were hitting had a beautiful tree right in the center of the hair pin. To get the right angle I climbed a tree across the road and hung off of a large branch with a Nikon D7200 and the 10.5mm f2.8 lens. We used two hidden remote flashes two light up Sean and Garrett and I really like how it turned out. This photo was used for an ad in the December issue of SkateSlate
Whistler Longboard Festival with Spencer Smith
I spent three days in the rain at the Whistler Longboard Festival and it was AWESOME. I was a photojournalist for The Bellingham Herald for a decade before I took this job at DB Longboards and I spent so many days in full rain gear capturing high school sports and events that the rain does not phase me. It was actually fun and the rain added a whole new element to the photos. Spencer Smith was our top rider at the race and this photo stood out as my favorite of him riding the Keystone 39". The photo was featured on the IDF website and accompanied my Whistler video edit.
Mount Rainier Session
This photo went kinda viral throughout the year 2015. SkateSlate posted it on their Instagram, Zumiez also posted it on their Instagram and a bunch of other random Instagram accounts somewhat related to board sports post it too. I spent hours roaming around Google Street View looking for new skate spots with some nice scenery in the background and I found a photo of this hill and it was about an hour away from the DB Shop. Nick DiVona and I ventured out to the spot and I used a Canon 70-200mm on my 7D Mark II to capture this photo. The compression effect of the long lens helped Mount Rainier look just that much bigger and that really helped this photo of Nick riding the Keystone 37" become my favorite longboarding photo of the year.
The Top 10 Longboard Videos of 2015
You made it through our top 10 photos of 2015, so it's probably time to checkout the top 10 longboarding videos of 2015.