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Photographers Stories 2011 - Chris Johnson

11:36 19th January 2012 by Ryan Gray
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Last up in our 2011 “Photographers Stories” is the West Midlands based Sidewalk chief snapper and all round photographic workhorse that is Chris Johnson!

Check out his picks from 2011 below now, and get yourself some behind the scene styles knowledge about each shot whilst you’re at it….

Barney Page, Ollie out to frontside wallride, Barcelona.
Although technically shot in December of 2010, this photo appeared in the February issue this year as the contents page. Just before the Christmas of 2010, Rye (Gray) and myself headed over to Barca for a heavy filming and photo mission for the Sidewalk “In Progress” DVD. Our crew consisted of Ben Raemers, Nicky Howells, Manhead, Chris Jones, Tom Harrison, Barney Page, Barber and Harry Lintell, Kev Parrott on filming duties, with a few other UK stowaways popping in and out during the week. The trip came at the end of a pretty quiet few months for most of us in the UK, as the weather had been terrible. On our first day, we headed straight to Forum where the sun was shining and everyone was having a good time. Within about five minutes of being there, Barney had filmed a sick line and was already eying up this wall. With just about enough time to get a lens on the camera, he began popping out and testing the water; a handful of attempts later, one of which was popped so high he that it looked like he could have smith ground the top of the wall, Barney landed it.
For me the photo was such a welcomed break to the bleak snow grey skies of back home and it was a rad start to a super productive week. Check out “In Progress” for the footage of this and a host of other stuff from that week.

Harry Lintell, Sugarcane, Del Mar, California.
After one of the most productive and exciting trips around the UK with members of both the US and UK Volcom teams the previous year, Mr Volcom UK, Kev Parrott, organized a trip over to Volcoms’ American headquarters in California.
This past February, Harry Lintell, Nick Stansfield and Gav Coughlan headed over to Costa Mesa for a weeklong adventure to hook up with Ben Raemers, Geoff Rowelly and some of the other Volcom guys. The very first spot of the trip was a well-mediated high school rail somewhere in the Cali valleys. Within ten minutes of being there, Harry had nollie crooked it and moved straight onto a hurricane. To everyone’s horror, his wheel stuck in the vertical supports of the rail, which sent him flying backwards to the floor. Harry had wrecked his already suspect knee and was unable to walk particularly well let alone skate for the rest of the week.
This photo pretty much sums up the whole Cali feel with the cost line in the background, amazing sunshine, natural colours everywhere. After some serious pain killers which you won’t find in your local Tesco pharmacy, Harry was able to cruise on our last day for a short while so he could shoot this photo.

Jamie Thomas, Frontside Boardslide, Newquay Cornwall.
Back in May, Ben (Powell) and myself spent a long weekend with the US and newly appointed UK Fallen team. The trip was a whistle stop visit of the South Coast with an appearance at the Route One headquarters on the Friday, a demo at Mount Hawke on the Saturday and an open demo/meet and greet at Truro Plaza on the Sunday.
Obviously hyped on hooking up with guys of this international calibre, we were also really stoked to be joined by UK Fallen riders Kelley Dawson, Nick Roberts, Stu Titmus, with Derby Daz Pearcy (Rollersnakes Team Manager, Big Brother and life councilor) and Cornwall’s media machine, Matt Hunt on filming duties.
As the very nature of the tour was based around demos/signings and with only two and a half days with the team, I didn’t hold out too much hope of getting many street photos shot down in Newquay. But, Jamie Thomas and his crew are known for their professionalism and we managed to squeeze in a rail session on the Sunday afternoon after the demo.
With the rail session over and everyone pretty much done in after the heavy night before, jet lag and a day jumping down the big set at Truro Plaza, we were stoked when JT asked myself, Ben, Daz and Stu if we wanted to go try and shoot some photos. We dropped the rest of the team off at the costal view apartments and heading into Newquay town centre late on the Sunday night in search of anything, firstly skateable and secondly with any streetlights around it as it was pitch black.
The only thing we could find was this bench in the centre of town and with about half a pound of candle wax forced onto it, JT managed to get a front board through its’ rough curved backrest. Surprisingly enough, we didn’t get too much hassle from anyone in what is usually a riot zone for the mid season stag-do hoards!

Boo Johnson, Frontside Flip, Wednesfield Nr Wolverhampton.
Back in June, during the busy season as far as trying to document skateboarding in Britain goes, I had a pretty last minute email informing me that there was a Supra tour staring in a few days and that I needed to cancel my plans and get myself up to Edinburgh. ‘A week with Penny and Muska’, sounds pretty good to me!
The format of the trip was heavily built around key demos and signings from Scotland right down to London, which, with the sketchy on and off rain as a constant, left very little opportunity to try and shoot any street, although we managed to get the odd hour in whilst in Scotland and a quick session on some banks in Manchester.
With a few days remaining and faced with a memory card full of skatepark/demo sequences and a few snatched street photos of Muska and Mumford, I managed to convince the Supra team management department to take a diversion via the safe heaven that is the Wednesfield Sainsbury’s plaza.
Within five minutes of being there, Boo Johnson, Furby and Spencer Hamilton started destroying the big three with everything from a chest high warm up kickflip right through to a switch backside flip. This photo was a definitely a welcome break to the ever familiar clattering of nine frames per second during heavy demo sessions and for me, more of a testament of time than a well-orchestrated skate photo.

Nick Roberts, 5050, Belper Derbyshire.
This photo was shot back in the last few days of October. It was the final photo that Nick needed for his Haunts and being as it was freezing cold, raining on and off, a chest high kinked rail which had put A.V.E. through his paces a few months prior and there was a massive anti-climb fence around the school yard, I wasn’t 100% confident that our luck was going to be in with this one.
By now, most of you will have seen Nick’s “Haunts” in the December issue of Sidewalk and I’m sure like many others you weren’t expecting to see a street based interview being knocked out by the man who’s primarily known for his skills on transition.
There’s nothing better for me than driving around the UK to some of the most random and previously un-heard of (by myself) places such as Belper (the Derbyshire town where this photo was shot), with someone like Nick, who is probably regarded as somewhat of an underdog as far as street skating goes and being able to be part of the progressional process, the ups and downs and making it through to the other side.

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