New shoes, old skateboard.


I did it. I got new shoes. For those of you that know me, this is a big move. Epic even. The planets finally aligned (sort of literally) and I went down to Solstice Outdoors Monday afternoon to get some sweet new kicks. I've had my eye on these Patagonia Boaris shoes pretty much since Solstice opened. I looked at these every time I was in there, but I held off...until Monday. Mostly, I was worried Katie would sell out of my size during their Solstice Sale yesterday. But there were also other factors at play.

You see, I've been needing some new long-boarding shoes for a long time (I know all you purists are shaking your heads and saying you shouldn't long-board in shoes, but I'm really bad at it and rocks really hurt, so mind your own frickin' business, huh?). And since June 21st was also "Go Skateboarding Day", I thought "the time has come." So I pulled the trigger and just got 'em. In celebration of the new shoes and the skater-holiday and the summer solstice and the fact that we now have a sweet outdoor shop where you can actually get stuff like this in Ashland, I had to put together this photo.

See a few more versions of the same concept and check out how I did it below:

**Disclaimer: Taking photos like this is a really efficient way to destroy expensive camera equipment in a fraction of a second. Trust me I have a box of mangled camera pieces from other stupid ideas to prove it. But the pay out on these kinds of gambles can be totally sweet photos. And isn't that the whole reason to have a camera anyway? If a cameras going to die, shouldn't it go out doing what it loves? Still, try this at your own risk.

Step Uno: Drill a hole in your long-board deck. What's that you say? You don't want to drill holes in your stuff? It takes guts to attack your personal possessions with a whirling power tool. Sadly, not everyone is cut out for this project. If you're feeling uncomfortable, maybe you should take up origami or checkers instead.


Step Deux: Mount a ball-head onto a bolt fed through the hole. Add washers to prevent potentially tragic loosening mid-skate. For the ultra-cheap version you can mount the camera directly to a 1/4-20 bolt through the hole (and tighten a stopper nut against the deck to stop if from twisting), but you sacrifice the range of motion.

Step Three: Mount camera with cable release to ball-head. Aim, manually focus and lock it in place with gaffers tape to prevent zoom-creep. Zoom-creep is when, due to vibration or gravity or both, the lens inadvertently changes focal length. Some lenses have a lock switch to prevent this, but a little tab of gaffers tape does the same thing.


Step IV: Set the exposure for desired depth of field and/or motion blur based on ambient light conditions. You may want to do this with a grey card as the black grip tape and dark asphalt may give you a misleading exposure reading. Take a few tests before you start rolling and check the histogram to make sure you're on the money (for example, as the histogram reveals the image shown below is not on the money, too dark.)

Step 5: Get to scootin'... and try really hard not to crash. Push the button. A lot. Process and serve with cold beer. Happy new shoes/Go Skateboarding Day, America.