intro: s. enger • captions: a. paz • photos: a. paz
Staten “Mother Fucking” Island… That’s where Austin Paz roams the streets. I always knew he was a Blader but then one day, a long time ago, I realized that he shoots photos as well. There it was in the caption, printed in some long forgotten magazine. You know MAGAZINE, that you can read. Best friend to road trips, big shits and walls across the country. Wow, how amazing it would be if Big Dick (little prick), Corporate Pig, Money Hogging, Bitch Ass companies would support the lost art of print. Thank god for HAITIAN MAG… Anyways, Austin, yeah the Blader, the Filmer, the Photographer, the Legend. Initially I though this would be a good idea a few years back for my “TAKE 5″ on Revolutions web site. My follow through was a mere 4/10 I would graciously say. I then realized it would be better to get someone truly talented at Blading & Photos to nail it down solid like. It was pleasure to get Austin’s vote of approval to shoot a complete photo journal of himself via wireless shutter release, “Self Actuations as Mr. Trace Taylor” likes to call them. Enjoy the fruits of my laziness… I mean Austin’s labor. Oh, and if you want one of these BANGERS for your wall then just go BUY a copy of HAITIAN MAG you cheap bitch! One of them is Gracing the Back cover.
Now without further bitching from my tired old loud mouth ENJOY… AUSTIN PAZ’s words of wisdom with pictures…
Starting with the setup:
These are Yongnuo Rf-603 triggers I bought on ebay for $30. The only modification I made was I put a little strap on the trigger I hold in my hand just so I avoided dropping it on a rail or something. I thought I was going to have a buy a few more since they were from China, but it held up surprisingly well.
1.) UNITY KINK____________
This was the first successful shot I took with this setup. This is more of a mess around/ having fun trick, but I kept it in this photo set because of that. Some people might recognize this rail in some old school videos in the 90’s. I don’t know the actual name of the spot but we kept referring to it as the (Joe) Dedentro rail because I remember him skating it in Hoax V along with Josh Clarke. After our regular session on this rail, I decided to break out my Oxygen 3.1’s for nostalgic purposes. I could barley Royale a ledge in those skates, but I had to do something on this rail. One thing these skates are good for is a big OG Unity. I kept getting scared and jumping off before the kink. The first time I actually completed the unity, I was so shocked and juiced that I forgot to hit the trigger on the remote to take the picture, I actually came off the rail screaming, haha. But that was ok, I was happy to do it again. This one is for the OGs.
After skating this rail for a while, we all were ready to leave when I sat up on a ledge and saw a cool angle that I didn’t notice the whole time I was skating. Everyone was pissed at me because we were about to leave and thats when I decided to set up. I told them ill be 5 minutes and we’ll be out. Even though I got the shot second try, I did it a few more times to improve some details things, like remembering to press the shutter button. I’m Getting better at this now.
This one was by far the most difficult to get. It was a rib high ledge with a four foot cement run up into a steep cobblestone bank with a garbage can on the sidewalk. Additional details include broken glass and hood babies playing football in the street where I was landing. I missed hitting the trigger on the remote so many times because I was concentrating too much on not dying. One time I remembered to hit the trigger, but forgot to jump off in time, went to far and luckily just missed the garbage can by literally half an inch if anything. This was the first time where reality hit me that this project I was working on was harder than I thought. There was too much going through my head every time I went for it. I was even concentrating on the football not hitting one of my light stands on the sidewalk every time one of the kids threw it. It took me a while to finally figure everything out, and right before it got too dark to skate, I got the shot. BOOM! Suck it distractions…
I’ve been to this spot a million times, and thought that this ledge would look sort of like a red ribbon from the right angle and might look good for a picture. When you go for a trick with something in your hand, its natural to squeeze and hold on to it when you jump. This kept happening to me and it was frustrating because I would squeeze the remote but wouldn’t let go of the button till after I landed and it would take the picture of me too late or already on the ground. This shot probably took me 50 tries which made it take even longer since it was daylight when I started and had to keep adjusting the camera and flash settings every few minutes as it got darker.
There was a good reason why I tried to avoid fisheye shots. If I set up the camera for a low fisheye angle and fell, there would be no one there to pull it out of the way from being hit. I wanted to shoot this long but there was a tree or a sign in the way from every possible angle, so I had no choice. This wasn’t my first choice, but it was the only place I could put the camera without landing on it when I came off. This sculpture is brand new and a woman even got mad at us because we were “ruining” the artists work. I convinced here that I was an artist since I was a photographer and skated and this was showing how a bunch of different art forms collide and make something new and beautiful ha. I understand her concern though since this thing wobbled even when the wind blew to strong. This is probably my favorite shot of the photo set though so thank you mr. artist who made it.
Special thanks to Austin for coming through on this story. Hopefully it is the first of many “Self Actuation” journey’s.