San Francisco-based photographer Jenny Sampson spent seven years making tintype portraits of West Coast skaters, bringing a portable darkroom to skate parks in California, Oregon and Washington — and now she’s ready to share them with the world with her book Skaters: Tintype Portraits of West Coast Skateboarders (Daylight), out today, October 10. In an introduction, Sampson explains her fascination with skate culture:
That skaters view the world through a unique and uniquely revelatory lens is no secret. Where civilians see safety—a handrail, a wheelchair ramp—skaters see opportunity. What others view as unsightly— drainage ditches, condemned motels and their stagnant pools of brown scum-skimmed water—skaters seek out. We will drive for hours just hoping the spot hasn’t been dozed; we’ll bring brooms and buckets, torches and tents, and bags of concrete. What everyone else takes for granted—empty parking lots, the transitioned planter outside a bank, a freshly painted curb, a Dumpster beside a loading dock—skaters notice immediately. Where the rest of the world sees limits and nastiness and the bland burden of suburban life, we see possibility; we see an invitation to construct something out of air and movement, a structure at once ephemeral and everlasting.
We’re excited to share a selection of Sampson’s captivating images with you:
Images copyright © Jenny Sampson from the book: SKATERS: TINTYPE PORTRAITS OF WEST COAST SKATEBOARDERS, PHOTOGRAPHS BY JENNY SAMPSON Published by Daylight Books
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