Photographers Stories 2013 - Chris Johnson.

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Photographers Stories 2013 – Chris Johnson.

Kris Vile – wallie 5050.

It’s no secret that Kris Vile is one of my favorite people to shoot a photo of. We are both from the West Midlands and we have both trodden the same disappointingly miss-matched pavements looking for something interesting to skate or document. When you’ve got Kris on your doorstep and he’s always up for leaping on or off of anything you put in front of him, it’s no mystery why I have a hard drive full of photos with his name on.

Little over a month ago now, I found myself in Birmingham shooting some photos with Kris at the A Third Foot factory highlighting his guest board with them. After we finished everything we’d planned for the day, Kris guided me across town to an un-skated oddity alongside the Birmingham canals. With the light fading fast and a ten minute walk around the walkways and bridges to get myself to the vantage point the opposite side of the water, I enlisted Kris’s brother John to help set up and get the flashes into position.

Just out of frame is a huge wooden pillar used for mooring the barges, which stood directly in the way for a straight on approach to the rail. As Kris would have to carve in at the last second and would end up hitting this thing at the wrong angle and nearly ended up in the canal on more than one occasion.

He finally mastered a technique for swerving in and getting his weight on top of the rail at the point where the amazing light of the setting sun had subsided from the reflective waters. As the warm ambient glow vanished, so too did the flocks of geese which were helping to make this a unique photo. With Kris running out of energy and visibility now pretty much completely gone, I attempted to get the geese back into the frame by throwing hand a full of loose change and peddles into the water just in front of the rail hoping that they’d think it was food (as the geese are heavily over fed by the office workers who frequent the canal side benches and walkways on their lunch breaks). Luckily, the geese fell for this a few times, giving us chance to blag the perfect capture.


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