Allen Ying's Skate Life

Jake Johnson, Chris Jata, Austin Kanfoush, turned away by a security guard. roosevelt island, manhattan, 2012
Bobby Puleo, Photo by Allen Ying
Josh Stewart filming Jahmal Williams for Static IV in downtown Manhattan, 2012
Rob Gonyon, New Yorker. Midtown Manhattan, 2013.
Eby Ghafarian. Navy yard, Brookyln, 2012.
Joe Bressler. Midtown Manhattan, 2012.
Quim Cardona, Photo by Allen Ying
Oscar Meza, Alphabet City, Manhattan, 2012
Al Davis, Fort Greene, Brooklyn, 2012
Colin Read: If you lie here on the escalator handrails, you'll spin in a circle, Queens, 2012

When Allen Ying isn’t shooting skate photos for 43 Magazine, he’s still shooting the NYC skate scene. Like these photos, which record some of the crews of Static IV, Tengu and others as they roam New York City in between skate sessions. As Allen describes them, these are the guys who "influence the growing independent, authentic and underground scene within the larger realm of skateboarding today."

I asked Allen to share the story behind a couple of his favorite images. Here’s what he said. See the full selection of incredible photos on the 43 Magazine blog.

Bobby Puleo on the fence:

"We were trying to shoot a skate photo on a desolate industrial street and an undercover police car rolled by. It was the kind of undeveloped street where something like skateboarding wouldn’t concern anyone, but for a few moments we just stood around waiting to see if they were going to say anything to us. That’s when I snapped this photo of him. I didn’t want to ask him, or even let him notice if I didn’t have to, because I didn’t want him to change or pose, or say no, which wouldn’t be unexpected from Puleo, so I just did it super quick. My camera wasn’t really set for it, so it came out a bit underexposed, but it works well since he’s somewhat of an underexposed, elusive kinda guy. You don’t see too many portraits of Bobby, and I respect his strong opinions about skateboarding, so all these things coming together make the photo a little extra special to me."

Quim Cardona playing the melodica:

"We were downtown skating around with some of the Static IV crew, kind of aimlessly as they like to keep it spontaneous. It’s a unique feeling to be skating around the canyons of downtown at dusk, and Quim doesn’t always bring his melodica, so I said, Hey let’s take a photo right here, under this street light. And I literally only snapped this one frame, and it came out way better than expected."

Photography by Allen Ying

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