Longboarding and the City

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My theme was “Longboarding and the City.” All the photos taken were during my everyday routine of living in the city. They range from the Deer Park train station to Madison Square Park. I actually consider the Deer Park train station part of “the city” because it’s how I get to Manhattan (I know it sounds absurd.) Some of the pictures were taken on foot and some of the pictures were taken whilst riding my own longboard. I ordered the pictures in my slideshow from the beginning of my daily journey to the end. I usually see longboarders on my route from penn to school, so I figured it would be a decent and different topic to photograph. I tried to create a small sense of my daily journey and how longboards are actually a huge part of my life (and the lives of others.)

Longboards are a perfect mode of transportation for the city for plenty of reasons. For one, they are fast. They may not look it, but they can easily get you up to forty miles per four if you find a decent sized hill. The long decks and the wide wheel bases help stabilize the rider at high speeds. It is scary, but can be seriously fun. As long as you don’t fall, then I guarantee great amusement (sometimes falling can even be fun if you’ll believe it.) Another reason that they are perfect for the city is the portability of a board. It would be mighty difficult for a person to carry a bike around everywhere. Carrying a board, on the other hand, is easy and manageable. Apparently Baruch even has a rule against having any kind of ‘cycles’ in the school. I found that out when I brought my unicycle to school. It is inconvenient but at least I am allowed to bring a longboard in the building. The third reason is that longboarding is fun. My high school friends and I would go on midnight skating runs and there was never a dull moment. Skating is extremely fun in general, so skating in the city is no exception. There are always different streets to ride and fun to be had.

The combination of these factors makes longboarding rather important to me, so it was fun to work on this project. Photographing different longboarders helped me see how many skaters there actually are in the city and how important longboarding actually is to Manhattan. It is a widely used mode of transportation and is very efficient. I’ve made it from Baruch to Penn station in five minutes flat, which isn’t bad. However with all of the perks of skating and the fun of the project in general, there were still plenty of difficulties with this project.

One of the greatest challenges was actually snapping the photo. I saw plenty of longboarders but by the time I whipped out my phone to take a picture, the skater was gone. It was very frustrating because I would have a great shot lined up one second, and the next second the skater disappeared behind a building or a car. This wasn’t a huge problem when it was warmer out because there was always another skater around the corner.

This leads me to my second problem with my topic. Being that it is cold out, there are less and less skaters everyday. There are still some, but much less than there was when I began the project. It became frustrating because if I missed a shot, the next opportunity for another wouldn’t be for a couple of days. To compensate for this, I kept my camera in a more accessible pocket so it was easier and quicker to snap photos. My success rate rose.

Another problem was blurriness of photos. Being that longboarding is an activity that is constantly full of motion, photographing it with a cell phone was rather difficult. The shutter speed of an iPhone is apparently rather slow, so taking high quality pictures of movements was very hard. I had a couple of great ideas but once I took the photo, the picture was extremely blurry and unusable. It was a nightmare. At least I incorporated a video into my presentation.

The only thing that I need to change is that a few of my pictures wouldn’t load into the PowerPoint. So I’ll have to add them in when I figure out how to format them correctly so that they will work. i’m not sure why they were screwed up, but they were.

Being that longboarding is full of movement, why not include a video? I originally planned on going to Central Park to skate a large hill but when I arrived, the hill was covered in leaves and I surely would have fallen and hurt myself. Wouldn’t have been the best plan. So instead, I ventured to Times Square and did a small first person video to give a taste of how longboarding looks to the rider. It is difficult to navigate the many people and cars, especially in Times Square, so I thought it may be interesting. I was going at a slow speed because of the high volume of people and cars that day. I still think the video is a tad interesting though. All in all, the project was fun and I wouldn’t mind continuing to take photos for fun. Why not right?

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