courtesy of Lloyd
Anderson recently had his Parkour photo
'Leeds Leap' selected as a winner in the recent Tate 'How
We Are Now' competition.
Here he tells you about how he got into photography, what
equipment he uses and offers some tips on taking better
What got you into photography:
When I was a lot younger my grandad bought a canon T90
SLR, I was transfixed by it, and vowed to myself that
one day I'd have a serious camera.
A couple of years ago I was finally able to afford to
buy that serious camera, a Canon 350D DSLR. Stumping
up the cash was the easiest part, I had no idea just
how little I knew about taking photos, I'd always used
fully automatic point and shoot cameras up until then.
As soon as I realised that I could recreate some of
the stunning photos that I was seeing in magazines I
was hooked, and started to look for things to shoot
that nobody else, or at least, very few people were
Who are your inspirations:
I don't want to sound too corny, but I'd have to
say my Dad first and foremost, he was quite simply one
of the finest human beings I've ever known. Photographically
speaking, Garry Winogrand, and Martin Parr, their ability
to pluck the absurd from the everyday never fails to
What do you look for in a shot:
The sublime - we all have the ability to transcend our
everyday existence, catching those rare moments when
this happens is what I aim for. Trying to be original
is perhaps the single hardest thing in photography,
but it always keeps you on your toes.
How did you first discover Parkour:
I'd been aware of Parkour for some time, having seen
the BBC trailer amongst other things - I had no real
understanding of what it was, or the difference between,
say, freerunning and tricking, they were all just the
same thing to me.
Then one day while I was parking my car at work I noticed
some kids climbing up the building opposite, I saw one
of them size up a gap and immediately knew that he was
going to jump, the penny dropped at that point.
The result is 'Leeds Leap' which is one of the winners
in Tate's How We Are
Now flickr competition. I knew that the jump was
being taped by the kids ands thought it likely to appear
on youtube, a quick search turned up a link to WYPK's
and I was able to get in touch in order to go shoot
some more with them.
That was the start of my education about PK, tricking,
freerunning, buildering, and much more. I'm hoping to
release a book before too long.
equipment do you use:
I currently use both a Canon EOS 5D and a Canon EOS
1DMKII, but I think it's important to stress that equipment
is not the most important aspect to good photography.
EOS 1D MarkIII
more information about Canon cameras, vist the Canon
important is the photographers knowledge: Learn as much
as you can about photography and you will be 95% of
the way to getting good results. Better equipment just
means you'll get the shot you want more often with less
reshoots - it won't make you a better photographer,
only knowledge and practice can do that.
What's in your bag:
It varies from day to day and from shoot to shoot, but
most often both my Canon bodies, a 17-40L ultrawide
zoom lens, a 50mm prime lens, and a 10-17mm zoom fisheye.
I've been known to turn up to WYPK jams with a portable
studio lighting system, but it's quite heavy :)
Tips and Tricks:
Try and keep your shutter speed above 1/250s, the faster
it is the more likely you will be to 'freeze' the action
and reduce blurring due to subject motion. At the same
time try and keep your aperture to f/8 or smaller (the
higher the f number the smaller the aperture), this
means that more of the scene will be in focus, so you'll
be more likely to get a good shot.
If at all possible pre-focus your camera, and turn AF
off - AF can significantly increase the time taken for
your camera to decide what to focus on, and it may not
choose what you would!
Read your camera manual from front to back, and over
again, understanding how your equipment works will help
you nail more shots.
Below: Ben's winning photo 'Leeds Leap'.
view more of Ben's Parkour Photography