Sam Clark's July 9 mission in Cape Town, South Africa, was all about being in the right place at the right time (even if the spot is still wet). A couple of epic photos of Anton Roux—Back Smith and a noseslide—translated to gorgeous spreads in the issue.
Camera Gear Used: Canon 5dmk2, Fuji X100T
Tell us a little bit about yourself as a photographer.
I have been on my skate hustle full time for the past six years: living between South African and European summers, and submitting my photos to European magazines. South Africa got put on the map as a skate destination in the last few years, apparently, and I have been fortunate enough to tour with traveling Americans, which opened the door to submit to the U.S. magazines. Cape Town has a huge commercial photography market in the summer that definitely helps pay the bills though! [laughs]
What was your plan for July 9, 2016?
It was full-on winter in Cape Town in July so it was hard to have an exact plan. All I knew is that I wanted to shoot something with Yann on that barrier at sunrise. We got there and the spot was still wet, but Yann pulled through!
Would you consider July 9th to be a pretty typical day in skateboarding for you?
Besides being at a spot that was still wet at sunrise… Yeah, I would say it was pretty typical.
Explain your approach to shooting on that day.
Same as always, I guess. Trying to capture moments, not hanging up on stones with camera gear on my back, and avoiding the police.
Who was your July 9 MVP?
Well, Yann came through with that early morning back Smith, obviously, but Anton Roux also stepped up, shooting two photos in about 30 minutes right before going on a local Vans mission.
What is your favorite image that you shot that day?
One photo that really stands out for me from that day would be Anton’s noseslide. It’s at a spot you don't usually even get five minutes at. It’s in a poor community on the hill overlooking Cape Town that does not enjoy people showing up and taking pictures without permission. I took out my Fuji X100T to be as inconspicuous as possible, but while chatting to the kids I didn't realize one of them had touched my lens and put a massive smudge on it that you can actually see in the photo. I didn't mind, though, as they added it to the photo themselves! It’s one of those times where you write off the technical imperfection in your work and just be happy you were in the right place at the right time.
Do you have any upcoming projects or plans, and where can we see more of your work?
I recently updated my website so you can see a pretty fresh body of work there. Summer has just kicked off in Cape Town so you can find me here.
Preview One Day in Skateboarding 2016 with over 100 pages of quality photos in The Skateboard Mag issue 153. Video Doc. coming soon.