The Library

Skateboarding 3D

Sebastian Denz

Anaglyph images are used to provide a stereoscopic 3D effect, when viewed with two colour glasses (each lens a chromatically opposite colour, usually red and cyan)

That’s what Wikipedia has to say about 3D images. 3D seems to be everywhere right now: in the cinema, on television, even The Sun have put out a 3D issue, but simply editing the images in his book to have a mild 3D effect isn’t enough for Sebastian Denz. A special bespoke camera had been created for these images, and it has certainly been put to good use.

The title of this book is perfect: Skateboarding 3D – the skateboarding part always comes first, and that ethic shines through in Denz’s work. Some of the images are in a regular skate environment, and some have been setup to show the full effect of the format. This project has been in the making for three years and with members of the Carhartt team along for the ride, Denz has traversed a lot of Europe to make this book. It’s also good to see some UK spots and skaters like Olly Todd and Ste Roe make an appearance alongside Pontious Alv and Scott Bourne to name just a few.

The standout shots for me are, of course, the incredible cover, but also Chris Merkt’s image of a tombstone/cross leaping out towards the reader in the foreground and the bowl way down the depth of field with a crystal clear frontside rock taking place in the background. Denz resists the pull to get too arty and sticks to the core of skating, shooting not only amazing tricks, but well structured shots of guys chilling, portraits and cruising back streets – definitely providing the reader with that all-important feel-good factor, and consequently adding a whole new dimension to skate photography, quite literally.

This book had been launched a couple of months back, but is finally appearing in a few shops as well as Prestel’s own website and out of all the skateboarding books out there this one stand right up there with the best of them. There is enough here to cater for photographers every bit as much as it does to skaters as the format is clearly investigated through a unique visual perspective, what it does and what it can achieve. Packaged in a nice slipcase cover the book runs at 120 pages and a few pairs of 3D glasses are bundled in too. This is a book you will certainly cherish for its style, as well as the pure clarity in which it captures the art of skateboarding at its best.