I am based in Canada for almost a year now and I got offered an assignment to shoot back home in Czech Republic so I took it. I only had 10 days in Czech to shoot the assignment, spend some time with my parents and then do stuff with my friends. The first thing on my mind when I landed was to go shoot skateboarding and try my new FUJIFILM X-Pro2 with good friends of mine, Daniil and Eddie.
I just had one free afternoon for this shoot. I think skateboarding is one of most difficult sports to shoot – it’s incredibly fast, you have to know all the tricks, and most important is to know when to catch the tricks in its in proper moment. We chose 3 really hard spots to shoot and guys were stoked that I’m back and they knew if they make it, it will be in a skateboarding magazine. Like always one and only problem was security in every spot we went to. You usually get like 3-5 tries per spot before the security finds out and that is really not enough. Anyway, we somehow make it through at the first two spots but the last one had big stairs and Daniil had only two tries! On a spot like this, it is really insane but he hit that spot with no problem and landed on the second try and we were super stoked!
Most of the time, I’m used to mainly prefocusing on what I am going to shoot. I changed my mind and I tried to shoot on continuous focusing. I didn’t have time to try out the continuous mode before the skate shoot so I said to myself, I am gonna believe in the camera and hope it will do its job. In skateboard photography, there is a rule that you use only photos when the skater landed. You don’t use photos that are just tries, that is a big no no. I was surprised, every single photo was sharp. That could be a game changer for me. This showed me that I can count on the continuous focusing on the X-Pro2 even on a low aperture. I’m looking forward to being back in Canada for mountain bike shooting and to see how it performs when shooting bikes in mountains.
When I flew back to Canada, I left all my Nikon gear (which I used for assignment) home. This means that I am going to use only Fuji gear for the rest of my stay in Canada. It is a really big step into the unknown for me to shoot with X-Pro2 when you shoot with professional athletes and you have to be sure that you will not slow them down asking them to do it again and again. After the skate shoot, I am getting more confident every day using the X-Pro2 and I have no doubt it will not let me down. We have some cool stuff coming so stay stoked!
PS: I started with x100 and evolution in focusing over the years has really improved, which is the most important thing for me as an extreme sports photographer.
Jára shoots only three years and as he said the good pictures are from last two years. Jára didn't study photography and he teaches everything by himself. Jára was devoted to snowboarding before, but after a few operations he had to quit the sport, and because he wanted to stay true extreme sports, he decided to go behind the camera and remain so with extreme sports in touch. The energy he puts into the snowboarding he now puts into the photography.