Ben Pappas

Ben Pappas, Noseblunt, Plan B Ramp, San Diego, CA 1996

Art Director: Ted Newsome

“In 1996, when this photo of Ben Pappas was shot, vert skating was starting to make a small comeback within the core of skateboarding. The reason for that had a lot to do with guys like Ben and the progression they brought to the table. I’ve love shooting vert since my early days as a photographer but in 1996 all any of these guys wanted to shoot was a sequence of the latest tech trick they were working on (had not yet done). And to make matters worse, it was usually at an indoor ramp that was as dark as a cave meaning the lighting was going to be awful, making the negatives thin and hardly printable. That being said, I was hyped to shoot stills of Ben doing nose blunts on this day and wanted to get as close as possible (hoping I didn’t take one to the face) to fill the frame. I had COVER in my head the whole time I was shooting this and imagined it filling the whole page and somehow fitting a mag logo in there somewhere. At the time we changed cover logos on every issue, which was pretty damn cool if you ask me. I used a red gel on my Sunpak flash to warm this puppy up a little bit and was quite happy with the results. To this day, I still think this shot looks relevant.”