Alexey Shabanov emailed us with some of his images and we took notice. Here is a guy doing his own thing – shooting flatland BMX in an interesting, creative way.
Alexey's style is well defined, as you'll see below. It's dramatic, playful, juxtaposed. It's awesome to see someone with a specific creative vision making photographic work in their own particular style.
Check out Alexey's photos and some insights from the man himself below.
Full name: Alexey Shabanov
Hometown: Togliatti, Russia
Occupation: Action photographer
– How long have you been shooting photos and how did you get started?
"I shoot extreme sports for about 10 years. It all started because I was very interested in this area. I liked TV programs about extreme sports, then my sister bought a snowboard and I took a shot at it! A year later I bought the camera and it fascinated me even more! Later when my friends started snowboarding I did not pay attention on riding myself – all I wanted was to have a camera in my hand and take pictures of friends."
– What’s going on in your life right now? What’s your day to day like?
"Now in Russia is a period between seasons. The summertime is over, so at the moment the final competitions and national championships are ending. Very soon there will be a pause in Russian extreme sports. Everybody will have to wait for the snow, including me!
"The right presentation of the location and the light – that all depends on the imagination of the photographer!"
Right now my typical day is a kiss of my girlfriend, some morning exercises, breakfast. If there is no photoshoot outside the home, I can look through the photos on the computer. If there is a job outside, I check out the weather forecast on several sites.
The weather in Moscow is always different and if you go long you have to think about the future, because coming back home is likely to be later in the evening, because I love shooting with flashes at sunset and into the night."
– What’s your current setup, what gear could we find in your bag on a usual day?
"I use Canon photo equipment. I have several zoom lenses for the report photoshoot, two fixed lenses on 35 mm and 50 mm for a nice shot and two tilt-shift just for the pleasure! Also, in my backpack are always colour filters for flashes plus polarized and ND filters, etc."
– When it comes to photography, what grabs your interest? Is there a certain aesthetic you are striving for or do you prefer to shoot stuff as it happens?
"I am interested in extreme sports in general. Those moments when a rider thinks if he can do it or not. These excitements, doubts and struggle with themselves! I really appreciate it. Plus, I like the action and movement, emotions, light!
"I am interested in those moments when a rider thinks if he can do it or not. These excitements, doubts and struggle with themselves!"
I adhere to certain rules when shooting extreme sports - most often it is to show how and where the athlete is moving and the right phase. But lately I became tired of it, as it started to give me quite boring pictures (in my opinion!) I like to highlight riders by using tonal contrast."
– Do you have a favourite kind of spot to shoot photos at? Or favourite tricks?
"In each discipline I like something different. For example, I can say that in rally cross I really like the Swedish track hidden in the Nordic woods, and in snowboarding I really appreciate the 'street' spots and urban locations.
I think now the most important is the location because all the tricks are explored a long time ago, but the right presentation of the location and the light – that all depends on the imagination of the photographer! And so I'm always looking for interesting angles on the locations."
– What drives your photography?
"Desire. I love to capture special moments, some tense situations. Also, recently I started to experiment more, because mainstream photography is already old hat!"
– Any thanks or shout outs?
"I want to send many thanks to all my loved family members and friends for their support and belief in me! Also, I want to thank my girlfriend for the patience! Love her!"