Allan kicks off the collected “Featured Photographers” effort here on Europeskate in which all photographers presented get their own profile page. Allan also started writing a guest column for Europeskate about skateboarding in Brazil. Enjoy!
Who are you? Tell us a little bit about yourself (age, what you do in life, where you live)
My name is Allan Di Pace Schmidt, I sign my work only as Allan Schmidt. IÂ´m 26 years old, born in SÃ£o Paulo, Brazil, but currently I live between Austria and SÃ£o SebastiÃ£o in the north shore of SÃ£o Paulo state.
IÂ´ve been working in the past years as an independent graphic designer but also did some side jobs to earn the bread.
How did you get into photography, especially skateboard photography?
Since I was a kid, my father always had cameras around, he wasnÂ´t really a big fan of photography but knew how to handle a camera pretty well. When we moved from the countryside to this beautiful place on the coast, in 1996, I started to try my fatherÂ´s cameras out and realized that I enjoyed that a lot. 3 years after that, I went to college in SÃ£o Paulo city to study tourism and it didnÂ´t take long till I bought my first analogic camera, gave up on college and started a technical photography course. After graduating I went for a 2 year photography course in a nice artÂ´s school, which I made it to the end of the first year.
By this time I had a job as an apprentice in a photographic studio. We mostly shot still stuff like furniture with big format cameras. Man, that was crazy!!! Working under pressure, deadlines, massive production. The assistant and me would stay sometimes up to 60 hours awake working. We had like 2 hours to sleep while the films were in the lab and then back to work.
IÂ´ve been into skateboarding since IÂ´m 10 years old and i still do it in a almost daily-basis, of course had my ups and downs but IÂ´ve always kept on skateboarding, so the transition from whatever the type of shots I was taking into skateboard photography was natural.
It was in 2006 when I decided I had either to go pro or give up on my lifestyle, settle down, and find a regular job. Well, IÂ´ve decided to go pro. IÂ´ve been trying hard since then to get as much in contact with photography and skateboard as I can so I can learn more and more. This is a never ending learning process!!
What type of equipment do you use for your photos? (outside shots, night shots, indoor shots)
Today my work platform is totally digital. I shoot most of my stuff with a Nikon D80, 2 Nikon SB-24 flash units, Tokina fisheye and Pocket Wizards. Although I also have an old analogic Canon FT with a couple of cool lenses and a Holga which produces some really artistic shots.
I almost donÂ´t shoot indoors, but if I do, I tend to use a Manfrotto tripod for the camera and the almost mandatory softboxes for portraits. IÂ´ve got a couple of homemade for that purpose.
Do you have any special “tricks” which you like to use for certain types of pictures?
No tricks, ItÂ´s clean game bro!! Just kidding.
No, I donÂ´t really have tricks, but I am about to try a new technique, which is to use a polarizer filter while shooting under midday sun. The filter holds the light down in about 1 up to 2 stops, which sometimes is all you need to freeze that moment. And remember, you donÂ´t need top shelf gear to get top shelf jobs done. The folks back in the day used to use their minds before to use a camera.
If you could get any new equipment for free, what would you love to have?
For how long can I keep on going here??? Man, there are so many things in my wishlist, that I donÂ´t know where to start from.
Priorities now are to get an extra Nikon D300 body and the super famous 70-200mm 2.8 telezoom. Then I will be satisfied for the moment with my digital gear and I can start getting a Hasselblad, medium-format lenses, light meter, a couple extra strobes, battery packs, a couple extra pocket wizards, some softboxes…
What is your opinion on post-processing, especially enhancing pictures?
It helps, but it shouldnÂ´t! We should be able to get what we want out of the camera.
What are you currently working on and do you have any projects planned?
Well, I have a photo to be published maybe this next month in this magazine www.switchskate.com.br, I gotta get my websiteÂ´s design ready and launch it still this year, IÂ´m writting some articles here on Europeskate and weÂ´re talking about maybe getting my own column on the website or something. Besides that, riding pools as hell and shooting people (IÂ´m talking about photos).
Allan Schmidt on the map >