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Covid News 2024

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A Skateboarding Legend Helps Photographers with a Scholarship

Photographer Atiba Jefferson needs no introductions in various circles. He’s a legend in the skateboard photography world and has shot various magazine covers as well as become a Canon Explorer of Light. Now, he’s funding a scholarship for photographers and filmmakers in the skating world. But he’s not only giving away money — he’s donating one of his personal cameras, too.

Announced on his Instagram channel, it’s called the Atiba Jefferson Scholarship Fund, and a photographer can get $7,500 towards the scholarship in addition to the camera. The Scholarship is through the College Skateboarding Educational Foundation. Photographers have until June 5, 2024, to enter and apply. Last year, photographer Luke Lace Lacasa got the award. Since then, Luke has gone on to win curly brackets to his name.

We think this is a great thing for photographers out there. While you’re not getting a personal lesson from Atiba, I can personally tell you how wonderful it is to work with him on a set. Several years ago, when Canon announced their EOS R7, he coached many journalists and Youtubers on shooting skaters. I’d personally done this before, though, and I was really happy with the photos I made. A fisheye lens and flash really helped add more atmosphere to the images and a unique look that you can’t really get into video in quite the same way. This is one of the things that Atiba was trying to teach lots of us.

Using flash, however, is daunting for most people. But once you get it down, your images will have a look that can’t be duplicated by video at all.

While that’s surely something that you can’t necessarily learn via YouTube, it’s something that can totally be taught to you with personalized instruction. This is another reason why a scholarship like this is so important. While the cost of college is pretty high these days, it doesn’t need to put you in lots of debt. This scholarship has to be applied to college costs, according to what the wording of the application says. But it’s unclear if it needs to be a full Bachelor’s Degree, but they do have language pertaining to graduates. It could probably apply to an Associate’s Degree. Either way, I’m not sure that college alone can help the next generation of photographers. They truly need to learn more in-person networking skills. To do that, they need to change their relationship to social media. Networking skills are always quite difficult for lots of folks. But once photographers start not giving all their free time to social media and reclaiming it to be creative, their in-person skills can start to develop a bit more.

We encourage young photographers to apply and to give themselves a bit more stability when getting into the world of the arts. Not every photographer needs to be a starving artist. Instead, you could be a sustainable artist who doesn’t sell their soul to an algorithm to fuel the attention economy.

Since we’re a publication of 15 years, we’d be doing an injustice if we also didn’t link you to some articles we’ve done on skateboarding before. Photographer Adam Pretty is an incredible shooter who combines skateboarding and long-exposure. We’ve also got some insight from Sam McGuire and Jeremy Scurto — the latter shot on Polaroids.