Poetry in motion: Stunning images of skateboarders in Dubai

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What’s On team up with Hype to profile Seb Porter, a photographer in Dubai who has a keen interest for skateboarding in Dubai and the skateparks in Dubai. 


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It’s more than just skateboarding; it’s street art on the move. Hype meets Seb Porter, a young UAE-based photographer with a keen eye for capturing this art form…

“Unfortunately I was never very talented at skateboarding. It’s a seriously difficult sport and I struggled with even the most basic of tricks.” So laughs 17-year-old student and budding photographer Seb Porter, whose striking images of skaters captured mid trick are nothing short of breathtaking, exposing the skill associated with this once frowned upon sport.

While he may not be the best on a board, Seb has struck up a great relationship with Dubai’s skater community, frequently visiting Tashkeel Skate Biladi and photographing his skater friends around town. Photography, it seems, is something that comes a bit more naturally.

Seb Porter skateboarding photography

“My family bought a Digital SLR camera on Dubizzle, which was intended to be ‘a family camera’,” recalls Seb, who’s originally from Yorkshire in the UK but has spent 14 years growing up in Dubai. “I was influenced by photos and photographers I found online and just kept taking photos wherever I went – even of the most mundane and boring subjects! I really admire Steve Mccurry’s portraits and Daniel Cheong, who is a famous landscape photographer in Dubai. Their photographs are truly mind-blowing. On the sports front, Chase Jarvis has some pretty rad photographs. I love the way he lights his subjects using off camera flash.

“Slowly, I developed technique and basic knowledge in taking good photographs. I learned the basics of manual settings and from there improved on my composition, lighting techniques and eventually I upgraded my camera. I now own a Nikon D800, which is my baby, along with a vast collection of lenses. My presence online has also grown with the help of a few friends and through networking in Dubai. Now I regularly do jobs for people that have discovered and admired my work.”

Seb Porter skateboarding photography

We reckon Seb, an A-level student at Jumeirah College, is too modest. Previous work has included a shoot for Adidas Originals, while he’s won several photography competitions in the region. He’s set up a small printing business to cater for customers who want to purchase his prints on canvas and some of his landscape photographs have sold well at charity auctions.

When it comes to his landscape shots, Seb says: “There are obviously the two main landmarks of Burj al Arab and Burj Khalifa if you want those touristy photos. But I go everywhere and try to photograph Dubai from an angle no-one else has seen. I’ll frequently go up high and sneak onto rooftops, which is usually a bit risky but ultimately rewarding.”

Seb Porter skateboarding photography

Back on the sports tip, Seb says he’s more of a snowboarder than a skater. “I find snowboarding much easier,” he confesses. “Ski Dubai is fun to visit once in a while for that, but I usually go to France each winter and snowboard in Avoriaz. I’ve photographed friends and other skilled snowboarders there. However, I’ve always been interested in the skateboarding community in Dubai.”

Follow Seb on Instagram @sebporter or like his Seb Porter Photography on Facebook


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