A Look Back at 1970s Skateboard Photography

The Photo Blog
June 28 2013 1:00 PM

The Cool Skater Boys of the 1970s

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Craig Fineman

They aren’t filled with water, but the swimming pools photographed in Craig Fineman’s book Pools are a refreshing and nostalgic look back at 1970s skateboarding culture.

Although Fineman passed away in 2003 at the age of 51, Stussy stores along with Dashwood Books have released a limited-edition 68-page book with never-before-seen images that showcase Fineman’s work.

At first glance, he black-and-white images seem like illustrations or charcoal drawings. Fineman’s use of angles and perspective captures the athleticism of the skaters, not to mention the fashion of longhaired shirtless boys, an iconic part of ’70s culture.

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Fineman was a well-respected and often groundbreaking skate and surf photographer who recognized the artistry of skateboarding and went after unique perspectives to capture it. The book has laid out all the images in a vertical fashion, further enhancing the sense of anti-gravity the skaters seem to achieve. Pools also includes tributes to Fineman from friends and colleagues at the end of the book.

American artist and skateboarder Pat Ngoho wrote, “In the ’60s, we had soul cruising on asphalt and by the late ’70s skaters were surfing on concrete. Fineman was one of the few photographers who saw this and captured the action as it was happening.”

Another friend, Brad Bowman, had this to say about Fineman:

“Craig’s images are permanently frozen time capsules that generations to follow will have the pleasure of seeing, studying and analyzing moments that have predated them. They will be pleased, as we all have been with Craig’s body of work.”

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