Dylan Doubt Retrospective

Foreword: Will Jivcoff
Intro: Gordon Nicholas
Headline Photo: Mike McKinlay - Slash

Medium’s core is based in visuals. There were artists that were key to how we viewed media in our formative years, and who have impacted our present day motivations and tastes. Canadian photographer Dylan Doubt is one of those people.

Dylan was a major contributor to documenting Canadian skateboard photography beginning in the 90s, and is mostly known as the man who steered the photography behind Color Magazine. This we've honoured his craft with a portfolio retrospective.

Thanks for showing us the way, Dylan.

I was pretty new to Vancouver when I first met Dylan Doubt. He held a highly regarded staff position at SBC Magazine for many years before taking over as Photo Editor at Color Magazine where I was interning at the time. Mutual friends and a passion for photography got us talking quickly. Mornings would start with a batch of strong coffee while the rest of the day consisted of Craigslist finds, the week’s notes, contributor submissions or a cheeky skate on the in-office barrier before heading to the streets.

Whether it’s ABD’s or parts of an old MG, Dylan is a trove of knowledge and taught me a lot about photography over those years. He’s shot everyone from Jon West to Cairo Foster and knew how to manipulate the Hasselblad fisheye to its fullest potential. Dylan was never afraid to get his hands dirty and hop on the board himself, which is also part of what makes Dylan such a great photographer. He’s from White Rock, BC, which should come as no surprise because all of the best skateboarders are from there. Like anything, practice what you preach, and Dylan rips.

Dylan is a connoisseur of life’s delicacies. It was exciting rolling with him because he would always surprise me with a one-of-a-kind pastry shop, bar or sandwich spot along the way. These days, he’s a father who rides both a pedal and a metal hog and spends most of his time on an island. Still a photographer, always a skateboarder.

-Gordon Nicholas

Rick McCrank - FS Ollie

Rick McCrank - FS Ollie - Melbourne, AUS – c.2008

When I first started working at Color, Rick suggested we shoot an interview under the caveat that it was done entirely in Melbourne. He loves it there and was happy to have any excuse to go back. We had a promising first couple days before things got dark. All of our friends were working and we didn’t have a car, so we spent days cruising around the city trying, largely unsuccessfully, to shoot photos. The days wore on and we were getting more and more worried about whether or not the interview would happen. Fortunately during the last couple of days, we procured a car, a decent crew of skaters and were able to pull his interview off.

John Rattray - Kickflip - Wellington, NZ – c.2010

I first met John when he was rolling through Vancouver with a van load of Scotsmen, en route to his famous Clipper Noseblunt that he did in a Wu-Tang shirt. John tells a good story, sings a good song and has a keen appreciation of the minutia of skate culture. On this trip he taught me a song that I would sing to my daughter every night before bed. ‘They hung a sign up in her town, if you live it up you won’t live it down.’

Hands down, the best part of my job while I was Photo Editor at Color, was scheming up trip ideas. One night over tea and fancy desserts, a couple friends and I came up with a plan for a bike+skate trip. We pencilled in an all-star invite list, which John was apart of, a few exotic destinations and finally settled on New Zealand. Our all-star list came through and I think everyone that was involved would agree that this trip was a career high.

rattray_kickflip_doubt
DMODW_BS_KF_DOUBT

Deer Man of Dark Woods – Backside Kickflip – c.2006

Deer Man’s interview in Color was one of the most satisfying projects that I had worked on. He is an enigma and the added bonus was that there was usually a pretty decent session happening before the mask went on.

Magnus Hanson, Varial Flip, Vancouver, BC – c.2009

The name ‘Black Ice’ and the drama that people tended to add to this spot always bugged me. ‘Oooh, the black double!’ I guess every city needs a spot this epic though. It’s a tough one to shoot photos of because it’s so black and soaks up the light, but for this picture specifically, I really enjoyed sneaking onto the balcony across the street. Most people would be happy to call it a day and celebrate with beers or their lady once they got a trick of this calibre, but Magnus rules and would just go back to the skatepark.

Magnus Hanson - Varial Flip
Kevin Staab
Kevin Staab
Travis Stenger - Kickflip

Travis Stenger - Kickflip - Burnaby, BC –c.2004

Explosive, powerful, natural, effortless, and a ticking time bomb. I once saw him do a perfectly acceptable Kickflip, step off his board, focus it and quietly walk back into the house. Stenger is hands down the best flatground, ledge and manual skater I’ve seen first hand.

Jason Crolly – FS Noseslide – Winnipeg, MB c. 2004

I knew Jason well, not as well as some, but it’s still difficult to write about him. He was nuts. Raw, filthy, and as real a skateboarder as they come. I miss him.

Jason Crolly - FS Noseslide
Kids in East Vancouver
Kids in East Vancouver
Michael Christie - Switch FS Heelflip
Michael Christie - Switch FS Heelflip
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Quinn Starr - FS Ollie - Nelson, BC – c.2000

I had some friends who were moving to Nelson, BC so I embraced the excuse for a visit. We filled my truck with their belongings and threw Keegan (Sauder) in for good measure. At the time, I was escaping Vancouver, trying to figure out my next path in life and this is where I first met an 11 year-old Quinn Starr. The scene at the Nelson indoor park was amazing, and I met several lifelong friends over that short period of time.

One spring break, Quinn came to stay with me in Vancouver. I built him a little room in the upstairs hallway and put up a Donger photo, because I knew he liked him. We watched ‘Video Days’ every night and I forced him to learn FS 360s. In the mornings I would find him doing the dishes or drinking Earl Grey tea with ginger. We shared many adventures over the years, and I think it’s impossible to shoot a bad photo of him.

For this photo I was using a Mamiya C330 twin lens reflex. The fastest shutter speed is around 1/250th so it’s a bit soft, but under the circumstances, I’ll take it. Long live backyard ramps, summertime, helping friends and building stuff to skate that will make you eat shit no matter how good you are. Here’s hoping we haven’t seen the last of Quinn.