Top 5 WeeklyFstop Photos: Street Sports

Top 5 WeeklyFstop Photos: Street Sports

The city is full of surprises, and street sports are a great reminder that urban space can be full of play and creativity — sometimes completely unexpected, driven by people's desire to make a city their own. Photography is a fantastic way to capture the playful, sometimes anarchic means of engaging with the built environment.

I've been photographing parkour for more than 15 years, visiting cities around the world to document practitioners' alternative uses for public and private space. Parkour shows how people often interpret architecture in a way that is completely divorced from the intentions of the corporations and city planners who are preoccupied with functionality as opposed to creativity, and this can be found in many of the entries shown below.

This week's challenge, though clearly a little more niche than previous contests (hence only a top five rather than a top ten), has seen some incredibly diverse submissions, from the streets of Peru to abandoned land overlooking the English city of Sheffield.

5. Rostom Abdelbagi

Gorgeous late-afternoon light and minimalism makes for some strong shadows in this shot. Soccer barely needs a street, definitely doesn't need shoes, and is played the world over.

4. Pedro Pulido

35mm film and street photography have such a strong relationship, as conveyed here by Pulido. For me, creating physical permanence for such a fleeting moment gives this shot a slightly special feel. Football is a global language, played by kids on streets around the world, and given a local flavor here through the mention of Peru's famous Rainbow Mountain, made to seem a little less inviting through the use of monochrome and the closed shutter.

3. Lukas Biba

Urban slacklining and highlining have exploded in popularity in recent years, with festivals appearing all across Europe, especially in eastern capitals that are keen to bring in tourists and are less rigid when it comes to providing their iconic plazas and landmarks for something slightly different. A lot of street sports photography is about capturing eye-catching movement but also creating a strong sense of its context, and Biba does a great job here. It might sound weird, but the novelty of knowing that a human body has never occupied these spaces before and possibly never will again is exhilarating. Highlining is a truly unique way of experiencing a city, and the glee on the faces of the athletes and the unlikeliness of their bodies suspended in space is captured beautifully.

2. Richard Baybutt

Play can appear in some unexpected places, taking advantage of parts of the city (including those on the outskirts) that have become disused. Creativity often appears in the cracks of city planning, filling gaps and taking advantage of redundancy. Sports facilities are often funded by governments or local authorities, but many are grassroots projects, sometimes initiated without the necessary permissions and taking advantage of the blurred lines between public, private, and abandoned spaces. Sheffield's Ski Village burned down in 2012 and has sat disused ever since, creating opportunities for alternative uses.

1. Evan F Smith

For many hardcore skaters, purpose-built skateparks defy everything that skateboarding represents: a counter-culture that finds alternative uses for random parts of the city, bringing the familiar rumble of wheels on concrete and numerous encounters with security guards and angry property owners. Skateparks are controlled spaces that have none of this subversive potential, but bring two huge assets: accessibility and inclusivity. Sky, the ten-year-old girl in this shot from Evan F Smith, can't hang out in random parts of the city at night, grinding rails and tearing up parking lots. Instead, her domain is the skatepark, watched by her peers and, no doubt, by her parents.

For me, this shot shows the focus of the young athlete but also presents her in the context of one of the world's most iconic skate venues: Venice Beach, with a gaggle of fellow skaters looking on. The timing is perfect, the sponsor is visible without being in your face, and there's a touch of danger implied by the steep, unforgiving terrain.

Honorable Mentions

Sergi

Richard Baybutt

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What Is This Week's Theme and How Do I Enter?

We're going a bit more abstract for this week's challenge: teamwork. If there's one thing that the Fstoppers community has proven over the years, it's their ability to be creative. So, embrace the abstract, exploit the scope of the theme, and we look forward to seeing your entries.

To enter, simply use the hashtag #weeklyFstopTeamwork (capital letters are not necessary) on any public Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or Flickr post between now and our next weeklyFstop article. Please keep it to one entry per week to keep it fair and less cluttered.

Here are the previous week's results for anyone who may have missed them:

  1. Leading Lines
  2. Bold
  3. Color
  4. Yours
  5. Simplicity
  6. Monochrome
  7. Music
  8. Light
  9. Action
  10. Thankful
  11. Bokeh
  12. Toys
  13. Snow
  14. Frozen
  15. Warmth
  16. Sunrise
  17. Landscape
  18. Favorite
  19. Gathering
  20. Green
  21. Pink
  22. Gold
  23. Happiness
  24. Macro
  25. Street
  26. Long Exposure
  27. Circle
  28. Outdoors
  29. Shadows
  30. Old
  31. Work
  32. Play
  33. Grow
  34. Portrait
  35. Water
  36. Party
  37. Sky

Remember, there is no guarantee posting a photo will result in it being featured. If you happened to submit but fell short, please don't be discouraged. Keep shooting and try to gain techniques or ideas from the photos that are selected. If anyone has any suggestions or ideas, feel free to contribute in the comments. We're always open to future theme suggestions. We hope you are all enjoying the themes as much as we are.

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12 Comments

Michael B. Stuart's picture

Great list Andy Day, absolutely love #1!

jowell protasio's picture

love her expression #1

Jeff McCollough's picture

How did number 5 and number 4 get on here? lol

Michael B. Stuart's picture

I suggested soccer and basketball I believe, Jeff. So they were all fair game. Plus they are great shots :)

Jeff McCollough's picture

Cellphone snapshots are what those two are.

Evan Smith's picture

Andy Day, thank you for picking my photo! I was thrilled when I got my negatives back and saw I had nailed the timing on that one

Andy Day's picture

It's a killer shot, not just because of the action and your composition, but also because of who and where she is. :)

Sean Gibson's picture

hmmm.. I think 2,3 and honorable mention are what your bosses would rate as a "snapshot". When did highline walking become a sport? Where is the competition, how do you keep score, who is the best??? Glad to see you included a Film shot; #1 is cool.

Jeff McCollough's picture

Yeah I see a bunch of snapshots.

Peter Witama's picture

Love the pictures. Number 1 nailed it..!! If only I can find this kind of situations from where I live.

Pierre T. Lambert's picture

Hey Andy! The featured image is yours no? Love it :)
#1 & Last were good!!!

Andy Day's picture

Ha, yes it is. Thank you! :)