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Photographing a posse of skateboarding cowboys is as much fun as it sounds

This photographer specializes in the surreal — here’s how he came up with his latest visual experience.

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Jonpaul Douglass is an L.A. based photographer with a whimsical style and an affinity for pastels. When he isn’t photographing pizza in the wild or hanging with his wife and pug, he’s dreaming up his next fantastical shoot.

So, we asked Douglass to imagine a set where he could execute his version of the “perfectly timed photo,” then give the public the chance to do the same. With few parameters, it had to represent his personal aesthetic and inspire passers by to stop, admire, and snap their own version of the photo. Enter in: the “Skateboard Rodeo.” Erected in a Venice Beach parking lot for one day in October, the set placed five turquoise-clad, skateboarding cowboys on a bright pink skate ramp against a bright pink wall. Why skateboarding cowboys?

“When Canon approached me with the theme ‘Perfectly Timed Moments,’ I was immediately transported back to when I first started using a camera, ... during my skateboarding days in high school,” Douglass says. “Capturing the perfect moment is a key part of any action sports photography. This is especially true in skateboarding.”

“I grew up in the South, where being a skateboarder wasn’t always very popular, but being a cowboy was. So to add a twist, I decided to capture skateboarders dressed as colorful cowboys. I borrowed from my past life as a Southern skateboarder and melded it with my now-developed photographic aesthetic: a pink backdrop and a pink ramp with vibrant cowboys riding back and forth.”

To capture the perfect moment in this “skateboard rodeo,” Douglass used the EOS Rebel T7i. Canon then invited everyone to test out the camera themselves — and find that perfect shot of colorful cowboys practicing their ollies on a half-pipe. Watch the video for Douglass’ tips for finding the shot — there is no magical formula — and his love for the camera in the age of the smartphone.

Check out more behind-the-scenes from Douglass’ installation with the EOS Rebel T7i.

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