<span class="s1">Semi-finalist, RAW: Gaston Francisco</span>
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Semi-finalist, RAW: Gaston Francisco

Semi-finalist for the RAW category, Red Bull Illume 2019: Gaston Francisco, Spain

Location: Barcelona, Spain

Biography quote: ‘After 25 years of shooting skateboarding photography, Gaston finally got the covers of the two biggest magazines in skateboarding, TWS Skateboarding and Thrasher.’

Biography: Gaston Francisco was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1978. A self taught photographer, he got his first camera in 1995 and hasn't stopped shooting ever since. He attended the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) for five years where he studied Media Science Communication. This was complemented by a year of Journalism.

In 2002 Francisco moved to Costa Rica where he founded and directed the first ever Central American skateboard magazine, FLOW. After living there for a year he moved to his present home in Barcelona, Spain, to work as a freelance photographer. His work has been published in the most important skateboarding publications worldwide, getting to the peak of this industry when he shot the covers of both TWS and Thrasher magazines recently. A passionate traveller, he has visited more than 70 countries and plans to visit even more in the coming years.

About the photo: In Francisco’s words, 'this photo was shot during the filming of a video about Optical Illusions. We did about 8 different optical illusions and even though this one was not one of our favorites for the video, it did come out really good on the photo. The secret for the success of this picture was having [athlete] Vladik Scholz doing the trick over and over, and having an artist like Julian Lorenzo painting the stairs on the ground and shooting the photo from the right angle given that the optical illusions only work when seen from a very specific angle.'

Gear and specs: Nikon D800; Nikon Zoom lens 24-70mm, f/2.8 (this shot is at 56mm); ISO: 4000; F-Stop: 3.2; Shutter Speed: 1/800 sec.